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My Moen kitchen faucet has an aerator that none of the standard aerator keys seem to fit. I've attached a picture of it below. Maybe Moen did this purposefully to make people need to replace the whole faucet head every time.

Moen aerator

Looking at this YouTube video, How to remove a Moen kitchen faucet aerator, an Allen key is used between 2 of the aerator slots. However, on my faucet, the aerator is more protruding, making it not possible to put an object between the 2 slots.

I've tried to use needle nose pliers, but the nose on the pliers are not small enough to fit into the aerator slots. I've also tried to use 2 small flat nosed screwdrivers, but the aerator is on too tight for that to work.

As mentioned, all the standard aerator keys won't fit this. I did find 2 items that MIGHT be able to work, and from reading the reviews, it seems at least 1 person for each item has been able to use it to remove a Moen aerator:

Item 1 Item 2

Before I try these though, just wanted to see if anyone else had success using any other method to remove an aerator like this. Otherwise, I'll just buy them and try my luck. Thank you.

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    "Needle nose" pliers come with varying degrees of "needleness". You may want to try to find a pair that are more "needle" than the ones you've got. Consider looking at hobby shops, as modelers tend to work with much smaller objects than do mechanics or 'round-the-house-DIYers and, therefore, smaller tools are made for them.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 6, 2021 at 12:13
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    I recently installed a Moen bathroom sink faucet. The key for that is round plastic with tabs to turn. You might be able to create one with a piece of PVC pipe the same diameter.
    – Evil Elf
    Jul 6, 2021 at 12:15

4 Answers 4

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It's interesting that the aerator removal tools in the two Amazon links both are shown used with what I'll call "external aerators" -- the type which are held in place by a fully visible retainer ring. I've never used a pin wrench type tool to remove this kind; I've always just grabbed the outside of the thing with my hand or with pliers if necessary. The finish of the retainer ring can be protected from marring by the wrench by wrapping it with a bit of cloth, leather, thick plastic, etc.

If your faucet has an "internal aerator" like the one shown in the linked YouTube video, in which the entire aerator is recessed into the head of the faucet, then clearly gripping it from the exterior is not an option.

If you have a snap ring pliers maybe it'll be able to span the distance and engage its pins into the holes in your aerator. These pliers aren't designed for twisting though so there's a risk of damaging the pliers. If you apply the twisting torque near the tip of the pliers rather than at the handle it may minimize that risk.

Another possibility is to use a flat blade screw driver and hammer. Hold the faucet head securely. Hold the flat blade screwdriver with its tip in one of the holes. Angle the screwdriver so that when it is tapped with the hammer it pushes the aerator to unscrew it. This technique can damage (mar) the part so I suggest resorting to this only if other options fail and the only alternative is full replacement.

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On another forum, it was mentioned that the aerator has 2 flatter ends, for which an 8" needle nose pliers should be able to use to remove the aerator. I did notice the flatter ends after that was mentione it. I attempted to use needle nose pliers as well as an adjustable wrench, but it was slipping a bit on the plastic and I didn't want to risk damaging the aerator.

What I ended up doing was ordering one of the tools from Amazon that I had mentioned in my original post.

​https://www.amazon.com/Brass-015425-45-Dual-Aerator-Key/dp/B00DVSJD5Q​​​

It arrived in a day, and easily allowed me to remove the aerator. After cleaning everything off inside and outside, the faucet head works like new again.

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I had this exact same question earlier this morning! While rummaging through my toolbox, I found something that worked perfectly for this. Here is a link to the tool I used:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M31LE5D

After removal and dunking the black plastic part in vinegar to clear out all the calcium/etc., I noticed that two of the opposite edges of the 'outer circle' (with the four notches at 90 degree marks) are actually straight. If you look closely in your photo above, you can see that as well. Focus on the edges running parallel to the NW-SE line. So in theory, carefully using an adjustable wrench might do the trick. However, I still think my tool was the safer choice for me, since an adjustable wrench has too much power and one could inadvertently crush the plastic.

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Use a Romex staple. Clip the points off of each side of the staple (may need to file to narrow the diameter of the staples wire so it fits into the aerators slot).

Spread the ends of the staple as needed for width.

Grab the staple with needle nosed vise grips (other vise grips may work as long as their jaws are wider than the width needed for the staple) low down on the staple leaving approximately 1/4" of staple exposed.

Fit into aerator slot and turn. Mine came off easily.

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