Car Bibles is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Sometimes, it is the smallest parts of a car that can have the biggest impact on its health and performance levels, and this is certainly the case when it comes to the oil filter. Situated next to the main engine block, its main purpose is to clear out impurities that are often found in the engine oil. If left unchecked, contamination can then start to damage other parts of your car and lead to bigger issues. Just some of the common impurities that can end up causing problems are dirt, debris, and metal shavings.
Every responsible car owner should make a special effort to improve the service life of the engine, which means replacing the oil filter on a regular basis. And rather than taking it into the garage every single time, investing in a good oil filter wrench is the first thing that you need to do so that you can take care of the job yourself.
But with so many different options available, making the right choice can feel somewhat tricky. So, to help you out in making your decision, we have compiled our rundown of the best oil filter wrenches currently available.
The Best Oil Filter Wrench
A popular choice among BMW and Volvo owners, this product makes the job of removing oil filter housings straightforward. Made using cast aluminum, it is designed to provide the perfect fit over oil filters from these two manufacturers so that you can easily remove and replace them as needed.
Many of the cheaper plastic models that you can buy don’t offer a good enough level of reliability and performance. But with its high-quality die casting and good finish, this is a tool which should stand the test of time and sit proudly in your toolbox for years to come. Even people who are not all that experienced in fixing up cars shouldn’t have much trouble when using this oil wrench.
Suitable for BMW and Volvo models
Made using cast aluminum
Provides the perfect fit over oil filters
- BrandAssenmacher Specialty Tools
- ModelV 410
- Weight6.4 oz
Manufactured by one of the most celebrated brands on the market, this pair of wrenches come complete with adjustable straps made of tough and durable reinforced rubber. The larger wrench has been created for items of up to 6 3/8 inches, while the smaller one is for items of up to four inches in diameter. All you need to do is slide it around the oil filter or other parts, tighten it to grip securely, and turn.
As for the handles, they are fully cushioned to make them nice and comfortable to hold. And once you have bought this product, you can rest assured in the knowledge that it is backed by Craftsman’s Lifetime Guarantee if anything happens to go wrong.
Pair of wrenches suitable for various sizes of the oil filter
Made using strongly reinforced rubber
Fully cushioned handles for maximum comfort
Backed by Craftsman’s Lifetime Guarantee
- Weight15.2 oz
Suitable for traditional spin-off oil filters between 2.5″-3.25″ in diameter, this tool has been specifically created to make the process of removing oil filters easier with its tooth-style design for more grip and less slip. As for the materials that have been used to make it, nickel plated 4130 chromoly steel is attached to the solid steel top plate. You can also use it with a long extension which means that you don’t have to get your hands anywhere near the oil filter itself.
Backed by a one-year warranty, the customer service team are also available should you need them. But this is a product which has been built to last.
Suitable for a wide range of cars, trucks, and motorcycles
Tooth-style design for better bite
Made using solid materials
3/8″ thick solid steel top plate that won’t bend or break
- BrandMotivx Tools
- Weight13.3 oz
An efficient and uncomplicated oil filter wrench, this tool from Lisle has been specifically designed to fit most standard sizes of oil filter from 3 1/8″ to 3 7/8″. The steel jaws have been created to grip the filter without slipping to make the whole process much more straightforward. And since it works from the top, it is suitable for tight spots.
If you have a stubborn oil filter which is a little trickier to get off, this is a great option which is designed to save you from expending too much time and effort.
Fits most standard sizes of the oil filter
Steel jaws for added grip
Works from the top to get into tighter spots
- Weight1 lb
Rather than just buying a single tool, this oil filter wrench set contains 24mm, 27mm, 29mm, 30mm, 32mm, 36mm, and 38mm oil filter socket sizes to suit vehicles with newer oil filter designs from manufacturers including Mercedes, Cadillac, Buick, Saturn, SAAB, Dodge, Ford, Mini Cooper, and some BMW and Mack Truck.
The 6-point design assists in easy removal, and the 3/8-inch socket drive is designed for a ratchet or extension depending on your preferences. The tool is made from chrome-vanadium (CR-V) which provides high levels of strength and corrosion resistance. And the whole kit comes in a handy plastic case for easy transportation and organization.
The kit containing seven different oil filter socket sizes
6-point design for easy removal
Made from chrome-vanadium for strength
Comes in plastic blow-molded carrying case
- ModelABN 1305
- Weight2.4 lbs
Designed to accommodate most car, truck, and heavy equipment filters, this tool works on PVC, Conduit, and Fittings. And thanks to the PermaLock fastener, nut and bolt failure is not something that you have to worry about.
When you are undertaking the task of replacing your oil filter, you can do so comfortably thanks to the Channellock grips. The unique design accommodates a wide range of shapes in all sorts of hard-to-reach areas around your car engine.
Accommodates many cars, truck and heavy equipment oil filters
Channellock grips for maximum comfort
Designed to get to hard-to-reach places
- Weight2.08 lbs
This easy-to-use adjustable Craftsman oil filter wrench can fit filters ranging between 2-1/2 to 4-3/4 inches. When the torque is applied, it automatically tightens for easy filter removal. Made using durable steel, the oxide finish is both rust and corrosion-resistant.
To turn the oil filter wrench with effortless ease, you will need a 3/8-inch square driver ratchet or a 3/4-inch wrench. But the automatically tightening feature is a nice touch which helps to make the task of replacing your car’s oil filter that little bit more straightforward.
Adjustable wrench between 2-1/2 to 4-3/4 inches
Automatically tightens when torque is applied
Made from durable steel with corrosion-resistant oxide finish
- Weight12 oz
This 12 Inch Strap Wrench from Titan Tools is easily adjustable to fit the oil filter in your car. Once you have adjusted it to the correct size, you can then go through the task of removing the oil filter, safe in the knowledge that the non-marring nylon belt has been designed to prevent scratching and damage to finished surfaces.
Not only is the strap nice and sturdy but the aluminum handle is also lightweight, allowing you to complete a wide range of manual jobs with ease.
Easily adjustable strap
Non-marring nylon belt to help prevent damage
Lightweight aluminum handle
- BrandTitan Tools
- Weight9.6 oz
Created to remove all oil filters between 2-1/2″ to 4″ in diameter, this two-way oil filter wrench comes with three jaws and can reach the filters which are difficult to get to using more traditional tools.
The jaws that we have just mentioned are designed to clamp on tightly, and the more force that you use, the tighter it grabs. The range is between 63mm to 102mm.
Three tightly-clamping jaws
Two-way oil filter wrench
Great for hard-to-reach filters
Ranges between 63mm to 102mm
- Weight12 oz
Best Oil Filter Wrenches Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying an Oil Filter Wrench
An oil filter wrench can provide a host of advantages to anyone who likes to conduct at least some of their own car maintenance. But you can’t simply settle on the first one that you set eyes on. So, here are a few of the top things to consider when you are on the lookout for the right oil filter wrench for you.
- Filter Size
Every car comes with a different type of oil filter. The first thing that you need to take into account is the size of your car’s filter. You should make sure that you choose a tool which is suitable for your oil filter, so check online or your vehicle’s handbook for the correct sizing. Of course, this is especially important if you are buying a specifically-sized oil filter wrench rather than an adjustable one.
- Adjustability/Other Features
Some of the oil filter wrenches that we have talked about in this blog post are more adjustable than others, while others come with a set of fixed attachment. Some are suitable for specific vehicle manufacturers, while others offer a universal fit. Again, when it comes to selecting the right one for your car, you need to know the size and type of oil filter which it contains.
- Performance and Quality
Obviously, when you are selecting an oil filter wrench, you will want one which offers a high level of performance, as well as one that has been made with excellent materials. So, it is worth investigating further the performance rating and what others are saying about each individual wrench to get the best indication of what you are buying.
- Ease of Use
Since you are buying an oil filter wrench to allow you to change your filters, you don’t want it to throw up any extra obstacles by being unnecessarily difficult to use. First of all, you should check its ability to provide a solid grip, as well as how well it prevents slipping. Some oil filters are going to be especially tightly screwed in and/or difficult to access, so you will need a wrench that can get around these issues, as well as one which is not going to lead to any damage.
Finally, you need to choose an oil filter wrench which fits in with your budget, remembering that a high price point doesn’t necessarily mean better quality. At the same time, you don’t want to go for the cheapest product on the market, only to find that it is incompatible with your car. Compare and contrast the different options available to you, keeping the price in the back of your mind.
Why You Should Use an Oil Filter Removal Tool
An oil filter removal tool will come in handy for anyone who maintains and services cars on a regular basis, or simply someone who wants to work on their own vehicle. There are several main reasons why an oil filter clamp is a worthwhile investment, and here are a few of the main ones.
- No Need to Take Your Car to the Mechanic
The oil filter of a car is something which is going to have to be changed from time to time, and it certainly saves you a lot of time and hassle if this is something that you are able to do by yourself. Otherwise, you have to go through the effort of dropping your car off, picking it up etc. Not to mention the fees. Which brings us nicely onto the next point…
- Saves Money
When you can replace the oil filter of your car yourself, you only have the expense of the tool and the new oil filter to worry about rather than having to pay a professional every single time. You are also less likely to wait too long to replace the oil and the filter, which could potentially end up causing more damage to your car further down the line.
- No Risk of Damage Caused by Wrong Tools
Some people think that they already have the appropriate tool in their toolbox to replace an oil filter, so don’t need another one. But they are underestimating how stubborn and slippery oil filters can end up being. When you have an oil filter wrench, you know that you have a tool which has been specifically designed for the purpose. Otherwise, you could end up trying to use a tool which is not suitable and risk causing damage to your car.
Oil Filter Wrench Types
Oil filter wrenches come in a range of different shapes and sizes. Choosing the one which is right for you depends on the type/number of vehicles you will be conducting work on and your own personal preferences. Let’s have a quick rundown of the main types of oil filter wrenches which are readily available to you.
- Cap Wrench
One of the most common options is a cap wrench which is specifically designed to fit a fluted pattern. The main issue with this variety is that there are countless different patterns out there, so you need one which is both the right size and the right internal shape. You should also bear in mind that it may fit the filter that is in your car now but not the new one which you buy. But the main advantage is that is has been specifically designed for your vehicle, so should provide a fit which is nice and tight.
- Strap Wrench
A strap wrench is a more universal model which is designed to be adjustable so that it fits around the filter tightly. If you are going to be working on numerous vehicles, you have the natural advantage of just needing a single wrench rather than several for each individual car. The main disadvantage of strap wrenches is that you may not be able to get the same level of torque as other, sturdier varieties. Another similar option is a chain loop wrench which essentially works in the same way but is a great option for gripping especially greasy filters.
- Filter Pliers
Filter pliers are another adjustable oil filter wrench which fit all sorts of oil filters. Simply open them up and grasp the oil filter. The handles provide a comfortable grip, but you may struggle if the oil filter is located in a particularly tight spot in the engine. Don’t use one of these tools if you plan on reusing the filter as they can bite into it and leave small dents.
- Coil-Spring/Spring Band Wrench
This type of oil filter wrench slips onto the end of a spin-on filter, while the band extends down to its base. When you turn the end using a wrench, the coil will then tighten around the whole filter. Not only does this help to prevent damage, but it is also supposed to stop separation from the base. Fitting over the end of the filter, a spring band wrench extends past the flutes to grip the entire circle of the filter body.
- ‘Spider’ Wrench
Three fluted legs will clamp against the spin-on cartridge in this spider-designed wrench, while also digging in to prevent any slippage. The end plate is for a ratchet, and the spider legs will extend beyond the filter’s outer edge. Essentially, this is for a well-distributed amount of gripping power.
Best Oil Filter Wrenches FAQ:
Q: What is an Oil Filter Wrench?
A: An oil filter wrench is a useful piece of equipment which can be used in car maintenance and service. The oil filter of your car tends to accumulate a great deal of grease and grime and needs to be replaced from time to time.
With so many moving parts, your engine is a part of your car which gets very hot, which is why the oil is there to keep the combustion chamber cool and keep the individual components running smoothly. Your car’s oil filter works by sifting out the particles and keeping contaminants out. Older oil filters don’t do their job as effectively, which can lead to inferior fuel economy and performance. In more serious cases, these particles can cause engine damage, and even engine failure if the flow of oil is highly blocked.
So, it is good car maintenance practice to replace your oil filter on a regular basis, but this is a task which is almost impossible without the right tool. There are several different types of oil filter, but they should all allow you to carry out any necessary work on the oil filter of your car.
Q: How Do I Use an Oil Filter Wrench?
A: As we have already mentioned, oil filter wrenches come in different varieties, but the main two are strap-style wrenches which fit different sized filters and socket-style wrenches to fit a specified type and size. While it may sound simple, replacing an oil filter is tricky without the appropriate tool as they often become coated in grease and grime, making them very challenging to get a firm grip on.
Before attempting any work on your car’s engine, you should leave it to cool for at least an hour. Put a drain pan under the oil filter to catch any excess liquid. If you have a strap-style wrench, slide the strap over the oil filter casing with the reverse of the handle facing counter-clockwise. Push the handle in the same direction to release the casing. Pull the handle back on itself if you run out of room to keep turning. Slide the wrench off the casing, and remove the filter from the engine by hand.
As for a socket-style wrench, push it onto the bottom of the oil filter casing, set a 3/8-inch ratchet handle to turn counterclockwise, and push the ratchet of the handle into the socket of the wrench. Turn the handle until the oil filter casing loosens. The filter should then be ready to be removed by hand.
Q: How Do I Determine the Right Wrench Choice?
A: You could choose an oil filter wrench which works with your specific make and model of vehicle or you could go for one which is more universal. If you are purchasing one to use on a single vehicle, one that is specifically designed for that one might be easiest to use. These are designed to provide a tight fit and can often be turned using a standard ratchet socket wrench. Make sure that you double check to confirm that your wrench matches your specific vehicle make and model. Otherwise, you will have a useless tool on your hands.
However, if you are going to be working on a number of different vehicles, a universal oil filter wrench may be the best choice for you. Your range of options includes swivel-grip, strap, and pliers. Essentially, it comes down to personal preference. If you are accustomed to using one type of oil filter wrench, you may be better off sticking with that one. Swivel-grip wrenches are usually easy to use, but many people simply prefer a strap wrench. Otherwise, a pair of adjustable wrench pliers usually stands the test of time.
If you can, take the time to inspect each one of these different options in person. If not, read some of the reviews online to find out about other people describing their experiences using them.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for BMW and Volvo drivers is this oil filter housing wrench from Assenmacher - Assenmacher Specialty Tools Filter Housing Wrench. Strong and sturdy, this is the kind of tool which makes short work of replacing your car’s oil filter housing. Since it is made of cast aluminum, you can be confident that it will be long-lasting and there for you whenever you need to undertake the task of replacing your car’s oil filter.
And since it is designed for two specific manufacturers, you know that this Volvo and BMW oil filter wrench is going to provide a perfect fit, so you are not left having to undertake the sometimes awkward task of adjusting it to the correct size of your specific oil filter.
Hundreds of customers have recommended this oil filter housing wrench, and we do too.