Open end wrenches are great to have for the simplicity they offer when tightening or loosening nuts and bolts. They are even more versatile when paired with a box end wrench head on the opposite side of wrench (which is defined as a combination wrench). Most combination wrenches tend to be pretty long. The reason for this dates back to your high school physics class, in which you learned that Torque = Force X Distance. The longer your lever arm, or in this case the wrench length, the less strength you need to apply the same amount of torque. These long wrenches are great for long days working on your car as they tend to keep your arm from fatiguing as quickly.
However, some situations you encounter will provide only limited access to bolts and nuts. Having long wrenches under these conditions can make turning the wrench difficult as the wrenches contact other components before you can gain any meaningful amount of twist. To solve this, stubby wrench sets are available which are significantly shorter than standard wrenches. The best stubby wrench sets are short, durable, and possess both open wrench heads and box wrench heads for maximum versatility. As there are many stubby wrench options out there on the market, we have taken some time to point you in the direction of what we deem to be the best stubby wrench set for the money.
The Best Stubby Wrench Set
As modern design for cars and trucks tends towards reducing the space to work under the hood, sometimes having a smaller set of tools is just what the doctor (or mechanic in this case) ordered. The Sunex 11-piece #9930 SAE Stubby Combination Wrench Set is perfect for times when you don’t have a lot of space to work but need unimpeded wrench access. If you’re working on metric fasteners which are common on Japanese and German vehicles, Sunex also offers the 10-piece #9930M Metric Stubby Combination Wrench Set. Both sets are drop forged from high grade alloy steel, which insures both strength and durability. Both sets come with a lifetime warranty and are clearly built to last.
As the name implies, the Sunex stubby wrenches feature a reduced length compact design meant for maximum access in confined space such as engine bays of subcompact cars or under the dashboard of a hot rod project. Their compact design and total storage size of 3” diameter and 6” long for the entire set makes them easy to store under a seat or in a luggage side compartment for quick access if needed for a roadside repair.
All wrenches feature a polished finish which is durable and allows for easy clean up after use while also offering protection against corrosion. Each set comes with a high quality canvas pouch that has a pocket for each wrench to keep them in order while in storage. After each use, wrenches can be easily tucked into the pouch and then rolled up which means a minimal hit to the space in your toolbox or storage cabinets. The SAE wrench set includes the most commonly used sizes: 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, and 1″. The metric set is similarly designed with the most common metric sizes: 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, and 19mm. Both sets should cover fasteners found during most repair jobs for most vehicles.
As far as available purchasing options, Amazon has the best value in our book. Sunex stubby wrench sets are a good investment due to their durability and build quality. They can be purchased on an as needed basis wrench by wrench if you are looking for a specific tool, although buying a whole set represents the better value. Finally, they are priced attractively, so they could be a good holiday gift or good to throw in the trunk of each vehicle you own to have on hand for emergency road-side repairs as needed. Overall, they are solid wrenches and we expect that they will deliver the high performance you’d expect from quality tools. Happy wrenching!