BACK TO BASICS: Combo Wrench

Don’t use an adjustable wrench… and certainly don’t use pliers. When you’re attaching cables the right tools are critical. An open-end adjustable wrench won’t work in a tight situation and has a tendency to strip the corners of a connector. Pliers won’t even provide a firm, flat gripping surface in many cases. If you’re connecting and disconnecting cables you need the right wrench for the job.

This is our Jonard Speed Ratchet Wrench. It’s the best choice for attaching and detaching cables in a tight environment. Compression connectors are designed to work with a 7/16″ wrench. While an 11mm wrench might work in a pinch, it’s a little too tight on some connectors.

This particular wrench is chrome-vanadium steel, perfect for years of use. It has a closed-end ratcheting wrench on one side, excellent for making quick work of dust caps and terminators. The open end is specifically designed to give maximum coverage to the connector, while uniquely designed to allow you to slip it gently off and rotate it slightly. Standard open end wrenches require the wrench to be completely removed to reposition it, while this wrench makes it much easier. If you tighten and loosen a lot of cables you’ll be glad for a faster alternative.

Any 7/16″ wrench will do, and many people simply dive into a toolbox or even troll thrift shops for old tools, but for a very small cash outlay, why not have the best tool for the job?

Get the right tools for the job

There’s a difference between just getting a cheap tool set at a home store and getting a quality tool. The best way to know that you’re getting something good is to shop for tools at Solid Signal. Most folks don’t think of Solid Signal for tools, but then again you’re not “most folks.” You have a very specific need and you know that a good tool is worth its weight in gold. It’s not just hand tools, although we have thousands. We also have all the measuring equipment you’ll need to make sure you did the job right, from simple signal finders to extremely fancy spectrum analyzers and time domain reflectometers. It’s all part of the truly massive selection of installation supplies and accessories for professionals all found at Solid Signal.

Even if you’re a homeowner, it pays to use the tools the installers use. The last thing you really want while doing any project is to pick up a tool that doesn’t even last through the job. Believe me, I’ve been there myself. So, don’t do that. Instead, buy high-quality tools that will last a lifetime.

If you have any questions about choosing the right tool for the job, call the fine folks at Solid Signal at 877.312.4547 or fill out the handy dandy form below if it’s a little past East Coast working hours. One of our techs will get back to you, usually within 24 hours.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.