What is the Difference between a Monkey Wrench and a Pipe Wrench? What is the Difference between a Monkey Wrench and a Pipe Wrench?

With just a cursory glance, a pipe wrench and a monkey wrench appear to be the same thing. This, however, is a common misconception that you can get away with sometimes, but which can cause problems other times. Before you begin a job, you need to make sure you have the proper tools prepared, so you're not stuck looking for one when the time comes that you need it. 


The monkey wrench is a tool that's been around for hundreds of years, although its popularity has dropped considerably in more recent times as it's been replaced with the pipe wrench. The primary difference between the two is the surface of the jaws. A monkey wrench has a smooth surface, while a pipe wrench has teeth. A pipe wrench is capable of handling all the jobs a monkey wrench can, although the opposite doesn't always apply. Because of the smooth surface on the jaws, a monkey wrench is best for turning nuts and bolts rather than gripping onto actual pipe.

Due to the monkey wrench's lack of popularity, you shouldn't need to worry too much about accidentally grabbing the wrong tool, but knowing the differences between the two will help if the situation should ever arise.  

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