The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Versatile Tap Wrench

I’m always on the lookout for tools that will work well on a boat without taking up too much room or adding too much weight.

At first glance this looks like any other tap wrench, but look closer and we find:

  • Two chucks nested—no it’s not tapered as claimed in the listing— one behind the other, which allows it to securely grip any tap shank from 1/8″ to 1/2″ (3 to 13 mm). Normally we need two, or maybe three, tap wrenches to cover that range.
  • The handle can be slipped back and forth for use in tight spots. And, better yet, there’s a detent each end.
  • The top is a hex head to accept a wrench in a really tight corner.

The build quality seems OK and the price is surprisingly reasonable. I got mine at Canadian Tire for, would you believe it, CAD$ 9.99.

The only thing I can find fault with is that it’s a bit bulky to get into really tight corners, but I already have that problem covered off…and that will be the next tool-tip.

This may be a Canada-only tip since Maximum tools are a Canadian Tire store brand, but rumour has it that most of their tools are relabeled Gearwrench, so that might be a source…

Or you can come and visit our beautiful country and pick one up.

Lot’s more on maintenance:

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Ben Logsdon

I’m planning on a trip across Lake Erie to Lake St Claire this summer. I got a rather incredulous look when I told my wife the legendary Canadian Tire must be on the list of places we need to go, but I’m still stoked.

Paul Fleming

Breath deep when you first walk into the store, Ben. There is nothing quite like that Canadian Tire smell.

Bruce Brown

I’d visit Canada even if I didn’t need the wrench.

Paul Fleming

Ha. Nice one Bruce. Sporting fellow you are.

Paul Fleming

Ha. The “legendary” aspect of Canadian Tire is, of course, the wonderful “rubber smell” of each and every store. Other than that we call it “crappy tire” (in Ontario at least). But that is being far to harsh and egregious to this reliable and venerable stuff outlet. Their Maximum line of tools are actually quite good. Even better, they have a wonderful section of abrasives including just about all the varieties of 3M sand papers you could wish for – and we all know as boat owners how nice that is.

Emile Cantin

You might be surprised to learn that Helly Hansen is actually a subsidiary of Canadian Tire ( Canadian Tire also owns most sporting goods stores in Canada (Atmosphere, SportChek, Sports Experts, S3, etc).

One of these Canadian companies that are much larger than we think! (along with Couche-Tard)