7 Best Torque Wrench You Should Consider Before Buying

A torque wrench is used in applying specific torques to a fastener. It’s usually in the form of socket wrenches with a more specialized internal mechanism. You can use this when you want to make sure that the nut or bolt never over or under torqued.

What kinds of torque wrench do you need? There are six different kinds of torque that you can choose:

  • Beam Wrench: It’s the most basic type of torque wrench. You can bend it as its lever arm is known for its elasticity. You can use it like the weighing scale.
  • Click Wrench:It is the most similar to a socket wrench. You can preset the torque levels by using a clutch.
  • Plumber Wrench: It is especially designed to be used on a soil pipe. It has a T-shaped handle, similar to that of a ratchet wrench.
  • Hydraulic Torque Wrench: It is used to put torque to fasteners. You can apply pressure on the nut or the bolt.
  • Electronic Torque Wrench: This comes with a small chip that contains a memory. The memory allows it to store the settings you’ve set for the torque levels.
  • Deflecting Beam Wrench: This applies the torque on a deflecting beam, thus providing safety and accuracy when handling high level torque pressure.

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Factors To Consider When Picking A Torque Wrench

The best wrenches can guarantee accurate tightening or loosening of screws, nuts, bolts, and fasteners. While the choice of the right torque wrench will vary from person to person, depending on the project or function, there is a set of factors that will help you determine the tool’s durability and accuracy.

best torque wrench - work with torque wrench

What to consider when choosing a torque wrench?

Construction & Size

The construction of a torque wrench affects its performance and existence. If the tool is not well-constructed, then you can’t expect a great performance from it. So, it is highly advisable to buy torque wrenches that are mostly made of metallic materials. Aside from that, the size must also depend on the kind of machine you are working on. Obviously, a large torque wrench won’t be that suitable for your compact car.

What kind of torque wrench do you need?

Range & Features

Most torque wrenches now offer a wide range of measurement systems such as foot pounds and Newton meters. Some torque wrenches have greater features to offer compared to the old ones. There are those which are already digitized . However, among all the different features, the one that you should look out for is its visibility. You need to be able to read its findings clearly and easily.

Torque wrench ranges

Performance

Usually, it is hard to confirm if the torque wrench which you are going to buy will satisfy you. Product descriptions are usually biased, and do not always reveal the entire truth about the product. Thus, the best way to know about how the product really performs is by reading the tool’s  feedback from the product owners.

Price

Of course, this factor must always be considered. It is normal for people to pick the best product with the most reasonable price. So, it will be a good thing to compare with several brands before you decide on which one you will buy. Do not let cheap products tempt you, though. Do not compromise quality for the price.

7 Best Torque Wrench in 2017

Now that you have known the important factors to consider when buying a good torque wrench, it is time for you to know the seven best torque wrenches in 2017.

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

 

This is the right dual range torque wrench for your car, truck, SUV, or other large vehicles and equipment. It will help loosen the overtightened parts or fasteners. All you need to do is to twist its knurled handle which is non-slip to the desired torque value and lock in place. If the pre-set torque value is obtained, you’ll then hear and feel a ‘click’. That means that the fastener is already properly tightened without being broken or damaged. Not just that, this dual range 25-250 ft.-lb./33.9-338.9 Nm TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench is well-constructed with steel.

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Pros

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    There is a ‘click’ that serves as an indicator when the preset value is reached.
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    Its dual-range scale has a high contrast which makes it totally visible even in the low light.
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    Its ratchet head is reversible which enables it to measure torque in the clockwise direction.
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    It has a non-slip, knurled handle.
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    It is made of steel, so there is no worry about worn or broken plastic parts.
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    It is ready to be used with its ships pre-calibrated to +/-4% accuracy.
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    There is no need for any guesswork.
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    It assures the safety of your fasteners or other parts.
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    It is simple, thus can be easily handled.

Cons

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    The setting marks do not align very well.
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    Its screw lock does not engage for settings about 50ft/lbs.
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    The handle twists and moves after tightening.

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

This is a lightweight tool with the length of 18 3/3 inches and the weight of over 2 pounds. This has a steel shaft which is corrosion-resistant, and its steel head is also made from chrome vanadium. It also has a knurled handle for a tight hold. Unlike other affordable torque wrenches, this tool is also dual range. It offers foot, pounds, and Newton meters. It also has a very competitive accuracy of +/-4%. You can trust TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench to be an ‘all-rounder’.

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Pros

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    It is compact and lightweight.
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    It is an ‘all-rounder’.
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    Its steel shaft has a corrosion-resistant finish.
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    Its head is made of a strong chrome vanadium steel.
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    It doesn’t make you worry about worn out or damaged parts.
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    It has a reversible head feature.
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    It has a non-slip, knurled handle for a strong and secure grip or hold.
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    It has more competitive features compared to other brands of torque wrenches.
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    It has one easy-to-read scale even in low light.
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    It has a +/-4% accuracy.
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    It has a decent case.
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    It has a useful conversion chart.
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    This is highly-rated by owners and testers.

Cons

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    It might be a bit too short in torquing something with 90ft lbs.
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    Calibration tests cannot be done with this tool.
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    It has a quite loose direction switch that makes it sometimes go to other directions.
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    The finish may not be that good.

3. Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench, Torque Range 30 to 250-Foot Pounds

This is just one of the products of Snap-On. Snap-On tools are highly-considered and appreciated by professionals. CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench has basic materials like vanadium steel with a plastic handle. It is 21 inches long and weighs over four pounds. Also, it is dual-range, so it offers both the foot pounds and Newton meters measurement. It provides a range from 30 to 250-foot pounds. One of its features is its accuracy. Compared to other torque wrenches, it has an accuracy of +/-3% clockwise and +/-5% anti-clockwise. Not just that, it also has a very useful quick-release socket button.

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Pros

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    It comes from a highly-rated tool manufacturer.
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    This is considered to be the best in the supermarket.
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    It is fast and efficient.​​​​
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    It has a comfortable plastic handle.
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    It offers a dual-range, laser-marked scale that can be read in any two directions.
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    It has a spring-loaded lock down.
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    Its accuracy is undeniably higher compared to other mechanical torque wrenches.
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    It has a quick-release socket button for fast and easy setup.
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    It is quick to set and easy to use.
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    It is light enough to be a large torque wrench.
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    This is mostly used by professionals.
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    It is considerably inexpensive considering its high quality.

Cons

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    It needs to improve its lighting to see the values better.
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    It might take time to turn it to 90lb or more.
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    The ratchet direction toggle is a little too loose.
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    It needs to be handled with care for it can be very delicate.
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    It may require a lot of effort in setting the torque.

4. CDI 1502LDIN 3/8-Inch Drive Memory Needle Dual Scale Wrench, Torque Range 0 to 150-In.lbs

This is designed for the automotive, nuclear, and industrial markets. CDI 1502LDIN 3/8-Inch Drive Memory Needle Dual Scale Wrench is designed with a needle that moves graduation and measurement dial. The small frame model offers working ranges from 3 in. lbs. to 50 ft. lbs. in 1/4” and 3/8” drives while the large one from 100 ft. lbs. through 2,000 ft. lbs. with 1/2”, 3/4” and 1” drives. It has a sturdy construction that assures durability. Its large and easy-to-read dial is shock resistant. It is also protected by a strong metal guard. Aside from that, this is also calibrated in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.

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Pros

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    It has a strong body construction that assures maximum durability.
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    It has one easy-to-read laser marked single scale.
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    It has the accuracy of ± 3% of indicated value, clockwise and counterclockwise, from 20% to 100% of full scale.
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    Its accuracy exceeds ASME B107.14 1994, ISO 6789.
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    It is individually serialized with a certificate of calibration traceable to N.I.S.T.
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    Its memory needle retains the highest torque reading applied.

Cons

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    The lines are closer compared to a full scale.
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    It needs an adapter.
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    The price is higher compared to other torque wrenches.
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    It doesn’t offer an additional indicator like a clicking sound for the desired torque.
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    The colors (blue dial face and upper memory needle, white division and letterings) don’t compliment in some situations.

5. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head

This tool comes from one of the best tool manufacturers, Precision Instruments. PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head uses a spring-loaded mechanism which increases its speed in wrenching. It is 22-⅛ inches, thus long enough to get more leverage. This tool also integrates with the latest technology to ensure accuracy. Compared to other torque wrenches that require a ‘tonne’ to forcibly tighten things, then the torque wrench doesn’t require the same thing. Rather, you can use it gently while it helps you get the job done. It also comes with an adjustment knob which takes away spring tension for easy adjustments.

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Pros

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    It doesn’t require any recalibration after use so you may use it as it is without worrying about the accuracy.
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    It guarantees great speed and efficiency.
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    This is very strong and light, so it is easy to carry around.
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    The elaborate springs and dials make your work easier.
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    It doesn’t require you to exert a lot of force in wrenching.
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    It is long enough for added leverage and increased reach.
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    It is incorporated with an innovative torque mechanism.
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    It is relatively inexpensive.
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    It is very convenient and easy to use.

Cons

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    This only works in a clockwise direction.
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    The plastic card with the conversion chart will cover the dial, so there might be difficulty in seeing what wrench is set at.
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    It might be difficult to obtain an exact number since it goes in increments of 5.
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    The angle of the flex is so limited.

6. ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2" Digital Torque Wrench (4-99 ft-lbs)

ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2" Digital Torque Wrench is designed carefully and can be used for almost any job. This is also packed with features that some torque wrenches do not have. It has a torque range of 3-99 ft-lb, which is considered ideal. This is equipped with a digital gauge that sits on the top of the handle. The gauge gives you access to all the torque settings. It also has an LCD screen that converts different units like ft-lb, kg-cm, in-lb, and N-m. In other words, there is no need for you to apply mental calculation with this tool. Not just that, it also has a trace mode and torque readout. Both allow you to see the torque setting you are using.

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Pros

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    It has an ideal torque range of 3-99 ft-lb.
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    It has one digital gauge which allows you to view your torque settings.
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    It has an LCD screen for easy conversion of units.
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    It produces a chime when you’ve hit your desired torque.
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    It has an auto shut-off which turns the gauge off when you’ve not used it for a minute or more.
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    It can operate in two directions- counterclockwise and clockwise.
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    It has a great accuracy of +/-2% for clockwise direction and +/-3% for counterclockwise direction.
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    Its anvil is ½” drive. Its geometry allows you to quickly swap sockets on and off.

Cons

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    There might be a problem setting the alarm lower than 13.5nm.
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    It doesn’t come with batteries.
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    It might be difficult to read the small display in some situations.

7. CDI 1002MFRPH 3/8-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench Torque Range 10 to 100-Foot

This is also another kind of dual-scale with calibrated dual direction. CDI 1002MFRPH 3/8-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench is an adjustable, micrometer torque wrench with a ⅜’’ drive. Just like the other CDI torque wrenches, this is also calibrated to be used in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. It has a positive lock and a spring-loaded pull-down ring. It also has quick release buttons which gives good socket retention and socket removal. The torque wrench offers a tough, durable, and comfortable grip. Aside from that, it exceeds the ASME B107.14-2004, ISO 6789 standards.

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Pros

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    It is affordable, tough, and efficient.
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    It emits a ‘click’ sound that serves as an indicator when you reach your desired torque.
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    It has an accuracy of +/-4% and +/-6% for counterclockwise.
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    It has met the ASME B107.14-2004, ISO 6789 standards.
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    It is individually serialized with a certificate of calibration traceable to N.I.S.T.
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    It has a positive lock and a spring-loaded pull-down ring.
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    It has a fast release button that offers a good socket retention and removal.
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    It has one easy-to-read laser marked scale.
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    It also has an ergonomic comfort grip.

Cons

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    It needs to improve its lighting to see the values better.
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    It might take time to turn it to 90lb or more.
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    The ratchet direction toggle is a little too loose.
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    It may require a lot of effort in setting the torque.

Final Thought

So far, those are the torque wrenches that have received compliments from professionals and users. Choosing the best torque wrench depends on your own preference and need. Some may offer you a lot of great features but might be a little too heavy for your pocket. While others don’t have many features to offer but are budget-friendly, there are also some that give you both high-quality and reasonable price.

However, which torque wrench should you buy, the one that greatly stands out is CDI 1502LDIN 3/8-Inch Drive Memory Needle Dual Scale Wrench. Its features outweigh its price. What’s more, it is the one who has received a lot of good reviews among all other torque wrenches.

Do you agree with us? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below.

Ethan Johnson
 

I’m Ethan Johnson. I’m a mechanical engineer, and I’m passionate about Home Improvement. I hope my skills and experience can help you remodel your home by turning simple, inexpensive, and innovative ideas into easy tasks that you can DIY! So no need to go too far, just read on and you’ll be ready to get the ball rolling.

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