How To Use A Chain Wrench Like A Pro.

You might not even know how many different kinds of wrenches you can find out there. And somehow, they all have the unique purposes that they fulfill. One pretty special kind of wrench that you get to see in plumbing work is the chain wrench.

Have no idea about the chain wrench? Well, don’t you worry anymore, because I am here with everything you need to know about the chain wrench? Here, I will go through a complete overview of the wrench and how it works.

By the end of this, you will know where it’s used, how it’s used, and whether you need to check this one out or not.

Chain Wrench

Image: Chain Wrench

What is a chain wrench?

Usually, what you get to see in wrenches are jaws that grip onto the object so you can loosen or tighten them. However, you don’t have any jaws on a chain wrench, but it does the same functionality as any regular wrench would.

There is a handle like a wrench and a chain attached to one end of the handle. The chain creates a loop where you can put in the object you want to work on. There are two parts to a chain wrench, one is the jaw, and the other is a ring. After putting the object in, you can adjust the chain accordingly to get a grip on the object so you can work on it.

Still not clear? Well, then going through the working mechanism of the chain wrench will help you understand things better. So, let’s get ahead with the working process of the wrench.

What is a Chain Wrench

Image: Chain Wrench

How To Use A Chain Wrench?

These wrenches work because there are many links and sections on the chain, along with a jaw and ring at its center. When you have to work on a pipe, you can simply wrap the chain around and keep tightening until you feel like you got a proper grip on the pipes.

Image: How to Use Chain Wrench

Once you get that grip, you can simply start working on the pipe to loosen it or tighten it, depending on your purpose.

As you can see, even the working mechanism of the chain wrench is pretty similar to any other wrench you can find out there. That brings up an obvious question: why would you go for a chain wrench instead of, let’s say, a pipe wrench?

There are several reasons for that; let’s try getting through them very quickly here.

Why use a chain wrench?

There can be several reasons that you may opt for using a chain wrench instead of any other wrench. Since this wrench is mainly used for plumbing work and pipes, I will be comparing this with a pipe wrench. You can consider these two as their alternatives.

  • The first reason is the fact that you can work with a chain wrench when you have to deal with very tight pipes. Also, brittle and tight pipes are the perfect scenarios to use your chain wrench over a pipe wrench.
  • If you use the regular pipe wrenches for that purpose, you may damage the pipes and not even get the job done. So, in that case, the chain wrench works out perfectly for your needs.
  • The second reason for using a chain wrench is the versatility it has to offer. You can work on various sizes of pipes with the same chain wrench. It’s specifically great for working on smaller and thinner pipes because regular pipe wrenches don’t work that well when you use them on smaller pipes.
  • Does that mean chain wrenches are better than pipe wrenches? Well, of course not. Chain wrenches are excellent when you have to work on smaller projects. Where the pipes aren’t strong enough to withhold the force of a pipe wrench. There are advantages and disadvantages to chain wrenches. Going through them will clear out everything for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Chain Wrench:

When you consider chain wrenches, there are equal parts of advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, this wrench will work out for you, but it’s not the best thing to have in other scenarios. Let’s take a look at those advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the Chain Wrench:

There are many advantages of using an Chain Wrench over anything else. Here they are –

  • A chain wrench is typically very easy to use and adjust. You can do that pretty easily while working on the pipe itself.
  • These wrenches offer you great versatility; you can easily fit them into almost any pipe size. This feature makes them work out great for smaller and thinner pipes.
  • They work well when you have to deal with old and brittle pipes. You can work on these kinds of pipes without damaging them at all.
  • You can reach tight spaces and fittings with this wrench. It doesn’t have any fixed dimension on the chain since the chain is always movable.
  • A single chain wrench is enough for most pipes; you won’t have to get different chain wrenches for different sizes.

Disadvantages of the Chain Wrench:

Despite all the advantages, I think some disadvantages can break the deal for some out there. Let’s go through them.

  • One crucial disadvantage you face with chain wrenches is their lack of grip. If you don’t get the proper grip on your pipe initially, there is a chance that it will slip. Since there are no jaws or serrated areas, you can’t get that solid grip from this wrench.
  • Chain wrenches aren’t that great when you have to work with heavy-duty pipes. They don’t have that kind of strength to work on pipes that are made of cast iron or carbon steel or even galvanized pipes.
  • You can’t use chain wrenches for a variety of pipes. Sure, it works with various sizes, but for variety in the pipe type, you don’t get that kind of benefit on this wrench.


All in all, there are specific uses for chain wrenches. A chain wrench should be your pick when you are working with PVC pipes or pipes with thin threads. They are great for working on pipes that can easily break when you put too much force on them.

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