FatMax Xtreme Ratcheting Adjustable Wrench

A different twist on the conventional wrench that works well, is reasonably priced, and will last a lifetime

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FatMax Xtreme Ratcheting Adjustable Wrench



In most shops you're likely to find an assortment of open or box end wrenches, adjustable wrenches and socket wrenches. Adjustable wrenches are the ones that you adjust with a knurled knob. A sliding jaw adjusts the wrench to different sizes of objects.
 
A socket wrench has a ratcheting mechanism that enables a socket to be moved in one direction with a
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reciprocating movement. A switch alters directional movement from a clockwise to counter clockwise direction. Because you don't have to remove the wrench after each turn, you can tighten or loosen a bolt very quickly, even in a confined space.
 
The new FatMax Xtreme Ratcheting Adjustable Wrench combines the ratcheting feature of a socket wrench in the body of an adjustable wrench. It's a pretty simple (and clever) design that incorporates a mini spring loaded lip on the tip of the sliding jaw. When the wrench is returned after a power stroke the lip retracts, enabling the wrench to re-grip the bolt.


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Spring loaded lip
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Scale is difficult to read
The FatMax wrench can handle bolts or nuts up to 1-5/16" diameter, which will cover just about anything that arises in my shop. The wrench is made of chrome vanadium, which has high strength, is super tough, and resistance to wear and stress fatigue. The laser etched scale on the head is all but undecipherable. A hang hole on the end is convenient for hanging the tool on a peg board.

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When jaw is tightened up the ratcheting effect doesn't work
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Slightly back off nut tension
 
I was initially frustrated with the wrench, until I discovered that when the wrench is firmly tightened up on a nut or bolt head, the ratcheting effect doesn't seem to work. However when I slightly backed off the nut tension, the ratcheting effect kicked in. Once I had this worked out, the wrench worked well. Mind you, it's not the same as a conventional socket wrench, but for intermittent use its quite serviceable. Plus, I like the idea of not cluttering up my tool box with dozens of sockets (in both imperial and metric sizes as well).

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Wrench positioned at the beginning of the power stroke
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Once the wrench is moved backwards the spring loaded lip disengages
I wouldn't recommend this tool for someone who does a lot of mechanical work; it's not a replacement for a socket wrench set. And if you already have an assortment of wrenches, then I really don't see any extra value this tool provides.
 
However, if your don't have any wrenches, particularly a ratcheting wrench, then give the FatMax a look. It works well, is reasonably priced, and will last a lifetime.

KEY FEATURES: 


  • Ratcheting jaw
  • Chrome vanadium steel forged body with polished finish
  • Laser etched scale
  • Knurled adjustment wheel
  • 1-5/16" maximum jaw capacity
  • Hang hole

Manufacturer:Stanley
Available From:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
Retail Price:from $19.99
Model #:95-795 (8")
95-796 (10")
95-797 (12")
Made In:China
Carl Duguay, November 2010
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