How to Improvise a Wrench

This article will teach you how to improvise a wrench using materials that are most likely readily available in your home. It’s essential to know these skills for survival situations when you might not have all of the necessary tools and equipment on hand. 

This is also an excellent skill for preppers who want a well-rounded knowledge of basic survival skills. The steps for this project are simple and easy to follow, so it should be completed quickly! There are various ways to improvise a wrench, and they all have their pros and cons. Hopefully, this information will help you when it is necessary!

How to Improvise a Wrench

10 Household Tools to Use: How to Improvise a Wrench 

You can improvise a wrench with ten common household tools. These tools will come in handy when you find yourself without a wrench:

1. Using Pliers

The pliers can be used as a wrench by clamping them down on the object and turning it. You need to be careful to put even pressure across the object so you don’t slip and scratch the surface.

2. Using a Hammer

Hammer down on one end of the wrench to give you some leverage when turning it. When using this method, be careful that the hammer fits onto the wrench, or you may end up with damage to your items or yourself! Once you have removed the cap, you can get to work on removing the stem from the valve. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to remove the stem.

3. Using Nails

Pound nails into the head of the wrench, then use it as a handle to grip onto. Again, be careful of slipping and scratching surfaces with this method. Additionally, you may want to pound the nail at an angle so that you have more leverage when turning it. This can be done by pounding a nail into the head of the wrench and then using it as a handle to grip onto.

4. Using Plates or Other Flat Objects

To use a wrench, press down on either side of the wrench with plates or other flat objects. You can even take off your shoe and use that if needed! The important part is applying pressure, so be careful only to put enough pressure as you need for it to work.

5. Using a Flashlight

If you have battery-powered lights in your home, you can use them to give yourself more light when you are using a wrench. Just hold the flashlight in your hand and apply pressure normally. This will help you see what you are doing and get more torque on your wrench.

6. Using a Bottle

The bottle can be turned like a wrench by applying pressure to both sides and turning. It works well if the bottle’s neck is narrow, such as a water or soda bottle, but be careful that it does not slip out of your hands.

7. Using Wire Cutters

Clampdown on either side of the wrench and twist it to get a tight grip. Like the pliers, be careful that you do not slip or scratch your item while using wire cutters. You may want to apply this method with clamps to avoid pinching yourself!

8. Using C-Clamps

Using C-Clamps to Improvise a Wrench 

C-clamps work well if you have two of them. Apply pressure to the object and use it as normal, but remember that tightening too far will cause damage to your wrench! If possible, clamp onto the wrench for added security.

9. Using Plumbing Wrenches

Plumbing wrenches are helpful to use if you have them on hand. You can then twist the wrench, as usual, making sure that it stays secure before applying pressure. Be careful not to tighten too far, as most wrenches are only built for a certain tightness.

10. Using a Paper-Towel Holder

You can use the handle of your paper towel holder to make it into a wrench. If the bottom of the paper towel holder has grips on it, then you can apply pressure usually. However, if there are no grips, you may have to improvise with something else to get an added grip on the wrench.

Some Tips and Suggestions:

Some Tips and Suggestions to Improvise a Wrench 

1. Keep your improvised wrench close to your body (like, say, an actual wrench) so that the metal edges don’t catch on anything and cut you. If you must carry it in open view (e.g., if it’s too big for pockets), keep the blade-edges facing inward, toward your belly or chest.

2. Suspiciously-rounded objects tend to be flimsier than they look or more fragile than they feel. Be careful not to exert too much force on them; you might break it and severely injure yourself in the process.

3. If at all possible, try to use a makeshift wrench with other people present so that they can help you to apply the force necessary for loosening or tightening nuts and bolts.

4. If you’re not concerned about your appearance, consider making a “makeshift wrench” out of an old coat hanger by straightening the hook end into a “C”-shape, then bending it into position around whatever bolt you need to tighten or loosen. This method may make the metal edges easier to handle but should still be done with caution.

5. In case of a nut or bolt that can’t be loosened by hand, try using a pair of pliers instead. Again, the wider the gap between the handles, the better your grip will be on whatever you’re trying to turn.

6. If pliers aren’t enough, you can use a wrench to augment them but be careful not to lose your grip on the main thing you’re trying to loosen or tighten, or else it might fall and knock somebody’s eye out!

7. If necessary, drill a hole through the side of the wrench and secure it to whatever you’re tightening or loosening with wire. Ensure that the area around your improvised wrench is free of stray sawdust or shavings, as these might make it slide off its intended target.


With the right tools, improvising a wrench is possible. There are many ways on how to improvise a wrench from what you have on hand, and this article has given you some of those methods and how to use them safely. Improvised tools can be used for just about any project that requires force or leverage, so keep these tricks in mind next time your need an extra set of hands!

If you don’t have any metal objects around your house, use whatever’s available for now and think about how to create one as soon as possible. The quicker you make do with what you’ve got, the better off you’ll be in an emergency where time matters.

Jennifer Branett
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