Garbage Disposal Wrench (What is it, Types, How to use)

A garbage disposal wrench is a tool that’s used to unjam a clogged disposal unit.

This wrench helps to turn the disposal in to and fro directions to dislodge any clogs that stop the disposal from working.

Without a wrench, it is practically impossible to manually rotate the turntable of disposal units. Some people use broom handles but spending a few bucks on a tool specially designed for this is much a better choice.

Garbage Disposal Wrench

There are basically two types of garbage disposal wrenches;

  1. Allen wrench
  2. Garbage disposal wrench (they don’t have another name)

1. Allen wrench

Jam buster wrench

Allen wrench, also called hex wrench, are commonly available. They have many practical applications other than unclogging a disposal unit so they are pretty common everywhere.

Sometimes these are included with the garbage disposal unit you purchase. But not all brands do that.

How to use an Allen Wrench to unjam a disposal?

Most garbage disposal units come with a hex hole on their bottom side. Connected with this hexagonal hole is a shaft that directly connects with the turntable/shredder plate of the disposal unit.

The standard size of the hex hole is 1/4″ so any Allen wrench of that size will fit.

To unjam a disposal unit using an Allen wrench;

  1. Insert the hex key into the hole and slowly rotate it to and fro until you can freely rotate the turntable. This means any clogs in the disposal is dislodged.
  2. Then run some water into the disposal, and switch it ON for a few minutes so any debris in the grinding chamber is removed through the drain pipes.

2. Garbage disposal wrench

Garbage disposal wrench

Check this wrench in amazon

These tools are made specifically to unjam garbage disposals. They do not have any uses elsewhere. So probably that’s why they are called ‘garbage disposal wrench’.

These tools are available in different models but all follow the same design. All of them have a handle, a shaft, and a swivel head at the end that can lock into the shredder plate of disposal units.

These tools are universal ie, you can use them in any disposal unit irrespective of its specification.

How to use a garbage disposal wrench?

Unlike an Allen wrench, a ‘garbage disposal wrench’ is inserted into the grinding chamber of the disposal unit from the top through the sinkhole.

  1. Insert the swivel head of the disposal wrench through the drain hole till it hits the bottom of the disposal.
  2. Turn the wrench slightly so that it locks on to the shredder plate of the unit.
  3. Turn the wrench to and fro to dislodge any debris that jams the shredder plate.
  4. Once the shredder plate starts rotating freely, remove the wrench from the disposal unit.
  5. Keep some cold water running and turn ON the disposal to wash away any debris left in the disposal unit.


As you can see it takes only a few minutes to unjam a disposal using a wrench. Only the Allen wrench is needed in most cases but if the clog is too big you may need to use the specially designed disposal wrench.

Charles John

A few years back I bought a garbage disposal for the first time in my life. And the buying experience wasn't good. There were lots of models in the market, and I was not sure about which one to buy. They all looked the same to me. So once I went through the experience I started this blog to randomly write things about garbage disposals. Then I got really interested in the subject and started to write comparisons of very similar garbage disposals with each other. A lot of my readers find them very useful in making the right buying choice. I hope it helps you too.

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