Finding the best torque wrench isn’t easy. If you don’t want to end up buying the wrong one, which will lead to frustration, you must know what you’re looking for. Check out this guide. We’ll help you pick the right one based on specific considerations you’ll discover in the next sections. We’ve also highlighted the top picks on the web that you may want to consider for yourself.
What are torque wrenches? Why you need it!
How Does a Torque Wrench Work? That’s a good question. First of all, a torque wrench is a tool used in applying a particular torque amount. In general, it’s a socket wrench coming with a unique internal mechanism. It’s for auto mechanics and active workers looking for a tool that lets them apply a torque amount.
However, it works depending on the device type used. For example, models with handles can be twisted for a specific pressure amount. When the torque is applied, the tool will click upon reaching the desired level of torque, according to a QUORA user.
Type of Torque Wrenches
Beam Torque Wrench
The pointer beam is connected to the head of the wrench for this kind. Its beam will stay in position when the wrench is in applying torque, while the wrench’s scale beneath the pointer will show the torque amount applied. It is a fundamental style with one handle and two beams. Usually, this type also has a gauge, displaying the force applied to a bolt.
Smaller models are recommended if you’re hanging out with friends using the device. They take up less space in your bag. On the other hand, a bigger torch is a better choice if it will be a home torch.
Click Torque Wrench
This type of torque wrench is for fastening a nut or a bolt, which needs a torque applied. Common is a socket wrench, which was used by the New York City water department in 1918. When the bolt’s tightness is essential, this tool is indispensable. But to work correctly, the specific bolt should match specifications. This device has a clutch that looks like that of a socket wrench, allowing users to set it to the appropriate setting. It is only able to apply force amount while you’re working. Sometimes its mechanism is incorporated with other wrench styles.
Dial Torque Wrench
It is another essential wrench for measuring torque, according to mountztorque.com. The tool can provide quality control related to the checking and monitoring torque. It is for testing, verifying and auditing a joint’s torque. This device also has a memory pointer, allowing it to capture the end torque applied to a fastener. High-quality dial types have fine and memory pointers for accurate readings as well as a built-in ratchet mechanism.
Electronics with Digital Torque Wrench
This torque wrench works well for every day’s fastening applications in a workshop or an industrial environment. The device has a great technological design, coming with a digital reading for no guesswork results. It also comes with sensory, acoustic and visual signals, providing alerts when you got the desired torque. The tool is easy for beginners because it shows real-time values. You may opt for it for automotive, aircraft, electronics and industrial applications.
Using a torque wrench, you will achieve precision and accuracy in your daily tasks. This tool is essential in ensuring product quality, reliability, and safety. Newer torque wrenches come with a digital LED readout display, while some have memory, saving the level used in every item. It also lets you keep the information to your computer for reference later.
Things To Look For Before Purchasing
Torque Wrench Sizes / Square Drive
Choosing a torque wrench, you should find one with an excellent and stable finish because it affects the durability of the device. You must also pick the right size especially if you don’t need a large type. It is a different case when working with large trucks, which may require a larger model. On the other hand, a motorcycle or car torque wrench, which is smaller, may be more appropriate for you.
Use it when dealing with shorter bolts and nuts, relevant for automotive works requiring from 50 to 250-inch pounds or four to 21 foot-pounds. You may need it for little screws and bolts to tighten when working with a motorcycle or car.
It is what you need for most tightening tasks. The range is from 15- and 75-foot lbs. With the drive size, you can work on most types of bolts and nuts in many light trucks or cars. It is also the most versatile of all drive sizes, according to the pros, even if it won’t cover everything.
You need is for larger-sized bolts and nuts, especially relevant in engine mounts, suspension, and transmission mounts. Any may need this drive size to apply torque correctly, according to which car you have. It is ideal for automotive work and ranges from 30- and 250-foot lbs. The drive size is most suitable for you if you’re dealing with suspension work most of the time.
This drive size is called the monster size for trucks and automotive jobs. You need it for specialized applications, including center lug wheels. Sometimes, users need it, so you need to determine if you would also require this size
Makers don’t reveal much of this information on their products. That is why you need to compare and check out the list we have provided in this guide. You will be able to determine which torque wrench is fit for the job you’ll need it for daily.
The best torque wrench will offer a precise measurement system, such as foot-pounds and Newton meters. It may also be a digital type that has a LED readout display; others have additional features. The tool also offers plenty of timesaving for the busy repairperson or worker. It can also promote safety, reliability and performance. In all cases, you must look for one that’s easy to adjust and read.
It an essential feature to look for a torque wrench. You won’t want to be using one that slips when your hands are wet with engine fluid or oil. Avoid a torque wrench with a poor gripping material, or you will feel frustrated using it.
Our Top 10 Best Torque Wrench Reviews
1. TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
Users can depend on the best torque wrench under 100 regarding functions and features. The TEKTON 24340 delivers the job with superior precision and accuracy you might not be able to find in other torque wrenches on the market. While it’s functional and user-friendly, it won’t punch a deep hole in your pocket because it’s less than a hundred bucks.
Small but terrible, the tool offers a range of 25 and 250-foot-lbs, converting up to 339.0 N-m, especially relevant for mechanics working and thinking in metric units. It is versatile enough for use in trucks and cars. Works like on suspensions and lug bolts or replacing brakes are made simple with it. The device is also lightweight and handy at 6.5 lbs and 26 inches. Best of all, it is accurate and calibrated perfectly at +/- 4%, which is a good accuracy rating, especially for wrenching a car. Get the torque wrench for car today!!
2. Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque
One of the best-reviewed torque wrenches on the market, the Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH is an innovative, but more expensive model out there. It is durable and high quality and is for those who mean serious business from their investments.
The device is heavy-duty with a solid construction. Plus, it is mostly of steel composition and with a torque foot lbs capacity or rating from 30- and 250-foot-pounds. Strength is also adjustable through the dual-calibrated scale. Users can also make use of the quick release button if they need to replace out their desired socket size without any hassles.
Finally, the Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH is US-made. Check out this torque wrench for motorcycle and cars today!
3. ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2″ Digital Torque Wrench
Are you looking for the best digital torque wrench? The AC Delco ARM601-4 is what you’re looking for regarding no guesswork use and applications. It is digital and effortless to read with an LCD readout that has a complete set of buttons to choose desired foot-pound or Newton Meter setting. The screen displays values in real time, so you don’t have to do it manually yourself. However, take note that the ARM601-4 is delicate (its electronics parts) than another standard cheaper torque wrenches.
This torque range is perfect for smaller jobs because its torque capacity is only from four feet pounds up to 99 feet-pounds. Overall, it is handy and reliable and has a length of 17 inches and weight of four pounds. It runs in four pieces of AAA batteries. Batteries are not included in the purchase. You may want to use this torque wrench for bikes for everyday repair and maintenance tasks.
4. Pittsburgh Pro 239 Professional Drive
The Pittsburgh Pro 239 is one of the most affordable units around and is an ideal torque wrench for starters. It is a non-professional grade, suitable for hobbyists and beginners. Its rating is ranging from 20-ft pounds up to 150-ft pounds.
It is easy to use, as you will hear a sound to indicate that you have reached the desired torque. It is compact and handy at only around 18 inches in length. While it is not the most powerful around, it is quite dependable for its price tag. You may want to opt for it for smaller tasks and daily automotive works.
5. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2″ Drive
It is easy to use torque wrench although bigger at a ½-inch drive. You can rely on it for most tasks because it has the latest innovation for reliable precision. Most users revealed its max accuracy, taking out any guesswork from their task. This device does not also require force tonne to fasten or tighten things.
It does not also need any recalibration from time to time, so you can use it as-is when recalibrating it. The wrench also comes with an adjustment knob that gets rid of the spring tension, providing you with easy adjustment all the time. Finally, efficiency and speed are what makes this a top wrench to choose for all types of jobs.
6. Park Tool Ratcheting Click Type Torque Wrench
The Park Tool click-type wrench is a premium device for our daily tasks. It is an essential device in any toolbox. You can always rely on it for the job because it is easy to use. The device is a click type model that accurately applies and measures torque amount to any component of threaded fasteners. It is ideal for most uses with its ratcheting 3/8 inch drive and up to 14 Newton-meter range or up to 124-inch pounds.
The product is handy at 22.9 centimeters or nine inches in length. You will not have a problem using it because of its accuracy calibration with a rating of +/- 4%, which is quite a standard. For Nm, it offers 0.4 Nm increments and can register for both the right hand and left-hand threading.
7. GearWrench 85060 1/4″ Drive Micrometer
The GearWrench 85060 micrometer torque wrench offers 1/4-inch drive. It comes with a sealed teardrop head, which can provide you with access and strength all the time. The head also resists dirt to keep your device safe. This torque wrench model is calibrated with a rating of +/- 3% accuracy in a clockwise direction, coming from a 20% to 100% scale.
For a comfortable grip, the product has an anodized aluminum handle (knurled). It has a center point on its handle, which has markings for precision. For extreme visibility and durability, the device is made with a stamped scale on its thimble collar and beam. The product is also tested to last for many years with its high-quality components.
8. Neiko 03713A 3/8″ Drive Adjustable
This model is an adjustable torque wrench, with a 3/8 inch drive and rating ranging from 5 and 80-ft-pounds (or up to 108.5 Nm). You can depend on for its dual-range precision measurement so that you can think in both Nm and foot-pounds.
The product is also easy to use, and no guesswork involved because it has an audible click that indicates when you achieved the desired torque value. That said users wouldn’t have to check or guess if needing another material for measuring because the device has a dual range precision. Lastly, the Neiko 03713A is pre-calibrated for accuracy at +/- 4%, so it is ready to use.
9. Gorilla Automotive TW605 Torque Wrench
You will find the Gorilla Automotive TW605 as one of the top-rated products online regarding automotive torque wrenches. It is a 1/2-inch drive, which is versatile enough for most fastening or tightening tasks. You will achieve superior precision using it for its accuracy calibration.
The product is also reliable for its high-quality components that make it a long-lasting tool for every handyman around. This device is ideal both for personal or professional use, although may not be as affordable as other models out there.
It is also heavy-duty because it is made of hardened steel and has a chrome plate finishing. The Gorilla Automotive TW605 also includes an extension bar of five inches, a 3/8 adapter x ½-inch, plus a thermoform case. However, it reads only one range “foot lbs,” but it is good enough for torque capacity of between 20 and 150 ft-lbs. Lastly, it’s handy at four pounds and 18.25 inches.
10. Craftsman 9-13919 25-250 ft lbs 1/2″ Drive
The Craftsman digital torque wrench must be included on this list because it is one of the best around. This product garners top reviews from users and critics online and has a set of remarkable features. It has a high torque rating ranging from 25 and 250 feet lbs and has a real-time reading display for its LED-backlit digital screen.
Even in low lighting, users can read and check out the current reading without any hassles and errors. The measurements are available in ½-inch increments. This device can convert torque from feet lbs into inches lbs using only one touch of a button. Finally, it is easy to use and has controllable settings using a press of a button, ideal for beginners.
How To Use Torque Wrench For Beginners
Aside from finding the best torque wrench for the money, know how to use it. Learn how to set a torque wrench and refer to the section “how does a torque wrench work” before using one. You also have to learn how to calibrate a torque wrench if what you bought isn’t pre-calibrated. Adjust the tool based on the setting listed by the maker. Do not use the tool as a breaker bar, or you will damage the mechanism. Avoid dropping it, especially the digital ones with electronic components, as they are quite sensitive. Overall, you need to consult the maker’s guide or manual when using it for the first time.
From these sources, you will find more tips and instructions.
Maintenance and Calibration
Buying a torque wrench may be easier than to keep it on top shape. That is why we recommend that you also learn how to calibrate and maintain this sensitive device from time to time. Most of the time, you may need to calibrate it after a year or for every 5,000 uses. Or else, you will not achieve accuracy if you don’t re-calibrate/maintain it. Refer to the manual of your device for the complete instructions on how it must be recalibrated.
Choosing the Torque Wrench Tool for the Job
It is always a great idea to find the right tool wrench for the job! In the process, you will avoid any problems when using one for motorbikes, bicycles, cars or even trucks. Check out the following for a guide.
It is ideal for light works, as it ranges between 15- and 75-foot-pounds. The tool will work for oil drain plugs, spark plugs as well as valve cover bolts, or other fasteners. It works for day-to-day and all-around needs. This torque wrench is for motorbikes. However, choose a higher range of up to 150 ft-lbs for a more massive task. One can work in tightening caliper bolts, lug nuts, and head bolts. In general, it works for most repairs or upgrades for the serious mechanic.
As the range implies, the mid-range torque wrenches are perfect for more significant tasks or complicated assemblies. The type can be ideal for many functions, such as tightening the bolts on the axle bolts, trailer hitch as well as hubs. If you’re working on suspensions and steering, or any other critical assemblies, you may want to opt for the middle-range torque wrench. It is also for you if you’re dealing with light trailers and trucks.
This type is the monster of all, with a range coming from 120 up to 600 ft-lbs. It is what you need in tightening or fastening driveline components or bearings. You should also have it for differentials and transfer casings. Finally, truck mechanics also use it mostly. On the other hand, there are types with up to 1000 ft-lbs – it is for you regarding the most complicated tightening tasks. You may also use it for camshaft sprockets or harmonic balancers, or when working on off-road or racing vehicles.
Other Best Torque Wrenches Brands Are
Aside from the brands and models we’ve highlighted above, there are other brands that you can rely on for the best torque wrenches. We thought it would be useful to list some of them below.
Kobalt torque wrench: The brand is among general mechanics dealing either on light or heavy vehicles. They’re useful for repairs and maintenance, personal, professional or industrial applications. The tools also provide long-lasting precision.
Proto torque wrench: These are precision tools, eliminating the guesswork among users. The brand is known for providing accurate torque measurements, which promote safety and performance. With proper maintenance, their devices are reliable. Most of their torque wrenches are made stronger with high-grade steel, too.
Husky torque wrench: Precision work is made more comfortable and more straightforward with Husky wrenches, which come in different torque capacities, such as that up to 200-inch lbs models. Their tools are innovative with signal mechanisms and protective cases. They are also calibrated for accuracy, such as 3% rating clockwise accuracy.
Matco torque wrench: The brand’s torque wrenches are for every repairperson out there. It is a known maker and distributor of professional repair tools, toolboxes, and diagnostic tools. They have more than 13,000 items on the market.
Angle torque wrench: This type of range is used in both angle rotation and torque force measurement. It helps repair people in most of their tasks, which require a protractor or angle gauge with the wrench. The tool is used for many mechanical purposes when both the defined angle and torque force measurements are needed.
Pneumatic torque wrench: The tool is a gearbox or torque multiplier mated to a pneumatic air motor. At its gearbox’s end, there is a reaction device used in absorbing the torque. It lets the operator use it without much effort required. The output can be adjusted by controlling the air pressure.
The TEKTON 24340 is the best torque wrench of all! It is very affordable at under 100 while delivering most functions and features you’re looking for, including precision measurement reading. It can be used in most tasks with its range from 25- and 250-foot-pounds, which can be converted up to 339.0 N-m. The product is also versatile for its ½-drive system, ideal for both cars and trucks. Also, it can be used for replacing brakes and on lug bolts or suspension systems. The model is perfect for larger sized fastening components and is useful even for transmission mounts. So regarding performance, precision, and quality, there is nothing that beats the TEKTON 24340. Buy it today!