Whether it’s for a holiday or birthday, this Tools Under 30 Dollars Gift Guide Series shows you important, yet somewhat uncommon, tools that any gearhead would want.

Today, let’s talk about Long Handle Wrenches.


Though it may only be a few inches longer than an ordinary wrench, the extra length can add significant leverage to your fastener head. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

OK, so there’s nothing new or fancy to discuss here. All a long handle wrench is…is a wrench with a longer handle than a regular box-end wrench.

But here’s the thing: Work on vehicles long enough and you’ll undoubtedly come across a situation in which that extra two or three inch long handle is downright essential to finishing the job.

As an example, we were replacing some bushings on the rear suspension of a B15 Nissan Sentra, and we needed to remove a 17mm nut that’s tucked right between the lateral link and the gas tank—far too tight for a breaker bar or even a socket wrench. (And given its proximity to the gas tank, we were understandably hesitant to break out the reciprocating saw or torch.) The nut was also nestled up deep near the body, so an ordinary box-end wrench left little length for a good grip.

Oh, and the car spent much of its life in the rust belt, so suffice it to say, corrosion had seized the nut tight.

If you’re constantly fighting stubborn hardware, you may appreciate this article too: How to Remove Rusted Bolts and Loosen Stuck, Seized or Frozen Nuts and Bolts

An ordinary box-end wrench wasn’t long enough to clear the aftermarket sway bar here. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

After trying to turn the seized bolt with other methods for an hour, we decided to take a trip to our favorite automotive tool supplier.

Returning with a new long handle wrench in our mitt, we broke the stuck nut loose with ease and removed the rest of the Sentra’s rear beam suspension components.

The longer wrench added plenty of room for us to get a good grip and turn the stubborn nut.

But that single instance aside, long handle wrenches can be really handy when you’re working around the house on other projects—like removing lawnmower blades, breaking loose rusty fence bolts, or loosening a pesky plumbing fitting. Think of them almost like mini-breaker bars that can get in places a larger socket head can’t.


While they’re available in sets, you can also buy them individually for specific jobs too, which means you can probably put together a gift set with two or three wrenches for under 30 bucks.

All told, removing the complete rear beam/trailing arm suspension assembly on a 20 year old car that spent much of its life in the rust belt isn’t a pleasant job and required a torch and reciprocating saw too—but the long-handled 17mm was there in the thick of it. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or roof leaks in an old Corvette ragtop. Thanks to a penchant for vintage Honda motorcycles, he spends the rest of his time fiddling with carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.