Pros: Replaces multiple standard and metric wrenches. Built to last. Works Great.
Cons: Biggest Con? Too easy to lose that small power adapter included in the package.
"Man is a tool using animal" - Thomas Carlyle
I enjoy a thought provoking quote here and there. I would argue that almost anything your hand touches can be considered a tool. The Gator Grip Universal Socket Wrench is one of my favorite hand tools.
The Package & Description
The package consists of 3 items:
1) The Wrench
2) The Socket Attachment
3) Power Adapter for electric drill/screwdriver.
The wrench is a standard looking 3/8 inch drive heavy duty tool. Nothing incredibly special about it, but Ill provide a description anyway. Wrench handle is knurled for easy grip.
FYI knurled means the handle has small machined dimples built into the metal
Knurled area of handle measure 3 - 5/16th inches long. Total length of wrench is 7 7/16ths inches long. Top half of handle (non-knurled portion) is smooth, shiny, and well machined. Twist knob at handle top controls which direction attached socket locks/turns. Knob is labelled with an arrow next to the letter R and another arrow appears on the opposite side of knob with the letter L.
R = Right, in this position wrench will only tighten
L = Left, in this position wrench will only loosen
There is no bi-directional lock setting. Some tools have such a setting.
This wrench does not have a socket push release mechanism built into knob. The Gator Grip socket can be removed and will hold firmly on to wrench when attached. Any 3/8 inch drive (female) socket can be attached to the included wrench via old fashioned friction. Drive nub on wrench is male and has a small protruding ball bearing to lock in pre-existing slot on female socket.
The socket attachment is the meat and potatoes of this set. Its technically what gives the Gator Grip the universal abilities it has. Socket is designed to handle any standard bolts 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch and size 7-19mm metric bolts. It can tighten/loosen the following types of nuts/bolts: hex, square, wing nuts, broken, rusted, and stripped. It will work on any type of fastener (within reason) which twists and fits inside of the socket!
Etched on the Gator Grip Socket closest to female end:
Gator Grip by Endeavor 1/4 to 3/4
7MM to 19MM MADE IN USA
I would describe the socket in detail, as follows:
2 inches in length
Outer shell is composed of heavy duty well machined solid metal.
Interior of shell is a hexagon.
Inside of hexagon has 54 (I counted each one) steel rounded pins, silver in color.
Rounded pins can depress into socket shell individually.
In the middle of the 54 pins, is one larger steel black pin (pin #55). This black pin represents the center of the Gator Grip socket.
All pins depress almost 1/2 inch maximum (difficult to measure, best estimate) and automatically spring back to original position when not in use (or depressed).
The adapter provides increased functionality to the socket. It allows you to connect your Gator Grip Socket to a power drill or electric screwdriver. One side of adapter connects to power tool and other side connects to socket. I used the adapter a few times and it works perfectly, but I ultimately ended up losing it => See "Cons" section for the why.
Usage and Product Experiences
How to use the wrench, in my own words (demonstrated in my video):
With socket attached to the wrench and set to desired position (tighten or loosen), push socket on to fastener as far as possible and pull wrench in direction previously set. Return wrench to "starting" position.
1) Returning wrench to starting position will make a clicking noise and offer little to no resistance.
2) A certain number of pins will depress when pushing socket on a fastener. The combination of depressed pins and non-depressed pins creates a strong gripping force on fastener and allows the tool to work efficiently in set direction (tighten / loosen).
This is the one and only tool I use to remove the oil pan bolts from my Honda Accord and Chevy Cavalier when doing an oil change. I set the wrench to loosen, I push the socket on to the bolt, grab the knurled handle and loosen.
I have also used this wrench to put together my Heavy Duty Workbench and my Tony Little Gazelle.
This wrench socket combo perfectly handled all of the above listed experiences with ease. I have used it on many other miscellaneous items also.
The wrench, socket, and power adapter cost me $20 (pre-tax) around 4 years ago at Pepboys.
Recently, I noticed my local CVS pharmacy sells the Gator Grip Socket alone without the adapter and wrench for a cheaper price of about $13 pre-tax. For a few dollars more, I recommend getting the adapter and wrench. I am unaware if Pepboys Automotive still sells this product.
At the time of this writing, I see "Amazon.com Marketplace" offers this tool set for $15.99 (good price), link located at the bottom and side of this web page.
I have owned this tool for some time now and do not remember if it came with a manual or not. I know for sure the product package had some basic instruction on it, that's about all I can remember.
Does not have a manual for this tool. I consider this to be a simple tool and a manual most likely won't be necessary, especially if you have ever used a box (open or closed) wrench before.
Interesting facts quoted from the website:
1) Gator-Grip? has been tested to over 150 ft. lbs. (it exceeds 200 ft. lbs. in lab tests) - equal to the torque of conventional sockets.
2) Resistance to solvents: Some knockoffs fall apart when cleaned in parts cleaner, paint thinner or gasoline - the springs are held in place with hot melt glue! Gator-Grip? uses an engineering grade solvent-resistant polymer
1) When pushing socket on to a larger sized bolt (for example), it becomes slightly more difficult to depress an increased amount of pins simultaneously. This issue can be minimized by spraying a little bit of WD-40 (click for product review) inside of the socket shell hexagon.
2) If the fastener you are trying to tighten/loosen has a very small head, socket may have difficulties grabbing. This is a very uncommon situation for a fastener within products range of 1/4 to 3/4 inch 7 to19mm.
3) A push button socket release on handle would be nice, but is not necessary.
4) Power adapter is small and since product set does not come with a case, the small adapter is easy to lose. To bad the Endeavor company did not foresee this problem prior to mass production, I would have suggested to have the bottom of wrench handle unscrew to hold the small adapter for easy storage. I lost included adapter some time ago.
Ultimate Product Opinion
Cons listed above are minimal and not a true hindrance, except Con #4. I was reaching but wanted to be honest. This product is designed to grab different sized fasteners (nut, bolt, etc.) and loosen or tighten them. Product accomplishes this mission very nicely. I am usually wary of multi-function tools, because they dont seem to do one thing well. The Gator Grip Universal Socket Wrench is the exception to the rule. The decisive product name sounds hard to live up to, but I believe it does. Not to mention I have owned mine for at least 4 years now and it looks new after multiple uses.
4 of 5 star rating: Its just so much easier to grab this tool instead of 4-5 box wrenches when eyeballing up a job, especially when your not sure if you need a standard or metric wrench. The Gator Grip Socket works like a 5 star product, is heavy duty and built to last like a 5 star product, but (as mentioned in Cons Section) that darn small adapter has no home once you open up the package.
Video by Me on Youtube
I posted a video on YouTube which shows the Gator Grip Universal Socket Wrench in action.
Direct link to Video (please copy & paste in browser):
My Profile page on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/NoneDude4Epinions
My username: NoneDude4Epinions
I plan on adding more product videos in the future, please feel free to subscribe to my channel, I welcome anyone to do so. Videos are edited with simplicity; I do not have the time to spend making them look very professional.
Thanks for reading my review!
--Other Reviews by me with videos--
Harbor Freight Tools
Keeper Ratcheting Tie-Down
Haynes Honda Accord Manual
Sharkbite Compression Fitting
Sharkbite Disconnect Clip
Blitz Rhino Ramps