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Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set

8
£183.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Mmmmmm... truly lovely spanners with some very impressive design work, but expensive
Colour coded for size
Comfortable and secure under force
Brilliant to use
The limit stop is great
Expensive
Weight: 
741g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set is absolutely lovely to use and designed very impressively – these spanners feature a host of neat, useful details. It's an expensive set, however, and you can get almost the same performance elsewhere for less money.

This is not a spanner set aimed specifically at bicycles, so the sizes aren't necessarily what you'll be wanting – though that depends, of course, on your specific bike. However, they're available individually in a range that starts at 8mm, then runs from 10-19mm in 1mm increments. That covers most things.

2023 Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set - case.jpg

But a spanner is a spanner, right? Why pay this much? The answer is that strength and precision make your day far more enjoyable. The jaws of 'budget' spanners fit poorly and spread easily, while handles bend easily (I've done it) and even break under extreme loads. The cheaper, older and rustier the fasteners are, the more you benefit from quality. A stuck bolt is one problem; a stuck, rounded-off bolt and bleeding knuckles are quite another.

> Beginner’s guide to bike tools

These feel good as soon as you pick them up, with the steel inserts giving a pleasing heft and the chromoly steel's rounded form proving very comfortable under force. They feel strong even when you start really cranking on them, with no sense of give. The nickel-chromium coating Wera uses has a really nice satin finish, too.

2023 Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set - 3.jpg

The details impress. At the open end, you get a 30-degree return angle – that being how far you have to turn the bolt to get the spanner back on at the same angle – instead of the usual 60 degrees. This is thanks to the jaws effectively having six faces instead of the usual three, and makes it much easier to use in restricted spaces, such as where cables or components get in the way or bolts sit close to raised sections that stop you getting much rotation each time.

The spanner also engages across three faces of the bolt or nut instead of the usual two, for a more secure grip.

The removable steel plate on one side of the jaw has two functions. With a bolt in the usual orientation (sides parallel with the jaws), the plate's serrated edges boost grip – I tested this adding just a gentle amount of torque and then pulling the spanner off a nut, then repeating that test with a regular (Draper Expert) spanner. The plate does seem to add friction and make it harder to slip the tool off the fastener.

2023 Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set - 4.jpg

The second function is to act as a stop so fasteners can't slide right through and out the other side. If you orient a bolt in the extra slots (so it's a half-turn from having two sides parallel to the jaws), the plate blocks the channel at the top. The bolt can't pass right through. It's much easier to wind a long bolt in when you can just press the spanner down and have it securely aligned each time you crank it.

At the other end you get a ring sitting at a 15-degree angle (for hand clearance) and filled with a reversible 80-tooth ratchet. This is incredibly handy, and I used it whenever possible. Wera doesn't specificy what exactly it's made from – it simply says 'hardened metal', as with the plate in the jaws – but it feels tough, is cut crisply and suffered no obvious wear or damage during the test.

2023 Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set - 5.jpg

The ratchet feels strong and gives a lovely crisp, positive click as it goes.

Each spanner is colour coded for size – if you want the 10mm, for instance, you only need scan for the yellow one. Handy.

2023 Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set - case open.jpg

Be aware there are variations of this Joker spanner, and Wera isn't massively in-your-face about the differences. The numerical code is very important – these are the 6001 model. If you like them, make sure you're finding 6001 as you're searching for the best price.

2023 Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set.jpg

The similar looking 6000-series Joker has the ratchet inline instead of angled, and it has no switch – you flip the spanner over to reverse direction.

Meanwhile, the 6003 series has an even smaller (15-degree) return angle for use in very tight spaces, but no plate in the jaw, and a slim, angled ring with no ratchet. Wera actually does a bike-specific set of these that includes 8, 9, 10 and 13mm sizes plus a 15mm Joker pedal spanner.

The 6002 models are the most obviously different, as they're open on both ends.

Value

Obviously, you can buy cheaper spanners than this – you can find 11-piece sets on eBay for as little as £6.99, in fact. If that seems like good value to you, bon voyage, but there's probably cheese in my fridge that's less ductile.

The latest Draper Expert Hi Torq spanners are perfectly decent and can be had as an eight-piece metric combination set for £24.60, though these feature standard jaws at one end and regular, non-ratcheting rings at the other. They're not as good in tight spaces or as convenient or secure in general as the Wera 6001s, but they'll get the job done and for far less money.

For bicycle use, you're probably better off avoiding large sets or just going for the five-piece Wera Tools Bicycle Set 10 Joker Wrench Spanner Set mentioned above – it's £64.99. If you really do want a large set, the Park Tool Ratcheting Wrench Set MWR-SET includes 12 spanners from 6-17mm and is £149.99. The open ends are just regular style, though.

If you particularly like these 6001s you might be better off just getting the specific sizes you need because, at least for bike use, there aren't generally that many. The 10mm is officially £58.79, which is obviously extremely high, but in general Wera's RRPs don't seem to mean much, and most retailers sell them for considerably less. For instance, one of the few places with stock at the time of writing, SGS Engineering, was selling them for £23.34. That's still not exactly cheap, mind you.

If you want high quality – and British made quality at that – then King Dick (stop sniggering) is a fantastic option. Its ratcheting combination ring spanner is £18.15. It lacks the plate in the jaw and the colour coding, though, and you'll note there's no switch as the ring is not angled. So really it's more like the 6000 series Jokers, which have a very similar real-world price: Epic Tools sells them on eBay for £17.20 in 10mm.

Overall

Though these aren't cheap, they are very well designed and made, and offer some really useful features that most rivals don't. For that reason – and because of how nice they are to use – I'd say the value was still good, but only if you really want to treat yourself (and your bike). Otherwise, there are very good alternatives you can get for less.

Verdict

Mmmmmm... truly lovely spanners with some very impressive design work, but expensive

road.cc test report

Make and model: Wera Tools 6001 Joker Switch 4 Set

Size tested: Set 4pc

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Wera says: "Joker - Can.Do.Everything.Better.

"When we began to think about open-ended wrenches, we asked ourselves: why does the wrench always have to be flipped over; why does it have an offset design; why does it slip off injuring fingers? The new design of the mouth resulted in a real 'Joker' that works even when all other trumps have been played."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Wera says: "Joker ratcheting combination wrenches with angled ratchet head and switch lever. The metal plate in the jaw provides for the holding function which reduces the risk of losing nuts and bolts. The integrated limit stop can prevent any slipping from the bolt head downwards and enables higher torque to be applied. The exchangeable metal plate in the jaw securely holds nuts and bolts with its extra hard teeth and reduces the risk of slipping. The double-hex geometry delivers a very positive connection with nuts or bolts and again provides for a lower risk of any slipping. The low return angle of only 30° at the jaw end avoids any time-consuming flipping of the wrench when fastening. The reversible ratchet mechanism at the ring end with its fine toothing (80 teeth) ensures great flexibility even in confined spaces. Audibly precise ratchet mechanism. Additionally, the robust two-piece locking element provides for an extreme stability. Comes with a 15° angled ratchet end for secure work even at high torque. The special forged geometry allows for high torque transfer and high flexural rigidity. Manufactured out of high-performance chrome-molybdenum steel with a nickel-chromium coating for high corrosion protection. With "Take it easy" tool finder: colour coding according to size."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Look and feel absolutely lovely.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Expensive, but they are very well designed and made, and offer some really useful features that most rivals don't, so worth the premium.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Extremely well, both at the ratchet and open ends.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Quality feel, colour-coded sizes, useful limit stop, great engagement angles, satisfying ratchet, comfortable shape, strong.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

This is very expensive, as are the spanners if bought individually.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Just looking at these will make your nuts tighten up. They really could be cheaper, though – you're going some if you make Park Tool look like the budget option. While I think they just earn the premium with their extra details, you can still get the job done very well with cheaper – yet still extremely good – alternatives. That holds them back.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

Add new comment

14 comments

Avatar
kil0ran | 10 months ago
0 likes

I've got a full set of King Dick spanners and adjustables. Probably older than me, inherited from my Dad/FiL. Lovely things.

As much as I like Wera I find Halfords Advanced stuff to be very good (obvs mostly automotive rather than bike-focused but there is a torque wrench and T-handle Torx and Hex sets). Very high quality engagement with fasteners and a lifetime guarantee which actually works, no questions asked. The full set of T-handle hex keys is about the same as a single one from Feedback, Wera, or Park.

https://www.halfords.com/tools/hand-tools/tool-kits/halfords-advanced-7-...

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

Shame they don't do a ratchet on the open end like these bad boys

https://www.sjtools.co.uk/ratchet-spanners/crescent-x6-open-end-ratcheting-spanner-set-7-piece/

Avatar
Cugel | 1 year ago
2 likes

This variety of Wera spanners is certainly showing the usual Wera features of inherent quality and innovative, genuinely-useful design functions. However, few bikes have more than one or two sizes of nut or bolt head so you really don't need a full set or even a set of four, especially given the price.

Another Wera Joker set is probably even more innovative, useful adaptable and versatile: the self-setting (of the jaw-gap) variety:

https://products.wera.de/en/joker_6004_joker_self-setting_adjustable_spa...

Again, you could probably get away with just one or two at most for the nuts and bolts found on bicycles. Their great virtues are: their self-setting on nuts of any size within their self-adjusting range: their ability to act as ratcheting spanners with no need to take the spanner off the nut to get it into position for the next turn.

If you wait for the reduced price that often appears on the likes of Amazon or other on-line sellers, a set of four (in a case) can be got for just under £100 rather than the usual £140. They are a great replacement for any other adjustable spanners of the traditional kind you might have and will work much better than those traditionals on any job needing a spanner, not just the bicycle jobs.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Cugel | 1 year ago
0 likes

Don't fall for the marketing hype... 🤪😁

Avatar
Dadams7378 replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
0 likes

It's not hype with Wera tools.  They are genuinely high quality, and the reassuring purchase they have is worth its weight in the additional asking price.  Sure, you can buy tools that are a fraction of the price, but when you're rounding out a bolt because of rubbish tolerances and materials or cursing because you can't loosen a seized fastener, you'll regret not spending the extra.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Dadams7378 | 1 year ago
1 like

I know this, they're excellent from what I've seen and read. I'm not averse to a lovely tool, although for my workshop, I've gone down the blue route. There's definitely space in there though for some Wera stuff.

It's just that pretty much most other contributions from Cugel here regarding products, services or technologies that don't align with their own opinions and experience are run down and described (not without a small degree of pomposity) as some part of a global conspiracy by the advertising industry to fool everyone into parting with cash for stuff they don't need. 

Avatar
Cugel replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
0 likes

mark1a wrote:

I know this, they're excellent from what I've seen and read. I'm not averse to a lovely tool, although for my workshop, I've gone down the blue route. There's definitely space in there though for some Wera stuff.

It's just that pretty much most other contributions from Cugel here regarding products, services or technologies that don't align with their own opinions and experience are run down and described (not without a small degree of pomposity) as some part of a global conspiracy by the advertising industry to fool everyone into parting with cash for stuff they don't need. 

The Trick is to (pompously or otherwise) develop the mental means to differentiate hyperbole, pure PR, spin, BS and similar stuff from the less mendacious descriptions and actual attributes of stuff. In this post-modern world, fellows without a large and sensitive scepticism are doomed to fall for all sorts of recruiting exercises, to all sorts of damaging beliefs and behaviours .... and not just the ones of over-consumption of landfill fodder with a prettty label offered via a website striptease of its glamour-coat.

How to make this differentiation, though? It's no easy matter and, in the end, you have to buy & try. In a lifetime of tool-buying (hundreds of woodworking and various other tools for DIY plumbing, electrics, carpentry, tiling, painting et al) I discovered that there is some value in the aphorism that "you get what you pay for". The only difficulty is then making sure that what you're getting is not just a glamour-label but rather a truly high-functioning and long-lasting thing.

Many poor tools have conned me out of my hard-earned quids. These experiences increase one's sensitivity to spivery.

*******

By the way, if by "the blue route" you mean Park Tools then .... you've been conned!   1 Cheaply made  and barely adequate stuff available for 1/3rd of the price elsewhere for the exact same thing without the blue coating. Of course, if that GCN use them ...... 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Cugel | 1 year ago
1 like

Cugel wrote:

mark1a wrote:

I know this, they're excellent from what I've seen and read. I'm not averse to a lovely tool, although for my workshop, I've gone down the blue route. There's definitely space in there though for some Wera stuff.

It's just that pretty much most other contributions from Cugel here regarding products, services or technologies that don't align with their own opinions and experience are run down and described (not without a small degree of pomposity) as some part of a global conspiracy by the advertising industry to fool everyone into parting with cash for stuff they don't need. 

The Trick is to (pompously or otherwise) develop the mental means to differentiate hyperbole, pure PR, spin, BS and similar stuff from the less mendacious descriptions and actual attributes of stuff. In this post-modern world, fellows without a large and sensitive scepticism are doomed to fall for all sorts of recruiting exercises, to all sorts of damaging beliefs and behaviours .... and not just the ones of over-consumption of landfill fodder with a prettty label offered via a website striptease of its glamour-coat.

How to make this differentiation, though? It's no easy matter and, in the end, you have to buy & try. In a lifetime of tool-buying (hundreds of woodworking and various other tools for DIY plumbing, electrics, carpentry, tiling, painting et al) I discovered that there is some value in the aphorism that "you get what you pay for". The only difficulty is then making sure that what you're getting is not just a glamour-label but rather a truly high-functioning and long-lasting thing.

Many poor tools have conned me out of my hard-earned quids. These experiences increase one's sensitivity to spivery.

*******

By the way, if by "the blue route" you mean Park Tools then .... you've been conned!   1 Cheaply made  and barely adequate stuff available for 1/3rd of the price elsewhere for the exact same thing without the blue coating. Of course, if that GCN use them ...... 

I rest my case...

Avatar
quiff replied to Cugel | 1 year ago
0 likes

TL;DR - "you have to buy & try"

Avatar
Cugel replied to quiff | 1 year ago
0 likes

quiff wrote:

TL;DR - "you have to buy & try"

A short little attention span is the bane of post-modern life, eh? Folk think a tweet means something other than the noise it makes! 

Also, any attempt to stop me woffling on & on & on & on & ..... I regard as a crime! (There is no punishment, though).

Avatar
quiff replied to Cugel | 1 year ago
1 like

It's just that, having read your post in its entirety, what started with the suggestion of having special faculties to discern quality products actually turned (eventually, and disappointingly) into "you have to buy it and try it, and I've been conned too"

Avatar
Cugel replied to quiff | 1 year ago
0 likes

quiff wrote:

It's just that, having read your post in its entirety, what started with the suggestion of having special faculties to discern quality products actually turned (eventually, and disappointingly) into "you have to buy it and try it, and I've been conned too"

Despite appearances, even I yam just another bog-standard human: flawed to the core. However, even rotters like me can learn through experience, which does unfortunately have to include the "making mistakes" variety.

However, some folk learn from experience and others .... don't. My own theory as to why this strange cleft comes about is that some folk remain able to recognise and live in what's left of reality whilst others are now entirely constructed by the mass media so inhabit a pretend world where whatever they read in some glossy brochure is true because of the gloss, no matter how many pieces of gloss-dross they've bought then thrown into the landfill.

Tools painted blue are "good", for example, in glossworld.  Everryone sensible knows that only the green & black ones will do.  1

Avatar
mark1a replied to Cugel | 1 year ago
1 like

Cugel wrote:

Also, any attempt to stop me woffling on & on & on & on & ..... I regard as a crime! (There is no punishment, though).

It's not so much the waffle (feel free to be as verbose as you like), I'm often guilty of this myself. It's the constant delusional ranting of global conspiracies by the advertising industry and that everyone else except you has been done by "the man", is getting a bit tedious. You're not crediting people with the ability to make wise decisions, when in reality this is real life. Reading your posts, I honestly don't know how I made it this far in life without the ever present danger of being done by a shiny thing on an advert.

Avatar
Cugel replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
0 likes

mark1a wrote:

Cugel wrote:

Also, any attempt to stop me woffling on & on & on & on & ..... I regard as a crime! (There is no punishment, though).

 Reading your posts, I honestly don't know how I made it this far in life without the ever present danger of being done by a shiny thing on an advert.

I know!  Me neither. But one day you may learn to spot the hyperbole and glamour spells, especially if you keep reading my superb posts.  1

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