As unnecessary as it may sound, it is crucial to tighten the nuts and bolts in the right way.
And for that, you need a torque wrench to makes sure the bolts are screwed in place without over or under tightening. it is an essential tool that can save you from wrecking your car or any other heavy equipment.
If you are not an expert, it gets pretty difficult to choose the one.
To make your choice easier, I have done the 10 best torque wrench reviews for you.
Our Top Recommendation:
Tekton 24340 Drive Click is the winner of the roundup. Not only does it perform exceptionally well, it’s got an excellent price too. The wrench is accurate and is calibrated out of the box. If you handle it with care, there’s little you have to do to maintain it.
1. Tekton 24340 Drive Click
The Tekton 24340 is one of the best-selling product that is available right now. It is a ½-Inch wrench with a range of 25-250 ft-pound which makes it an ideal choice for working on cars, trucks, tractors and other large equipment.
It comes pre-calibrated. You really don’t need to fiddle around to receive accurate results. Just make sure you don’t drop the wrench and it should last for years without re-calibration.
- Excellent Construction
- Solid pricing
- Detailed User’s Manual with Torque Conversion Chart
- Excellent after-sales service
- Wide torque range
- Could not find any.
The Tekton 24340 1/2 -inch Drive Click is certainly worth the money and the one I would recommend you look into. It’s not only the low price that makes this product worth recommending. The build quality on this one is great and so is the long-term reliability. If you are on a tight budget and are looking for a solid wrench, this one has to be it.
2. CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch
CDI has a long history of making high-quality industrial equipment. The Torque 2504MFRPH ½-inch is no different. In fact, it is the most reliable and accurate wrench on the list. It also comes with quality certification.
The CDI Torque has a laser marked scale which is easy to read. Adjusting the torque is an easy affair as well. It has a range of 30 to 250 ft-pound which is quite wide. So, it should be a perfect tool for working on cars and trucks.
Being made in the USA, It is made of high-quality material. The accuracy of this wrench is also higher when compared to its competition. Designed specifically for those who need tools capable of producing consistent results.
- High-quality construction
- Comes with quality certification
- Very precise with high accuracy
- Excellent for professional work where the tool needs to be reliable
It is probably the best high-quality wrench in the price range it comes. You also get a one year warranty on this wrench.
3. TEKTON 24320 1/4-Inch
This is another excellent product from Tekton. It’s a 1/4-inch Drive Click which works great on cars, trucks and other heavy equipment. It is made out of metal and more utilitarian than cosmetic. However, keep in mind that, even though it’s a metal build wrench, you will want to avoid dropping it from heights. As with all the other wrenches, be it cheap or expensive, you shouldn’t drop them in order to maintain the accuracy of the wrench.
- Excellent Construction
- Solid pricing
- Detailed User’s Manual with Torque Conversion Chart
- Wide torque range
The packing of the wrench is excellent. You feel it’s a quality right from the moment you pick it up. The carrying case you get with this wrench is also well constructed which is a nice touch. Overall, for the money, you will be pleased with what this wrench offers.
4. Pittsburgh Pro 239 Professional Drive Click
If you have got a low budget, Pittsburgh Pro 239 Professional Drive Click is the Best option for the money
You can have one of these for under $30 and it works like a charm, well, at least for the first year or so. But don’t get me wrong, if you really take care of it without being too hard on it, it will probably last longer.
It has a wide torque range of 20 to 150 pound-feet. The wrench itself is 18-inch long. It’s a click type option which can also work in reverse direction.
- Priced well below the competition
- Solid construction for the price
- Great for home use
- Quality control issues
- Not very accurate
- Long-Term reliability issues
This wrench is clearly made for home use. It doesn’t come with any certification and it’s not as accurate as other torque wrenches. However, if you have to fasten any bolt of your vehicle, using it is much safer than screwing bolts manually.
5. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2″ Drive Split Beam
The Precision Instruments ½” drive split beam is a unique wrench on the list. It’s not cheap but it is highly reliable and will work for years without any problem. It also comes with a proper calibration certificate to give you a piece of mind.
This torque wrench is easier to setup than the click-type wrench. You don’t need to reset it to zero after you are done with the work, like other wrenches.
Made in the US, it is made of high-quality material. I have seen mechanics use it roughly and even tossing it around. It still worked like a charm. Not that I recommend you do so.
- Highly accurate
- Comes with a sturdy case
- Easier to use than most click-type wrench
- Proper Calibration Certificate
- Ratchet cannot be reversed
If the budget is not your concern, this model is the one I highly recommend you go for. At the price, it’s really difficult to find anything better. It comes from a reputed brand and is overall a great tool.
6. Park Tool Ratcheting
Park Tool is an American company which dates back to 1963! And all these years, they have been making nothing but tools for repairing machines and automobiles. They are one of the pioneers in this field and know exactly what they are making.
The Park Tool Ratcheting Torque Wrench ½ inch comes pre-calibrated with +/- 4% accuracy and has torque range of 18-124 inch pounds. The wrench itself is 9 inches long. It is comfortable to hold and gives a premium feel in the hands. It can work for years without any problem if you take good care of it.
- Constructed well
- High accuracy
- Long-Term reliability
- Lack of proper customer support
If you are looking for an option which comes from a reputed brand, this Park Tool Ratcheting is something that should be on your bucket list. It may not have a fancy digital display like the newer models but it works perfectly.
7. GearWrench 85060 1/4″ Drive Micrometer
The GearWrench ¼ inch Drive Micrometer is made in China. But don’t put it off just because it is not an American product. With excellent user ratings and a year of warranty, you really can’t go wrong with this torque wrench. It also has a wide torque range of 30-200 pound-feet.
But the feature that I really love has to be its small profile. Thanks to it, you can get into tight spaces and get the work done. Unfortunately though, reading the numbers on the handle isn’t as easy. However, you can get around it by coloring it black right at your home.
- Highly accurate
- Comes calibrated
- Small profile makes working on tight spaces easy
- Numbers on the handle are not easily readable. Would have been better if it were printed in black
- The click when you have reached your desired torque setting isn’t clearly audible
The GearWrench Torque has very few flaws to it and is an overall great wrench. It’s ideal for working on cars and trucks. If you are on tight budget, you may want to stretch a little and get this one.
8. Neiko 03713A 3/8″ Drive Adjustable Click
Constructed out of Chrome Vanadium Steel, you will love the build of this product. For the materials used in the making of this wrench, you may expect it to cost a lot of money and if that’s the case, you will be very wrong. Thanks to mass production and little expenditure in marketing, the company has been able to price this product for less than $100.
It comes pre-calibrated and our test results show that it is also quite accurate. The numbering is also ready to read and setting it up takes less than a minute. It has a torque range of 10-80 pound-feet, so make sure it is good for the work you are doing.
- Priced lower than the competition
- Comes calibrated
- Premium materials used for construction
- Long-term durability concerns
- Questionable customer support
The Neico performs on par with the competition but is priced lower. It is also very accurate and using it is as easy as it gets. But it has a fair share of known quality issues. The long-term reliability is also questionable. So think twice before getting this one.
9. Gorilla Automotive TW605
The Gorilla Automotive TW605 is my personal favorite and the one I have been using for years. So I can speak about the long-term reliability of it. It’s been over two years and the wrench has been holding up great. It’s also quite accurate and there has been no need for recalibration to date.
You will love the satisfying click sound it produces when you reach your desired torque. The protective box that it comes in is also well constructed and definitely can take a beating in your garage.
- Satisfying click sound when the desired amount of torque is reached
- Calibration not off even after two years of use
- Solid metal construction
- Easy to set up and use
- Comes with a nice black protective box
- The measurement isn’t precise when compared to a professional grade wrench.
I have had really good experience with the Gorilla Automotive TW605. It’s made well and does a good job of tightening the bolts. If you are not a professional and don’t need the highest degree of accuracy, this wrench is the one you should go for.
10. Craftsman 9-13919 25-250 ft lbs 1/2 Drive Digi-Click
The Craftsman 1/2 Drive Digi-Click is for those who like everything digital. While mechanics may not be willing to endorse this as the best digital torque wrench, trust me, it’s quite a nice product.
It has a torque range of 25-250 ft-lbs and you can change the setting with a press of a button. In addition to that, this digital wrench also lets you convert the readings from ft-lbs to in-lbs in a fly! It has also got a LED backlight which means you don’t have to stop your work as it gets dark.
- Digital display easier to read
- Convert torque from ft-lbs to in-lbs with a push of a button
- Easy to adjust setting fast using the buttons below the display
- LED Backlit screen makes it easy to read the numbers at night
- Reliability issues
- Accuracy worsens over time
The Craftsman Digi-Click is a relatively new product in the market and doesn’t have excellent reliability records. But if you are using it at home and taking excellent care of it, it will probably last you a little longer. I would pick this one up for its ease of use and convenience features.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How to Use a Torque Wrench?
There are three type of wrench you will find:
- Beam Style Wrench
- Dial Gauge
The most popular one is the Click Torque Wrench. Most of the aforementioned torque wrenches are click type wrenches. So, I will be guiding you on how to use them specifically.
They is also known as the Ratcheting wrench and is very easy to use. It is made out of metal and has an internal spring and a handle which lets you adjust the torque according to your requirements.
Follow the given steps to optimally use your Torque Wrench:
- Once you have the wrench out of the box, turn the micrometer to select the desired torque.
- Connect the wrench to the socket and attach the fastener. Make sure you are using correct size socket that holds the fastener in place.
- Slowly and evenly apply force until you hear a clicking sound.
- The tightening process is complete and you can release the wrench.
- After that, make sure you reset the torque reading back to zero so that there is no pressure in the spring. It will help increase the longevity of the wrench.
Also check out: Best Air Impact Wrench
How to Select the Best?
There’s no buy one fit all option. What works best on one type of equipment may not work well on another. All the wrench mentioned in this article are top-notch.
Made from high-quality materials, they will definitely last a long while. But all of them have different characteristics with their own set of pros and cons. So, you want to have a look at them in detail before making your purchase.
To select the wrench, you need to get your requirements right. Check the user manual which almost always exactly specifies the tool required to do the job. You can also go to forums to find a specific wrench for your work.
Another thing you may want to look at before making a purchase is a certification. You will find that more expensive wrenches come with certification detailing the accuracy of the tool. A cheaper one doesn’t come with any certification. If you are buying a wrench for your home needs, one without it is good enough.
Is a Torque Wrench Really Needed?
Although a lot of people take torque wrench for granted, it is a really important piece of tool in automotive and repair industry. They are not ‘fancy accessories’ which is why they don’t grab much attention. But they are crucial if you plan on working with nuts and bolts.
It is a fundamental tool that is required so that right amount of force is applied on the bolts. It makes sure that the bolts are not over-tightened ensuring customers’ safety
So yes, be it for tightening a bolt of the wheels of your car or bolting the parts of any heavy equipment, a torque wrench is recommended.
In fact, if you go through manual of any equipment (including your car), you will find the torque figures that need to be applied to your equipment for fastening the bolts. If it weren’t necessary or all that important, why would manufacturers even bother mentioning them in the manual?
Can You Use a Torque Wrench to Loosen Bolts?
A wrench can be used to both fasten and loosen the bolts. But with a torque wrench, things aren’t as simple. While you can unscrew a bolt using a torque wrench, you shouldn’t try doing so if more torque is required than your wrench’s maximum torque handling capacity. Doing so may or may not result you in unscrewing the bolt but it will certainly affect the accuracy of the wrench hence rendering it useless.
How Does a Click Torque Wrench Work?
Like the name implies, a click torque wrench is the one which produces a confirmation click when required torque is applied on a nut or a bolt.
Contrary to what most users think, one click is enough to ensure the correct application of torque on the bolt. So, there’s really no need to keep turning the wrench after one click.
How Do you Calibrate a Torque Wrench?
When you buy a new torque wrench, it will come pre-calibrated. So, the best thing you can do is handle it with care. You also want to make sure that you keep the wrench in the box it came in and you definitely don’t want to drop it.
I am saying it because calibrating the torque wrench isn’t easy. To calibrate it, you must understand the math behind it. The formula used for calibration is Ta= Ts x (D1/D2) where
- Ta= Applied Torque
- Ts= Torque Setting
- D1= Distance One
- D2= Distance 2
Alternatively, you can also use the following formula: T =F x D where
- T= Torque
- F= Force (Weight)
- D= Distance
Alongside the formula, you will need the following tools to get the calibration right:
- Your uncalibrated torque wrench (of course)
- A Bench vise
- 20 lbs weight
- Measuring tape
- A piece of rope
When you have everything in place, follow the instructions below to calibrate your torque wrench:
- Use the measuring tape to find the length from the square drive of the wrench to the point where your hand rests when using it.
- Secure the square drive to the bench vise toolkit.
- Align the wrench to the afore calculated measurement and then multiply it by 20lbs. Lock down the 20lbs weight with one end of the rope and attach its another end to the point where your hand rests while using the wrench.
- Place the wrench in a horizontal position. With it in place, move the weight a bit to check if the wrench produces a clicking sound. Keep moving the weight towards the tool’s head until you no longer hear the clicking sound. Mark the point where the sound is no more audible.
- Calculate the distance between the square drive and the market point and multiply it by 20lbs.
- Finally, apply the formula Ta= Ts x (D1/D1) to find out the applied torque.