Best Torque Wrench Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

best torque wrench reviews

Are you having difficulty finding the best torque wrench reviews? There are a few online, but how reliable are they? Like any customer you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. That’s how I feel too. I have spent years working with torque wrenches, both good and bad. To save you the trouble I have here the five top rated torque wrench today.
I’ve also included plenty of info about torque wrenches in general. If you want to do your own research, the facts here can help. Aside from the reviews I’ve also added my personal recommendations.

Why need a Torque Wrench


Before you start looking for the top rated torque wrench, we have to explain what it’s for and why you may need it.
Torque wrench usage varies, but their most basic application is to modify nut and bolts tightness levels. These wrenches have torque settings which you can adjust. Measurements are either in meters or feet, but the function is the same.

Car Work: You can use torque wrenches for car repair work. Your car manual has information for the specific information on what setting should be used. With the right torque wrench, you’ll be able to set the right amount of pressure for your car. Most torque wrenches are universal, that is, they can be used on almost all types of cars.

Bicycle Tuning: Bicycle specific torque wrenches are used to adjust bicycle settings. By tweaking the appropriate gears you’ll get maximum performance from your bike. Just make sure the torque wrench is for bicycles, as ordinary ones cannot reach the right torque setting.

Basically you should use a torque wrench on any device that needs tightening of bolts and screws. A regular ratchet by comparison, doesn’t provide the same level of tightness.

What are the Advantages of Torque Wrench


  • Comfortable Rides: Nuts and bolts that have been tightened by torque wrenches will result in smoother rides. You’re going to notice the difference as you turn the steering wheel.
  • Optimize Performance: When hubs and other components are properly tightened, the result is maximum performance. These parts function according to their design specifications.
  • Safer Driving: Properly torqued vehicles are easier to maneuver. There are no vibrations when you drive at high speed.
  • Fewer Maintenance Checkups Needed: Vehicles need less maintenance if the tightness levels are correct. This is also true for other devices and equipment.

Types of Torque Wrench


If you study the best torque wrench, you’ll come across different types, but the most important are Click-Type Torque Wrench, Electronic Torque Wrench and Beam Torque Wrench.

Click-Type Torque Wrench


The click wrench is a more advanced version of the socket wrench. You use the clutch mechanism to set the torque level. Once the desired level is reached, the clutch moves down to the level you indicated.
Click torque wrenches are very precise, preventing the system from over stretching or overreaching and breaking. If you need a shut off mechanism this will do. Once you’re done, restore the torque setting to zero. This eliminates the pressure on the spring. If you don’t relieve the pressure on the spring it’s going to generate imprecise readings.

Electronic Torque Wrench


You can program an electronic torque wrench and specify its limits. A strain gauge is connected to the torsion rod. This works in conjunction with a transducer to set the torque.
The results are displayed on an LED screen. These wrenches have computerized chips that store the readings for later reference. You can even connect these to your computer.

Beam Torque Wrench


A beam torque wrench has a simple design with a handle and head divided by a level arm. The arm is elastic, allowing you to slightly bend the torque wrench to the desired pressure. If there’s no pressure or you’re not using the wrench, the arm and indicator remain parallel.
When you apply the torque, the scale adjusts to give the proper reading. While simple, beam wrenches are accurate and affordable. They’re easy to use and should last a long time. If you’re going to use a beam torque, keep an eye on the scale pointer to ensure accuracy.
So which torque wrench is best for you? If you only use it on occasion, a beam / click torque wrench should be fine. The most accurate is the electronic torque wrench with +/- 0.5% to 4% levels.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Torque Wrench


Size: Torque wrenches come in different sizes, but the following are the most common.

  1. ¼ inch: this is for lawn and garden, bicycles and motorcycles.
  2. 3/8 inch: 3/8 inch torque wrenches are often used for automobiles, light trucks and other passenger vehicles.
  3. ½ inch: these are also ideal for cars as well as light to medium sized trucks. You can also use a ½ inch torque wrench for some car repair work as well as SUVs.
  4. 1 inch: these are designed for aircraft, cargo planes, tractors and other large vehicles.
  5. ¾ inch: this isn’t as widely used as the others due to its size. You’ll find this often used in center lug wheels, but unless you do specialized work, you probably won’t need it.

Types: The most widely used are beam, electronic and click. For details please refer to the Types of Torque Wrench section.

Materials: An all-steel construction is preferable. If the torque wrench has nickel chrome finish or something similar, that’s even better.

Grip: a Comfortable handle is a must, especially if you’ll be using it for extended periods.

Features and Qualities: The top rated torque wrench has knobs to relieve spring tension. An ergonomic handle is another important feature.

Square Drive: Square drive or range determines how much the rotor expands inwards or outwards. Square drives also improve a torque wrench’s functionality.

Accuracy: The most accurate is electronic torque wrench and used in sports cars. But for regular automotive work, click or beam types will do.

Range: Range measurement is in Newton meters or foot-pounds. The range determines how much maximum and minimum torque can be used with that tool.

  1. Light Work: if your work involves standard car repair and maintenance, 15-75 ft-lb range will do. These torque wrenches are perfect for spark plugs and the other nuts and bolts on your car.
  2. Light to Medium Work: for heavier tasks like tightening of lugs and calipers, a 30-150 ft-lb torque wrench is preferable.
  3. Medium Range Work: if you drive a light truck or do trailer repair get torque wrenches in the 50-250 ft-lb range.
  4. Heavy Duty Work: these are in the 120-600 ft-lb and 200-1000 ft-lb range. These torque wrenches are meant to be used on large equipment and vehicles. Race cars also use these torque wrenches.

Storage case: Top rated torque wrench products come with a case for storage and transportation.

Our Pick For Best Torque Wrench


We made a short list of 5 best torque wrench for you. That will help you to sort out the best torque wrench that is suitable for you. Let’s take a look at our best pick.

Short Review Of Each Best Torque Wrench


Here is the short review of each best torque wrench that we selected for you.

1. TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150 ft.-lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)


TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150 ft.-lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)

The Tekton 24335 is a top rated torque wrench for many reasons. It has a solid feel and comfortable to hold. It’s easy to use on vehicles and also lawnmowers. It makes tightening easy down to your precise specs. With the right application you also reduce the risk of damage. With +/- 4% calibration, getting to the right torque level is quick. There’s also a mechanism that triggers a clicking sound, telling you the torque has been applied. Overall this is an effective and easy to use torque wench. For general all-purpose work, this will do just fine.

Specifications:


  1. Dimensions: 1.2″ H x 1.8″ W x 18.5″ D.
  2. Wrench emits a click that can be heard and felt when the preset value is reached.
  3. High-contrast dual-range scale is easy to read, even in low light.
  4. Ratchet head made of chrome vanadium steel.
  5. Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions and measures torque in clockwise direction.
  6. Has a non-slip knurled handle for extra grip.
  7. Pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy and ready to use.
  8. To help maintain calibration, store at its lowest setting of 10 ft.-lb./13.6 Nm when not in use.
  9. Weight: 4.3 Pounds.
  10. Includes 1/2 in. drive torque wrench, Storage case, Operator’s manual with torque conversion chart.

Benefits:

  • Can be used on light trucks and cars.
  • Easy to read instructions.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Construction is solid all-steel and has no plastic parts.
  • Reliable performance.
  • Stainless steel rail system.

Drawbacks:

  • One customer complained the locking nut design could be better.
  • The metric scale could have been better implemented.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


The best torque wrench reviews have come from both new and longtime users. One customer said the Tekton makes it easy to repair his car. Another reviewer said she uses it regularly to fix her garden equipment. There is also a customer who said he’d recommend it to everyone who needs a torque wrench.
There are some who are not entirely happy with it. But for the most part, customers are delighted with its performance. Going over the reviews, the consensus is the torque wrench is efficient and simple to use. One of those who bought the Tekton says it works flawlessly.

2. TEKTON 24330 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-80 ft.-lb./13.6-108.5 Nm)


TEKTON 24330 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-80 ft.-lb./13.6-108.5 Nm)

The 24330 is one of the best torque wrench Tekton has made so far. I had no problems calibrating, and it works great on fasteners. The reversible head allows you to set fasteners in either direction. I also like its design, very solid and no plastic components. The 24330 performs well without a fuss. It’s easy to measure torque and there’s no need to use too much force. I’ve tried a lot of torque wrenches in the 10-80 ft-lb range, and this is near the top as far as efficiency goes.

Specifications:


  1. Wrench emits a click that can be heard and felt when the preset value is reached.
  2. High-contrast dual-range scale is easy to read, even in low light.
  3. Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions and measures torque in clockwise direction.
  4. Durable all-steel construction has no plastic parts to break or wear out.
  5. Pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy and ready to use.
  6. Weight: 2.2 pounds.

Benefits:

  • Scale is easy to read.
  • Does a good hob tightening.
  • Accurate calibration.
  • Dependable performance.
  • Ergonomic design.

Drawbacks:

  • One customer said his wrench had scratched paint.
  • Another reviewer said it’s not that accurate at low range.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


The 24330 has gotten some very good reviews. One of them said the 24330 is the most accurate torque wrench he’s tried. Another said he uses this for regular car maintenance. According to him, there have been no problems at all. This view is shared by most buyers, who also commend its strength.
Most of the reviewers also have nothing but positive things to say about customer support. The few who have had complaints about the product point out customer support has been very helpful. One person said he bought the Tekton for use on his motorcycle and it works great. As all these reviews show, the feedback has been favorable.

3. TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (25-250 ft.-lb./33.9-338.9 Nm)


TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (25-250 ft.-lb./33.9-338.9 Nm)

The 24340 has a lot of features similar to other Tekton products. However, there are a lot of unique characteristics that have earned it some of the best torque wrench reviews. One of the features that I like is it produces a nice click when you get to the preset level. I enjoy using the torque wrench. It’s comfortable and doesn’t wear you out. The measurements are also accurate and it’s clearly built for long term use. I also find the dual contrast range scale convenient to read. You won’t have trouble reading even if the surrounding area isn’t well lit.

Specifications:


  1. Wrench emits a click that can be heard and felt when the preset value is reached.
  2. High-contrast dual-range scale is easy to read, even in low light.
  3. Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions and measures torque in clockwise direction.
  4. Durable all-steel construction has no plastic parts to break or wear out.
  5. Pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy and ready to use.

Benefits:

  • Comes with a carry case.
  • Makes tightening easy.
  • Works well for various nuts and bolts.
  • Well balanced.
  • Comfortable handle.

Drawbacks:

  • The instructions could be more detailed.
  • One reviewer said the torque wrench arrived damaged, but Tekton had it replaced.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


The best torque wrench gets good reviews, and the 24340 is no exception. Some of the most positive reviews have come from new buyers. One of those said the settings are easy to adjust. Another customer said he’s used the Tekton many times and has never had problems.
Like the other Tekton torque wrenches, negative reviews have been posted about it. But most of those who have used this are content with the results. While it’s not perfect, this Tekton torque wrench does what it’s supposed to as far as tightening nuts and bolts go.

4. Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench


Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench

With a range of 30 to 250 ft-lb, the CDI shines in the versatility department. I agree with the best torque wrench reviews that the CDI is an all-around tool. It’s the perfect solution for most suspension, engine and oil drain work. It doesn’t make a click when you adjust the torque. But the break is clear so for me it’s not an issue. The calibrated dual direction works nicely, and it’s very accurate. I also like the socket quick release buttons. The wrench is also ergonomically designed.

Specifications:


  1. Torque range 30 to 250 foot pounds.
  2. Dual scale, calibrated dual direction.
  3. Positive lock with spring loaded pull down lock ring.
  4. Fast, accurate and easy to set.
  5. Easy to read laser marked single scale.

Benefits:

  • Made in the USA.
  • Comes with calibration certificate.
  • Great for regular car mechanic work.
  • Torque wrench feels solid.
  • Easy to read.

Drawbacks:

  • Does not have a clicking sound, but you’ll feel the break at the right torque.
  • A few customers say the torque wrench design could be better.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


This is one of the best torque wrench I’ve tried, and most reviewers agree. One of those who bought the CDI says it is an excellent tool wrench. This is also the view of another reviewer, pointing out its accuracy.
A reviewer also says it’s a high quality wrench. Another said this is the best torque wrench he has ever used. There are also customer reviews saying that it’s also safe to use. One of those who gave the CDI 5 stars just said it’s perfect for his requirements. All in all, the feedback is really favorable.

5. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2″ Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench


Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2

I’ve added the PREC3FR250F torque wrench because of its power and simplicity. You just need to apply a bit of force to make adjustments. It’s accurate and with a comfortable grip. I also like the click, it’s loud and tells me the torque’s set. You don’t need to reset this to zero after use, which makes it convenient to work with. This is not the most powerful torque wrench around. However I really like the way it’s designed. And for most vehicle repair and maintenance this will do. When it comes to accuracy, it’s really good.

Specifications:


  1. Nickel/Chrome finish with ergonomic grip.
  2. Tool does not have to be ‘turned down’ after use, providing convenience.
  3. Torque setting locks on adjustable wrenches for repetitive applications.
  4. Adjustment knob eliminates spring tension, so setting torque on adjustable wrenches is fast and easy.

Benefits:

  • Solid and comfortable grip.
  • Beautiful finish.
  • Accurate and good tightening.
  • Easy to use adjustment knob.
  • Solidly designed.

Drawbacks:

  • Not reversible.
  • Can only be used in a clockwise manner.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


Most of the reviews I’ve read agree the PREC3FR250F is one of the best torque wrench. There are a lot of reviewers who say it’s very accurate. You will also find reviewers who say this is a cost effective wrench. One person who gave the PREC3FR250F 5 stars says it’s the best wrench he’s tried.
While most of the reviews have been good, a few are critical. However the majority are very much for it. Most of the reviews are in agreement it’s worth the price. Compared to other torque wrenches, the PREC3FR250F is more cost effective, according to reviewers.

Accessories You may Also Need


TEKTON 4971 1/2-Inch Drive Impact Extension Bar Set


TEKTON 4971 1/2-Inch Drive Impact Extension Bar Set

This bar set allows you to work more quickly and accurately. They’re great for reaching into tight spaces and provide just the right torque to loosen fasteners. It has anti-moisture properties and a nice black oxide finish to boot.

TEKTON 4957 Impact Adapter and Reducer Set


TEKTON 4957 Impact Adapter and Reducer Set

Designed expressly for impact derivers, the 4957 provides you with solutions to common problems. With these you’ll be able to expand your socket system and fill up size range gaps. These are also corrosion resistant. If you do any sort of car repair job, this is going to be necessary.

Safety Tips


  • Read the safety instructions that came with your torque wrench.
  • Apply torque by pulling. Do not push.
  • Wear goggles or other eye wear protection when using a torque wrench.
  • Clean and store your torque wrench after each use.
  • Never break fasteners off with a torque wrench.
  • When you get to the desired torque level, stop pulling.
  • As you reach the final torque, move slowly.
  • Do not use a dirty or worn out torque wrench. It could snap off or break while you’re using it.
  • Make sure you’re using the right torque wrench for the job.
  • Don’t use it on equipment it’s not meant for.

Maintenance Tips


  • The best torque wrench needs to be checked regularly for malfunctioning parts.
  • The more you use a torque wrench the faster it’s going to wear out. Your user guide has information on when it’s time to service the tool. Some of these torque wrenches can run up to 100,000 cycles before needing replacement.
  • Check the ratchet for wear and tear. Clean and apply lubrication if it’s not running smoothly.
  • Don’t allow dust and dirt to build up as this could affect performance.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your torque wrench. A clean dry cloth is enough.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. How tight should nuts and bolts be?
Answer: They must be tight but don’t overdo it. Over tightening could damage the wrench.

2. Can bolts be loosened with a torque wrench?
Answer: Torque wrenches are not designed to loosen bolts. Forcing a torque wrench to do this can cause damage. 

3. Is a fine thread stronger than coarse thread?
Answer: Yes it is. Compared to a coarse thread, a fine thread’s minor diameter is larger, and so is its stress area. Fine threads are also less vulnerable to loosening because of the smaller incline.

4. Can I use a torque wrench under any condition?
Answer: Yes, but it must be well maintained. Torque wrenches are powerful tools, but they need proper care too.

5. Can these measure torque in clockwise and counterclockwise directions?
Answer: Most can measure torque clockwise. However there are some torque wrenches that can take measurements counterclockwise.

For Those Of You Who Are Still Unsure


After going through the best torque wrench reviews, I have to recommend the TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench and the Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench.
I like the Snap-On because of its wide range. It’s also accurate and using it is easy. Compared to other torque wrenches, it also seems more durable. I also have to say the same thing for the Tekton 24335 1/2-Inch. Tekton makes a lot of these quality tool wrenches, and this is one of their best. It’s simple to use, powerful and pre-calibrated.

Final Word


Torque wrenches are mainstays in the toolbox of technicians and DIYers. Compared to regular wrenches, they are more versatile and can be used in various applications. As the information here has shown, if you own a car, bike, or any vehicle and do any sort of maintenance work, torque wrenches are essential.
If you’ve done any shopping online you know how important reviews are. That’s why I have the best torque wrench reviews right here. Armed with the right information you’ll have no trouble getting the right torque wrench for your car or other equipment.

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