There are Three Sets of Angle Head- or “60-30” Wrenches Worth Buying
If you aren’t familiar with what angle head wrenches are, be prepared to have your mind blown. Well, maybe that’s an overstatement but it’s true that a lot of mechanics have never used a set of 60-30 or 45-15 angle head wrenches. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to the angle head wrench, explain what 60-30 wrenches are used for in auto repair shops and also show you the best quality set and even a new budget set from Amazon.
What are Angle Head Wrenches?
Often referred to as curved or bent wrenches, angle head wrenches are actually nothing more than wrenches with open ends that are offset by a specified angle of degrees. Like most wrenches, they come in both metric and standard sizes usually sold in sets versus individually.
Snap-On’s SAE set, part number SVS01FBR for inches and SVSM01FBR for metric comes with one end angled at 30 degrees and the other at 60 degrees. Tektons set which is sold under PN WAE91202 for metric and WAE91102 for standard, also uses a 30 and 60 degree offset.
Here’s a look at what a set of open ended angle head wrenches are courtesy of Tekton Tools.
What are Angle Head Wrenches Good For?
When it comes to the uses for angle head wrenches, there are the obvious ones like brake line fittings but you would be surprised to know how many repairs a set of angle head wrenches are good for. Here’s a short list to point out some of the reasons you should buy an angle head wrench set.
- Removing brake line fittings is much easier with the unique angles you get with open ended angle head wrenches. No longer does it take 50 turns to remove fittings on an ABS module or proportioning valve on cars, trucks and heavy equipment. It’s as easy as flipping the wrench over to get a full turn on the brake line fittings.
- Hydraulic fittings work in a similar way as brake lines given both are technically hydraulic systems. Hydraulic systems use a lot of similar valves to function and that means the fittings are often close together and hard to get even a 1/4 turn on without angle head wrenches.
- Air brake fittings. Are you seeing a pattern here? Angle head wrenches are simply the best way to remove any slip style fittings. From air dryers and condensers to brake chambers, removing all of these fittings is made easier with 60-30 wrenches.
- Power steering is another system that often uses hydraulic fittings, especially on cars pre-2007 ish when electric power steering started to gain traction.
Fittings, nuts and screws in tight places.
As you can probably gather from the list above, the main purpose of angle head 60-30 wrenches is to make removing fittings, screws and nuts in tight places much easier. By allowing a technician to get more of a turn with every swing, using open ended angle wrenches can potentially save hours of valuable time especially for flat-rate technicians.
Whats the Difference Between 60/30 and 45/15?
Although angle head wrenches aren’t extremely common, there are several different sets on the market. As I said before, some of these sets use different angles on the open end of the wrench. The difference is that one end of the wrench is a 60 degree angle, the other is 15 degrees or 30 degrees depending which brand or set you choose.
Since a wrench that uses 60 degrees on end and 30 on the other equals a 90 degree turn, a set of 15/45 would only be a 60 degree turn. The significance of this is in the number of times you have to flip the wrench over to complete a full turn. The 30-60 wrenches give you a 90 degree turn while the 15-45 only gives you 60 degrees meaning it will take you longer to achieve a full turn on whatever fitting or but you are working on.
Which Set of Angle Head Wrenches is Worth Buying?
I have found three brands of angle head wrenches that I would actually consider buying. One of those sets I own which is the Tekton SAE set, one of them is way too expensive (the Snap-On) and the other is made by Capri tools, a company I am not 100% familiar with. I do like the foam tray that the Capri set comes with though. It’s similar to the one Snap-On’s set comes in. Below I’m going to look at the price of the three sets of open end angle wrenches and let you decide which one is worth buying.
Tekton Tools Angle Head 30-60 Wrenches
Reasonably priced and excellent quality, the Tekton 30-60 wrenches are my favorite set out of the three in this post. I have used the Snap-On and while they are a very nice set, they are ridiculously expensive as you will see later in this post.
Capri Tools Open End Angle Head Wrenches
Second on this list is the Capri Tools open ended angle head wrench set with a foam tray similar to the ones that Snap-On uses. Just like the Tekton and Snap-On sets, the Capri tools set comes in standard and metric ranging in sizes.
Snap-On Angle Head 30-60 Wrench Sets
Due to copy-write issues and other hooblah, I can’t post a picture of the Snap-On angle head wrench set. I can give you a link to go ahead and check them out yourself though. I’ll be honest they are a nice set and high quality but the price point is what puts them out of the equation for myself personally.
Listing over $1,000 for a 14-piece set of wrenches that aren’t a lot better than the Tekton set that’s 1/10 of the price is a deal breaker for me. On the downside, TEKTON’s wrenches don’t come with a foam tray but there are other options that could possibly work.