Last updated on June 29th, 2019 at 09:46 am
A torque wrench is an indispensable tool for any professional mechanic. To put it simply, a torque wrench allows you to apply a specific amount of torque to a nut or bolt, which is essential when any detailed, precise mechanical work is being done. Additionally, this tool can help you tighten a bolt beyond what you could do with an ordinary wrench or screwdriver because of the specialized grip and increased momentum. When it comes to finding the best torque wrench, the main problem is that there are hundreds of excellent wrenches to choose from. Therefore, to make things easier, we‘ve put together a list of top-notch torque wrenches that you might want to take a closer look at.
Find the Best Torque Wrench for Your Bolt-Tightening Needs
To be the best, a tool needs to fulfill many different specifications and qualities (all of which will be explained and elaborated on further in this post). But for now let’s take a look at 16 examples of high-quality torque wrenches; just to give you a better idea of what you may need.
Tekton 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
One of the most annoying drawbacks of many otherwise fine torque wrenches is the small size of the measurements indicator: If you want to make a precise adjustment, the scale has to be easily visible. The Tekton 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench takes care of this perfectly with its high-contrast dual range scale. So, you will always know what kind of torque you’re applying. The ratchet head drives are reversible (they can go in both directions), and the construction is made entirely of steel for maximum durability. This torque wrench can be obtained at bargain prices with one of Lowe’s promo codes.
Pittsburgh Pro 239 Professional Drive Click Stop Torque Wrench
With a torque range from 20 to 150 foot-pounds, the Pittsburgh Pro 239 is the go-to wrench for adjustments of all sizes. The wrench weighs just a little over four pounds, so it‘s easy to carry around. Additionally, as with the Tekton, the head drives are fully reversible. If the retailer is to be trusted, the accuracy/margin of relative error has been brought down to 4%, which is sufficiently accurate for torque wrench standards.
Gorilla Automotive TW605 Torque Wrench
One of the most sought-after traits of any tool is its durability. You don‘t want to have to replace a torque wrench after a hundred turns. Which is why the TW605 is built to last a lifetime. The lug wrench adaptors are made out of vanadium steel for superior hardness, and a thin wall design around the wheels make for easy latch-on action at all times. Since this item is in high-demand, get it now at a bargain price by using one of Amazon deals.
Neiko 03713A 3/8-Inch Adjustable Torque Wrench
The Neiko 03713A is easy to use, takes the guesswork out of ratcheting applications and allows for superior torque precision between 5 and 80 foot-pounds. The level of torque is adjusted by rotating the grip with the desired level of torque indicated on the shaft of the wrench. The gradient etched into the grip itself enables you to make micrometer adjustments for pinpoint movements. Also, a knob on the wrench can lock the tension in when you‘re satisfied with it. Finally, the wrench is made out of drop forged chrome vanadium steel, meaning that this tool is built to stand the test of time.
Precision Instruments 1/2-Inch Split-Beam Click-Type Torque Wrench C3FR250F
This best rated torque wrench from Precision Instruments is a bit on the pricier side, but the extra functionality it provides is well worth the price. The ergonomic grip makes the wrench easy to handle without having to use a lot of force, and the adjustment knob eliminates any excess spring tension, so setting torque is a breeze. Like the previous one, this is a micrometer wrench that you can use to make fine torque adjustments with relative ease. Using eBay deals when purchasing this item will get you a fantastic price while keeping the item’s quality in-tact.
CDI 1002MFRPH 3/8-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
With a torque range from 10 to 100 foot-pounds, this wrench can be used for both fine and coarse adjustments. The laser-marked scale makes the numbers easy to make out even in low light conditions, and the wrench is calibrated in dual direction. The wrench features a set of quick release buttons, which give you good socket retention, as well as an easy socket removal, making this wrench super easy to use without having to apply a lot of force in any aspect of its handling. This model is quite on the expensive side though. See if Groupon offers additional promo codes for your preferred retailer of this torque wrench.
TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This wrench uses an ingenious mechanism to let you know when the desired torque has been reached. When you hear a click from inside the handle, that‘s when you know you should stop turning. It‘s a straightforward and yet effective mechanism that allows for great precision without having to feel it out yourself. If you need an accurate, durable tool that won’t break the bank, this is probably the best torque wrench under 100 dollars. The construction is 100% steel, making the wrench durable and long lasting. Additionally, the 4% accuracy makes sure that your adjustments will always be precise.
ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2-Inch Digital Torque Wrench
The ACDelco ARM601 includes a screen that displays the amount of torque currently applied. To power this system, the wrench runs on four AAA batteries, which go inside the handle of the unit. The ergonomic soft grip makes sure that handling this wrench is a breeze, and the general torque range is between 3 and 99 foot-pounds. Taking all of this into consideration, this is possibly the best digital torque wrench under $200.
Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
This wrench features a torque range from 30 to 250 foot-pounds, a dual scale, calibrated dual direction, and a positive lock with a spring-loaded lock ring. The laser-marked scale is easy to read, making this wrench accurate and fast. The CDI is sold under a limited warranty, which means that the manufacturer guarantees it is free of defects. However, you‘re entitled to a full refund or replacement if anything goes wrong with it. Furthermore, Home Depot coupons can give you additional discounts on this model, which is great considering the fact that it’s the most expensive item on our list.
CRAFTSMAN 9-31425 Micro-Clicker Torque Wrench 1/2-Inch Drive
The Micro-Clicker includes a twist ring with lock/unlock settings, which makes it simple to lock your wrench when you reach the desired torque. The scale is stamped into the housing and displays the torque settings currently applied to the wrench. Like most units in this price range, the theoretical accuracy of the wrench is 4% so that you can get laser-precise with your adjustments.
Neiko 00206A 1/2-Inch
This unit is built with a forged and heat-treated chrome-moly drive head for greater strength and durability. Neiko has a 180-degree range of motion, so accessing and loosening hard to reach nuts and bolts won’t be a problem. A spring load ball bearing holds the sockets down tightly and securely with no chance of it slipping off, even under large amounts of force.
Mountain 16250 1/2-inch Drive Torque Wrench
The Mountain 16250‘s handle length is approximately 25 inches, making it the ideal tool for tight spaces. This tool comes with a blow-molded storage case, which you can use to put it away when you aren‘t using it so that it doesn’t get damaged. The torque range goes from 25 to 250 foot-pounds, which is good enough for even the tightest of adjustments.
Brown Line Metalworks BLD0212BM Digital Torque Wrench
Next, we have Brown Line torque wrench. It has a soft mold on the handle that offers a comfortable, non-slip grip. It also makes the wrench resistant against all sorts of corrosive garage fluids that might come into contact with it during operation.
The digital display provides precise visual feedback about the target torque. Additionally, a buzzer will go off when you have reached the desired torque. Brown Line Metalworks is possibly one of the best manufacturers of digital wrenches on the market. So, if you are looking for, let’s say, the best 3/8 digital torque wrench, BLM is probably the first place you should look.
Venzo Bicycle Torque Wrench Allen Key Tool Socket Set Kit
Venzo is a company known for making quality bicycle components. So, naturally, they offer a few quality tools for maintaining those components as well. This torque wrench is definitely one of them. Venzo’s torque wrench is specifically created to make precise adjustments to the various bicycle nuts and bolts. The tolerance/accuracy, as with most of the models on this list, is 4%, and the torque range is 1 to 17 foot-pounds, making this a highly accurate tool.
FWE 5Nm Torque Wrench
Like the previous model, this FWE torque wrench is designed to be used primarily on bicycles. This means the torque range is smaller and therefore more precise. Bicycle components are usually limited to around 3.5 foot-pounds, so that is the FWE’s limit as well. The wrench comes with 4, 5, and 6-millimeter sockets, making it ideal for home use, or even to take it on the road in case something goes wrong with your bike. All of the above makes the FWE the best torque wrench bike tool you can find in this price range.
Park Tool TW6.2 Ratcheting Torque Wrench
The TW6.2 wrench is Adjustable in 0.25 Nm increments, which makes it easy to use even if you are a newbie. The dial-adjust system on the wrench allows you to set the desired torque, and after that, the wrench is ready to use. The 14.25″ length means reaching into tight spaces won’t present a challenge at all On the other hand, its compact size means that it‘s easy to carry around. This is possibly the best torque wrench for motorcycles and bikes, just because of this fact. So, if that’s what you need a wrench for, then definitely check this one out. Also, make sure to check ProBikeKit coupons and Backcountry promo codes for this model because they offer deals for this manufacturer.
Best Torque Wrenches
What makes the best torque wrench?
Now that you have some ideas about products that are worth checking out, let‘s discuss some of the terms we‘ve repeatedly used in product descriptions, and why these terms are what you should look at when choosing to buy the best torque wrench. 2018 is finally here, so it’s high time to get your hands on some fantastic tools!
Generally, there are three types of torque wrenches: click, electronic, and beam. The main difference is the way they let you know that the desired torque has been reached. Click wrenches, sound off a loud clicking noise when you are at the torque limit. Electronic wrenches display a prompt on a digital screen. Finally, with beam wrenches, a beam flexes against the visual indicator gauge to show you what torque is being applied in real time. Of the three, the beam type is the oldest, cheapest, and the least reliable one.
The size of the wrench matters! The longer the wrench is, the easier it will be to reach into tight spaces. Since it‘s standard that nuts and bolts are hard to reach, the length of the wrench should be your number one concern. The downside is that big wrenches are bulky and take up a lot of space. For example, even though motorcycle riders could use a long torque wrench while on the road, they usually carry a smaller one because they can’t fit anything larger in their storage department.
Head size options
There are four universal head sizes: 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, 3/4 inch, and 3/8 inch. If you already have some wrench heads lying around, it is critical that you get a wrench that they can fit on. This might not be a big deal if you plan to buy new heads, but it’s still something worth considering.
This one should be your primary concern. First and foremost, the best torque wrench is an accurate torque wrench. Over-torquing or under-torquing a nut or bolt can have disastrous consequences; either everything falls apart, or you’ll over-tighten a nut and break it (very easy to do when you are using a torque wrench).
Fortunately, most wrenches have a scale so that you can set the maximum torque. However, you can still go overboard if you’re not careful, especially if you don’t know how much torque you are applying. Getting a torque wrench with 4-5% accuracy is sufficient, so that’s what you should aim for. You don’t have to get the most accurate torque wrench on the market, but it pays to know how much force you’re applying when using your tools.
A torque wrench is a tool that applies a lot of force. Because of Newton’s third law of mechanics, that means that a lot of force is also being applied back on to it. A poorly constructed torque wrench with many plastic parts won’t be able to withstand this kind of pressure; at least not for very long. So, put some time into finding a wrench that is 100% metal; it will last a lot longer. After all, you know what they say – buy it nice, or buy it twice.
Finally, all of the characteristics mentioned above will impact the cost of your torque wrench – something you want to keep in mind when looking for the best torque wrench for the money. They usually go from as little as $30 to as much as $200. However, how much you are going to spend depends on your specific needs.
If you ask us, you should stay away from the dirt-cheap wrenches because you don’t want to get yourself a tool that will break after a week of use. Even the best inexpensive torque wrench probably won’t last you as long if you don’t take proper care of it. So, spend some more money and get something that will last a while, without you having to babysit it. Try finding the more expensive ones on a discount. AliExpress deals are very good when it comes to some of the wrenches we’ve talked about.
Go on, get yourself a torque wrench!
No matter how good you are at fixing things if you don’t have the right tool your skill isn’t going to take you very far. Taking care of your tools is very important, and proper care starts with a correct purchase. Hopefully, we helped you pick the best torque wrench for your particular needs. Just remember that as long as it’s made entirely of metal, has a sufficient accuracy rating, and a size that you’re comfortable with, it’s the right one for you. Good luck!