Having a full drawer of specialty tools is great when you need them, and a spanner wrench is a tool that falls squarely into this category. Unlike a combination wrench, a spanner wrench (not to be confused with a C Spanner Wrench) is a wrench with pins on the jaws that are designed to interface with slotted components as opposed to gripping via the flat surfaces. Common instances of components that a spanner wrench is useful for include engine pulleys driven by the drive belt: harmonic balancers (crankshaft pulleys), timing pulleys (camshaft pulleys), air compressor pulleys, water pump pulleys, power steering pump pulleys, and all sorts of others. In addition to automotive uses, you’ll also find many occasions to use them in everyday work in a non-automotive environment such as in the realm of plumbing.
The best spanner wrenches allow for adjustability to fit a number of different sizes and configurations, and also offer high quality fit and finish at an affordable price. As there are many spanner wrenches on the market, we figured we would help narrow your search by providing our recommendation.
The Best Spanner Wrench
When discussing adjustable and cost effective spanner wrenches, the OTC 6613 Variable Pin Spanner Wrench fits the bill as we think it represents the best spanner wrench value around. The OTC spanner wrench is universal by design and will fit many different types of pulleys that use a slot or hole to prevent (or encourage) rotation during assembly or removal.
The OTC wrench is adjustable from 1-1/4 inches to 5 inches which will encompass many of the larger crankshaft pulleys found on passenger cars and trucks on the road today. It’s recommended to use a ½-inch drive ratchet or breaker bar for the best leverage during use. The wrench is coated in a corrosion resistant black finish that will last a lifetime.
The set includes the 12-inch long wrench plus a series of pins, which are available in diameters of 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 6mm, 7mm, and 10mm. The pins fit snugly in the holes at the end of the spanner wrench. To change between sizes you simply pull one set of pins out of the holes and insert the new size pins. The whole kit, including the hard plastic storage case, is just under 3 pounds in weight. The plastic storage case measures 20.5 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 2.5 inches tall, and that should fit easily in most storage cabinets or in your tool chest’s deeper drawers.
The OTC 6613 spanner wrench has a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year, but based on the evident build quality, the wrench is capable of holding up under extreme use so we find it unlikely that you’ll need the warranty, although it’s nice to have anyways for extra peace of mind.
If you find a situation in which the pins aren’t the best way attach to a pulley (perhaps the pins are too short to reach into deep slots), you can also use an M8 or M6 fastener and nut combination to attach the spanner wrench to the pulley as another option. The overall flexibility and array of pin options means that it will work for pulleys on many different brands of vehicles so whether you drive a Mitsubishi, Toyota, Jeep, BMW, Jaguar, or Dodge, you are covered!
As far as available purchasing options, Amazon is extremely competitive and thus we recommend starting your search there. Overall, OTC’s spanner wrench is the best spanner wrench due to its excellent adjustability and it’s reasonable price means that it is very high value. As such, we give it a strong recommendation. Happy wrenching!