Sometimes, tools don’t live up to their promises. Recently, we came across a power tool video on YouTube that featured the Black & Decker Automatic Adjustable Wrench. This particular tool is marketed as the ultimate convenience for the well-equipped individual, boasting speed and ease of use. However, it fails to deliver on these claims. Surprisingly, Black & Decker is known for producing some excellent tools for DIY enthusiasts.
The Promise of the Black & Decker Automatic Adjustable Wrench
Black & Decker designed this wrench with the intention of providing quick and effortless adjustments without the need to remove the wrench from tight spaces. In theory, this feature seems highly practical. By simply pressing a button, the wrench, powered by AA batteries, can open up to 1-1/4 inches wide, accommodating even the largest studs found around the house.
However, there are downsides to consider. Unlike traditional tools like Milwaukee monkey wrenches, the Black & Decker automatic monkey wrench is quite heavy. The extra weight is due to the inclusion of a motor and a battery, necessary to power the wrench. Unfortunately, this additional bulkiness detracts from its functionality.
Additionally, the overall girth of the Black & Decker Automatic Adjustable Wrench is rather large. The round handle and the tool’s size make it feel cumbersome. The beauty of this wrench lies in its ability to fit into tight spaces, where a standard wrench might not be suitable. It also allows for a firm grip on bolts without the need to manually adjust its control, thus avoiding any accidental finger injury.
Black & Decker boasts that the jaws of this wrench are made from heat-treated hardened steel, capable of withstanding up to 220 foot-pounds of torque. However, it is challenging to determine the accuracy of this claim, as measuring torque accurately involves considering angles and forces. With a tool like this, it’s difficult to provide precise numbers.
Battery Powered Monkey Wrench?
The Black & Decker Automatic Adjustable Wrench is powered by two AA batteries. This explains the thick handles. The batteries allow the wrench to perform up to 650 cycles of opening and closing. While this lifespan is sufficient, it’s not the tool’s major drawback. Additionally, even if the batteries run out, there is a manual “override” feature that enables the use of a standard adjustable wrench (albeit a large one).
Why We Believe Black & Decker Automatic Monkey Wrenches Fall Short
Overall, we consider the Black & Decker Automatic Adjustable Wrench to be a unique tool. It shares similarities with the somewhat underwhelming Craftsman Hammerhead Auto-Hammer and might even be seen as a novelty gift. However, for serious tool users, it fails to meet expectations. Our main concerns revolve around its large size, which requires extra space under the sink. Despite being marketed for restricted-access areas, this tool ends up making jobs more challenging.
Rather than being a reliable tool, it feels more like a toy. In our experience, a standard monkey wrench provided a better user experience, even for those less comfortable with manual adjustments. Moreover, the Black & Decker Automatic Adjustable Wrench is priced at $39.99 to less than $25, approximately three to four times the cost of a standard monkey wrench. For most individuals, the Irwin Adjustable Wrench seems like a more practical and versatile solution, offering better performance in a smaller package.