Plumbing is a love/hate type of thing for me. I enjoy the work, but I hate the situations in which I find myself having to do it. It seems like it’s always cold, dark, wet, and whether it’s under the house or under the sink, it’s always in a cramped area. While at Home Depot awhile back picking up supplies for a kitchen faucet install, I went to get a new basin wrench when I ran across this:
At first glance it appeared to be sort of gimmicky. The unusual design and multi-function theme of the tool really didn’t strike me as anything spectacular. I probably wouldn’t have ever given it a 2nd look had it not have been a Ridgid product. Ridgid has been around nearly a century and their products are as synonymous with plumbing as Nebraska is with corn, so I figured there was at least a chance it was worth my time to give it a good look.
Traditional basin wrenches are awkward to use. I can’t swear that there isn’t a point where you master the use of them, but I can certify that if such a level of skill exists, I have yet to attain it. After a few minutes of looking it over (still skeptical) I decided the $20 price tag wasn’t going to make or break me and decided to give it a shot.
Out of the package I noticed the tool was extremely light weight. Ridgid lists it at .77 lbs and while I did not weigh it to confirm, I don’t doubt the figure. Despite the plastic construction, it still felt very sturdy and the textured handle design, while maybe not the most comfortable, provides a secure grip with wet hands. I really liked the fact that the attachments were made of aluminum thus eliminating any of the future rust issues that sometimes plague plumbing tools.
I’m really not a multi-use tool kind of guy. I like a specific tool for a specific task, but if ever there were a time to not have to run to my box for another tool, laying under a sink with my arms entangled in a series of pipes and hoses is that time. The faucet and sink installer really comes through in this scenario. A quick, easy, flip of the inserts allows you to handle just about anything you’ll encounter during you’re install. Basin nuts, mounting nuts (hex or tab style), supply lines, shut off valves, strainer baskets, and even angle stop valves. The open broach design allows the tool to work with existing supply lines and gives added visibility in an otherwise low visibility situation. The handle design allows the user plenty of torque, but should you need more, the strainer basket end of
the tool also features a built in 7?8″ hex head to allow for the use of a deepwell socket, wrench, etc. This feature also allows the strainer basket attachment to be used by itself.
I can’t say how many uses Ridgid intended for this tool, but there are several. Even if you have a sufficient selection of plumbing tools, this tool is still worth a spot in your box. As I said, I’ve never been real big on multi-use tools, but there is some real innovation that went into this thing. Check it out for yourself here: Ridgid Sink Installer