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Old 03-09-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
pipsters
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Default Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

I was looking at crowfoot sets on Sears and noticed there are cheaper "open ended" sets and then a "flare nut" set. What would be better to have if you can only have one set? How about the flare nut wrenches? Worth having?

Also I assume you just use a 3/8" ratchet or breaker bar with them? If so why not just use a wrench? Do they allow access when a regular wrench wouldn't?
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

The flarenut crowfoots come in handy.I use the 5/8" attached on a 2 foot extension bar and ratchet on the gas lines on the vortec 4.3 and 350s.No room for a regular flare nut wrench.Even with the 18mm,great for the power steering lines in the very tight spots.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

I guess my question is, what is the difference between



and



Do you really need both, or will one version do everything you need it to? Would the flare nut set be a better all around tool to have over the standard open ended style?

The only thing about the open end style is they look a lot thinner on the tool part of it, I assume the drive end is about as thick on both.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

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Originally Posted by pipsters View Post

Do you really need both, or will one version do everything you need it to? Would the flare nut set be a better all around tool to have over the standard open ended style?

The only thing about the open end style is they look a lot thinner on the tool part of it, I assume the drive end is about as thick on both.
Do you need both? If you're not a professional wrencher, then I'd say no.

The flare nut crowfoot gives you more grip of the fastener making it less likely that you you round off or damage the nut or bolt itself.

Flarenuts wrenches are mainly used on brakeline, fluid line or elec. connections where a pipe, hose or wire prevents you from using a box end or socket.

If me, I would buy the crowsfoot set and then save for the open ended as I'm a tool whore and will always see a need for both. BTW, they just recently started selling the crowfoot type, so you never really had the choice until recently.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

Flare nut wrenches are designed for just that - flare nut fitting on fluid or gas lines. They are designed to encircle the nut more while still allowing the wrench to slip over the lines. Open ended can be used the same, they just don't offer as much surface grip on the fittings (nut). Truthfully where and when there is room (space) I'll just use an adjustable wrench on most flare nut line fittings. The crow feet versions of both are to access fitting in tigh areas.

Does the average DIYer need the Flare crow feet? Nope, not really. Does the tool collector need them? Only of he/she wants to expand their collection.

Consider that most professional plumbers deal with flare fittings all the time for gas or water. When working with flare fitting they don't even use nore have on them any special flare nut "type" wreches. They all use adjustables, open-end, and even tongue&groove pliers. They deal with flare nuts more often than an automotive mechanic will.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

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Originally Posted by HandyManny View Post

Consider that most professional plumbers deal with flare fittings all the time for gas or water. When working with flare fitting they don't even use nore have on them any special flare nut "type" wreches. They all use adjustables, open-end, and even tongue&groove pliers. They deal with flare nuts more often than an automotive mechanic will.
Yes plumbers deal more with flare fittings, But not at the pressure of brake or power steering, hydraulic systems. Most pressure any plumber will see is 90 # pressure, different than 3000 psi. hydaulic system.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

If I was only going to get one set, I would just get the regular open end crowfoot set. Get a nice long locking extention to go with the set if you don't have one.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

I was looking at the flare crowfoots at Sears and they are made in China
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

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I was looking at the flare crowfoots at Sears and they are made in China
Really? That stinks I even called them. Oh well.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

These were linked in another thread http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...4155_200304155

It's the cheapest set of crowsfoot I've ever seen. I'm not sure of the quality. But it's what I would get if I need them.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

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Originally Posted by HandyManny View Post
Consider that most professional plumbers deal with flare fittings all the time for gas or water. When working with flare fitting they don't even use nore have on them any special flare nut "type" wreches. They all use adjustables, open-end, and even tongue&groove pliers. They deal with flare nuts more often than an automotive mechanic will.
Yeah, and they're all large sizes with space around them. When you're working on modern cars with very limited space, on parts exposed to the elements in sizes from 7/16"-13/16" you need them. Good luck using waterpump pliers on a rusty 7/16" flare nut brake line fitting between a chassis rail and a fuel tank.

To answer the OP's question, i'd get flare nut first. I wrench for a living and use these very rarely, but use both types. Not something that sees much use, it may be worth waiting until you need them.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

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Originally Posted by Moose-LandTran View Post

To answer the OP's question, i'd get flare nut first. I wrench for a living and use these very rarely, but use both types. Not something that sees much use, it may be worth waiting until you need them.
I definitely needed one working on the power steering rack of my wife's car, I ended up giving up trying to use an adjustable wrench to get it off, the hose still leaks but I just refill the fluid. God I remember that day what a PITA.

Like I said though I want to get them now if I might have a need for them in the future as I want US stamped stuff. If I was going to get imported I would buy that Northern Tool set, cheap as dirt.

Last edited by pipsters; 03-09-2011 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

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Originally Posted by stopdroplol View Post
These were linked in another thread http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...4155_200304155

It's the cheapest set of crowsfoot I've ever seen. I'm not sure of the quality. But it's what I would get if I need them.
Picked up a set of those yesterday. I actually would have preferred open rather than flare, but the price was right and they're not near as crappy looking as the HF ones. HF are India, NT are Taiwan.

This is my first set of crowsfeet, so I'm not speaking from experience here. But to the OP, I'd think the flare style give you better grip, and the open style give you more accessiblilty (able to get in where flares might not). Horses for courses....
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

I have a set of metric flarenut crowfoot and am wondering if I will ever need the flarenut Wrenches.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Crowfoot - flarenut vs. "regular", wrench vs. extension

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I have a set of metric flarenut crowfoot and am wondering if I will ever need the flarenut Wrenches.
Crowsfoot+ 3/8th breaker bar= wrench.
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