If you are into motorcycle repair, you won’t manage to skip the tool called a torque wrench. This is a must-have instrument when you need to tighten the bolts and nuts in a quick and accurate way.
Only top-notch wrenches can deliver exceptional accuracy pre-calibrated at the factories. There are a few various types of top-notch torque wrenches. But most experts choose the click or beam wrench instruments. The following guide mostly offers the click type wrenches with the head size of 3/8 in.
You just need to pick the tool that can tighten a bolt up to a certain amount of pounds – check the comparison table where this range is specified for each reviewed model. Also, keep in mind that some torque wrenches in this list come with adapters for different drive sizes – such as
3/4 and 1/2 inches.
After the review of top 5 best 3/8 torque wrenches do not skip the buying guide with useful tips about choosing the best tool in this category.
TEKTON 3/8 Wrench – the best for durability!
- Made of durable steel – exceptional quality
- Pre-calibration to +/- 4% accuracy
- Visible markings you may read even at night
- Simple to use
- Dual-scale range – measure in foot-pounds or Newton-meters
- Values the torque level just in the clockwise direction
- You need to adjust the scale by hand
Another good thing is that this torque wrench comes in a sturdy plastic case of red color. Carefully read the manual before using the instrument for the first time.
EPAuto 3/8-Inch Wrench – the best for cars and motorcycles!
- It has a durable ratchet head
- Satin finish
- Protected from corrosion
- Emits the click sound when the preset torque value is reached
- Markings are easy to read
- A bit bulky
- Doesn’t come with a calibration certificate
- Only 90-day warranty
- Not good for replacing the spark plugs
It is a durable and multi-functional torque wrench. You may use it to tighten the bolts and screws in cars and motorcycles. Just double-check the calibration before using it.
TACKLIFE 3/8″ Wrench Set – the best for versatility!
- Precise calibration, according to the international DIN-ISO-6789 standard
- High quality of materials and construction – all the parts are made of steel
- Loud and distinct click sound
- Reversible 24-tooth ratchet head
- Good to work in narrow spaces
- Confident use even for novices
- Extremely easy use
- Comes with a calibration report
- Works with spark plugs
- A bit bulky
- Doesn’t with most lawnmowers
- Do not use for lug nuts
This set offers many upgraded accessories and a storage case to keep all the adapters arranged. Make sure to read the manual before the first use.
Neiko 3/8″ T Handle Wrench – the best for design!
Also, this instrument offers a longer reach than most similar wrenches. The case also comes with 2 adaptors for this instrument – 1/4 and 1/2-inch removable heads.
- Quicker than the ratchet-based tools
- Made of durable alloy of chromium/vanadium/steel
- Capable of tightening even the toughest nuts, fasteners and bolts
- Can be used for reaching narrow spaces
- Has 2 adaptors for different sockets, hex drives and swivels
- Portable and lightweight
- A bit bulky
- Limited warranty
- Sometimes the product comes without adapters
You can use both hands when working with this tool because of the comfortable T-shaped handle. Any car repair job can be done quickly because of better control over the wrench.
Precision Instruments Wrench – the best for speed!
- Convenient and easy to use
- Quick performance
- All-steel build
- Long reach
- Precise and pre-calibrated to 4% accuracy (proved by the certification card)
- Chrome and nickel finish
- Only one-year warranty
- Spots on the chrome finish can appear
- The adjustment knob may come loosen
When working with this tool, you don’t need to reset it each time after use. This wrench is made in the United States. This precise and fast-acting instrument can resolve many issues associated with micrometer-style click tools in harsh environments.
The Precision Instruments tool should not be used to loosen any bolts. Also, it won’t do for left-hand threaded fasteners.
The Buyer’s Guide
If you need the tool for the frequent use and versatile fasteners, it is worth choosing several instruments with different ranges. It is essential to know what tightening torque range will be relevant for your car repair jobs.
A range of up to 20 to 150 Nm is enough for small jobs. If you use a torque wrench more frequently – the range should be about 100-700 Nm. If you apply the force of 80 Nm, the tool should have the range from 20 to 150 Nm.
The square head drive size
The size of the square head drive is also crucial. It is measured in inches. There are 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, etc. Check the size of the fasteners you need to tighten. Only then you should choose the corresponding square head drive size.
On the terms of accuracy, you should avoid any basic beam instruments because they are least accurate. Then click torque wrenches come and only then the most accurate digital instrument. Most U.S. tools follow the generally accepted measurement standards when the applied force is defined in Newton meters and inches-pounds (foot-pounds). The pre-calibration can be a good sign for people who seek the tool to use out of the box.
The leading manufacturers make sure that the ergonomic design of their tools is performed at the highest level. But there are the wrenches that are too long or too short and that’s why they may cover the fastener while you are tightening it. Avoid such tools at any cost. Also, stay away from the tools with too small markings on the handle. If you use torque wrenches at night, make sure to invest in a digital instrument with an LCD screen for better visibility. Or, at least choose a click wrench with large engraved markings.
The direction of torque measurement
It’s worthwhile to understand beforehand in which direction the wrench can measure the torque. Most instruments are adapted for right-handed people and therefore have a corresponding clockwise direction. But some people are used to working with the left hand only and that is when you need to choose a bi-directional tool that can rotate in both directions.
Typically, at least one interchangeable pivot head comes with a wrench. Interchangeable heads produced by the same manufacturer are more preferable than interchangeable heads purchased in different places and made by different brands. But if you initially bought a cheap wrench, you should not rely on its high quality, including the head.
A storage case
A convenient, relatively lightweight and capacious storage case can help to keep the torque wrench and its attachments organized and safe from moisture. If the manufacturer sells the tools in a special case, offering space for additional components, this is a great benefit.
Useful Video: Tekton 3/8 Drive Torque Wrench Accuracy Review
What factors did I consider during my tests:
- Accuracy – do not but cheap and inaccurate wrenches. Opt for a certified tool that is accurate from 30% to 80%. Also, the range must be good enough for small jobs;
- Quality – another thing to look for is a tool with a solid body made of steel alloy. They will serve much longer;
I also like to add that markings also matter. If you have poor eyesight like me you will need a tool with printed markings that are more visible. Engraved markings last longer, on the other hand.
I sincerely believe that my top 3 will be the best picks for people who need a durable torque wrench with multiple measurements, peak and trace modes. I recommend investing money in a good tool if you repair cars, bikes, and bicycles on a daily occasion. That should be chromium and vanadium steel alloy, with a highly-accurate range. I also give tips on where to buy such top-notch tools at a low price.
My top 3 of the best 3/8 torque wrenches in the U.S. market:
- TEKTON 24330 – I really like this tool for being very accurate, with the range of 13.6-108.5 Nm;
- EPAuto offers a 24-tooth gear for the length of 14-1/2″;
- TACKLIFE has a very good torque range – 13.6-108.5 Nm;
Do you still have the problems of choosing 3/8 in. wrenches? Then check this review of some best instruments and make a choice. The most important factor to consider – accuracy. Nevertheless, also, select the wrench made of durable materials and long-lasting warranty.