Best Lug Wrench Models Reviewed & Rated for Quality
If you ever find yourself in a bind with a tightly wound nut on your car or truck, then a lug wrench is the reliable car tool that is going to get you out of it. They do a great job of making the most difficult to unwind fits a breeze to remove. They give you a good deal of torque, but they need to be tough enough to back it up. With that being said, what is the best lug wrench that money can buy?
- Cartman 16” Cross
- Easy to Use
- Powerbuilt 20"
- WORKPRO 14" Folding
There are more than a few options to pick from, but they all have something a little special to draw your buying eyes. This is a list of wrenches will do great things for you the next time you need to do some work on your car. If you are in the field for a tire lug wrench, then this list is the place to start your hunt!
10 Best Lug Wrench Models
Cartman 16” Cross
One of the nicest things about the Cartman is that it has so many tiny features that you don't see with many of the other options on this list. It makes this stand out from the pack with its useful quality of life features.
The most obvious is the comfortable rubber grip that you can see around the arms of the wrench. It makes it much more comfortable to keep a grip when you are working on a particularly tough nut.
The Cartman has also been designed with power and practicality on its mind, too. That can be seen with the strengthened and reinforced center that you can see. It has been layered with some extra metal around the center so that the arms have a little more strength. It also has a chrome layer over the top that means that it will last longer than your next vehicle will.
Cost and Value
The Cartman keeps the hits coming when it comes to its price. This is an incredibly affordable lug wrench that you can use for all kinds of work. It has four differently sized lugs. They come in 11/16”, 3/4”, 13/16”, and 7/8” varieties. This makes it perfect for most personal vehicles. Coupled with the great price, this is the first choice for many gearheads.
Easy to keep a grip
Nice chrome finish
No bonus features
Powerbuilt 14” Universal
The Powerbuilt is what most people probably think of when they picture a lug wrench in their head. It has good length arms at 14”. this gives you a good deal of power when you are working on those really tight lug nuts.
There is a solid chrome finish surrounding it that makes it a good choice for those that want something that is going to last. It also adds a good deal of style that you might enjoy.
The Powerbuilt is also great because it covers all your bases when it comes to lug nuts. It has four different sockets that should cover any size that you might come across. It has sockets that are 11/16”, 3/4”, 13/16”, and 7/8” wide. That makes it perfect when used for most anything that has wheels attached to it. This tool will serve you well for almost anything that you might need it for.
Cost and Value
The Powerbuilt is a simple option that is perfect for any daily needs that you might have of it. The carbon steel build means that it will last for a long time as this material will guarantee your tool stays strong and durable.
Another good thing about the Powerbuilt is that it comes with a few options. It can be bought with arms at 14”, but the company has been thoughtful enough to add in a few more choices. It can be had at 20”, and 25”. That will give you the edge over those rusted over lug nuts.
Durable and resilient
Lots of leverage
Too simple for some
WORKPRO 14” Folding
The folding design of the WORKPRO gives it lots of unique uses and features that you might not see with more traditional lug wrenches. The biggest advantage is that it makes it very easy to store it. This product has 14” arms, makes it a little on the smaller side when it comes to other options. It makes it very easy to find somewhere to store it in the back of your car, especially if there isn't enough room with the spare tire.
The WORKPRO may have folding arms as its claim to fame, but it also has some impressive design in other areas that still make it worth a look. It is made of carbon steel, which makes it an incredibly powerful tool that will work wonders on even the toughest nuts.
It also has four sockets that match the most common sizes of bolts that you are going to see on the road. Finally, the WORKPRO is covered in a durable chrome layer that makes it resistant to any corrosion or durability issues.
Cost and Value
The extra building time that goes into making a lug wrench that can fold does not translate into an increase in price. This is a very affordable tool. It is surprisingly powerful, given the way that it has been made. It is also very convenient.
This is an easy one to carry around with you when you need to take your work on the road. For those reasons alone, this is a good option to look for if you value convenience.
Easy to use
Not as strong as other options
Another feature that allows it to stand out is the telescoping handle, which allows you to choose the amount of leverage that you need for a certain situation.
The L shape of this wrench makes it a bit different from the previous entries on the list. It takes up much less space than the cross styles, but it also means that you will have to grip it differently.
The Cartman comes with some dual-purpose bolts that you can use on most lug nuts that you are going to find in the wild. They are put onto the tool just like how you would use them with a socket wrench. Another great feature is that the handle is covered in an easy to grip rubber that will help you get a good grip for those stuck nuts.
The other claim to fame with this wrench is the ability to use it at a few different lengths. The Cartman can be extended all the way out to 21”, which will give you tons of leverage when you are using it.
The shortest it can get is 14”, which makes it easy to put away in storage when it is not in use. The wrench is made out of hardened steel that makes for a tough tool that you can use in many situations.
Cost and Value
The Cartman is a bit more expensive than the other options on this list. That is because it gives you a small tool that is easy to store, but that can also truly pack a wallop. It has been coated with a shiny chrome that both makes it look professional, and makes it last for an incredibly long time.
The telescoping handle means that you will have an easy time getting some quality leverage on any bolts that you might have to deal with.
Can choose leverage
Has loose pieces
The MoKo has a unique design that takes advantage of the strengths of both a socket wrench and a cross wrench. It keeps it compact on the two arms that align with the socket set, but it also has two arms with more length and leverage on the other arms. This means that you get the fast-spinning action of a traditional cross wrench but without the bulky shape and design of the more traditional options.
Strong and Durable
The MoKo is a great choice for anyone looking for something that is both feature-packed, and reliable. It does a great job of creating a strong wrench. The lack of movable arms means that it keeps the structural integrity of many of the other options here.
The only removable piece is the socket, which strongly attaches to the rest of the setup. The wrench is made out of chrome vanadium steel, which is incredibly strong and powerful. The whole thing is also plated with chrome, for added durability.
Cost and Value
The MoKo is another option that is a little more on the pricey side. It is so convenient that it more than makes up for it. This wrench has a really clever design that maximizes the strengths of both wrenches that it has designed itself after. The sockets that come with the set are set for most consumer vehicles, but you can use other sockets with it too, as long as you buy them yourself.
Best of both worlds
Good frame and size
Chrome offers resistance
Takes time for setup
The Ken-Tool is designed with one thing in mind, and that is to make sure that your lug nuts can be taken off your tires. It is built out of a single piece of tough steel. When compared to other options on this list, it becomes very obvious that this is a much tougher design.
It is much heavier than most other options you're going to find. Plus, it has a 20” reach, which gives you even more leverage to take advantage of.
The design of the Ken-Tool is incredibly simple. It is a cross wrench that does not have any extra pieces of the luff. It has four sizes of sockets attached to it. They are 11/16”, 3/4”, 13/16”, and 7/8”. It makes it suitable for all kinds of work.
Some say that it doesn't work with consumer vehicles, but it works with any kind of truck, and also with most cars. It just has thicker sockets than some other options here.
Cost and Value
The Ken-Tool professional is priced higher than any of the other options on this list. When you have it in your hand the reason for this is immediately obvious. This is a well-made wrench. It can be used for any kind of work and is definitely the most effective option that you will find. It is much more about if you think you need something that is guaranteed to work. It is powerful and effective.
Good amount of torque
No chrome covering
The Fold-Down design of this lug wrench is useful for a few different reasons. It makes it much easier to store. You will probably want to leave a lug wrench in the back of your car so you can use it in an emergency. That extra leverage will be a real gift next time you have a tire blow out on the highway. Another great thing about it is that it makes it easier to carry around, too.
Another great thing about this option from Gorilla is that it comes with a strong and durable design. The folding arms are well locked into place when you consider the sliding bolts that cover the mobile joints. It makes the wrench act just like one of the wrenches here that are only one piece.
The whole assembly is covered in three layers of chrome, which makes it a good choice for those who want something that is going to last.
Cost and Value
The Gorilla wrench is great for those who want something simple that they can tuck away in their trunk. It is great for both its durability and functionality. This is a universal lug wrench that does a good job with all kinds of lug nuts. That includes the usual suspects that you will find on this list. That is the 11/16”, 3/4”, 13/16”, and 7/8” sizes.
Another good thing about this is that it is quite affordable compared to the other options that can be folded.
Good locking bolts
Durable and resistant
A little light on leverage
Performance Tool + Spade Tip
It is one thing to have a lug wrench, but it is another thing entirely to actually be able to use. It can be very difficult to get a hub-cap off sometimes. They aren't meant to be removed, and you might not have anything to wedge between the wheel and the cap.
This spade tip is the preferred tool of any mechanic when it comes to removing that pesky hub-cap. It can easily slide into the edge of the hub-cap and then pops it off with a quick pry.
That feature is completely useful on its own, but there is also the high-quality design on display here that will get you excited. This entire wrench is only two pieces of steel, which greatly adds to its strength and durability. It is made in a single mold, which is what makes it such a powerful choice. Another great thing about it is the very long arms on it. This is a 20” lug wrench, which means you will have tons of leverage when you are trying to remove stubborn lug nuts,
Cost and Value
The Performance Tool lug wrench is an incredibly powerful option for those who want something that they know is going to work. Another great thing about it is that it is much less expensive than many of the other options with a similar pedigree of strength.
It adds in a useful tool that you are going to need when you are in a bind, too. This is a great option, as long as your lug nuts are the right size for it.
Durable and strong
Gives you an extra tool
Not truly universal
The Ares is designed with versatility and mobility in mind. It has a button in the center that makes it incredibly easy to move around the arms in different directions. This is useful for a number of reasons, It means that you can adjust your angle when you are trying to get into a hard to reach the spot, or it could just be useful for storing your tool. There are many possibilities.
The Ares has another interesting feature that makes it worth your time. It comes with the ability to add any socket that you would like on it. It still has three sockets that are attached, but it also has a few extra options that you can use, too. It means that you can use this like a socket wrench. It is a 1/2” socket at the end of the fourth arm, which leaves lots of opportunities to put on whatever you want.
Cost and Value
The Ares is designed to make it easy for you to adjust on the fly. This can be used for more things than just as a lug wrench. It makes it very easy for you to have a useful tool that you can change as you want. It is incredibly easy to carry around and store wherever you need to, too. This is a very powerful multi-tool.
Mobile and versatile
Very easy to use
Good amount of leverage
Easy to press button by accident
The LugStrong is designed so you will have an easy time using it as a very powerful lug wrench. It is designed so you can slide one bar all the way to the end of the other. LugStrong calls this Power Mode, and it makes it easy for you to get a huge amount of power on any tough lug nuts that won't crack. It leaves you with a 26” bar and tons of pulling strength.
The LugStrong is also designed with other cool features, too. The two sliding bars can also be put into a cross wrench shape that makes it easy to use the lug as a speedy tightener. It easily spins on its axis and allows for quick tightening and removing. Another cool thing about this is that it comes with a removable socket on one of the arms. This makes it easy to put any size of socket that you would like on the end of your LugStrong.
Cost and Value
The LugStrong is also a very cheap option for all of its bonus features. This is a useful option if you want something portable, but are worried about the strength of your lug wrench. The two bars lock together nicely, which makes it easy to use it in all kinds of scenarios. The two bars can be placed inside each other, which makes for an incredibly easy to manage package. It even comes with a tool bag for storage.
Easy to use
Can have lots of leverage
Lots of storage
Has to be taken apart every time
Criteria Used to Evaluate the 10 Best Lug Wrenches
A lug wrench is a tool that you usually only need when you least expect it. That means reliability and durability are some of the most important things that you can hope for. On top of that, it needs to be strong enough to deal with a lug nut, which, more often than not, are going to be the tightest bolts that you are going to encounter. The options on this list must do an excellent job in these categories.
Lug nuts are always screwed in incredibly tight. They are the only stabilizing force for your car or truck’s wheels, which means that they need to be fitted tight so that you can remain safe in your vehicle. The big reason that lug wrenches exist is so that people can get the proper amount of leverage on their wheels when they need to take those nuts off. That makes it especially important that you find a wrench that can handle taking off those nuts. Look for options that are made of the fewest pieces of steel possible, and that also have long arms that are good for leverage.
The only thing that can get in the way of your lug wrenches strength is how durable it is. There are many stories out there of the lengths people have had to go to to take their lug nuts off their vehicle’s wheel. It makes it essential to remember to get one that can survive being stood on, or being kicked repeatedly to get that first turn completed. These tools are usually made of durable steel to combat this issue.
Another thing to look out for is lug wrenches that are covered in chrome. It makes it much simpler for the wrench to last through corrosive materials and rust.
Lug wrenches can spend their lifetime in your garage, but it might be a good idea to keep them organized in the trunk of your car. It means that you can be better prepared for that fateful day when your tires pop when you are on the highway. The best way to be able to fit your lug wrench is in the trunk with your spare, but you are going to need the room for that.
There are a few ways that these tools can make themselves more portable. Some wrenches are designed with folding arms, which makes it much easier to find some room for them in the back of your car. Another thing to look for is the length of the arms. The longer they are, the more leverage. On the other hand, it will also leave less room for you in the car.
A lug wrench won’t be much good to you if it doesn’t fit on your lug nuts. Luckily, there are only a few kinds of nuts that you are likely to encounter in the wild. These are the 11/16”, the 3/4”, the 13/16”, and the 7/8”. These sizes are almost all accounted for by the wrenches on this list. That is because they are universal lug wrenches. They will usually have either a different socket on each arm or a set of sockets that can be attached to the arms. Which one is the one that you want is up to you, but it is essential to have the right size sockets if you’re going to be able to use your tool in an emergency.
There are a wide variety of prices on this list. Not all lug wrenches are made equally, it seems. There are a few things that are going to determine these fluctuations in price. The size of the wrench is a big one to consider. Longer arms will usually jump the price up.
Another thing to keep in mind is what the materials that make up the wrench are made of. There are some options here that are made of a single mold of dropped steel. These will usually be the most expensive. The more work put into the design, the more expensive it will most likely be.
Other Factors to Consider
Those pieces of criteria are going to be the difference in a great lug wrench and a broken one. These next things are just some elements that you should keep in mind before you make that final purchase. There are lots of shapes and sizes of lug wrench that you will need to keep in mind while you are shopping around for the perfect wrench for the trunk of your car or truck.
The size and length of your lug wrench are going to be an essential thing to consider for a few reasons. The most obvious is that the arms are what gives you the most leverage, and also power when you are trying to get that lug nut off or on. A longer arm equals more strength when you push on the wrench. There are a few lengths on display here, and wrenches generally range from 14” to 21”. Any of these lengths will work in most scenarios, but you will miss those longer arms on that rare time when it doesn’t work.
For the most part, lug wrenches are simple things. That is because their simple design is a big reason for their strength. Regardless, there are lots of different options here that you can take advantage of if you are looking for something a little different. The fold-down arms are the most obvious example, but other features might be useful. The telescoping arm is an option that will allow you to use your lug wrench in a wider variety of situations, while the spade tip will give you an easy way to remove your hub-caps. The thing to remember is that you will end up with less durability in your lug wrench this way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are lug wrenches universal when used for bolts?
A: Due to the competitive nature of the auto industry and maybe to keep the lug nuts better fit to the car’s wheels, lug nuts come in more than few different sizes. In this way, there is no universal lug wrench. What that means is that they give you enough options, usually four, that you will be able to get a good grip on any lug nuts that come your way. There are about ten different varieties of nuts, but they only have five or six widths among them. This means that the four widths that most universal lug wrenches have should be good enough in almost every case.