I dislike adjustable spanners. They’re imprecise, they weaken over time, tend to slip and are a bit too fiddly for my liking. But, while travelling or on the trail, they’re a massive space saver and are undeniably versatile. And that’s why an adjustable spanner has always been in my travel toolkit. Unloved but still very useful.
I spent 6 months riding in South America (with my adjustable spanner), when I got back my wife gave me a welcome home present: a Knipex 180mm plier wrench. It’s bloody brilliant.
At $50 it’s 5 times the cost of a traditional adjustable 6″ spanner, and it’s worth it.
The jaws slide apart and therefore are always parallel to each other. No wobbly jaws like my adjustable spanner. They’re designed so the jaws clamp down harder, with more rotational force applied on the handle. Basically, the more force you put on the handle ,the tighter it gets, minimising any chance of slipping. The knipex deftly handles 8mm bolts to adjust the levers to 32mm axle bolts. It’s now a staple in my trail kit, replacing my poor, unloved adjustable spanner.
I recently took off for a 4 day Motocamp. At camp, the knipex wasn’t used for motorcycle repairs but for cooking food! The parallel jaws did a great job of clamping down on both the Frybake cook system as well as the non stick aluminum fry pan, neither of which have handles. There was no damage to either of the surfaces.
Well I hope this convinces you to spend your hard earned cash on some well made tools! They’re well worth the investment and come with a lifetime warranty.
I know I’ve successfully convinced at least one inmate to pick up one of these.
So what’s the one tool that surprised you and is now part of your trail tool kit?
Photo credits: The author