The Pipe Wrench is a powerful melee weapon that deals more damage than the Combat Knife and the Crowbar. The secondary fire will have Shephard to lift the wrench over his head and bring it down with considerable force, which becomes even stronger as the button is held down. This secondary attack can easily crush crates and defeat some opponents. On the downside, however, the power of the pipe wrench is compromised by the slow speed of its attack, and a missed secondary attack can leave the player vulnerable to counterattack.
While useful in the first levels, it loses its importance in later stages, due to the quantity of enemies wielding ranged weaponry and the Combat Knife's faster attack speed. It can still be used in later levels to silently kill Black Ops with a well-placed secondary attack, though, and a skilled player can dispatch entire squads before they notice them.