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Ranking The Best Oil Filter Removal Tool Options Of The Year!

Save yourself some trouble with a new oil filter wrench.

Best Overall Choice
Craftsman 16 Inch Rubber Strap Wrench Set

Craftsman 2 Piece 16 Inch Rubber Strap Wrench Set

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Best Premium Choice

AMPRO T75871 Cup Type Oil Filter Remover Set, 14-Piece

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Best Budget Choice

TEKTON 5868 3-3/4-Inch Flex Oil Filter Remover

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oil filter remover

Most home mechanics are well versed at changing their own oil. It’s one of the easiest procedures that need to be done on a regular basis. Even if you’ve never performed an oil change, the steps to follow are simple enough that anyone could learn. There’s one part that often brings many headaches; removing the oil filter. That’s why you want to invest in the best oil filter wrench.

What’s So Difficult about Removing the Oil Filter?

We could take you deep into a physics lesson here, but we’ll spare you. Basically, the oil filter gets stuck because of the heat cycling of the engine. This is the constant warming up and cooling off that occurs as you drive and then turn off the vehicle. If you have a strong grip, you might be able to twist your filter off by hand, but many times, the best oil filter wrench comes in handy.

This offers some additional mechanical advantages to take off any screw on (spin on) oil filter. Just make sure this is the type of filter you have. Some vehicles like Mini Coopers and BMW’s use an enclosed filter instead which requires a specific tool.

Best Oil Filter Wrench Buying Considerations

Considering the low cost of oil filter wrenches, it makes sense that every home garage would have one. Here are a few things to consider before making that purchase.

Filter Size

oil filter sizeObviously, you need to consider the size of your vehicle’s oil filter. It’s also wise to find its location, and understand what kind it is. Is it a cartridge style filter, or something different? Auto parts vary a great deal! With the right size, you’ll have the fit you need to remove that filter in a hurry. If you aren’t sure how to get the right size, check with your local parts store.

Features

Determining the differences between those wrenches requires looking at the unique characteristics of each one. That’s why you’ll want to examine each one individually to see what sets it apart from the others.

Choose the tool that offers features you’ll personally benefit from. There’s no reason to spend more on a wrench that doesn’t help you.

Performance

You’ll want to read the reviews to determine the performance of the wrench. Does it remove the oil filter quickly and efficiently? This is imperative since the whole goal is to get the oil change done.

Quality

We don’t often recommend purchasing brands that aren’t known for their exceptional levels of quality. You want a wrench that’s made from high-quality materials so it doesn’t break under pressure. If the wrench breaks, you might not be able to get your oil filter off, which defeats the entire purpose. Oil filter removal is a slippery business, so a heavy duty oil filter wrench tool is what you need – not some flimsy cheap tool.

Simplicity

oil filter wrenchIn order to save time, you need something straightforward to use. Buying a tool that offers a solid grip and slippage protection is a must. You want to remove a tight oil filter with as little effort as possible. If the device is complicated, you probably won’t want to use it often.

Price

Don’t automatically pick your tools based on price, but use it as a gauge. Most higher priced oil filter wrenches either come from a highly respected brand or offer additional features. If you need a basic wrench, the extra cost might not be worth it for you. Otherwise, it’s wise to evaluate everything that comes with the higher price tag to see if you might want to invest a little more for better performance.

Types of Oil Filter Wrenches

Using an oil filter cap wrench makes your car maintenance even easier. It’s important that you pick the right kind for your vehicle since there’s a wide range to choose from. While the tools, equipment, and styles may differ, most of these will work for cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

A chain loop oil filter wrench uses a chain that’s literally looped around the filter. This gives you the traction you need to muscle the filter free.

The metal band adjustable oil filter tool utilizes metal bands with loops at the end of the handle. You simply tighten this around your filter and twist it. Turning it in a counter-clockwise motion should produce enough tension to free up the filter.

claw oil filter tool

The claw oil filter wrench works with the help of metal prongs. These act just like a claw would and firmly grips your oil filter. They are beneficial for difficult oil filters or ones that are placed inside a tight space.

A socket-style oil wrench looks just like a socket, but it provides a looser metal fitting to grab the filter with a solid grip. The ring of this wrench passes over the filter. Then, you push the handle to create a firm hold. Once you have a hold, simply lift the handle a little further until the filter starts to unthread.

With a strap-style wrench, there’s a fabric strap used to grip the filter. Just pass the heavy duty strap over the filter housing and pull it tight. Then, the handle is pushed just like with the socket-style until enough pressure is applied to loosen the filter.

Some vehicle models prefer to maximize the space within the engine compartment, so they create unique oil filters unlike others. These won’t work with your standard wrenches and you might need a special tool. If that’s the case, your dealer will be able to tell what you need and how to find it.

Best Oil Filter Wrenches Reviewed

We’ve put together a list of the top ten oil filter wrenches. There are numerous types to choose from on our list, so you’re sure to find something that works well for you.

Best Overall Choice

1. Craftsman 2 Piece 16 Inch Rubber Strap Wrench Set

Craftsman 16 Inch Rubber Strap Wrench Set

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You really can’t go wrong with a Craftsman tool when working on cars. This universal option ranks high on our best oil filter wrench list because they are versatile. You can remove your oil filter and use it as a pipe wrench as well.

They’re backed by a lifetime warranty, so you never have to worry about them breaking. On top of that, they have ergonomic rubber grips which are far better than what’s found on most cheap versions. With that added attention to detail, you know this is a high-quality product.

The larger wrench handles up to 6-3/8” in diameter while the smaller wrench is capable of sizes up to 4” in diameter. In addition, the straps are made of reinforced rubber to offer some extra strength. All of these features mean the price goes up slightly higher than your standard rubber wrench set, but you’ll never have to buy another pair again. If they break, they’ll be replaced.

2. Motivx Tools Small Adjustable Oil Filter Wrench

Motivx Tools Oil Filter Wrench

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Another great option for a universal fit is this Motivx Wrench. It removes traditional spin-off filters measuring 2.5”-3.25” in diameter. This type of oil filter wrench is only designed for removal; you won’t be able to use it for installation.

What makes this option unique is the .050” captured spring. Most other wrenches feature a .020” spring instead. In addition, the surface comes with a tooth design that offers less slip and better grip. These jaws are constructed from nickel plated 4130 Chromoly steel and then attached to the thick, durable steel plate. With this design, it isn’t likely to break.

We particularly like the MotivX Tools because they operate in the United States. Their specialty tools are constructed with pride, plus they’re known for superior customer service.

3. TEKTON 5867 16-Inch Oil Filter Pliers

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This larger 16-inch pair of pliers removes filters up to 5-1/2” in diameter, so it’s ideal for heavy-duty vehicles like tractors, buses, and trucks. This set of pliers comes with teeth featuring a right angle for firm grip no matter which direction you turn.

The long handles also help when working with slippery surfaces. The no-slip grip is soft on your hands but doesn’t slip when you have oil or grease on them. Because they’re constructed of steel, they’re made to last forever, especially in rough conditions. The three-position joint easily adjusts to whatever size you need.

If you feel that this size is just too large for your vehicle, they also manufacture a 12-inch set that fits oil filters up to 4-1/2” in diameter.

4. Lisle 63600 Oil Filter Tool

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If you need the best oil filter wrench for Toyota, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Acura, and Chevy, this standard option should fit the bill. It features a clamping jaw to grip the outside of your filter. This allows you to loosen it from the tight hold. It fits filters ranging from 2-1/2” to 3-1/8” in diameter.

This model is also constructed of heavy-duty steel, so you know it’s going to pay for itself over and over again. You won’t hurt this tool during your maintenance tasks and it’s designed to hold up under abuse.

This wrench is simple to use in tighter spots as well considering you just attach it your 3/8” drive ratchet. The other perk to this tool is that the price is low, making it affordable for anyone to do their own oil changes.

Best Premium Choice

5. AMPRO T75871 Cup Type Oil Filter Remover Set, 14-Piece

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If you have multiple vehicles that require a different size wrench, or you work on cars professionally, you would do better to invest in this best oil filter wrench set. It features 14-pieces that fit the majority of oil filters in all vehicles made from Europe or Japan. It’s also a good fit for Hastings, Casite, and Wix filters.

The wrenches are constructed from sheet metal for maximum durability. Then, they’re coated with a tough black oxide finish which resists corrosion. Use this set with your 3/8” drive ratchet to get your oil filter loose.

Clearly, you’re going to pay more for this kit than you would to purchase a single tool. Unless you need multiple sizes, you probably won’t need to buy this wrench set. With that in mind, it’s a great collection for anyone that would use it and saves you money in comparison to purchasing the sizes you need individually.

6. Craftsman Oil Filter Tool, Auto-Adjustable

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Here’s another choice from Craftsman. It’s also made of steel, like many of the others, to offer a long-lasting life. It will withstand everyday wear and tear and is resistant to corrosion thanks to the black oxide coating.

Use this filter wrench on any diameter within the 2.5” to 4.75” range with ease. That means it’s useful for most any brand of vehicle on the road. With your square drive ratchet, you have an instantaneous grip on your oil filter quickly. In addition, when torque is applied, it automatically tightens for you.

The price is slightly higher than some other comparable options, but it is a Craftsman. That means it’s backed up with a superior, lifetime warranty that many other tool companies don’t offer.

7. Tuffman Tools Oil Filter Set - 2pcs

Tuffman Tools Oil Filter Wrench Set

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If you need to find the best oil filter wrench on a budget, you might consider this two-pack. Use it on automobiles and tractors or a multitude of other household projects. These are great for working on shower heads, PVC pipe, sinks, taps, and water filters as well. In fact, customers rave about using them to glue joints together or open bottles.

Then, use the smaller-sized wrench to remove bolts, nuts, and caps. The large wrench works on up to 6” diameter while the smaller one adjusts up to 4” diameter. You don’t need to be a mechanic to find this tool useful. In fact, lots of plumbers, carpenters, and people with arthritic hands use these for many purposes.

Not only is this two-pack relatively inexpensive, but the company also offers a 100% money-back guarantee, no questions asked. You can’t really go wrong with those kinds of assurances.

8. XtremepowerUS 2-1/2" to 4" Two Way 3 Leg Oil Filter Remover

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This oil filter wrench allows you to work with filters sized 2-1/2” to 4” in diameter. It also has a three-jaw construction that provides a firm hold on all your filters. With this design, you won’t have to worry about slippage. On top of that, the comfort grip won’t hurt your hands so you can loosen and remove your filter faster.

On top of removing the filter, it also helps to tighten them as well. You will want to be careful doing this as too much force could create a dent in your filter. Overall, this is one of the cheapest options on the market and great for those that need to stick to a budget.

While the price might be great, some people do feel it’s slightly floppy and complicated for beginner users to figure out.

9. Neiko 03421A Two Way Auto-Adjustable Oil Filter Tool

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Here’s another great option. It also has the three-jaw design that makes it simple for you to remove your filter. The universal construction works for most passenger cars and SUVs. Use it on all filter sized 1-1/2” to 4” in diameter.

The low-profile design also helps you to get into low clearance areas. Simply attach this wrench to any 3/8” or 1/2” drive ratchet for easy use. You could also utilize a breaker bar if that’s easiest; just connect it with the adaptor included in the package.

You would think with all the additional features that the price would jump up, but it’s still relatively inexpensive.

Best Budget Choice

10. TEKTON 5868 3-3/4-Inch Flex Oil Filter Remover

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As our final pick, we found this one from Tekton. It’s a standard wrench that features a level and steel strap. Tighten the strap around your filter and loosen with ease. This style has been used in automotive shops for decades and continues to be one of the more popular options on the market.

They work much like the pliers we’ve listed. In addition, the non-slip rubber grip helps you to maintain traction even when your hands are greasy or oily. Because there’s a little articulation in the handle, you can also maneuver it around tight areas.

Use this on your oil filters measuring 3-1/4” to 3-3/4” in diameter. Of all the wrenches we reviewed, this one falls on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but not when related to its quality. We can’t recommend the brand enough.



How To Use An Oil Filter Wrench

The way to use an oil filter wrench depends on the type of wrench you have. Here is how to use the most common types of wrenches for oil filters.

Oil Filter Wrench Chain

Chain loop oil filter wrenches look like nooses so they are different than common wrenches. They work very well with slippery or greasy filters. Here are the steps to use them:

  • Fit the chain around the filter.
  • Tighten it by turning the adaptor counterclockwise.
  • Rotate further the adaptor using an adjustable spanner or a square drive tool. This causes friction and pulls the metal casing along until it loosens.

Strap Style Oil Filter Wrench

The strap wrench comes handy when you want to remove the oil filter of a larger engine such as those found in SUVs, pickup trucks and other large vehicles where the filter normally has a larger diameter. Here is what you need to do:

  • Lay the strap over the top of the filter.
  • Roll up the metal part of the wrench and tighten it up around the oil filter.
  • Take a ratchet wrench and attach it to the end of the tool.
  • Turn the ratchet anticlockwise till the filter starts loosening.

Note that some strap wrenches come with a built-in handle so you don’t need to use a ratchet wrench or a square drive.

Socket-Style Wrench

These wrenches have plastic or metal socket shaped cups that attach to the end of the filter casing. They are easy and quick to use but their main disadvantage is that they only fit one size, so their use is limited.

However, keep in mind that certain car brands and models require the use of a socket wrench to take off their filters.

  • Simply fit the wrench over the bottom of the oil filter.
  • Take a ⅜ inch ratchet and push it into the socket.
  • Turn the handle counter-clockwise until you loosen up the casing.

Spider Type Wrench

Spider wrenches have a unique design that consists of 3 metal prongs, 2 clamping legs, and two jaw plates. They are easier to use to remove stuck oil filters in tight spaces as compared to strap or chain wrenches.

  • Simply add the adaptor to the wrench and attach a ratchet driver.
  • Turn the driver anticlockwise till the casing loosens.

Oil Filter Pliers

Good quality pliers are adjustable and very effective when trying to remove tricky filters. They are made of steel and have extended handles with a good grip. They can remove different size filters but they also come in bigger sizes that are suitable for larger filters. Finally, they are very easy and quick to use.

How To Make A Homemade Oil Filter Wrench

If you are looking for a simple way to loosen your stubborn oil filter without buying a wrench, here is a simple and easy way to create your own DIY oil filter wrench:

  • Remove the oil and grease from the body filter using a degreaser and a cloth.
  • Take a cloth handkerchief or a bandana and roll it up till it looks like a strap or a headband.
  • Bring it to a wide circle and use the ends to tie a square knot at the top. Do not tighten it too much and leave a hole so you can slip a socket extension through it.
  • After slipping the extension through the hole, tighten a square knot.
  • Lay the bandana around the filter and start twisting the socket extension till the bandana is all twisted and the extension touches the filter body.
  • Use one hand to keep the extension in position and your other hand to attach a socket wrench handle to the extension.
  • Turn the handle counter-clockwise till the filter becomes loose.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Remove The Oil filter Without A Wrench?

Yes, you can. The first method could be by using your hand. Make sure that neither your hand nor the filter surface is slippery or greasy. To increase the grip, you can also wear plastic gloves. This method may not be so effective if the area is confined.

You can also use a belt or a bandana in the way described above. If all this fails, you can follow the somewhat barbarian yet 100% effective method of creating a hole in the filter body using a screwdriver. You will have to hit it with a hammer so it penetrates the metal and comes out on the other side. Just be careful not to damage anything else on your car or even yourself.



Brian Jones
About Brian Jones

I am an ASE Certified Master Tech, but spend more time with my awesome family now than I do on cars. In my spare time, you'll still find me playing with tools, cars and many other "manly" gadgets.