Plumber wrench

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A plumber wrench, with the key ring on the thread of the left handle
Johan Petter Johansson with his wrench

A plumber wrench (or plumber's wrench, pipe wrench, Swedish wrench or Swedish pattern wrench[1]) is a pipe wrench used to rotate plumbing pipes. It is adjusted to different pipe diameters by rotating the key ring. Its advantage is that it grips with significant force without needing to engage a nut. However, if used carelessly, it can dent or break the pipe. It can also be used on nuts and other flat engagement points. It works perfectly in situations where there are hexagon-shaped nuts to be adjusted.[2]


The plumber wrench was invented in the year 1888 by Swedish inventor Johan Petter Johansson. His wrench shares some principles with both the Stillson-pattern pipe wrench and the rigid pipe wrench. Nevertheless, it is a decidedly different and improved tool. It allows plumbers to use the wrench rather than a pair of tongs to separate or join pipes.[3] It is not widely known in North America, but is common in Europe.[1]

Johansson also improved the adjustable spanner, patenting in 1891.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Wrenches and accessories". Atesina S.p.A. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  2. ^ "Plumbing Tools List – List of tools that plumbers use". Certified Plumbing. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  3. ^ "The History Of Plumber Wrenches And Their Uses". Plumbers 911. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  4. ^ "THE HISTORY OF BAHCO". Bahco. Retrieved 2016-11-11.