It is easy to assume that a torque wrench is an ordinary wrench. However, a torque wrench is used to tighten bolts to a particular level. This particularly applies when it comes to a wide variety of vehicles including cars, SUVs, coupes, motorcycles, trucks, and vans. Before using it on your vehicle, you need to make sure that you can use the tool well to avoid causing damage to the vehicle or snapping off a bolt. To use it, get the particular number of ft-lbs that you need to tighten the bolt. Then be sure that the bolt is not at an angle and is lined up well to avoid stripping the threads.
Lastly, tighten the bolt till it is firm. Then you can adjust the torque wrench’s ft-lbs and begin ratcheting. After getting to the ft-lbs you want, the wrench will click to indicate that you are finished. Now that you know how to use a torque wrench, you need to get the best one that is effective and durable. Here is a buying a guide and review of the best torque wrench products available to buy today.
Buying Guide for the Best Torque Wrench
A torque wrench comes in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and types, which can make it difficult to pick the best one for you. Here are some factors you require considering as you pick the best torque wrench that will meet your needs and requirements.
The reason for purchasing a torque wrench is to take advantage of the measurements that you get as you operate it. That is why it is essential to obtain a version that has excellent accuracy. If you pick a torque wrench with poor precision, you will not get value for your money.
When you are buying a tool, you want one that will last for long so that you can get your return on investment. If you go for a cheaper version, it is highly likely to have less metal and more plastic. Manufacturers use more plastic to maintain the low price, but the torque wrench will be less durable. If you must pick one that has plastic features, be sure they are minimal. In case you choose the best torque wrench made mostly from durable metal, you will obtain more value for your money.
Many people disregard the handling of a torque wrench when buying one. However, when you are tightening bolts and nuts while your hand is covered in oil or brake fluid, you will appreciate using a torque wrench that has a metal handle with deep ridges or a rubberized handle. Some contemporary tools normally have ergonomic handgrips that increase the ease of handling them.
4. Scale Readability
When a torque wrench is in use, its settings are indicated in a variety of ways on different models. This is the major feature of the tool, and hence you need to pick one that you can use and read easily. You can go for the best torque wrench that has an LCD screen or an analog one that has dial-style readouts.
If you are going to purchase a premium-quality torque wrench, then it is ideal to consider getting one with ratcheting capabilities. It will be more fun to work with it than one without this feature. It is quicker and easier to use such a tool.
6. Hard Case
Since these tools are calibrated devices, it is essential to keep them properly. Be sure to pick one with an excellent hard plastic case that will safeguard the wrench from losing its accuracy due to being banged on the other tools. The great thing is that the majority of the best torque wrench models come in a hard case. But it is ideal to confirm.
Many people may not deem certificates crucial. However, the best torque wrench models out there normally have certificates that prove the calibration and accuracy of the specific model. They also have instructions about how and when calibration should be done to maintain optimal performance.
Best Torque Wrench Reviews
This torque wrench works within a range of between 50 and 250 ft-lbs. Its accuracy is plus or minus four percent and is designed from long-lasting material. It has a solid design, and it is budget-friendly, which makes it an ideal alternative to the CDI 2503. However, this torque wrench has a length of 25 inches and weighs six pounds. It is a bulky unit, but it can be used for tightening lug nuts. You might have an issue working with suspension bolts. The tool has problems with accessibility due to its weight and dimensions.
Before purchasing it, it is suitable to study the car’s manual for the torque settings of every essential fastener on the car. Be sure to determine the bolts that require the maximum torque. If the figure is over 120 ft-lbs, you might require a heavy-duty torque wrench such as this one.
- Durable build
- Broad torque range
- Very economical
- Large dimensions
The Capri Tools 31000 consists of a 3/8-inch drive. This is essential because the tool is quite compact and can access areas that are difficult to reach. The torque wrench also has NIST calibration certification precision-made components, durable construction, clever design, and plus or minus four percent accuracy. However, the 31000 has a very narrow range of torque ranging between 10 and 80 ft-lbs, which makes it suitable for small fasteners. It is unsuitable for large fasteners, which are easy to access. Being able to access hard-to-reach small fasteners gives it an essential role. This torque wrench is cheap and does its job effectively.
- Great accuracy
- Affordable price
- Compact body
- Durable build
- A narrow range of the torque
The ACDelco ARM601-4 features an electronic torque wrench. While mechanical models measure torque mechanically, this electronic version measures torque with a strain gauge. Its digital screen shows the used torque in real time. Hence, it is suitable for making high-accuracy torque measurements. An electronic torque wrench can also indicate when you arrive at a pre-set torque. Moreover, the ACDelco ARM601-4 has an accuracy of plus or minus two percent clockwise and plus or minus three percent anticlockwise. But it has a narrow torque range of between three and 99 ft-lbs. It is also more expensive than its mechanical counterparts of the same torque range.
- Real-time torque display
- High accuracy
- Premium-quality build
- Average torque range
The TEKTON 24335 has a great price, high quality, and thoughtful design, which make it ideal for individuals working in setups that are non-industrial. This torque wrench features a torque range of between 10 and 150 ft-lbs. However, it has an accuracy of one percent less than the CDI tools and torque can only be measured in the clockwise direction. If you can manage the drawbacks, then you can save some money on this tool. You will even obtain a warranty for life against craftsmanship and material defects. If you are a beginner, this torque wrench would be a great first buy.
- Reasonable accuracy
- High-quality build
- Torque measurements are only done in a clockwise direction.
This is one of CDI’s premium models and an industrial brand from Snap-on. The 2503 has a torque range of between 30 and 250 ft-lbs. However, it is quite expensive due to its solid construction, great accuracy, good torque range, and premium-quality design. If you want an excellent torque wrench to be used on lug nuts, then this is the one. It will offer you great value for your money.
- High Accuracy
- Durable construction
- Wide torque range
- Very expensive
This torque wrench is an excellent tool to possess in your toolbox regardless of whether you are an amateur or a professional. An exceptional feature that you will see is the ability to lock the torque on various levels. Hence, you can utilize the wrench for repetitive use. The mechanism for adjustment is not under the torque wrench’s load that lets users set the force on their fingertips without any issues. Moreover, it has an adjustable knob that fails to entertain spring tension, making the adjustment to be easier, faster, and more accurate. It also has a chrome and nickel finish that increases its durability.
The grip is very ergonomic, which allows you to have control over the wrench every time. Additionally, after using the torque wrench, you are not required to turn it down, which is very convenient. The torque wrench’s head has a half-inch size that is standard and ideal to keep for all types of uses.
- Eradication of spring tension by the adjustable knob
- An easy and fast adjustment mechanism
- Can be locked on various levels
- Has a chrome and nickel finish that increases durability
- Bulky and inconvenient to use
- Lack of laser engraved readings
This torque wrench by EP Auto is an excellent tool that has numerous attractive features, which make the use of the tool more versatile and better. Unlike numerous other brands, this one fails to overlook the ratchet head’s material. The head is designed from treated and hardened chrome vanadium steel alloy. This material increases its durability and application to heavy-duty tasks. The other parts of the torque are designed from corrosion resistant material and a satin finish. This material also increases the longevity of the tool. It also has a high contrast scale that is easy to read and that has vivid reading marks and measurements.
The dual range scale makes it more efficient and accurate. Moreover, after reaching the torque value, the tool makes a tiny ‘click’ sound, which increases its convenience. It comes with a small case to store it safely and easily, and prevent its damage. Its accuracy is plus or minus four percent.
- Accurate dual scale
- Tiny “click” sound
- Readings can fade with time
- Measurement is done in one direction
The Park Tool has numerous features that will boost the convenience and speed of your wrenching experience. It has a stylish and unique body. It is also easy to adjust and lacks any load on the settings of adjustment, which makes it easier and faster to use. The torque wrench can register for right- and left-hand threading easily, making it highly versatile. Its body is easy to handle and lightweight, increasing its portability. It offers great results due to its high accuracy of plus or minus four percent. You will also get a safety box for storing the torque wrench to prevent any damage to the tool.
- Can register and read for right and left threading
- It is lightweight with a stylish design
- Has a case for safe and easy storage
- High accuracy of plus or minus four percent
- The handle lacks ergonomic features
- Lack of a durable marking on the scale
The Gorilla Automotive is designed from chrome vanadium steel, which makes it highly durable. Its scale is straightforward to read as it has clear markings. The scale also offers convenience by being dual in its Newton-meters and foot-pounds. Moreover, it has a torque range of between 10 and 150 feet-pounds. The tool is easy to use, you can twist it based on the required settings, and it will click to indicate that you stop. It also has an extension bar that measures five inches.
The extension bar increases the torque’s size and makes it easier to loosen or tighten the bolts. Its design is sleek and makes it easier to control the wrench. Lastly, it is accompanied by a case for easy and safe storage.
- Has an extension bar to increase its length for ease of use
- Chrome vanadium steel construction for durability
- Comes with a case for easy and safe storage
- A narrow range of torque
The TEKTON 24340 has an excellent design and great features that increase its competitiveness in the market. Its scale range is dual to improve the precision of the readings. Even under dim light, you can still read the high contrast scale. Additionally, its ratchet head can conveniently move in both directions. However, you can only take the torque measurements in the clockwise direction. You also don’t need to calibrate the tool every time you use it; it is pre-calibrated.
- Heavy-duty steel design for longevity
- It comes pre-calibrated
- The head of the ratchet can move in both directions
- It lacks an ergonomic handle