How to Use a Strap Wrench

Strap wrenches can be a very useful tool and you can employ it in many applications. Now you must know how to use a strap wrench and what purpose it serves. You can use a strap wrench to tighten or loosen the objects, mostly the pipes. Strap wrench is a type of a wrench that grips an object with the help of a strap being pulled in tension around it until it grips is firm. The strap gives the gripping power and the static friction avoids it from slipping. The most important use of a strap is that the strap will not deform the object. Strap wrenches are used on filters, metal and plastic pipes. You can use a strap wrench on surfaces with irregular shapes as they can take the form of the object they are gripping.

You can get the strap or chain in various forms. Straps that are made of polymers are smooth, flexible, high-friction straps. When there were no commercial polymers, the straps were made from leather or rubber. Straps can be bands of spring steel, less flexible, firmer than the polymer straps. The chain is mostly of the roller chain type just like a bicycle chain.

The most modern strap wrenches are made up of a plastic handle with a rubber strap on it. The handle carries an opening in it that lets the strap to thread through the handle once, loop around and then again enter the handle. The strap has small ridges that maintain the strap in place when it is tightened.

Types of strap wrench:

There are many types of strap wrench that are available in the market. Let us see some important types of strap wrenches that are widely used:

Oil-filter wrenches

Oil-filter wrenches are mostly of the strap type. However, some oil-filter wrench can be of the socket type or the pliers type.

Chain whips wrench

You can use a chain whip to tighten and loosen threaded sprockets on a bicycle. It is called a chain whip because it carries a short section of the chain that is used to grip the sprocket. There is also an alternative method with which you can tighten the sprockets, it is known as “Rota fix method” and it uses no tools.

Piston-ring compressors

Piston-ring compressors are those types of strap wrenches that evenly compress the piston rings around a piston. This makes the piston to slide it into a cylinder. They look very similar to an oil-filter wrench of the strap type.

How to use a strap wrench:

You need to use a strap wrench in such a way that its use is effective. Place the strap loop around the object that you intend to remove. Pull the strap through the handle until it fits properly around the object. At least one ridge will keep it in place. You need to thread the strap through the handle so that it has a firm grip on the handle. When you apply the required pressure in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion, the strap tightens or loosens the object.


Many different models of strap wrench are available in the market. Every different strap wrench model is suitable for certain applications. Right now, Reed makes five different types of strap wrenches like the SW12A, SW12A30, SW18A, SW18A48 and the SW24A. The SW12A is 12 inches long and it weighs 1.6 lbs. SW12A is an ideal strap wrench for use on pipes. The diameter of those pipes can range from 1/8 to 2 inches. The SW18A is 18 inches long and it weighs 2.6 lbs. SW18A is an ideal strap wrench for use on pipes which have diameters ranging between 1 and 5 inches. The SW24A is the largest strap wrench. It is 24 inches long and it weighs 5.1 lbs. It is also capable of handling pipes that have a diameter of 12 inches.


Reed Manufacturing Company is the leading manufacturer of the strap wrenches to consumers. This company makes high quality, strong polyester straps that provide durability and slip resistance. Apart from Reed, strap wrenches are available at Home Depot, Lowes etc. You can also purchase strap wrenches online at various web stores like and

Uses of Strap wrench:

You can use a strap wrench effectively for removing showerheads, sink faucets and pipes. It can also be used to twist off the jar lids. The most important advantage of strap wrench is its versatility and flexibility and its ability to do the job without deforming delicate surfaces. It is easy to use and demands very little muscle strength.


You should use a strap wrenches only when it is recommended by the manufacturer. You should not use strap wrenches beyond its capacity as this can damage the wrench. This can also result into strap snapping. There are also the chances that you can hurt your body if you use the strap wrench improperly.

A strap wrench is a very useful tool when you are going to tighten or loosen objects like pipes. You might need it anytime. You should go through this paper once if want to know how to use a strap wrench.

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