RapidSlide Adjustable Wrenches
Contrary to popular opinion, RapidSlide is not a digestive ailment caused by eating at greasy spoons. It is a new way to adjust the opening in your favorite adjustable wrench. Crescent has introduced this technology somewhat recently and I purchased one of the wrenches a few weeks ago for use in residence.
The AC10NKWMP Crescent 10″ Adjustable Wrench was the tool of choice for me. I decided that I needed to put in a flow control to reduce the water pressure in my shower. I was looking at our selection of wrenches and decided to try out the RapidSlide tool.
The main selling point for me was the easy way to adjust the wrench. You don’t twist a spirally threaded knob at the head to open or close the jaws, you actually just move slider. Moving the slider towards the head closes the jaws, and moving it towards the Crescent logo opens them. It is an elegantly simple design and one that is logical in use. The mechanism used is fairly clever, too. There is a rod with a spiral groove that lives under the slider and moving the slider laterally rotates the rod opening or closing the jaw. The motion is very smooth, so long as you aren’t trying to press down on the slider.
The funny thing about the slider method is that I felt like I couldn’t “bite down” on the on the job as much as I could with the traditional mechanism. I could literally put a grape in the jaws and close the wrench as tight as it would go and not crush the grape. At first that seemed like a problem, but it turns out that the problem was how I was looking at the situation. No matter what I threw at it, the RapidSlide gripped the bolt head firmly for rotation but I could easily slide off the wrench with no further adjustment.
In addition to the adjustment slide, another little touch I liked was the scale at the jaws of the unit. There is an etched measuring area below the jaws. With the ease of slipping the wrench off without moving the jaws, it makes a nice and easy way to see, for example, what size socket you might need on a nut as you hold the bolt’s head steady with the wrench. On the 10″ model, the scale will measure up to 1-1/4″ which is the capacity of the jaws. The scale is marked down to sixteenths of an inch (1/16″).
The product is well machined and the tolerances are right where I would expect them to be. All in all, it is a great wrench. If the 10″ is a bigger wrench than you need, Crescent also makes an 8″ RapidSlide Adjustable Wrench. After seeing this tool, it becomes clear why Crescent has become so strongly associated with the adjustable wrench.