If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best motor oil filter wrench is, then we recommend the TEKTON 5866 Oil Filter Pliers as the best one.
Is this your first time changing your vehicle oil?
Or is this your first time not being able to remove the oil filter using just your bare hands brute force?
Either way, a good oil filter wrench will greatly simplify the process. Check out our reviews to find the best oil filter wrench for your needs, to help you with those periodic oil changes.
Here are the best oil filter wrenches we recommend:
- TEKTON 5866 Oil Filter Pliers
- Motivx Tools MX2330 Adjustable Oil Filter Wrench
- Motivx Tools MX2320 Socket Oil Filter Wrench
Do I Need an Oil Filter Wrench?
Good question! You could try to remove the oil filter with your hands. When you drive your vehicle, however, the filter cap slowly tightens over time because of thermal expansion and contraction. In addition, filters tend to become dirty and greasy, making it difficult to get a good grip on them. So you may be up to quite a challenge if you decide to go the barehand route.
Now, it’s very important not to take it too personally and try to rip out that damn filter with any tool you have. Aside from being at risk of a hernia, you could end up damaging not only the filter but also the filter socket. And you really, really don’t want to do that. Trust us.
Using the right oil filter wrench makes the whole job so much easier and safer.
Always, always, always remember that wrenches should only be used to loosen an oil filter cap, and never to tighten one. Tightening should always be done by hand, as overtightening can cause permanent damage to the casing.
Types of Oil Filter Wrenches
There are various types of oil filter wrenches. But the basic idea behind them all is always the same: they give you a good grip on the filter, and a way to apply torque.
Here’s an exhaustive categorization.
Pliers Oil Filter Wrench
These are pliers especially made for oil filter removal. Since they are adjustable, they are usually able to fit all sorts of oil filters. In fact, they are the most versatile and easy to use kind of filter wrench.
Simply open them up and grasp the oil filter. The long handles provide the required leverage to unscrew even the most stubborn of filters.
You’d have difficulties with these only if the oil filter is in a particularly tight and hard-to-reach spot in the engine. In that case, it may be hard to grab the filter and rotate it.
Also, be careful when using one of these tools on filters you plan on reusing, as they can bite into it and leave small dents. Use a towel or piece of cloth to protect it.
Spider Oil Filter Wrench
This wrench type consists of three legs that clamp and tighten automatically as you turn it. This ensures a firm grip distributed all around the filter to prevent slipping.
Spider wrenches are especially useful for filters tucked away in confined, hard to reach areas. You can simply attach a ratchet driver to it and comfortably unscrew the filter.
Socket Oil Filter Wrench
This style of oil filter wrench has a plastic or metal socket shaped cups that attach to the end of the filter casing. They are easy to use and let you handle filters located in tight areas.
The main disadvantage with this wrenches, however, is that you’d need a different one for each filter size and filter pattern. Since there are countless different filter sizes and patterns out there, their use is pretty limited.
Strap Oil Filter Wrench
Strap wrenches basically consist of a strap that you wrap around the filter and that tightens as you turn it (usually with a ratchet driver).
Being very large, these are great for removing jammed oil filters on larger engines (which typically have larger filters). However, their structure doesn’t offer much leverage. This makes it hard to apply a good amount of torque and undo extremely tight filters.
Clamp Oil Filter Wrench
These tools look more like nooses than traditional wrenches. They have an adjustable chain or metal strap that loops around the cap and acts as a strangler, and a handle for turning and applying torque.
They can be seen as a gentler alternative to pliers. However, slippage is sometimes a problem with these, especially with greasy oil filters.
How to Choose the Best Oil Filter Wrench
The best oil filter removal tool will be the one that gets the job done most effectively and easily. You want a high-quality piece of equipment, able to withstand both strong forces and the test of time.
These are the factors to look for when choosing the best oil filter wrench.
Fit and Adjustability
Oil filters come in a variety of sizes. An adjustable-fit oil filter wrench will work on a variety of filter diameters and is generally recommended.
You want a wrench that gives you a good grip on the filter so that it doesn’t slip while you’re trying to unscrew the damn thing.
To unscrew a tight filter you’ll need a good amount of torque. Now, without getting too technical, just by referencing your own experience, you probably know that the longer the lever the greater the force you’re able to apply. In other words, a wrench with a longer lever is recommended.
This one is simple. Choose a wrench that’s made of durable, high-quality materials. It won’t break while changing the oil filter and can last you a lifetime.
Ease of Use
Last but not least, it’s important for the wrench to be easy to use. Not just in general, but for your particular situation too. If your filter is in a particularly recessed location, it’ll be harder to unscrew it with a larger wrench like pliers and clamp styles, though these are in general the easiest to use.
These are the Best Oil Filter Wrenches
Alright, without further ado, here are the best oil filter wrenches based on our experience and extensive analysis.
Best Overall: TEKTON 5866 Oil Filter Pliers
The Tekton 5866 is a pliers-style oil filter wrench. It has a sturdy, solid grip, and long, non-slip hands that give you all the leverage you need to remove even the most stubborn of oil filters.
With its high compatibility, this is in our opinion the best universal oil filter wrench on the market.
The 5866 model is perfect for the majority of vehicles, able to handle oil filters from 2.25 to 4.5 inches in diameter.
A larger 5867 model is also available for larger vehicles, with oil filters 3-3/8 to 5-1/2 inches in diameter.
One point of attention: the teeth on this wrench are very sharp and can scratch or even puncture your filter cap if too much pressure is applied. Use a towel or piece of cloth to help prevent potential damage if you plan on reusing the filter.
Best for Tight Spots: Motivx Tools MX2330 Adjustable Oil Filter Wrench
The MX2330 is a hybrid between a socket and spider style of wrench. It has an adjustable strong spring-loaded grip able to fit oil filters from 2.5 to 3.25 inches in diameter.
It is perfect for removing filters on the most difficult-to-reach spots, letting you use a ratchet driver.
The only downsides of this wrench are the somewhat awkward sizing range, making the selection between the two models too hazy, and the need for a ratchet driver (which is not included). Additionally, this wrench should not be used on filters that have reusable housing as the sharp teeth could damage it.
Honorable Mention: Motivx Tools MX2320 Socket Oil Filter Wrench
This is a socket-style wrench by Motivx Tools. This model is designed specifically for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion engines. In particular, vehicles that use a 64mm cartridge-style oil filter housings.
Other manufacturer-specific versions exist, including:
These are all made from high quality, durable aluminum with an anodized finish.
Though, as all socket-style wrenches, their versatility is somewhat limited, if you have a cartridge oil filter this style of wrench is the most recommended, and it is usually even required by the vehicle manufacturer. This is because they are the safest option for reusable housing oil filters. If that’s your scenario, there’s no better choice.
Pheew. You got quite an education on oil filter wrenches by now.
Long story short, TEKTON’s 5866 is the best overall oil filter wrench for most needs. Buy it and get going with your oil filter change. Your hernia will thank you for it.