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Technical / Installation Articles - Tools

Craftsman Universal Wrenches

Article written by Dr. Jones

Date Added: 12/14/2009

Can the new wrench from Craftsman take on Industro?

Ah Christmas time. Traffic, cold wet weather, long lines, and endless hours shopping with the wife for those perfect presents. But just maybe if you?re lucky, she will want to stop by Sears to check out the latest and greatest toaster ovens and waffle makers. At which point you can fake a bathroom run and slip over to the tool section for a brief moment of solitude in your own personal little comfort zone.

Okay maybe you do your shopping differently, but it was on just such a quick escape that I came across Craftsman?s answer to the Industro wrench.



1. They call it the Universal Wrench, and it?s designed to fit six different fasteners. Sound familiar? Well we?ve been a long time fan of Craftsman tools, so it?s only fair to give them at least a quick look over and see how they stack up against the Industro wrenches.

At first it looks good. They fit 6 point, 12 point, Square, External Torx, Spline. For the 6th type? partially rounded 6 point. Okay maybe it?s a stretch, but we?ll give it to them.

2. Trying out the wrench on their display, it didn?t really fit tightly on most of the bolt heads.

It fit on them all, yes, but not snugly. Frankly it didn?t inspire much confidence.

3. Fortunately, like everyone, I always carry a 5/8?/16mm Industro wrench around in my pocket? You do all do that too don?t you? Anyway, I pulled it out for some side by side comparison.

A quick look shows that the ?universal? wrench cut is nothing like the Industro. Actually it looks exactly like the Spline head bolt they have on the display.

4. This first impression was reinforced when the Craftsman Universal Wrench fit the Spline head bolt like a glove ? the only one on the display it did fit tightly.

5. Bad news for the Industro wrench, though it didn?t fit the Spline head bolt. Maybe a different size would fit that particular bolt, but come on now how many wrenches am I supposed to carry with me everywhere?

6. I was hit with another surprise when I tried the Industro wrench on the other bolt heads and found it didn?t fit much tighter than the Craftsman wrench (a little better, but not by much). As it turns out, the plastic simulated bolt heads on their display weren?t exactly 5/8? ? just very close.

7. So without the right size bolt to compare the contact patch, what can I really tell about these wrenches? Well, let?s look at the stats on the Craftsman wrenches. They seem to have about the same contact patch on the nearly-5/8? bolt as I would expect from any quality tool. They fit the Spline bolt that the same size Industro wrench didn?t. And perhaps most importantly they bear the Craftsman name. It seems as though someone else has finally taken on the Industro wrench.

But they haven?t.

Final Thoughts

The keen eyed reader will notice the big 5/8 printed on the side of the Craftsman wrench. That?s because aside from the square, torx, and those other weirdo fasteners, it only fits 5/8?. You have to buy a separate set of Universal Wrenches for metric. Sorry, but that?s the deal breaker right there.

The difference is all in the cut. The Craftsman wrench is basically a 12 point with rounded edges. Want to try an experiment? Grab a 12 point wrench and see how many fasteners you can fit it on. It?s actually pretty impressive. The problem is it still only fits either standard OR metric. If you want a true universal wrench, Industro is still the only way to go.


Purchase / Vendor Info

Vendor Name: Craftsman
Contact Person: Sears
Website: http://www.craftsman.com

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