The wrench: This indispensable tool is used to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts. There are several different types of wrenches, one of which is ideal for a home workshop. The crescent wrench, first manufactured by the Jamestown, N.Y.-based Crescent Tool Co. in 1907, was designed for early automobile owners who needed to adjust the brakes and clutches on their vehicles. The tool assumed its place in history, however, in 1927 when Charles Lindbergh took his famous trans-Atlantic flight and quipped that he took only, "gasoline, sandwiches, a bottle of water, and a Crescent wrench and pliers" [source: Popular Mechanics].
What makes the crescent wrench unique are its adjustable jaws. Thanks to the turn of a dial in the handle, one side of the jaws can expand or contract. This allows the user to make it exactly the right size, rather than having a battalion of wrenches that are various sizes and taking up room (and, initially, your budget) [source: Encyclopaedia Britannica]. A pipe wrench is good for plumbing jobs as it can tighten and loosen pipes.