2-Pack: SKIL Secure Grip Self-Tightening Box Wrench Set

  • Two sets of four wrenches that work with just about any bolt head
  • Yes, even stripped ones and metrics ones – well, they work pretty well with metric ones
  • Also 6pt, 12pt, Square, Spline and Torx ones
  • Keep one set for yourself and give the other to your favorite Father’s Day honoree
  • Don’t throw out your existing wrenches, just use these as a backup if your others don’t work
  • Lightweight and thin, which seems good until you consider the body image issues they’re giving the other wrenches
  • Model: 013-481-SKL (Why doesn’t anybody have fun with the model numbers? There’s no harm in it. How about a GUT-WRNCHING or a SKLLING-ME-SFTLY?)
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The Shame Of Stripping

The humble tools you see before you could one day be part of wrench history. Maybe. Let us explain.

The wrench was first patented by Solymon Merrick in 1835 and has undergone little change since. The ratchet wrench came about 80 years later, and heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson actually patented an improved wrench in 1922. But the timeline of wrench improvement has been awfully quiet this last century.

Do these self-tightening wrenches represent a paradigm shift in the evolution of wrenchery, or mere spanners in the works of history? Only time will tell. But we (and the breathlessly enthusiastic Steve Watson) believe they provide at least three tangible benefits that should hold up over time:

First, they tighten onto stripped bolts. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of trying to fit a hexagonal wrench onto a rounded bolt (as the old saying goes) you understand the enormous implications.

Second, they work on both metric and standard bolts as well as 6pt, 12pt, Square, Spline and Torx heads. We say “works on” not “replaces the wrenches designed for” because, according to some Amazon reviews, they don’t always work on every metric size.-

And third, they’re light and small. Might seem trivial until you’re tinkering under a hood all day. Plenty of other wrenches have been light and small, so we don’t think this alone adds them to the history books, but it’s nice to have along with that other stuff.

However, more important than these “real benefits” that you might read on the box or hear in the commercial, is this single intangible benefit: You won’t have to bring your vehicle with a stripped bolt into the shop and undergo the brief look from the mechanic that conveys “You stripped this bolt using the wrong wrench, didn’t you?” That’s right, these wrenches save you from chagrin. Trivial? Yes. Petty? Absolutely. But there are few worse feelings than meeting the opprobrious eye of your local grease monkey.

Speaking of monkeys, did you know the “monkey wrench” was so named because the guy who invented it was named “Charles Moncky”?

Which brings us back to wrench history, and the question of whether these self-tightening wrenches will be inscribed in its hallowed volumes. We believe so, given the lack of progress in wrench history these past 100 years or so, and the face-saving capabilities of this new technology.

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