Does It Work? Emson Universal Wrench

Does It Work? Emson Universal Wrench »Play Video
SEATTLE - This "Does It Work?" segment takes a closer look at a simple tool that might come in handy.

It's called the "Emson Universal Wrench."

It's an all-in-one socket wrench, for dealing with all the 'nuts' in your life -- like on your bike, or a bed frame or the garage door.

The idea is instead of needing a whole slew of different-sized wrenches, you just need this one.

In fact, the box reads: "It's so handy, you'll find yourself using it more than any other tool in your toolbox."

As a part-time mechanic with oodles of tools, Don Ruder volunteered to put the Emson Universal Wrench to the test.

The single socket uses retractable steel rods to adapt to different sized nuts and bolts.

"I guess that's what does the gripping," Don said, as he pushed the rods in against what feels like a spring in the base of the socket.

But can this one tool really become the most used tool in his toolbox like it claims?

Don's trying it out on a 15-year-old car.

First: a demonstration with his traditional wrenches.

He has to try several wrenches before he gets one that fits perfectly for the job. The purpose of the universal wrench is to eliminate the trial and error as well as the need for multiple wrenches.

He tries the Emson Universal Wrench on the same bolt.

"It's not doing too well on the small one," Don said as he struggled to make the steel rods catch on the bolt. "Now there, it's getting a grip, but it's gripping out near the edges," he said as it finally took hold.

On to a larger bolt.

It's a piece of cake with both his conventional wrench and the Emson product. "Got right on that one!" Don said, removing the bold from the air conditioning mount near the car's engine.

Commercials for gadgets like this often stick to easy tasks where they're sure to work, so Don pulled out an old rusted lawn mower. The nuts on the blades have been rusted tight for years.

Sure enough the Universal Wrench proves up to the task.

For about 12 bucks, Don gives it a thumbs up as an addition to his tool collection.

"It's something that when you need it, you need it. And there's nothing more frustrating than going to your tool box and needing something, and it's not there," he said.

Don says it will not replace his other wrenches, just be an added resource.

Other consumers find the Emson product does not work as well on super tight bolts or nuts which require heavy torque to loosen.

But for simple jobs, it might come in handy around your house, if you don't use tools a lot, and don't want to buy a whole set of wrenches.

There are a variety of universal wrench products on the market. The one by Emson sells for about $12 online, and at local stores that carry "As Seen On TV" products.