Choose the Best Beam Torque Wrench
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Beam Torque Wrenches
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Are you searching for simple but effective, functional but affordable torque wrenches to do small DIY car/motorcycle/bike repairs? Then make sure to check the following guide that covers the pros and cons of a few popular instruments in this category.
Advantages of beam torque wrenches:
- Simple and reliable to use – recommended for novice car mechanics;
- The proved classic design to measure the torque range manually;
- Better than other wrenches when it comes to measuring the torque from 0 to maximum range level;
- Such tools offer better portability;
- Despite the criticism of accuracy, these tools mostly offer accuracy as high as 2%;
Beam wrenches can be recommended to novices for the jobs when the accuracy of the torque range is not that important. To make your shopping of beam torque wrenches easier, check the comparison table and buyer’s guide.
ARES 70213-1/4-inch Beam Wrench – the best for readability!
The deflection beam is also above average and makes this instrument amazing for many years.
- Versatile use for small repair jobs
- Great readability factor
- Engraved markings won’t ever fade away
- Easy to use in poorly lit rooms
- Will fit even a back pocket
- Lifetime warranty
- When you position the handle at different angles, some accuracy issues may happen
- Doesn’t have the calibration certificate
This instrument offers markings in two measurement scales that are popular in Europe, USA and Japan – inch-pounds, Newton-meters. If you are searching for a reliable and durable wrench with engraved markings on a budget, this instrument may become handy.
Neiko 03727A 1/4-Inch Beam Wrench – the best for versatility!
The handle offers 2 measurement systems as well – for standard (inch-pound) and metric readings.
- Extremely versatile
- Can be used in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions
- Standard and metric readings
- Very accurate in both directions
- Firm grip thanks to the ball handle design
- Good both for left- and right-handed users (ambidextrous)
- Won’t drift as most click style wrenches do
- Easy to read from afar
- It is less sturdy than most wrenches
- Limited warranty
- Doesn’t include a storage case
It is more precise and easy to use than most click torque wrenches. This Neiko tool is versatile and recommended for maintenance and repair of boats, cars, motorcycles, bikes.
Tooluxe 03703L 3/8″ Beam Wrench – the best for design!
For better control and grip, the wrench is equipped with the grooved handle.
It comes with two adapters – for 3/8 and 1/2 inch drive sizes. These anvils are easy to attach and remove. Like the previous instruments, this tool can be calibrated and used in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
- Good body design
- A long grooved handle for better control
- Made of hardened steel
- Can quickly fit on most bolts and nuts (especially great for the wheels)
- Corrosion-resistant finish
- Graduated tip
- Both SAE and metric scales
- Includes adapters
- The adapter may break if you attach the anvils improperly
- Sometimes the adapters are not included
This durable and precise instrument can become an irreplaceable piece of your toolbox because of its wide torque range and easy readability.
Performance Tool M195 Beam Wrench – the best for accuracy!
However, this wrench is recognized for exceptional accuracy. The build construction is average. So it is not the top-rated wrench but definitely one of the best for its price.
- Very precise and accurate
- Large handle with large markings to read
- The ball handle for better readability
- Great torque control thanks to the 41-tooth ratchet
- Adjustable lock/unlock collar
- Comes with a 3/8-inch adapter
- Small torque range
- Not very durable
- Will work only on small bolts and nuts
Intended only for casual use this wrench is still very accurate and simple to use. You won’t feel any hand fatigue when using this handy tool. The manufacturer recommends using this 1/4-inch instrument for fastening small bolts on lawnmowers, guns, cars, light trucks, bicycles and motorcycles.
GEARWRENCH 2957D Beam Wrench – the best for the size!
Though, the instrument is a bit bulky for carrying in your back pocket. The measurement scales are available in ft./lbs. and N/m. There is a handy pointer to make your measurements more accurate.
- Easy readability thanks to the reduced glares on the surface
- Can easily fit your palm
- The satin finish that is so nice to the touch
- Made in the United States
- Steel construction
- The needle is easy to see even in the dark
- The handle localizes the applied force for better torque accuracy
- A storage case is not included
It is another great instrument for home repairs of vehicles. Unlike previous tools, it may be used for heavy-duty jobs. This tool will also look nice in your toolbox thanks to the nice satin finish.
The Buyer’s Guide
A beam torque wrench is the simplest type of these instruments. Meaning that the price is quite affordable as well. It can also be called a torque wrench of the torsion type, as it consists of two levers. The first one is used to apply torque to the tightened connection and serves as a tool’s handle. A second lever at the other end is attached to the tool’s head and it is free at the other end, serving as a beam or pointer that indicates the applied force on a scale at a particular point in time.
Design and construction
A beam torque wrench is the easiest to use. It has two levers. The first lever is used to apply force to the fastener and serves as a handle. The second lever at one end is attached to the head and it is loose at the other end, serving as a pointer that shows the applied force on the measurement scale in real time.
Any beam wrench is equipped with a pointer indicator connected with the square head, and an elastic handle with a two-sided scale. When a user tightens the nut, the scale deviates to the fixed indicator by an angle that is proportional to the applied force. It can be used to measure the torque range.
Typically, the measurement scale indicates a small margin of error. That is why each wrench is calibrated to a certain accuracy percentage. This tool type does not have the mechanism for limiting the torque transmitted to the nut. The difference in the indicators can be 10% of the actual torque. The highest torque range does not exceed 280 Newton-meters.
Car mechanics and the staff of auto repair shops can’t fasten the blots without torque wrenches. This particular type is recommended only for small repair jobs where accuracy is not an essential factor. For professional and more accurate use, other wrenches are picked – e.g. take a digital instrument to achieve greater accuracy.
Other tips for buyers:
- These tools are mostly available in different sizes: from a small one that has a 1/4-inch drive size of the square head to larger instrument with a square 3/4-inch head;
- The beam wrench range should be in between the extreme and minimum values of the applied force – always check the measurement scale with increments;
- If it is necessary to tighten the threaded connection with a greater torque range than the tool offers, you can purchase a special adapter or more powerful wrench;
How to use a beam torque wrench?
- If the tool does not turn, you should not apply more force than necessary. First, check if the nut is loose;
- Keep in mind that the tool is a measuring device used to tighten the bolts with a specific force range. Do not use it a standard screwdriver;
- Stop tightening the bolt after hearing or seeing the click/alert/signal. Otherwise, the tool may give you wrong measurements;
- The best place to store a beam wrench will be a toolbox or a clean drawer;
- Set up the instrument to the zero position (the minimum value of the torque range);
- To prevent the problems with calibration and accuracy, it is recommended to clean the instrument from any garage liquids. Do not use abrasive cleaners and aggressive chemicals to remove the dirt from it. Do not knock on it and prevent it from falling down (especially into water). Also, it is not advised to take it apart;
- It is recommended to re-calibrate a beam torque wrench after every 10 000 uses;
Pros and cons of beam torque wrenches
Like any tool, such wrenches have pros and cons that I’d like to share, according to my humble experience.
- Low price. Beam torque wrenches have the lowest price among all of them
- Allows you to work “clockwise” and “counterclockwise”
- It has a simple construction
- The highest error percentage among all models
- It is not adjustable over time, the tool wears out and loses the accuracy
- No ratchet mechanism allows avoiding rearranging the tool when tightening the fasteners
- During operation, the applied force must be controlled by the indicator (beam). For me it is not convenient, especially in hard-to-reach places
What to look for when buying a beam torque wrench?
Many U.S. manufacturers offer to use the device for the torque wrench – a multiplier. The mechanism of work is based on the operation of the gearbox – amplifier (the gear system). It’s attached to the torque wrench and increases the applied force on the bolt several times (according to the manual).
Judging from my experience, I’d like to recommend a few awesome beam torque wrenches:
- ARES 70213 with high visibility marks and 0-9 Nm;
- Neiko 03727A has an accuracy rate of 4% (more or less);
- Tooluxe 03703L provides a 17-inch long shaft with an included adapter;
When buying a torque wrench, you need to know exactly what kind of work you need it for, since the manufacturers produce the tools with different ranges. Their size can be different: small with a range of ¼ inches and huge with a torque range of ¾ inches.
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Interesting Video: Deflecting Beam Torque Wrench Review & Comparison
As you can see, beam torque wrenches can easily fit any toolbox and serve for many years in your DIY car repair jobs. On the one hand, they are quite versatile, accurate and affordable. On the other hand, they are less stable than digital wrenches and won’t be able to deal with large bolts and nuts.