The pipe wrench (US), Stillson wrench or Stillsons (UK) is an adjustable wrench used for turning soft iron pipes and fittings with a rounded surface. The design of the adjustable jaw allows it to lock in the frame, such that any forward pressure on the handle tends to pull the jaws tighter together. Teeth angled in the direction of turn dig into the soft pipe. They are not intended for use on hardened steel hex nuts or other fittings because they would ruin the head; however, if a hex nut is soft enough that it becomes rounded beyond use with standard wrenches, a pipe wrench is sometimes used to break the bolt or nut free. Pipe wrenches are usually sold in the following sizes (by length of handle): 10, 12, 14, 18, 24, 36, and 48 inches, although smaller and larger sizes are available as well. They are usually made of cast steel. Today, aluminum is also used to construct the body of the wrench, while the teeth and jaw remain steel. Teeth, and jaw kits (which also contain adjustment rings and springs) can be bought to repair broken wrenches, as this is cheaper than buying a new wrench.
Source: Pipe wrench from Wikipedia
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