To get the right level of torque when repairing bicycles, cars or motorcycles, you need to invest in a torque wrench. It is better to use a digital type of this instrument. Such tools are more accurate and easier to use than most manual wrenches. You can use these instruments even at night because bright LED displays can show easy-to-read markings.
Also, only such tools offer alert systems with beeping sounds to tell you when you reached the torque level.
The most important features to check when picking top-notch digital torque wrenches:
- Comfy handle grip – to tighten the nuts and bolts of your car/bike/motorcycle the hand should not slip. To prevent hands from blisters, consider picking the tools with comfortable handle grips;
- The measurement unit – torque wrenches are measured on the metric, imperial or both systems;
- The suitable type of batteries – all digital wrenches should be portable. That is why they work off the batteries. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before buying spare batteries;
If you have doubts about digital torque wrenches, check the following reviews with pros and cons. Also, make sure to compare 5 digital tools in this category. The buying guide will help to select the best instruments to measure and apply torque.
ACDelco Tools ARM60 Wrench – the best for calibration!
The wrench comes with three AAA Lithium-ion batteries.
Instead of manual click-drive torque wrenches, this gadget has a buzzer alarm to warn you when the preset value is reached.
- The wide torque range – from 4 to 99 foot-pounds
- LED flashing display
- It has calibration modes for better accuracy
- Made from sturdy materials
- Auto angle calibration
- The ratchet head with 45 teeth
- Only one-year warranty
- Doesn’t have an interchangeable head
- Doesn’t have detailed instructions
- You won’t be able to set the alarm below 10 ft.-lbs.
This digital torque wrench has many preset functions – Mode settings, Peak & Trace, Measurement and Torque. You may lay the tool on any flat surface and finish the auto angle calibration – this is called the Angle Measuring Function. This multi-purpose instrument can become an irreplaceable wrench for car mechanics.
GEARWRENCH 85077 Electronic Wrench – the best for design!
- Durable build
- Target alert system
- LED display
- Vibrating handle
- Solvent and oil-resistant
- Readings in Nm, ft.-lbs, in.-lbs., and kg-cm
- Made of alloy steel
- Accurate in both directions
- Only one-year limited warranty
- Narrow angle gauge
- Limited torque range (only to 150 lbs)
This 1/2-inch instrument is supplied in a molded case. You will be able to tighten fasteners in poorly lit and narrow spaces.
ACDelco ARM601-3 Digital Wrench – the best for portability!
In addition to this advanced technology, the digital torque wrench comes with many preset options – Mode Settings, Peak and Trace, Measurement and Torque.
- Pre-calibrated accuracy to the standards of ASME B107.14-2004 and ISO 6789
- Auto angle calibration
- Comes in a sturdy plastic case of gray colors
- Includes the slot for 4 extra batteries (AAA)
- Only one-year limited warranty
- Doesn’t have backlit
- May shut down without any warning
This instrument offers a professional approach. It can be used any time when you need to tighten the screws and bolts of cars, motorcycles and bikes.
BLACKMAX BTLDTW Electronic Wrench – the best for display!
Its average battery life is 96 hours.
- Good for complicated tasks
- 5 user-defined presets
- Ergonomic handle
- Large display
- Great readability
- Loud alerts
- Made of stainless steel
- A bit bulky
- Not simple to use for novices
- The batteries are not included
This BlackMax electronic torque wrench is recommended for professional technicians and car mechanics. This tool has the system preventing the over-tightening of the bolts and screws.
Brown Line Metalworks Digital Wrench – the best for functions!
- Soft and non-slip handle
- Resistant housing
- Has the backlit option
- Large display
- Large display
- Easy-to-read visual feedback
- Automatically turns off when the battery is low
- It is compatible with ASME B107.10.2005 standards
- Loud audio signals
- May lose the calibration when the battery is low
- To replace batteries a user needs to apply a screwdriver
You may easily switch between different measurement systems – feet/pounds, inch/pounds, and nanometer. This instrument is very durable and rust-resistant because the body is made from chromium/vanadium alloy.
The Buyer’s Guide
Being the owner of TorqueWrenchGuide for a few years already, I’m aware there is a bunch of professional and semi-professional digital torque wrenches in the U.S. market. To prevent you from buying the wrong tool. It is not always clear what instruments are awesome, and what is real junk. I’ve tried to compile the great review being as unbiased as possible. My results are based on multiple tests of the best torque wrenches with digital options.
The buyer’s guide for the readers of TorgueWrenchGuide:
- Torque range – most tools are quite accurate, from 20% to 100%, the digital screen will max out the range;
- Digital features – do not apply the old click system, it is not worth spending money. There are new and better tools, so opt for them: bright LED lights, digital alarms, vibrating handles;
- Peak vs. trace – peak models define the highest range of torque. While a trace reflects a torque moment the particular moment;
The torque wrenches with digital features that I personally tested and used:
- ACDelco ARM601-4 includes LED alarm, with a smart accuracy range;
- GEARWRENCH 85077 contains a long handle, the accuracy is a bit false;
- CPS BLACKMAX – has an impressive jaw opening, with LED alerts;
My advice also expands for more U.S. brands – Brown Line Metalworks and ACDelco.
Digital wrenches typically do not differ in size. The most popular square head sizes are still
1/4”, 3/8” or 1/2”, depending on the needs. Most wrenches come with socket adapters so you may invest in the all-in-one instrument for different jobs.
The one thing you should remember: For larger screws and bolts, you may want to pick the large instrument because such tools provide a higher torque level.
Since wrenches of this type have to go through a high level of tension all the time, it is essential to invest in the instrument with an exceptional quality of the build. Buying cheap gadgets can result in inaccurate reading and even tool damage.
On the contrary, expensive wrenches are made of top-notch materials like different metal alloys – in most cases, they are made of steel, vanadium or aluminum. Check the reviews to find out what materials were used for making a particular instrument.
Only digital torque wrenches have an LCD screen. This is definitely one of the best things in such tools. If you have poor eyesight or have to work in poorly lit rooms then it can be hard to read the markings on manual instruments. But thanks to the LCD screen with flashing and backlit options you won’t have to deal with these issues anymore.
You may want to check the display of a wrench before buying because its size should be not small. The font size also should be as large as possible. Most experts recommend buying the wrenches with a digital display above the handle to let a backlit indicator flash in dark areas.
Almost all digital wrenches have a number of useful extra features. Consider choosing the gadget with such options:
- Target torque – thanks to this feature, you may set the desired torque range;
- The alert system – it can be profound. Most alerts systems have a vibrating handle and beeping sounds. LED lighting is flashing;
- Trace mode – a real-time indicator of the current applied torque;
- Peak mode – the maximum torque level is achieved;
The last but not least important feature to look for when you purchase such torque wrenches. Most digital gadgets can’t boast a very accurate rating under 20% of their torque capacity. If you need an instrument for small jobs, consider setting the pressure over 20 foot-pounds to get a correct reading on an LCD screen.
Otherwise, such wrenches tend to be the most accurate tools in this category. You may want to look for the instruments calibrated to 3%-accuracy level or higher. Also, keep in mind that most tools can turn both in clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
Video Tutorial: GearWrench Electronic Torque Wrench 3/8″ Video Review
Still don’t know what wrench to choose? You may check the detailed review of these 5 top-notch instruments. Test before using and carefully pick the extra features when investing money in a digital torque wrench. Sometimes overpaying is not worthy at all. But if you do heavy-duty jobs often, you won’t manage without a multi-purpose wrench with an LCD screen and a great accuracy level.