7 Best Lug Wrenches | Reviews & Buyers Guide

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lug wrench
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Lug wrenches are an essential tool to many car owners for taking care of their tires, brakes, and suspension systems.

The lug wrench may look mundane from afar; closer inspection reveals its true power as an indispensable part of every garage kit.

The correct lug wrench when changing tires can be done in minutes and have you back on the road within no time. However, the wrong one can leave a driver stranded far from home with their car immobilized by a flat tire and stubborn lug nuts that refuse to budge whatever tools are used upon them. Getting it right is essential for any driver – getting a bad one might ruin your day!

In this article, we review 7 of the best lug wrenches on the market and give a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed choice before purchasing.

What is a Lug Wrench?

A lug wrench is the best way to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts for automotive repairs. It doesn’t require electricity or air so that you can use it anywhere in a pinch!

A lug wrench differs from air impact wrenches by using your power instead of an onboard motor. This means that you cannot generate as much torque with this type of tool – especially compared to its pneumatic impact wrenches like the electric-powered wrench.  

However, a lug wrench is still an invaluable tool to have when changing a tire. It is much cheaper than the air impact wrenches, easier to store, and is valuable to have in the boot for a roadside emergency such as a tire blowout.

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Best Lug Wrenches | Compared

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7 Best Lug Wrenches | Reviews

1. GTE Tools – LugStrong 26″ Lug Wrench Set (Best Overall)

  • Extra-long giving extra leverage
  • Ultra-tough steel construction
  • Comes apart for easy storage
  • Includes universal adaptor
  • Power Mode configuration
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Higher price tag

2. Performance Tool (Model W-9010P) SAE Lug Wrench (Best Value)

  • 4 socket sizes
  • Small and compact
  • Forged heat-treated steel
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Sturdy
  • Budget-friendly
  • Some people may find it too small

3. Pro-LifT (Model W-9010P) 14 inch Heavy Duty SAE Lug Wrench

  • 4 socket sizes
  • Heat-treated drop-centered steel
  • Rust resistant
  • Strong and sturdy
  • 1-year warranty
  • Maybe a little small for some people

4. Gorilla Automotive 1721 Telescoping Power Wrench

  • The telescoping handle extends to 21 inches
  • Double-sided sockets
  • Constructed of hardened steel
  • Storage bag
  • High in price

5. WORKPRO 14-Inch Universal Folding Lug Wrench

  • 4-way folding cross design
  • Chrome plated, drop-forged steel
  • Heads fit most lug nuts
  • Good grip handle
  • The hinge may bend with force
  • Screws may loosen

6. XERGUR 23″ Universal Extended Lug Wrench

  • Combination wrench
  • Extra-long handle for good leverage
  • X shape makes easy handling
  • Chrome Vanadium Steel
  • Storage bag
  • Good grip textured handle
  • 2-year warranty
  • The handle may slide around
  • Sockets tend to be a loose fit

7. Cartman 14 Inch Universal Heavy Duty Lug Wrench

  • Durable
  • Heat-treated chrome plated
  • 4 socket sizes
  • 6 point socket heads
  • Compact design
  • Fairly high in price
  • Medium leverage

Video: How to Remove a Stuck Lug Nut!

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Best Lug Wrench Buyers Guide

Things to consider when buying a Lug Wrench

Socket Size

It is essential when buying a lug wrench that it comes with sockets. A socket set will have a massive range of sizes and cover you for just about any job, but if you only buy one, it should include sockets sized at 17mm, 19mm, 21mm, and 23mm. If these four are your minimums, then they’ll do 95% of what’s required in most cases.

Short Arm Wrench

A small lug wrench can be bought for anywhere from 16” to 22.” They are easier to store than large ones, and they also tend to cost less on the whole because of their size. If you have a vehicle that is prone to breakdowns, it is essential not only as an emergency tool but as something easy enough to fit in your car or truck.

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Long Arm Wrench

The optimal arm length on the wrench is 22” or more. A longer lever will make removing stubborn nuts easier with less force needed than those shorter in length. This can be especially useful for people with less upper body strength. 

Solid or Foldable?

Another consideration is whether you want a solid tool or one that folds. Reliable tools are usually cheaper and hardwearing, but they take up more space in your car than folding ones. If you choose the latter option, make sure it provides enough power for everyday use because not all do!

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Before buying a lug wrench, you need to be sure that it is made of quality materials such as solid steel or chrome vanadium. A low-quality material will complicate your life when working on nuts because the tool might get stuck and won’t loosen or tighten properly. Be careful before purchasing anything; look at what the product’s made from first and see for yourself how good its durability is by looking at reviews.

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Lug Wrenches FAQ

Are lug wrenches Universal?

A universal lug wrench is a tool that has sockets of different sizes and can be used on nuts or bolts with an appropriately sized socket. Most lug wrenches are not “universal” as they only have one size. However, it would still be wise to check the specifications for the particular design you’re considering before purchase to make sure there are no surprises!

What is the difference between a tire iron and a lug wrench?

Tire irons are used to pry the edge of a tire away from its rim are valuable tools for changing tires. They come in pairs or threes, and they’re usually made with solid metal that can be easily sharpened when dulled by use over time. While one iron pries open an outer edge of the tire, another is applied at a right angle further along with it until you’ve pried enough off so as not to damage your hands while attempting this task yourself!

This technique is called “ironing out the tire.” The first iron separates enough of your tire so that you can remove it from one side. You then use this same tool to work on the opposite end and finally finish up by reaching inside for a tube or nail in need of removal.

Engineers created tire irons specifically for cars because their broad base makes them perfect for safely removing wheels without risk of injury–and even professionals have been known to abuse these trusty instruments with unintended consequences!

Can you take off lug nuts with a ratchet?

To remove the lug nuts from your tire, you will need a deep socket or an appropriately sized wrench. You may also choose to use a ratchet and breaker bar for this task, but you must use these tools cautiously as they can be quite dangerous if mishandled.

The most common tool needed in changing tires is either: (1) A deep socket or appropriately sized cordless impact wrench; alternatively (2) A ratchet and breaker bar set of some kind. Although there are other options on how best to loosen up the bolts holding those pesky wheels onto their axles, these two methods seem like one of the more foolproof ways available for getting them off without having too much trouble.

When you get a flat tire, the first step is to use your wrench or tire iron and break all of the lug nuts loose. Please do not remove them entirely but turn each one in quarter-turns counterclockwise so that they are loosened for removal later on when we have lifted our car safely onto jack stands.

Can you tighten lug nuts with a socket wrench?

Yes, you can! The lug nut is the threaded end of a machine bolt that attaches to your tire. The wrench is used to tighten or loosen it, making installing and removing tires much more effortless.

If you want to ensure that your wheels are tight, tighten the nut directly across from where you just tightened. This will add an extra measure of insurance by applying even pressure on each bolt as they’re done up.

What is the best way to break a tight lug nut?

Most lug nuts are seized thanks to corrosion, which can occur when water comes into contact with road salt and oxygen if left unchecked. The result is a nut that won’t budge regardless of what you do because the threads have become cemented together at the base or in other locations along its length.

You might be used to just giving up when you see a rusty lug nut, but the solution is surprisingly simple. All it takes are some WD-40 and patience. Soak your rusted lug nuts in oil for as long as possible before trying to loosen them with brute force-it’ll make all the difference!

When using a socket to remove lug nuts, make sure it’s tight enough and on as securely as possible before applying torque. Otherwise, you may round off the edges of your bolt or even strip its threads if not careful.

The impact driver and air impact wrench are standard tools in the automotive industry. When you’re trying to remove seized lug nuts, using a power tool or air compressor can be counter-productive and even dangerous!

The best idea is always to use a standard socket or ratchet for these demanding jobs instead of giving up on them altogether – it might take longer, but at least you’ll still have those expensive lug nuts intact and not damaged beyond repair.

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Best Lug Wrench Conclusion

The GTE Tool LugStrong 26 inch lug nut wrench set is our Best Overall, and there are several reasons why:

  1. It has 17, 19, and 21-millimeter sockets built in so you can tackle any problem without needing to use an additional tool.
  2. The ½-inch adapter included will connect most sockets to this model for even more versatility than just what comes with the kit.
  3. Because it separates into two pieces for easy storage when not in use or transport during travel (which we think is particularly handy), plus includes a power mode configuration for those stubborn nuts or bolts. 
  4. Finally, it’s made from ultra-tough steel construction, which means no matter how tough the job, this lug wrench will have you covered and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Our Best Value is The Performance Tool 14″ Heavy Duty Universal Lug Wrench. This 4-way lug wrench can be used on a wide variety of lug nut sizes and shapes, making it an indispensable tool for any driver or mechanic in need of fastening a tire tightly. It’s forged from heat-treated steel to withstand the wear and tear that comes with frequent use – all while being budget-friendly!

We hope that the reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you to decide which Lug Nut Wrench will be best suited to your needs.

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Walter Snyder

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