A torque wrench is a tool that must be in every mechanic’s tool set. These kinds of wrenches can give you the ability to tighten bolds and nuts to the recommended feet per pounds settings without worrying about over-tightening and possibly stripping of the nut, or worse, damage your engine.
What is a Torque
In simple terms, torque refers to tightening force. Safety critical automotive parts always have certain manufacturer’s torque settings stating the amount of torque that’s needed for their fasteners.
Utilizing too much force can result in damage to the fastener or damage to the mating parts. Similarly to that, use too little torque implies giving a bolt the opportunity to back out or shear off when the bolted joints are loaded, yielding in a potentially dangerous failure.
While this might not be a huge problem for something insignificant like a glove box latch, it’s most surely a consideration for safety critical items like suspension and brake components. Because of that, it is really crucial to guarantee that you are using a torque wrench to apply the right amount of torque when the job calls for it.
On the other hand, a torque wrench is a kind of wrench that lets you precisely tighten a fastener to a torque they specify. Normally, you use one wrench and swap out sockets to match your bolt size, similar to how you’d use a ratcheting socket wrench.
These wrenches comes in many different versions, nonetheless those versions used in the automotive industry are the most common ones.
Why Torque Wrenches Are Crucial
When you purchase a torque wrench, you are purchasing an accurate tool that’s going to measure the applied tension/load/force on a threaded fastener. The tools is going to aid you achieve the recommended fastening torque efficiently and precisely without needing plenty of elbow grease.
When your fastener is correctly torqued, it can stay tight no matter how much vibration is present while the vehicle is in operation. If the bolts and nuts are improperly torqued, that could present disaster for you as well as your vehicle.
How Do They Work
Most torque wrenches you find today are going to have a ratchet mechanism that’s going to let you keep the wrench on the bolt or nut once it reached the end of the rotation.
In other words, you don’t need to take the wrench off the bolt in order to do another rotation. All you need to do is just turn the torque wrench in the opposite direction and start all over again.
Its ratcheting mechanism utilizes gears inside the head of the torque wrench. These gears lets the handle to rotate backward while the fastener you are working with stays still and precludes it from unloosening. Due to this fact, you can work much faster in tight spaces.
If you’re working on vehicles a lot and you want to speed up the process of loosening or tightening bolts, then a torque wrench is needed tool that you are going to have in your tool box.
Top 5 Torque Wrench Reviews
1. Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque Wrench
If you are seeking for a gunsmithing wrench that will enable you to set the torque for your scope’s mount rings, guard screws, windage screws, and base screws precisely repeatedly, then do not look beyond this torque wrench.
The Wheeler Firearms Accurizing torque wrench has an ergonomic designed handle with a standardized hex-drive tip that is ideally placed for applying torques ranging from 10 inch per pounds to 65 inch per pounds with increment of 5 inch per pound at each stage.
The precision rating is 2 inch +/- up to 40 inch per pounds and +/- 5% for torque settings exceeding 40 inch per pounds. A total of 9 bits is supplied with the pack. Those are 1 square drive adapter, 2 Torx bit, 3 Allen bit, 3 flat blade bit, and 1 windage.
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtSGQ64cm9Q
- Ergonomic handle
- Extensive torque range
- Comes with a variety of wrench bits
- Very handy clutch/click system
- Hard plastic case
- Accurate and durable
- Easy to use and reliable
- This wrench doesn’t work with Nikon P-Series Mounts and Nikon M-223
- The wrench would need more effort to turn as you increase the torque setting
2. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2″ Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench
This torque wrench is ideal for domestic and commercial use, so is a great solution considering its cheap price combined with its long lasting life. It’s easy to use and set up and is suitable for both heavy and light industrial equipment that require nuts and bolts fastening and tightening. Once your desired torque level has been reached, this torque wrench will make a clicking sound to notify you.
Unlike its competitor brands, you are not required to turn down its torque setting after every use, and it also comes with a good warranty so if it does develop a defect, the manufacturer can provide you with a replacement unit.
Moreover, its torque setting also lock onto each setting that you pick which adds extra advantage. In addition to that, the quality is reflected in the overall price of the product, but it’s a very trusted brand that has been prominent for years to make high-quality products so you don’t end up frustrated.
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmLJ11vySDs
- Respected brands
- Higher speeds
- Long torque wrench
- Easy to use
- Incorporates modernized technology
- Only works in a clockwise direction
3. eTORK (C3250) 1/2-Inch Drive”Click Style” Torque Wrench
This torque wrench is another heavy hitter and comes with a torque range of 100-600 feet per pound. It’s truly versatile, and this wrench is calibrated to function well in both directions.
It also features a dual scale measurement so it must always be a priority that a torque wrench must able to minimize the errors as much as possible. But regarding this and its dual range measurement, you can set its torque on both the English and metric scales.
Moreover, this product features a locking knob for accurate and secure readings. Its torque settings are done by pulling a large locking knob and then turning its handle. Now to secure its torque settings from any sudden changes, there’s the locking know on this product for reliable usage at all times.
And lastly it incorporates hardened alloy steel housing for longevity and extra strength. Additionally, aside from just rendering the torque wrench usable in even the roughest environments significantly cuts down on the size and entire weight of the wrench because it’s slimmer without compromising on its durability.
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs8lv8rZhpk
- Ergonomic large diameter handle
- Easy to use
- Accurate readings
- Includes hardened alloy steel housing
- Solid click when it is set
- Comes with a ratchet head
- The lock ring tend to loose
- Hard to disassemble if you want to self-calibrate
4. CDI 1002MFRMH 3/8-Inch Drive Metal Handle Click Type Wrench
This click version torque wrench offers excellent quality of craftsmanship granting you exceptional durability. The dual scale is calibrated in both directions, being precise for up to 3% CW, 4% CCW of the displayed value.
Measures are given for both Newton-meters and foot-pound, each marked on either side of its handle. Thus, giving you a torque range of ten to one hundred foot lbs., additionally, this torque wrench is both easy to use as well as easy to read.
Its scales are laser marked and fast release buttons are featured, allowing for good simple socket removal and socket retention. Also, its grip is highly effective, with nice knurling never letting any slippage to occur. Its ratchet head locks to three positions, center, reverse, and forward setting whereby it’s not ratcheting.
Moreover, its click notification is crisp and clear, while its adjustment is also smooth. Aside from that, its dual scales’ accuracy have been calibrated in both counterclockwise and clockwise directions with precision at 4% or even better.
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKkXbEWGAkM
- Calibrated in dual directions
- Easy to set
- Easy to read and use
- Comes with quick release buttons
- Precise measurements
- Hassle-free setting
- Has good grip
- Easy to read laser marked single scale
- Its switcher is quite sloppy
5. TEKTON 24350 3/4-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This torque wrench provides a great range from 10-150 feet per pounds and more, all while maintain a reasonable price. It’s a tool that is highly recommendable for use on trucks, garden equipment, lawn, and cars. Additionally it is very durable and has great overall quality.
It is calibrated to +/-4% in order to preclude stressed or loosed parts. It is also completely made of steel to ensure long-lasting durability, and for convenience in use, it offers a dual-range scale that’s easy to read even in poor lighting conditions.
Moreover, it measures in clockwise direction and offers a convenient reversible design for its ratchet that lets you use in both directions. Also, this torque wrench has a lightweight all steel construction that’s built for years of dependable service that doesn’t wear. In addition, its integrated high-contrast, dual-range scale makes it easy to comprehend the value even in low light surroundings.
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVyywVTqAJI
- Lightweight construction
- Incorporated with dual-range scale
- Accurate readings
- Made by a prominent brand
- Budget friendly
- Solid built
- Knurled handle
- Pre-calibrated to +/- 4% precision
- Reversible ratchet head design
- Can’t get enough leverage at higher torque settings
- The click notification may not be loud enough
How Much You Must Spend on A Torque Wrench
Before you decide on the budget factor, you must remember that with a lower price, there could be a trade-off. Longevity is a priority, particularly if you don’t necessarily need to use the torque wrench frequently.
For consumers that work very frequently or even on a daily basis on their cars, a high-quality torque wrench with extra features would be the ideal choice. This way, users can get plenty of use out of it and really be able to take complete advantage of the benefits instead of having it sitting in a tool box for a number of years.
You must also consider how much time you can save with the extra features of a torque wrench. If utilizing one can speed up your work, then it could pay for itself in hours over the course of a few years or possible even a few weeks depending on how much you’re going to use the torque wrench.
What is Accuracy Tolerance
This factor is the system for measurement that’s used to compare the precision of various torque wrenches.
With an accuracy tolerance rating, you need to plus and minus percentage that would look like this: +/- 4%. Meaning, the reading compared to the actual torque is give or take 4$ short of perfect precision. Anything below or at 4% ought to be fine for typical use. On the other hand, some premium digital torque wrenches have an accuracy tolerance of as little as less than 1%.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Torque Wrench
This is the most crucial section since it can help you narrow down your picks in choosing the best torque wrench.
Always look for the torque wrench that can provide you an easy grip. This might come in handy particularly if your hands are always slippery because of engine fluids and oils. Ultimately, a slippery torque wrench can potentially become a very frustrating inconvenience.
Many torque wrenches offer Newton meters or feet per pounds units of measurements. Additionally, most of them are now digitalized. You must select a torque wrench that can offer a clear visibility. Of course, there’s no use if you can’t read and interpret the readings clearly right?
Product specs might not entirely reveal how the device is working in real life. This could happen even though the manufacturer discloses a myriad of technical details. One practical approach to address this is to read user reviews and ratings before actually purchasing the torque wrench.
Construction and Size
The ideal torque wrench must have a fine and solid finish. Size can also be a crucial factor due to the fact that you don’t need to use the big ones. Nonetheless, for heavy applications, a much larger torque wrench is advisable.
Now that you’ve got all the essential information you need, it is now up to you to pick the best torque wrench. Decision-making could be tricky but with the use of this guide, it must be an easier task now.
You simply need to review each product’s pros, cons, and features to come up with a wiser decision. Additionally, try to check if the price you prefer makes a great value for your hard-earned money.
Table of Contents
- What is a Torque
- Why Torque Wrenches Are Crucial
- How Do They Work
- Top 5 Torque Wrench Reviews
- How Much You Must Spend on A Torque Wrench
- What is Accuracy Tolerance
- What to Consider When Buying the Best Torque Wrench