Choose the Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Inch Pound Torque Wrenches
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Why should you choose inch-pound torque wrenches over other instruments in this category? Because it offers higher accuracy than most standard foot-pound tools do. Inch-pound wrenches are mostly more comfortable to use.
There are a few types of inch-pound torque wrenches:
- Beam type – the most basic and affordable wrenches. The major drawback – such instruments are not very accurate. Nevertheless, these tools are appreciated by car mechanics to handle heavy-duty tasks;
- Dial type – such wrenches show the value of torque on a dial. You have to follow the dial until reaching the preset value;
- Click type – is the most used type of manual torque wrenches. The preset value of torque is reached with a loud click sound;
- Electronic/digital type – the most expensive and accurate tools that combine the features of click and dial systems. You will be able to check the torque value via a digital LED display. Such tools have an alert system to let you know when the torque level is reached;
The following review contains a description of the pros and cons of a few popular wrenches. The buyer guide will clarify the things you need to look for in inch-pound torque wrenches.
TEKTON 1/4 Inch Drive Click Wrench – the best for readability!
You can read the markings even at night.
- Reversible ratchet head that works in both ways
- Very sturdy because it is made of steel alloy
- Simple to read
- Comes with the pre-calibration
- Small and narrow
- Measures the torque range only in the clockwise (CW) direction
- You won’t be able to recalibrate this wrench
- The case is not very sturdy
This 1/4 in. wrench can be good for any motorsports. Also, it may help with delicate repair jobs like 8mm bolts on water pumps. It comes with a nice plastic case.
Neiko 1/4″ Click Wrench – the best for durability!
The ratchet includes hard-to-find torque settings – the lower markings.
- Can loosen and tighten the bolts on any vehicles
- Made of heat-treated chrome/steel/vanadium alloy
- Extreme durability
- Works both for CW and CCW directions
- Nice plastic case
- Won’t do for massive objects like solar panels
- The handle shakes
If you need an affordable and precise inch-pound torque wrench to tighten and loosen any bolts on motorcycles, cars and engines, consider testing this Neiko instrument.
Capri Tools Industrial Wrench – the best for accuracy!
- Engraved markings for better visual factor
- Technically precise calibration in both directions
- All parts are built with automatic CNC machinery
- Loud click sound
- NIST calibration certificate is included
- High tooth count
- The torque range is lower than average
- Comes with a single click
- At low settings it doesn’t even click
This Taiwanese instrument is very durable, accurate in both directions and easy to read. The affordable instrument belongs to the category of industrial-level torque wrenches.
EPAuto 1/4-Inch Wrench – the best for beginners!
- Durable materials and components
- Comes in a sturdy plastic case
- Its knurled handle is non-slip
- High-contrast scale for better readability
- Reliable and simple to use
- Good instructions
- One-year limited warranty
- Sometimes the click sound is easy to miss
Also, keep in mind that this tool offers the calibration in the metric system and feet-pounds, beside the inch-pound torque range.
Capri Tools Inch-Pound Wrench – the best for versatility!
- The pulse-stop technology
- Accuracy and pre-calibration
- Made of durable metals
- Has a nice matte finish
- Easy readability
- ASME and DIN certified
- Enhanced torque range
- Comes with a hard plastic case
- It is long and narrow
- It only has 24 teeth
- The dual can be hard to turn
This instrument belongs to the professional series by Capri Tools. You can safely use this tool to tighten the bolts of ATVs, cars and bicycles.
The Buyer’s Guide
When buying a wrench, many tend to find the most versatile device. Other people purchase a set of several narrow-profile products because they are more affordable. If you are not sure what tool you need, check the following things to look for in inch-pound wrenches:
- Torque range scales of various types. Torque wrenches may have an electronic display, a mechanical scale, etc.;
- The quality materials. A wrench is not just a sensor, it is a full-fledged tool. It does not have to be made of a heavy-duty alloy with the durability level of 50 HRC, but this parameter should remain within the range of 35-40 HRC;
- Price. Torque wrenches do not belong to the category of expensive instruments, so they all have a quite affordable price tag from $40 to $100;
- Extra features. For DIY repairs it is enough to use click wrenches with basic features. Digital instruments are more versatile and can offer a lot of preset modes along with an LCD display;
- The reliability of the device and decreased risk of accuracy errors. The better the accuracy is, the easier it is to use the device. An expensive tool may have a torque range up to 300 Nm, but in fact, the average maximum level is 200 Nm. It is enough for small repair jobs;
Speaking of accuracy, the torque range is selected based on the required force for a specific task. It is important to understand that most wrenches have the best accuracy range within 25-85% of their scale range. It’s not recommended to use the tool at the extreme values of the scale since the error risk is much higher when it comes to these instruments.
Tips for users
- Check the instrument before using it. If some elements do not rotate, there is no need to try to fix this by applying more force. First, you need to loosen the lock nut;
- Use the torque wrench only as intended. This tool with a measuring scale is useful when you should tighten the fasteners with a certain applied force. You should not loosen the bolts and nuts with this device;
- Try not to apply extra force when tightening. When you hear click or beep sounds or a light indicator starts flashing. If you keep pushing after the signal, the accuracy of the measuring device will be violated, and the risk of damaging the fastener or/and the device can increase drastically;
- If the tool has been lying idle for a long time, it should be tested on a small screw before the serious job. As soon as the grease is fully distributed throughout the instrument, you can use it at maximum capacity;
- The best place to store a wrench is a separate box or briefcase. Before placing the tool in a box, make sure that the instrument is set to the zero position. Even a slightly applied force on the scale may lead to a gradual breakdown or de-calibration of the measuring device;
Car or bike owners who like to keep their own hands dirty to repair gorgeous vehicles need a bunch of different torque wrenches. In particular, inch-pound torque wrenches can assist. I strongly recommend keeping a few different tools of this kind in your garage or toolbox because, you know, vehicles tend to break unexpectedly.
I have examined every aspect of torque wrenches on my quite specific site. I’ve noticed that despite a quite narrow specification there is a wide range of these instruments with various price points. I don’t want you to waste your money but sometimes you have to invest in a new tool. You ought to be very careful when buying one of such tools online. I hope my advice will help you make the right choice.
Main factors to consider when buying inch-pound torque wrenches:
- Accuracy – the most essential aspect to check when buying online. The most accurate wrenches fall in 30%-80% accuracy zone. Pay attention to the fact that some tools measure only when being used clockwise, they are less accurate when going counterclockwise.
- Quality – durability matters. A tool must be assembled with care, with a great design and made of awesome materials. Cheaper models don’t give such guarantees;
- Printed vs. engraved torque wrenches – printed tools tend to have their scale wearing away faster than engraved ones;
- Check the pre-calibration of a tool, because it is hard to calibrate them manually on your own;
According to my criteria, the following top was created.
My personal top 3 best inch-pound torque wrenches for cars and bikes:
- TEKTON – offers the accuracy of ± 4, with 24 tooth and 10-7/8 inches;
- Neiko has the same body length and the ball-detent drive head;
- Capri Tools has a lower accuracy range of torque – 20-150 inches and ratchet teeth of 64T;
How to take care of inch-pound wrenches?
When cleaning a torque wrench, do not use abrasive substances or aggressive chemical products. Try not to throw the instrument on the floor, do not knock on it and do not disassemble the tool. It’s important to protect the tool from moisture.
Check the accuracy range annually or after 10.000 measurements. The second-time calibration is a rather expensive procedure, and a small number of companies can do this. It is in your interest to keep the tool in the best condition to minimize the financial costs of its repair and calibration.
Inch-Pound Torque Wrenches FAQ
What is a good inch-pound torque wrench?
It’s important to use the correct wrench for your vehicle or machine. You’ll get misleading outcomes if you use an inferior or incorrect one. As a result, you can just use the right inch-pound wrench for your projects.
A few products below can quickly become your best choice if you need to measure torque in inch-pounds:
- TEKTON 24340 click torque wrench;
- eTORK click wrench;
- EPAuto click wrench;
- TEKTON TRQ21101 dual-direction tool;
- Capri Tools 31200 wrench;
So, what makes an excellent inch-pound wrench? And that is simple to operate and constructed with high-quality components that will last a long time. Chrome vanadium steel alloy is the most used element. Check if the torque values in Newton-meters, inch-pounds, or foot-pounds units are etched/engraved on the device – it means the tool will serve for many years.
What is an inch-pound torque?
An inch-pound (otherwise known as pound-inch) torque is equivalent to 112 lbs-ft as one pound of force is added to one inch of space from the pivot (0.1129848 Nm). For establishing precise fastener stress, it’s usually applied on torque wrenches and screwdrivers.
Torque wrenches that produce less than one foot-pound of torque are known as inch-pound torque wrenches. They provide power that is calculated in fractions of an inch-pound or inch-ounce.
Fasteners that need certain fractional measurements of force are, unsurprisingly, weaker. Nevertheless, because these fasteners are tinier doesn’t mean that torque control is any less critical. Brake mechanism nuts, fittings for hydraulic or gas lines, and screws that tie hard drive cases together are examples of fasteners with torque calculated in pounds-inches or ounces-inches.
It’s important to use an inch-pound wrench with a torque control system that actively stops you from reaching the torque cap and destroying the fastener or components while dealing with these fasteners.
What is the best size torque wrench to buy?
Torque wrenches with socket-drive dimensions of 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and 1-inch are available at different price points ($40–$140). The smaller models are usually used for sensitive temperature switches mounted in frail cast housings. The bigger ones are applied to place a lot of twists on the nuts on the crankshaft or transmission.
For example, a 1/2-inch wrench can accommodate both types of minor and significant repairs.
Can you use a foot-pound torque wrench for measuring inch-pounds?
Yeah, you sure can. However, you must learn how to translate torque measurements into inch-pounds.
To translate inch-lbs to foot-lbs, multiply the inch-lb amount by 12. To translate foot-lbs to inch-lbs, easily multiply the foot-lbs amount by 12.
Do the following simple approximation to translate 200 foot-lbs to inch-lbs: 2400 = 200 x 12
One foot-pound is divided into 12 inch-pounds.
Where can you buy an inch-pound torque wrench?
Well, there are a lot of places online and offline where you can buy inch-pound torque wrenches. This guide gives Amazon product recommendations with favorable conditions for buyers.
Can a torque wrench be used to loosen bolts?
Often remember that a wrench is a locking weapon. A fragile and accurate tightening mechanism shouldn’t be used to undo bolts.
Torque wrenches can be used exclusively for the following tasks:
- Heavy-duty uses. Any looseness or functional compromise in a fastener keeping heavy equipment such as overhead cranes, railcars, or boring machinery may damage parts or trigger a critical breakdown, potentially resulting in serious injury;
- Fasten with high precision. Tolerances may be microscopic in electronics assembly, medical equipment assembly, and other high-precision production industries. Even a minor over-tightening or under-tightening of a fastener may make a system unusable and dangerous;
- Rotating parts are easy to attach. Unbalanced or inaccurate tightening of the fasteners that secure a spinning part to a central axis may result in an uneven spread of forces, resulting in harm to both the part and the axis. This damage is only noticeable over time in the automobile industry. The results of excessive torque are likely to be instant and evident in helicopter servicing, jet engine installation, and aircraft repair;
Instead of a ratchet, a torque wrench is the best tool to use in these situations. Fortunately, ratchet torque wrenches may be used in anything, including the tightest or most specialized of applications. Such non-ratchet wrenches offer specific and reliable fastening in situations where a ratcheting device would not work.
How is tightening torque calculated?
When a fastener is bent, it has a certain degree of elasticity. The fastener can revert to its original form if the load is removed and the fastener is within its elastic capacity. If the fastener is ratcheted above its yield point—that is, past the elastic range and through the plastic range—it will not revert to its original form when the load is withdrawn. The fastener is elongated permanently. If you manage to tighten the fastener beyond this stage, it will inevitably snap.
The following formula expresses the connection between bolt load and applied torque:
T (torque) = K x F x d
The friction coefficient is denoted by the letter K. The material of the bolt/nut, the type of lubrication (or, in extreme situations, the absence of lubrication), and the bolt’s size can both affect this coefficient.
In this equation, d reflects the nominal bolt diameter. The measurement may be in mm or inches.
The axial bolt power, calculated in pounds or Newtons, is F.
You must fill in all of the blanks in this formula (except, of course, for T – the torque amount that you need to define).
Keep in mind that almost all torque wrenches aren’t completely precise while performing the measurements.
Useful Video: Tekton Inch Pound Torque Wrench Review
Now you know about some popular inch-pound torque wrenches. They should be accurate, simple to use and easy to read. Choose the instrument according to the features you need, despite the budget.