10 Best Torque Wrenches
Not every job is one that you can fill with a regular wrench. Sometimes you have to break out the big guns. For the heavy duty jobs, this means a torque wrench. There are quite literally hundreds of different makers of torque wrenches to choose from. In this article, we’ll give you our list of the 5 best torque wrenches.
TEKTON 1/2 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
Total product dimensions are 18.5 x 1.9 x 1.4 inch. This gives the user a generous reach to work with. The wrench ships pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy and ready to use. As a result, you won’t find yourself struggling to calculate the correct calibration. Just fire it up and get ready to use it on your next major job.
- A highly audible click lets you know when the preset value has been reached
- Unit comes pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy
- Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions
- Model measures torque in a conveniently clockwise direction
- Model needs to be stored at the lowest setting of 10 ft.lb./13.6 Nm when not in use
- Can be a bit cumbersome to operate if the reader has not first mastered the handy included instructional manual
Neiko 00206A 1/2 Inch Drive Premium Breaker Bar
The grip has been contoured to give you a better grasp. The anvil head rotates a full 180 degrees in order to allow for increased versatility. The finish is mirrored chrome in order to give it extra resistance to corrosion and age-related wear. The break bar is made of Chrome-Vanadium steel that has been heat treated.
- Extra long handle is a full 24 inches in length
- Grip has been contoured to give the user extra leverage
- Heat treated break bar is made of specially reinforced steel
- Comes with a full warranty of quality direct from the manufacturer
- Extremely powerful unit that should be used only by experienced owners
- Warranty is limited to the original owner and is non-transferrable
TEKTON 3/8 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
Although this model is excellent for larger and more complex jobs, it does come with a few complexities of its own. It is definitely meant for more experienced users. This is due to the increased level of power that it can wield. Because of this, it is well recommended that inexperienced owners make use of the included instructions.
- Gives off a warning click when the preset value is reached
- Included dual range scale is rendered in high contrast
- Made completely of steel with no breakable plastic parts
- Pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy for quick and easy use
- High level of power makes this a model for the more experienced user
- Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions and may take some getting used to, even by experienced users
EPAuto 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
The wrench has been treated with a special satin finish to resist corrosion and wear. It has been pre-calibrated to ± 4% in order to facilitate instant use upon arrival. A break-proof plastic storage case is included to house the wrench when you are finished with it. It is one of the most easily affordable models on this list.
- Guaranteed to arrive pre-calibrated to ± 4%
- High contrast & dual range Scale is easy to read in even the dimmest light
- Extra strength ratchet head is made of Chrome Vanadium steel alloy
- Includes a break-proof carrying case
- Specially designed to be used on vehicles of various kinds, not recommended for use in other contexts
- Limited warranty is not transferrable past the original owner
EPAuto 1/4-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
It’s an excellent wrench for jobs that need precision. The present model is designed to give off a clearly recognizable click when the preset value is reached. The handle has been specially reinforced to provide for a non-slip grip. It also comes with an extremely durable carrying case to keep the wrench safe when not being used.
- Non-slip grip handle gives you extra confidence in intricate situations
- Specially reinforced carrying case keeps your wrench safe from falls
- Ratchet head is made of treated Chrome Vanadium steel alloy
- Highly audible click lets you know when the preset value has been reached
- Wrench is meant to be used on repairs for various types of vehicles rather than in other situations
- Comes with a limited warranty that is non-transferrable beyond the original owner
Torque Wrench Buyer’s Guide
There are a number of highly important factors to keep in mind when choosing a torque wrench. First will be the precise type of job that you will be using the wrench in. Most of the torque wrenches on this list have been designed for use on various types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and RV’s.
Experience is Key When Choosing a Torque Wrench
It’s also important to choose a torque wrench that is right for your personal level of experience. Some of the wrenches on this list are great for beginners as well as the experienced users. Others are definitely meant for users with a higher level of experience in using this particular type of tool.
If you are not sure if you have the experience to use a particular torque wrench, it may be better to defer to the opinion of an expert. All of the wrenches on this list come with full instructions as well as a warranty from the maker. This may give you the latitude you need to experiment with the wrench until you have mastered its use.
Choose the Right Size of Torque Wrench for the Task
Another important factor to keep in mind at all times is that there is no “one size fits all” torque wrench. There are several different sizes, as well as types, of torque wrench. These different sizes are obviously meant to be used in different situations. It’s up to you to learn which size is right for the job you need it for.
Choose a Torque Wrench with an Audible Preset Click
If you aren’t sure where to find the exact preset on your torque wrench, don’t guess. This is not the kind of tool that is particularly forgiving of even the smallest error. A miscalculation, however slight, could result in a botched repair job. It could also lead to an injury for you or anyone working next to you.
Your best bet is to choose one of the models on this present list. We have gone out of our way to spotlight torque wrench models that come with an audible click. This click is designed to let you know exactly where the preset is. This feature will save you a great deal of time and effort when setting out on your next repair job.
Choose a Torque Wrench That is Made of the Best Materials
The final thing to keep in mind is that the torque wrench you choose needs to last. You don’t want to buy a wrench that you suspect will come apart during the next job. We have selected only those models that are made with high quality hardened and treated Chrome Vanadium steel alloy.
While not the most expensive tool you can buy, you still want one that will last for years. The torque wrenches on this list have been selected with longevity in mind.
How To Use A Torque Wrench
A torque wrench is used to tighten up nuts and bolts to specific torque settings. You don’t want to over-tighten the nut or bolt and destroy the threads or not enough that the nut or bolt just simply comes off in use.
Today we’re going to use one of the click types of torque wrenches. So we’re going to tighten up one of the wheel nuts. So the first thing you need to do is loosen off the tightener, and then you can adjust the setting. We need a set of 120 on the torque wrench.
However, the closest one we can see is 112, so we’ll keep turning the end until this zero lines up with the line. But at the mark of 112. There you have it. That’s 112, but we need 120. So what we’ll do is we’ll add eight to that. So we’ll turn that middle bit to eight and that’s 112 plus eight which is 120. And obviously, if you go down one, that’s 119 and so on. Then when you’re in the right setting, tighten up the end so there’ll be no movement. You can hear the click so you know you have the right torque setting.
After using the torque wrench, before we put it away, just undo the locking nut and twist the setting to the lowest setting. The reason why you want to do this as the whole mechanism runs on a spring, and we don’t want to put this on the pressure the whole time. And don’t go too far. Put a bit of tension on it just below the bottom and now you’re ready to put it away.
Interesting Video: Harbor Freight Icon torque wrench review and accuracy test
All of the torque wrenches on this present list were chosen because they represent the absolute modern state of the art. They were subjected by us to a battery of tests in order to earn their position on this list. We can recommend each of them to the reader because they have proven themselves to be an excellent long term.