There are many reasons for owning a torque wrench because these wrenches are quite versatile in nature. As such, you should consider a torque wrench an investment into your own convenience considering how insanely practical these tools are, not just for your car maintenance needs but for pretty much any other task that requires tightening nuts of any size. In principle, decent torque wrenches are designed to be precise and easy to use, which is precisely what you should be looking for if you’re ever in the market for such a tool. To give you some pointers on the matter, we put together a list of the ten best torque wrenches on the market along with a short guide to help you through.
Best Torque Wrenches Of 2019
Stanley Proto Ratcheting Head Micrometer Torque Wrench
This is one of those torque wrenches every professional or handyman should own. It is a high-quality industrial tool that measures in foot-pounds and is an accurate range starting from 20 to 100lbs. In this regard, it is definitely one of the most go-to tools you can find in this price range, which explains its immense popularity. As the name suggests, this wrench features a ratcheting head and can provide you with micrometer increment settings. All things considered, it is perhaps one of the most versatile and practical torque wrenches out there.
Gorilla Automotive TW605 Torque Wrench
This Gorilla automotive wrench has a sturdy construction and is sold at a fairly affordable price. By design, this is a click-style type of wrench with an easily detectable click action. It is rated at 10 up to 150 lbs and includes a 5-inch extension too. Although this wrench works in a clockwise direction only, it does offer good quality and value by most standards, which is great considering that it comes with a full manufacturer’s warranty as well.
Tooluxe Dual Drive Beam Style Torque Wrench
If you are looking for a tool that is perfect for smaller home projects then this torque wrench can do so much work for you. It comes in 17” and 12” sizes and it is designed to be easily adjustable and fairly easy to use. Although this is a very long wrench and thus not ideal for tight spaces, it can be perfect in small projects for tasks that require fewer touches too. Interestingly enough, this wrench can accommodate tasks of up to 150 lbs with minimal risks.
ACDelco Digital Torque Wrench with Buzzer and LED Flash
The ACDelco digital torque wrench is definitely an ideal choice for people who want an accurate plus user-friendly torque wrench. This particular wrench works similarly to click torque wrenches, in the sense that the user also sets the desired value using buttons and in an LCD display. The torque range is starting to 10 up to 99 lbs, plus this is definitely the ideal torque wrench to use for home wrenching, although it might not be so useful to be used in industrial applications. Also interesting is that it can be used in both a 2% clockwise and 3% counterclockwise direction.
GearWrench Micrometer Torque Wrench
With this ingenious micrometer torque wrench, you get a tool that can be adjusted in impressively small increments. What’s interesting about it is that it can handle tasks between 30 to 250 ft/lbs, more than enough for any reasonable task you might need it to handle. At the same time, we should point out that it is accurate in a clockwise direction within +/- 3% standards on a 20% to 100% full scale. Not just that but you will also find it rather easy to handle thanks to its ingenious construction.
CDI Torque Drive Memory Needle Dial Torque Wrench
The CDI needle dial torque wrench is made by Snap-On tools which are known for producing the best wrenches in the industry. However, this type of torque wrench may not appear to be as a fool-proof kind of wrench unlike the click-style versions but it has a number of advantages that it can offer instead. Rather than listening for a click, the user will have to be attentive on the built-in dial when using it to a nut or bolt. But don’t worry because the torque is accurate but it can also be a bit of robust due to its sturdiness and thickness. The range value starts from 0 up to 300lbs and should be enough to provide you with the stability and reliability you need.
CDI Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
If you want something to be used for industrial use and for home use, then this torque wrench might just be the one for you. This is a high-quality wrench packed with industrial-grade specs that make it perfect for home users and professionals alike. It is available in wide variations, with the option to choose from different sizes and ratings, all of which guaranteed to have high accuracy in both clockwise and counterclockwise operations. It also gives you a high-quality feel that is sure to last long-term regardless of how often you use it.
EPAuto 1/2-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This particular torque wrench uses a drive click mechanism to provide you with the full comfort and control you’re in no doubt looking for. It also works similarly to other click-style torque wrenches operation-wise. Furthermore, it benefits from a sturdy steel construction and it is certain and accurate in its value within 4%. Its rate starts from 0-150 lbs and it can be used both clockwise and counterclockwise, a versatility one should always look for in a torque wrench.
TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This inexpensive yet highly reliable tool should be seen as a precision instrument thanks to its dial option that allows the user to easily set the value starting 40 lbs up to 250 lb with 5 lbs increments. This type of wrench is also among the most accurate in setting value compared to another twisted style of wrenches. Apart from that users can also find this very ideal for nuts and bolts above 100 lbs since it is a rather long wrench. Its length comes in really handy and the looks of it are pretty alluring too, making it one that you want to keep in the tool bin on a permanent basis. Furthermore, this torque wrench is also large in size and also works in a clockwise rotation.
TEKTON 243455 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
If you are on a tight budget, this wrench is without a doubt the best you can get. This is by far the most affordable torque wrench that you can find but not because it is cheap or cheaply made. Quite the contrary, this wrench is rather large and as reliable as a click-style torque wrench can be. You can it this by twisting the grip to set it into its torque value. With a length of 18.5 inches and 1.8 inches in width, it is without a doubt one of the most maneuverable out there. It is basically all steel and no plastic parts, as it weighs 2.2 lbs and comes with a lifetime quality guarantee too. All things considered, it is one of the best torque wrenches the market has to offer right now.
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What To Look For In A Torque Wrench
The main reason people need torque wrenches is for DIY projects and vehicle maintenance tasks. As a precision tool, a torque wrench can be expected to deliver a great deal of precision and reliability within fairly small increments. A decent one can help you achieve a perfect fastening torque without the need of elbow grease or any additional contraptions. When you’re done using it, it should be able to render a nut perfectly tight, regardless of how much vibration the nut is subjected to. At the same time, a good torque wrench should also provide you with the capacity to measure the applied force, load, and tension on a threaded fastener.
What Exactly Does It Do?
A torque wrench works by employing a ratchet mechanism to keep the wrench on the fastener once it has reached the end of its rotation. This way, the user doesn’t have to take the wrench off the bolt so as to perform another rotation. In simple terms, all you need to do in order to turn the wrench in the opposite direction is to perform the motion all over again. This is because the ratcheting mechanism employs gears within the actual head of the wrench to perform the counter rotation.
It also needs to be said that torque wrenches are among the most vital tools you can own if you have a car or if you work with vehicles on a regular basis. You use it to speed up the tightening and loosening of bolts process which might otherwise take a very long time using traditional tools. As such, you get the capacity to work a lot faster on average and to perform tasks that would have proven extremely tiresome with regular wrenches and the like.
Types Of Torque Wrenches
Although there are more than a handful of torque wrenches in regards to mechanisms, build standards, and overall design. In principle, the most popular torque wrenches are click-type, electronic, and beam operated. With the click-type wrenches, you get the most commonly used mechanism by professional mechanics on account of its clicking sound whenever the correct amount of torque is achieved. With electronic torque wrenches, you get roughly the same mechanism, with the added notion that it produces an audible beeping noise when it reaches the right torque. Beam torque wrenches, on the other hand, are the least accurate of the three, but they are a lot more affordable overall.
The Size Issue
Depending on the size of the task and the reason you plan on using such a wrench, you may have some leeway when it comes to choosing the exact model. It usually depends on how comfortable you feel holding the wrench for extended periods of time. In that regard, you need to avoid using one that isn’t comfortable short-term because it will definitely inconvenience you long-term one way or another. Other than that, you can’t really judge torque wrenches based on their size, meaning that it usually comes down to a matter of personal choice more than anything.
When it comes to the accuracy of torque wrenches, it pays to remember that they all come with their own accuracy rating. If, for instance, such a wrench is built to measure with an inaccuracy bigger than 5%, you should perhaps look for a different one. That said, most of the good ones are built to achieve accuracy greater than five percent, which is usually mentioned on the packaging. If possible, look for a torque wrench with a certificate of calibration rating. This evaluation must include not just the overall ratings but the starting date of the calibration for good measure.
You need to remember that most torque wrenches are built from sturdy metal with some plastic parts here and there. If you can, try to inspect the wrench in order to see exactly how much plastic it contains. As such, you should only allow plastic parts for handling convenience, in the sense that they will boast plastic handles towards the head of the wrench. The idea here is to find a wrench with as little plastic as possible. Such a wrench should also be perfectly operational by most conventional standards.
Bear in mind that torque wrenches sometimes involve the use of additional heads that you can remove at will. If, for instance, such a wrench comes in a kit with multiple available heads to choose from, pay attention to the number of heads and their build quality. It may indeed cost you more short-term but it will definitely prove a worthwhile investment in the long run. Not just by providing you with a greater versatility but to even save you money should you ever need a different wrench for unplanned tasks.
Consider How Often You Use It
Not many are those who consider just how much use they’re going to get out of a torque wrench, and yet it’s something one should definitely ponder given how costly a decent torque wrench can be. You may think that you’re saving a lot of money by getting yourself a top-shelf model but unless you’re using it regularly, it isn’t much of an investment, not by any stretch of the imagination. On the other hand, if you are a mechanic or if you constantly work on wrench-related projects, then perhaps you can justify the acquisition of a high-end torque wrench, which can get quite expensive towards the upper part of the spectrum.
Last but not least, you might want to spend an extra few minutes deliberating on whether you need additional features for a standard torque wrench or whether you need it as simplistic as possible. We say this because some of these wrenches are equipped with LED readouts and audible beeping functions aimed at pointing out that you’re approaching the target setting. Not to say that these aren’t useful features in their own right, but do you really have a use for them if you only employ the wrench whenever something breaks? That said, you should definitely go for it if you happen to come across a feature-packed torque wrench on sale or as part of a bigger kit.
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