10 Best Lug Wrenches of 2022 – Review & Buyer’s Guide

Find the best lug wrench for your needs with our in-depth review and buyer’s guide. We’ve got the top 10 lug wrenches ranked and reviewed!

Best Lug Wrench

The last thing you want to happen when you’re driving is to get a flat tire and have no way to fix it. That’s why you need a lug wrench. But you also don’t want to assume you’re good to go only to find that your cheap lug wrench can’t do the job when you need it most.

It’s an important decision, and that’s why we came up with this guide to highlight ten of the best lug wrenches on the market today.

Not only that, but we came up with a comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know about these tools before you buy.

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

10 Best Lug Wrenches

If you’re in a hurry and already know a bit about lug wrenches, we wanted to make things easy for you. That’s why we highlighted the ten best lug wrenches on the market today right here in the beginning for you.

We also came up with comprehensive reviews for each one, that way you know exactly what you’re looking at and which one is best for you.

1. Performance Tool W1 – Best Lug Wrench Overall

Performance Tool W1
  • Brand: Performance Tool
  • Size: 20”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 3.15 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel

If you’re looking for an extremely versatile, durable, and affordable lug wrench, then the Performance Tool W1 lug wrench is an outstanding choice. It’s a standard 4-way lug wrench, making it a universal option that can fit just about any car available in the US market.

These lug wrenches come in different sizes, and at 20” it’s a great combination of compact size and the ability to generate torque. It’s also lightweight at just over 3-pounds so it’s easy for just about anyone to pull out and use.

Performance Tool W1 Silver 20' Sae/Metric...
1,292 Reviews
Performance Tool W1 Silver 20" SAE/Metric...
  • CLASSIC DESIGN: Welded-cross design...
  • 20-INCH LENGTH: Long shafts enable...
  • TOUGH STEEL: Made with heat treated...
  • CHROME PLATED: Resists corrosion for a...

Finally, a product doesn’t make it to the top of our list unless it’ll last a long time, and that’s certainly the case with the Performance Tool W1 lug wrench. It’s chrome-plated which adds to its durability, but don’t expect it to last a lifetime.

Still, it’ll easily last a few decades of consistent use, and that’s a great deal at this price. It is a more basic lug wrench in design, but it does everything it should. With a lug wrench you don’t need to overthink it, this is a great choice.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 20” gives you plenty of leverage
  • Universal fitment
  • A great mix of price and durability
  • Chrome plated

Cons

  • Basic design – no advanced features
  • Won’t last a lifetime

2. Cartman Universal Heavy Duty Lug Wrench – Best Budget

Cartman Universal Heavy Duty Lug Wrench
  • Brand: Cartman
  • Size: 14”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 2.44 pounds
  • Material: Carbon steel

Lug wrenches don’t need to cost a ton and Cartman Universal’s Heavy Duty Lug Wrench is proof of that. It’s an extremely affordable lug wrench that does a great job and lasts a long time. It’s another 4-way lug wrench, but it’s a lot smaller than our top choice.

It’s 14” long, and while this makes it extremely compact and easy to store, it also means you have to put a bit more force into it to take off snug lug nuts. It’s a tradeoff for sure, but we prefer the slightly larger version since it’ll make everything a bit easier for you.

Sale
Cartman 14 Inch Universal Heavy Duty Lug...
9,756 Reviews
CARTMAN 14 Inch Universal Heavy Duty Lug...
  • Durability: Made from Forged heat...
  • Corrosion-Resistant: Chrome Plated tire...
  • 14 inches body length for easy leverage
  • Four socket heads fit most common SAE...

Still, there’s no denying how durable it is, and it should last just as long as our top choice. That means with consistent use it should easily last a few decades, even if it won’t last a lifetime.

But not only is it a little smaller, but it’s another 4-way lug wrench that doesn’t have any advanced features. It does what it should, but there’s nothing about this lug wrench that makes anything easier for you.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Durable construction
  • Universal fitment

Cons

  • Smaller option gives you less torque
  • Basic design – no advanced features
  • Won’t last a lifetime

3. GTE Tools Lug Strong 26” Universal Compact Lug Wrench Set – Premium Choice

Gte Tools Lug Strong
  • Brand: GTE Tools
  • Size: 26”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel and iron

If you want the best of the best and never have to worry about a lug wrench again, then this GTE Tools Lug Strong 26” Universal Compact Lug Wrench Set is exactly what you want. It gives you maximum torque with the tradeoff of size since it slides around.

It’s extremely heavy duty too, so you don’t have to worry about anything happening to it if you’re dealing with stubborn lug nuts. In fact, this lug wrench comes with a lifetime guarantee, so in the rare event that something does happen to it, they’ll replace it for you for free.

Sale
Gte Tools - Lugstrong 26' Universal Compact...
1,149 Reviews
GTE TOOLS - LugStrong 26" Universal Compact...
  • DO IT YOURSELF- LugStrong power wrench...
  • EVERYTHING YOU'LL NEED- – The most...
  • PEACE OF MIND- Just store your LugStrong...
  • DOUBLE DUTY Ultra-strong steel...

Moreover, even with the extra torque and durability, it’s actually one of the lightest lug wrenches on our list at just 2.5 pounds. It’s the perfect choice for anyone, but there is one notable drawback – the price. Compared to other lug wrenches on our list, this one cost three to four times as much.

But with everything this lug wrench does for you, we think it’s well worth every extra penny.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Universal fitment
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Very heavy-duty construction
  • Larger design gives plenty of torque
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • More expensive option

RELATED: 8 Best Torque Wrenches – Review & Buyer’s Guide

4. OEM Tools Universal Heavy Duty Lug Nut Wrench

Oem Tools Universal Heavy Duty Lug Nut Wrench
  • Brand: OEM Tools
  • Size: 20”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 3.65 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel

While the OEM Tools Universal Heavy Duty Lug Nut Wrench didn’t crack our top three, it was a near miss. It’s another 20” 4-way lug wrench that does a great jog. At 20” you get more than enough torque for most lugs, and it’s not quite so large that it’s hard to store.

It’s a little heavier than our top choice, but at 3.65 pounds it’s still a lightweight option. Not only that, but this lug wrench is bright green. While that doesn’t do a thing for the performance, it can make it a bit easier to find.

Oemtools 20561 20-Inch Universal Heavy Duty...
669 Reviews
OEMTOOLS 20561 20-Inch Universal Heavy Duty...
  • UNIVERSAL APPLICATIONS: Tire changer...
  • INCREASED LEVERAGE: 20” tire iron lug...
  • WILL NOT ROUND LUG NUT EDGES: 6-Point...
  • OPTIMAL EFFICIENCY: Welded cross design...

That’s especially true if you keep your lug wrench in the trunk and it’s full of other stuff. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s a nice additional perk.

Even with all these great features, it couldn’t crack our top three, and a big reason for that is the price. It’s significantly more expensive than our top choice, but it doesn’t offer enough additional perks to justify the higher price.

You certainly won’t regret going with this, but you could save some money if you go with a different option.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Bright green color
  • Universal fitment
  • 20” design gives plenty of torque
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • More expensive option

5. Gorilla Automotive Telescoping Power Wrench

Gorilla Automotive Telescoping Power Wrench
  • Brand: Gorilla Automotive
  • Size: 21”
  • Style: Telescoping wrench
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Material: Hardened steel

This is the first option on our list that doesn’t use the traditional 4-way lug wrench setup, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out. It uses a telescoping design, which gives you the ability to get up to 21” of leverage when you need it, but it doesn’t take up nearly as much space when you’re not using it.

And since it’s a smaller design, it’s also a bit more lightweight, weighing 2.7 pounds which is on the lighter side of things. And while it might use a different design, it’s still easy to use and is a pretty convenient choice.

Sale
Gorilla Automotive 1721 Telescoping Power...
1,282 Reviews
Gorilla Automotive 1721 Telescoping Power...
  • Telescoping handle extends to 21 inches...
  • Compacts to 14 inches for easy storage
  • Hardened steel and precision...
  • A perfect replacement for your standard...

But even with all these great things, we couldn’t put it any higher up on our list simply because it’s not quite as universal as our top options.

It comes with two different sockets, but a traditional 4-way lug wrench comes with four. This tool works for most lug nuts, but not all of them, and that’s what kept it from climbing any further up our list.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Extremely compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Plenty of torque

Cons

  • Not a universal option

6. Cartman Non-Slip Heavy-Duty Lug Wrench

Cartman Non-Slip Heavy-Duty Lug Wrench
  • Brand: Cartman
  • Size: 16”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Material: Carbon steel

This is the second Cartman lug wrench to make our list, which means they’re doing something right with their tools. This one isn’t quite as affordable as our budget choice, but it’s still a more affordably priced option.

But instead of the ultra-compact 14” model we highlighted as our budget choice, this model is a bit larger at 16”. That gives you a little more leverage, but it’s still not quite as much as the 20” 4-way lug wrenches we’ve highlighted.

Cartman 16 Inch Universal Heavy Duty Lug...
9,756 Reviews
Cartman 16 Inch Universal Heavy Duty Lug...
  • Chrome plated tire wrench
  • Extra protection centers for extra...
  • Lug sizes included: 17mm(11/16"),...
  • 4 way lug wrench with non-slip design at...

It’s still on the lighter side of things right at 3 pounds and it’s a durable option. But the unique factor with this 4-way tire iron is that each side has a non-slip grip handle that helps ensure you don’t lose control of it.

It still isn’t a lifetime model, but it should last for years with no problems as long as you store it in the right location.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Non-slip grip handles
  • Lightweight
  • Very durable
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Not the largest option
  • It won’t last a lifetime

7. Performance Tool W2

Performance Tool W2
  • Brand: Performance Tool
  • Size: 14”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel

A Performance Tool product is our top choice, and while this option from them didn’t quite earn that honor it’s still a great choice. It’s a lot like our top choice, but instead of a 20” size this one is more compact at 14”.

That makes it a bit easier to find somewhere to store it and helps drive down the cost, but the drawback is that you can’t get as much leverage. This means it isn’t the best choice for everyone out there, even if you could do far worse.

Sale
Performance Tool W2 Black 14' Metric 4-Way...
1,292 Reviews
Performance Tool W2 Black 14" Metric 4-Way...
  • Sizes: 17mm, 19mm, 21mm and 22mm
  • Heat treated alloy steel drop forged for...
  • Spade tip for hub cap removal
  • Black

This tool is the lightest option on our list, weighing just 1.5 pounds. And while we don’t view it as the most durable product, it does come with a lifetime warranty, so you’ll never have to pay to replace it.

Still, the biggest issue with this lug wrench is the size. If you don’t have the power or leverage to loosen the lugs on your tire then it’s simply not doing the job you got it for.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Extremely lightweight
  • It has a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Smaller option
  • Not the most durable

8. Ken-Tool Lug Wrench

Ken-Tool Lug Wrench
  • Brand: Ken-Tool
  • Size: 23”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 4.35 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel

This Ken-Tool Lug Wrench is both the largest and heaviest option on our list. While it doesn’t give you the most possible leverage compared to some of the premium options on our list, at 23” it’s more than most lug wrenches and should provide more than enough leverage for you.

It’s another lug wrench that comes in a brighter color option, and this helps you find it if it’s buried underneath a ton of stuff in the trunk of your car. It’s also a more durable option and it fits any domestic US vehicle.

Sale
Ken-Tool 35657 4-Way Lug Wrench, 23 In.
100 Reviews
Ken-Tool 35657 4-Way Lug Wrench, 23 in.
  • Manufacturer: KEN-TOOL
  • Auto & Truck Maintenance
  • Country of manufacture: United States
  • Part number: 35657

However, while it’s larger, more durable, and easy to use, it’s a more expensive option too. It’s not all that surprising since you’re paying for a larger lug wrench, but there’s no doubt you’re paying for the extra size and convenience.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Brighter color option
  • Very durable
  • Larger option provides plenty of torque
  • Universal fitment

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Slightly heavier option

9. Powerbuilt Universal Lug Wrench

Powerbuilt Universal Lug Wrench
  • Brand: Powerbuilt
  • Size: 20”
  • Style: 4-way
  • Weight: 3.44 pounds
  • Material: Carbon steel

This Powerbuilt Universal Lug Wrench doesn’t do much wrong. It uses a standard 4-way lug wrench design, and at 20” you get more than enough leverage to get the job done.

All four sides make it a universal fitment for vehicles originally sold in the US market. It’s also durable enough to last a lifetime, so you never need to worry about replacing it.

So how did a lug wrench with all these great features fall so far down our list? The price. It’s a more expensive option, especially considering that it doesn’t come with any advanced features.

Powerbuilt 940559 20' Universal Lug Wrench
859 Reviews
Powerbuilt 940559 20" Universal Lug Wrench
  • Chrome Plated Fully Polished Carbon...
  • Lug Size: 11/16 & 17mm,3/4 & 19mm,13/16...
  • Chrome plated, fully polished, carbon...
  • Lug sizes: 11/16 inch; 17 millimeter,...

In short, if you’re willing to spend this much, you can get a lug wrench that makes your life a little bit easier. You won’t regret getting this lug wrench though, and since it’ll last forever, you’ll never need to replace it no matter how little or how much you use it.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Universal fitment
  • Very durable
  • It will last a lifetime
  • Larger size provides more torque

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive option
  • Basic design

10. Cartman Telescoping Lug Wrench

Cartman Telescoping Lug Wrench
  • Brand: Cartman
  • Size: 21”
  • Style: Telescoping wrench
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel

This might be the last choice on our list, but it’s still an option you’ll want to look into. It’s the second option on our list that uses a telescoping design instead of the traditional 4-way lug wrench.

This makes it lightweight and compact when you’re storing it, and when you’re trying to use it, you can expand it out to 21” for maximum leverage. This is also a more affordable choice, which is a big deal if you’re on a tighter budget.

Cartman Telescoping Lug Wrench, Wheel Wrench...
1,453 Reviews
Cartman Telescoping Lug Wrench, Wheel Wrench...
  • Telescoping handle extends to 21 inches...
  • Compacts to 14 inches for easy storage
  • Hardened steel and precision...
  • 1/2" head, 17mm(11/16"), 19mm(3/4"),...

But while these are all great things, it did fall to the bottom of our list for a reason. First, it doesn’t come with quite as many sockets as you would get with a traditional 4-way lug wrench, and because of this it doesn’t fit the lugs on every vehicle.

Furthermore, it’s not the most durable product. It’ll last for a little while but compared to the other options on our list you’ll need to replace it sooner.

View Latest Price

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight option
  • Plenty of torque
  • Very compact

Cons

  • Not a universal product
  • Not the most durable

Lug Wrench Buyer’s Guide

With so many great lug wrenches out there, it can be tough trying to narrow down what lug wrench is right for you and your vehicle. We understand and that’s why we came with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know about lug wrenches.

Why Every Vehicle Needs a Lug Wrench

Before we dive too far into what to look for in a lug wrench, we wanted to highlight why every vehicle needs one in the first place.

While some vehicles come with a small lug wrench for the vehicle you’re in, they’re typically tiny, and not every vehicle has one. That means if you end up getting a flat tire while you’re driving around you either have no way to swap out the tire with the spare or you have to struggle with the miniature lug wrench they give you.

Getting your own lug wrench for each vehicle you drive around ensures you’re never in a situation where you can’t swap out the tire with the spare. It’s a big deal that can bail you out of an extremely tight situation.

What Size Lug Wrench Do You Need?

One of the most important things you need to decide when you’re shopping for a lug wrench is the size. We’re not talking about the size of the sockets on the lug wrench here, we’re talking about the size of the lug wrench itself.

While this might not seem like a big deal, the larger the lug wrench you get, the more leverage you can get when you’re trying to use it. This is a big deal when you’re on the side of the road trying to get the lugs off your vehicle.

We almost always recommend going with a larger lug wrench because of this. Instead of sitting on the side of the road struggling to loosen the lug nuts, you can easily get them off and move on with your day.

We recommend getting a lug wrench that’s at least 20”, but any of the lug wrenches on our list are a lot better than whatever miniature one might come with your vehicle.

Getting a Lug Wrench That Fits Your Vehicle

If you’re shopping for a lug wrench the last thing you want is to order one only to find out that it doesn’t work with your vehicle. Not every vehicle has the same size lug nuts, which is why the traditional lug wrench uses a 4-way design.

This allows them to put four different sockets on a single lug wrench, which increases the likelihood that one of them will work with your vehicle. Of course, you can take all the guesswork out of the situation by figuring out what size lugs are on your vehicle in the first place.

If you don’t have the sockets at your home to help you figure out the size you can do one of two things. First, you can look up your vehicle online. As long as you have the stock wheels and use a reputable source the information you get should be accurate.

Second, you can either head to a local parts store or a dealership and they should help you figure out the size of your lug nuts. This method takes all the guesswork out of the equation and ensures you know exactly what size you need before you order anything.

4-Way vs Telescoping Lug Wrenches

Another decision you need to make when you’re picking out a lug wrench is whether you want a 4-way or a telescoping lug wrench. The truth is there’s no wrong choice here. Instead, it all comes down to what you prefer.

Traditional 4-way lug wrenches claimed eight of the ten spots on our list, but that’s in large part because they come with four sockets while both telescoping lug wrenches come with two different sizes.

Both options will work for most vehicles but having two additional sockets means that the traditional 4-way lug wrench will work for more vehicles.

But if the telescoping lug wrench has a socket that fits your vehicle, or you already have that socket size on hand, it’s a more compact option that might be a little easier to store inside your vehicle.

6-Point vs 12-Point Lug Wrenches

One thing we didn’t leave up to chance on our list is that every lug wrench we highlighted has a 6-point design instead of a 12-point. This refers to the number of sides on the inside of each socket on the lug wrench.

Each lug on your vehicle has six sides, which is why it’s best to get a 6-point lug wrench. 12-point lug wrenches let you use more angles, but the tradeoff is that it’s more likely you’ll round off the lugs.

If this happens you won’t be able to remove the lug, which defeats the purpose of having the lug wrench in the first place! Get a 6-point lug wrench and save yourself the potential trouble.

Lug Wrench vs Tire Iron

One question you might have when you’re looking at lug wrenches is what’s the difference between a lug wrench and a tire iron? The truth is that they’re the exact same thing.

While tire iron is the more popular term in some areas throughout the country, it’s not the actual term. It makes sense because when you’re using a lug wrench you’re taking off the lugs on the vehicle to remove the wheel.

You’re not actually removing the tire from the wheel. To do that you would need to remove the rubber part from the wheel, and a lug wrench wouldn’t be much help in this situation.

Caring for Your Lug Wrench

Once you get the perfect lug wrench for your vehicle, the last thing you want to do is replace it anytime soon. The good news is that caring for your lug wrench is pretty simple.

It’s all about keeping the lug wrench dry and away from water. This means you can keep it in the trunk of your vehicle, in your garage, or just about any other place. Just ensure it stays dry. Otherwise, it’s prone to rust and this can quickly completely ruin a lug wrench.

Tips for Using Your Lug Wrench

Even if you get the perfect lug wrench sometimes it can be a little tricky using them to get wheels off your vehicle. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make the job a bit easier.

First, loosen up the lug nuts on your vehicle when they’re still on the ground. Loosen them, but don’t remove them, before jacking up your vehicle.

Second, ensure you’re going the right way. To loosen lug nuts you need to turn them counterclockwise. Imagine the face of the wheel is a clock and go the opposite way the hands would go.

Finally, stand on the lug wrench if you need to! There’s nothing wrong with using your body weight to get the job done. Most manufacturers recommend torquing lug nuts to somewhere between 80 and 100 foot-pounds, so if you’re more than 100 pounds, this should be enough to loosen them up for you.

Retightening Lug Nuts

When you use a lug wrench you’re taking the lug nuts off your vehicle and putting them back on. It does a great job of this, but you should torque your lug nuts after reinstalling them.

This isn’t something you need to worry about when you’re on the side of the road, but when you get a chance you should either torque them down yourself or take them to a shop that can do it for you.

Some places offer lifetime tire torquing when you purchase tires there, and this is a great time to make use of that perk. You can’t precisely torque down lug nuts with a lug wrench, and they’re easy to under or over torque.

Swollen Lug Nuts

This is a rare problem, but it can happen. What happens is the lug nuts can absorb moisture from the atmosphere and expand, and when this happens they won’t fit standard socket sizes.

Unfortunately, if you can’t get the lug wrench on the lug nuts you’ll likely need to take it to a shop for costlier repairs. You can typically avoid this problem by replacing lug nuts once every ten years.

What Happens if You’re Missing a Lug Nut

Sometimes despite our best efforts we shear off a lug nut when we’re taking it off our vehicle. If that happens with your vehicle you don’t necessarily need to pull out your phone to call a tow truck.

However, it’s not a problem you want to ignore for long. Instead, we recommend going straight to a dealership or a parts store that can get a new lug nut for you.

Lug nuts typically don’t cost much, and having the right number of lug nuts on your vehicle goes a long way in ensuring you stay safe when you’re driving.

Keep in mind this is for one lug nut, and you need to go straight to a store to get a new one. If your vehicle is missing more than one lug nut we highly recommend leaving your vehicle where it’s at until you can get new lug nuts out there.

If you can reach out to someone, they might be willing and able to get a lug nut to you so you can avoid the tow truck.

Checking Your Spare Tire

While getting a great lug wrench is a big deal, it won’t do much for you if your vehicle doesn’t have a spare tire or if the spare tire isn’t in good condition.

This is why you should make it a habit to check your spare tire about once every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Check the tire for damage and ensure it has the right tire pressure. You can top off the tire pressure, but if there’s any damage you need to replace it.

Finally, spare tires only last about ten years on average because the rubber starts to degrade. Once a spare tire is that old you should replace it even if you don’t see any visible damage on the tire.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a lug nut wrench?

A lug nut wrench, sometimes called a wheel nut wrench or simply a lug wrench, is a tool used to remove and install lug nuts on automobile wheels. The most common type of lug wrench is the socket wrench, which is used to loosen and tighten lug nuts with a socket attached to a handle. Other types of lug wrenches include the impact wrench, ratchet wrench, and torque wrench.

What can I use instead of a lug wrench?

You can use an impact wrench, ratchet wrench or a torque wrench instead of a lug wrench. However, it is always best to use the right tool for the job as there is a risk of damaging parts of the car with the wrong tool for the job.

Does a lug wrench work on any car?

Yes, a lug wrench will work on any car if the nuts are not over-tightened. If they are tightened too much, you may need other stronger tools to get them loose. Also, on some car models, you need a special socket for certain types of wheels.

How do I know what size lug wrench I need?

Look at the size of your wheels and the nuts. If you have a smaller car, a smaller wrench may be enough to tighten the nuts. If you have a big car with big rims, chances are you need more heavy equipment.

Final Thoughts

While a lug wrench might seem like an accessory that you don’t really need, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The last thing you want is to have to pay and wait for a tow truck when all you really needed was a lug wrench.

Any of the lug wrenches on our list should be an outstanding choice for your vehicle, so don’t wait too long and just hope for the best. Get what you need and drive with the extra peace of mind that comes with knowing you have everything you need in case something happens.

Was this article helpful?
YesNo