5 Best Torque Sticks
5 Best Torque Sticks
4.7 (93.33%) 9 vote[s]

Most recommended
Capri Tools 30083
  • 1/2″ Extension Bars
  • 8″ Long
  • Chrome Molydbdenum

A good choice too
Neiko 02450A
  • 1/2″ Extension Bars
  • 5-Piece Set
  • 65 to 140 Ft-Lbs

A good choice too
Astro Pneumatic Tool
  • Color coded
  • 10-Piece Set
  • Chrome Molydbdenum

Neiko 02453A
  • 1/2″ Extension Bars
  • Chrome Molydbdenum
  • 80 to 110 Ft-Lbs

ABN 5245
  • Chrome Molydbdenum
  • 5-Piece Set
  • 65-140 ft/lb


Choose the Best Torque Stick

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Torque Sticks

86 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

77.91% of users selected Capri Tools 30083, 6.98% selected Neiko 02450A, 8.14% selected Astro Pneumatic Tool, 3.49% selected Neiko 02453A and 3.49% selected ABN 5245. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Probably you’ve never heard before about torques sticks. These instruments can fit your collections of handy tools. They are capable of delivering the best accuracy and speed each time when you need to measure torque range.

Why do you need torque sticks?

Torque sticks mostly resemble impact wrenches’ handles. So if you need to extend a wrench, you may buy a torque stick. Usually, these tools are sold in sets.

You may attach a torque stick to a wrench to tighten the bolts in narrow and hard-to-reach places. All sticks have heavy-duty impact sockets to provide the necessary amount of flex. After reaching the required torque range, the stick won’t be flexing and you won’t be able to turn it further.

To make their use more convenient for novice mechanics, most torque stick sets offer measurement charts and color-coding. Thanks to such sticks, you won’t need to stop when using an impact wrench.

How to apply a stick:

To fasten the lug nuts with a torque stick, start from working in a star pattern;
Then slowly start tightening every lug with even pressure overall the vehicle wheel;
Do not try to fasten the lug nuts too far. Otherwise, the accuracy level won’t be precise;

Most experts agree that torque sticks work better with pneumatic (air-powered) impact wrenches or guns. However, some of them are adjustable when paired with cordless impact wrenches.

The following guide includes the reviews of 5 most popular torque stick sets in the U.S. market. Check the criteria for choosing the best torque sticks.

Capri Tools 30083 Torque Set – the best for the storage case!

Capri Tools 30083 Torque Limiting Extension Bar SetOne of the best sets with torque extension sticks in the U.S. market. This Capri Tools offers 10 colorful torque sticks of various sizes to deliver the accuracy within 4%. To make the sticks organized they are delivered in a bright plastic molded box.

The range of these Capri Tools sticks goes up to 140 ft.-lbs.

You may do any wheel mounting jobs with such extension sticks. They have stamps to identify the size in a simple manner. This set includes 5 1/2-inch extension sticks, every stick’s length is 8 inches.

Pros
  • Color-coded for convenient jobs
  • A handy carrying case to place all sticks intact from losing or from dropouts
  • A lifetime warranty
  • All pieces are made of steel with chrome-molybdenum alloys
  • Durable
Cons
  • Heavy
  • May slip at the certain torque range
  • Some extension bars are shorter than the others

To tighten the fasteners with accuracy, you may want to add extension bars fitting your impact wrench perfectly. These tools can withstand heavy-duty jobs.

Neiko 02450A Torque Extension Bar Set – the best for heavy-duty jobs!

Neiko 02450A 1/2 Drive Torque Limiting Extension Bar SetThis set includes high-quality torque sticks with heavy-duty limiting sockets. Like most similar sets, these sticks are also color-coded for simpler identification. You may easily use these sticks when tightening fasteners and most of the wheel lug nuts.

All 5 sticks are 1/2-inch drive extension bars that can be used in any home or professional auto repair shops.

Pros
  • The matte finish is of exceptional quality
  • Can be good both for novices and expert car mechanics
  • A durable carrying case
  • Portable
  • Simple to use
  • Made of top-notch steel and chrome/molybdenum alloy
  • Different coloring codes for each stick
  • Engraved markings
  • Prevention of dropping
Cons
  • Heavy
  • The vibration can be strong
  • You need to fasten a lug nut completely or it may instantly go off-balance

This Neiko torque stick set assists with fastening your lug nuts to the appropriate torque range. All extension bars in the kit are 8 inches in length. These tools can withstand any heavy-duty uses.

Astro Pneumatic Tool Set – the best for portability!

Astro Pneumatic Tool 78810 10pc Torque Limiting Extension SetThis Astro Pneumatic Tool 78810 set offers 10 extension bars when you need to torque wheel nuts. These sticks are highly functional and durable. This kit can actually serve you for a lifetime. All extension bars in this set have a 1/2-inch drive size and they are 8 inches long.

Tips for users: to maintain these pieces clean and durable for many years, just wipe the grease before storing them in a toolbox.
Pros
  • Very portable
  • Made of extremely durable steel alloy
  • Easy care
  • Extended torque range
  • Color-coded for sizes
  • The anti-slip matte finish of black color
  • Simple size identification by color
  • Comes in a carrying case
Cons
  • The case is weak at the hinges
  • Not very accurate

These torque sticks need no calibration for a very long period. You may easily drop and apply these extension bars as you need. They will remain accurate for many years. The sticks feel solid and heavy when you hold them.

Neiko 02453A Torque Bar – the best for readability!

Neiko 02453A 1/2 Drive Torque Limiting Extension Bar & Deep Impact Socket SetThis Neiko 1/2-inch drive torque stick set includes deep impact sockets. The 8-piece set offers color-coded extension bars that are easy to use. The steel material is of superb quality. That is why it may last for many hours of heavy-duty jobs like tightening wheel lug nuts in auto repair shops.

The kit can be used for home or professional uses.

Pros
  • Made of superb quality materials – chrome molybdenum
  • The kit covers the most popular sizes of impact wrenches
  • Color-coding for faster identification
  • Easy readability
  • Very secure thanks to the lock on the socket
  • Comes with a molded storage
Cons
  • Not very accurate
  • A bit bulky

This set may prevent the risk of over-tightening when you use them on wheel lug nuts. All the included sticks are made with a thin-wall design for the places that are hard to reach.

ABN Color-Coded Limiting Socket Extension Bar – the best for accuracy!

ABN 1/2in Drive 8in Long Color-Coded Torque Limiting Socket Extension Bar 5pc Tool Kit 65-140 ft/lb SetAnother 10-piece torque stick set that is suitable for a torque range between 65 ft – lbs and 150 ft – lbs. Because all pieces are 8 inches long and have thin walls, you may use the ABN extension bars for reaching narrow and dark places effortlessly.

To prolong the use of wheel lug nuts, you may pick this set for sure. These sticks can be good virtually for any auto repair shop.

Pros
  • Color-coding for easier identification
  • Engraved torque markings
  • Durable
  • Easy to read
  • Maintenance-free if stored properly
  • Very accurate
Cons
  • A bit bulky

All pieces are made of the most durable materials and will surely save you for a long time. That is why this kit may serve you for a lifetime. You can keep the tools in a sturdy plastic case for easier transportation and storage.

The Buyer’s Guide

The torque range

One of the most important factors to consider when someone uses a stick is its torque range. Most sticks in this review offer a decent amount of range from 60 to 150 ft.-lbs. You won’t need the tools with a higher range unless you own a big truck with huge lug nuts to fasten.

Color coding

As you might have noticed, each set includes the sticks with different color options. In such a way, you won’t be able to use a wrong stick by mistake and reduce the risks of malfunction to a minimum. You just need to keep these things clean to differentiate the colors. In addition to color-coding, it is better to choose the extension bars with engraved and large markings.

Calibration

It is always a good sign if the torque wrenches or sticks are pre-calibrated at the factory where they were produced. Manual calibration can become a headache so consider sticking to the sets with the factory pre-calibration.

A single stick of a full-fledged set

It depends on your preferences and daily tasks. If you deal with different vehicles from cars to bikes, then you may need a set. Otherwise, stick to a single extension bar.

Torque Sticks FAQ

Do torque sticks really work?

You’ve probably never heard about a torque stick. When pace and precision are required, these handy tools are an essential addition to your range. Torque sticks, also known as torque restricting extensions, will easily become your best mate.

These tools are essentially an extension for your impact wrench. Given how handy these deceptively simplistic gadgets are, it’s possible that garages have kept the presence of torque bars a secret to prevent them from being used again.

When tightening a bolt, a torque stick may be attached to your impact rifle. The end of the stick is then fitted with a connector (heavy-duty impact socket). The stick is made with a specific amount of flex in mind.

As the specified torque is achieved, the stick stops flexing and refuses to spin anymore.

Most torque sticks are color-coded and provide an at-a-glance chart, enabling you to easily catch the stick you require without continuously referring to torque requirement data.

They often eliminate this need for delays, since an impact stick is built to prevent mid-project modifications.

Torque sticks are designed to be used in conjunction with an impact gun and would not reduce the torque of a torque wrench. However, by applying a torque stick and impact wrench, manual torque wrenches can be used to validate the torque when a suspended vehicle has been dropped to the ground for additional protection.

Are torque sticks reliable? These torque bars, unlike certain other types of wrenches, would never require to be re-calibrated due to the way they are made. When used correctly, a stick may be very reliable, although a wrench is preferred for the best degree of precision.

The greatest advantage of torque sticks over wrenches is speed.  This alone makes them an ideal addition to several garages, but experts recommend having a torque wrench on hand in case clearance is a problem or you require to check the torque setting.

If you often apply a lug nut impact wrench, a torque sticks kit may be an excellent addition to your toolbox. Mostly, they are not, though, intended for use with impact wrenches. Instead, they may be paired for a variety of handheld tools.

Whether you are a technician or own a car, you must do wheel repairs on a daily basis. A good torque stick package can help you complete the wheel job quicker. If you do the job right, you would not have to risk consistency or safety.

It is very easy to use these sticks. However, they, like every other instrument, have downsides. It is critical that the nuts and studs are lubed and they should be in proper working condition. In addition, check to see if the lug nuts are twisted equally.

Improper installation may result in issues such as broken tire studs, wobbly lug nuts, and even damaged brake rotors. Be sure you understand the operating process and don’t be afraid to read the manual.

Do torque sticks work with electric impacts?

They can not be used for an electric impact. The hammer rates and weights vary, and the spring stick doesn’t react well. Torque sticks apply a greater load to the effect, boosting current flow through the motor. 

Pneumatic impacts may not have this problem; they may strike indefinitely without the irregular wear. Pneumatics, ignoring variable causes, apply whatever the compressor will provide them at all times, resulting in the same hitting power despite the load.

Is it possible to use a torque stick in reverse?

Obviously, they can be obtained in both ways. The torque sticks, though, might not be able to operate with a gun (CP 7763) 1200 foot-pounds reverse. At best, you will apply it with a torque of 1000 ft-lbs.

When tightening lugs with a torque stick (or some other tool), they often operate in a star-like pattern, gently tightening each lug to maintain even pressure on the whole wheel. One of the most frequent causes of poor final torque precision is over-tightening a lug nut without distributing the torque.

Often, torque sticks are better used with an air-powered impact gun, as certain cordless impact wrenches can lack power when combined with the extra resistance of a stick.

Do torque wrenches operate both ways?

Many wrenches only reflect clockwise rotation. As a result, users must always review the wrench’s design before applying it on an anti-clockwise thread to guarantee the tool is appropriate and to avoid torque control failure. Left-hand threads can be used in the left-hand wheel nuts of some cars and the pedal of bicycles.

Many torque wrenches may be applied for undoing as long as consumers use restraint and do not surpass the full torque. If the bolt would not come free within the full torque of the tool, a different method can be used instead.

How do you change the direction of a torque wrench?

It is dependent on the torque wrench model. For example, to change the direction of the popular Sonic Dual Direction Wrench, you should do such steps:

  • To open the plug, simply push the switch;
  • Pull out the knob, choose torque, and drive it back inside the lock. The Sonic Lock System is quick and precise. Pull out the knob, switch it to the proper reading, and drive it back into the door;
  • The torque wrench can be used as a reversible ratchet thanks to the lateral turn. The push-through ratchet system on the two-way torque wrench tests torque in both directions;

How is a “rundown” torque calculated?

Running torque is also known as “friction torque”. It is the torque used to change the nut/bolt when the nut is “loose.” The locking mechanism of a locking nut (typically a plastic insert or a twisted bore section of the threads that explicitly pulls together on them) requires some effort to resolve.

The Rundown/Prevailing zone appears at the start of the tightening cycle (the assembly should be loose before tightening). The clamp load is negligible in this field, and the resistance is due to friction in the tightened area. This zone exists until the bolt/nut makes contact with the bearing surface. 

Any thread formation or thread-locking processes that arise during the rundown can be found in the Rundown/Prevailing zone. At zero torque, this region can act as a line overlapping the angle axis for non-prevailing nuts or clusters of clean and tapped threads.

Since torque value attempts to quantify the stretch of a bolt when the rotary slipping wedge of the threads is introduced to push the two ends apart, any rotary resistance forces inserted that are not actually applied to the component can distort the outcome.

If you torque to 100 in-lbs because it requires 30 in-lbs of torque only to change the nut since it’s a lock nut, you’ll just have added 70 in-lbs of “stretch” to the bolt until the tool trips at 100 in-lbs. So, if you weigh 30 in-lbs when spinning the nut down until it clamps down, apply it to the 100 in-lbs of weight, turn the wrench to 130, and you’ll have the correct 100 in-lbs application to the bolt/stud.

To make touch, the nut or bolt should be turned down to around half a degree (washer still loose). Add the torque needed only to pass the nut the last bit until it makes touch to the sum. If the nut spins easily because it is castellated and has no friction mechanism, because you can rotate it down with the fingers, don’t bother measuring it because the value would be too low.

Video Tutorial: Harbor Freight Professional Torque Sticks Review

Final thoughts

You’ve got the review of time-saving and efficient torque sticks along with a couple of tips on how to buy these bars. Take your wheel mounting skills to the next level thanks to these durable and colorful extension bars with a wide torque range. Make sure to double-check the materials and weight if you plan to use these tools on the road.


I’m a Matthew Johnson, and I’m a motor mechanic. I like my profession and every day I use many tools, but a torque wrench is most useful of them. I’m going to write about my experience of using different torque wrenches and share with you.

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One Comment

  1. The color coding may not seem like much but it makes my work so much easier to do. I know what each color is for and whenever I need one I just reach and grab that particular color. From the looks of it, this set is going to last a very, very long time. The set is heavy because each stick is heavy on its own and that is good in my eyes because it means it is more durable.

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