Lug wrenches are one of those purpose built tools that are designed to perform one very specific task when working on your car. In this case of the lug wrench, this purpose is to remove and install lug bolts or lug nuts. Removing and installing lug nuts is necessary for removing your car’s wheels, which you might do in the event of a tire rotation, flat tire repair, or other wheels-off automotive work such as brake replacement or suspension work. When looking for a lug wrench, the best lug wrenches are going to have outstanding ergonomics and good build quality.
Lug wrenches come in two major flavors: L-shaped and cross-shaped (also called universal lug wrenches, plus shaped lug wrenches, or T-shaped lug wrenches). L-shaped typically only fit a single size lug nut, so you must ensure that you get the correct size for your vehicle. The major plus to an L-shaped lug wrench is that they are more compact, so they more easily tuck neatly into your trunk or spare tire well and work well for roadside use in an emergency. On the other hand, cross-shaped lug wrenches typically have four different sized wrench heads and allow you to use them on a variety of different vehicles. Cross-shaped lug wrenches are typically significantly larger and are usually too big to fit within your trunk. As such, while cross-shaped wrenches are more versatile, they are also best kept in your garage instead of in your car.
The Best Lug Wrench
Generally speaking, most cars come equipped with a small lug wrench that is hidden in their car’s built in tool kit contained somewhere within the trunk of their car. Buying an L-shaped wrench makes sense only when you are going to store it in your car, which you may do if you lost your factory lug wrench.
For this reason, we typically recommend the Powerbuilt Universal Lug Wrench when people are looking to choose the best lug wrench around. First, the Powerbuilt Universal Lug Wrench is cross-shaped and comes equipped with four different wrench heads, allowing you to fit your lug wrench on four different sized lug bolts or nuts. The sizes are 11/16″ (also works for 17mm), 3/4″ (also works for 19mm), 13/16″ (also works for 21mm), and 7/8″ (also works for 22mm) which pretty much cover most readily available lug wrench sizes for most modern cars.
As far as build quality is concerned, the Powerbuilt Lug Wrench is solid. It features an all steel construction which is sturdy and reliable. If has a polished chrome plated finish which both makes it look nice as well as prevents corrosion. The crossing bars are welded together in the center and the weld looks clean.
When it comes to using this lug wrench, the cross shape allows for two handed turning of the wrench, which allows you to generate considerable torque to loosen even the tightest lug nuts (note: if posible when tightening lug nuts or bolts, you should use a torque wrench when possible). In addition, it is available in both a 14″ version that is easy to store due to its small size and a 20″ version which allows you to generate maximum torque.
As far as value, this wrench is very affordable, and worth it as it is likely the last lug wrench you will ever buy. How do we know? Because it comes with a lifetime warranty which means that if something ever goes wrong, you can easily have it replaced without any headaches. We have found that the best place to buy is typically Amazon thanks to their competitive pricing which means their prices tends to be the lowest around. Overall, we think that the Powerbuilt Universal Lug Wrench is the best lug wrench around and we think that you will be extremely happy should you choose to pick on up. Happy wrenching!