An adjustable wrench, also called a crescent wrench, is made from steel and features an open U-shaped end. One of the jaws on the U-shaped end is fixed, while the other can move to accommodate various sizes of fasteners. The movement is made possible by turning a worm screw at the base of the jaws to grip whatever fastener you’re working with.

The most significant advantage of the adjustable wrench is that you have the flexibility to resize the wrench depending on the situation. If your project requires many sizes of nuts and bolts, using one tool instead of several could save you time and money.

The adjustable wrench does have some downsides, however. If you’re trying to loosen particularly stubborn fasteners, the adjustable wrench can experience gripping issues, causing it to slip off. If you’re working in a confined area, a wrench slip could send your hand flying into a hard surface. In addition, it’s easy to inadvertently get dirt, sand, or grit inside the twisting mechanism that adjusts the jaws, leading to jams that could cost you precious time.

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