The Best Torque Wrenches in 2019

Overview

Best Beam Wrench
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
Best Digital Wrench
ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8" Digital Torque Wrench (2 to 37 ft-lbs.), with Buzzer & LED Flash Notification - ISO 6789 Standards with Certificate of Calibration
Best Clicker Wrench
TEKTON 24335 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8" Digital Torque Wrench (2 to 37 ft-lbs.), with Buzzer & LED Flash Notification - ISO 6789 Standards with Certificate of Calibration
TEKTON 24335 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
202 Reviews
227 Reviews
2,757 Reviews
Best Beam Wrench
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
202 Reviews
Best Digital Wrench
ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8" Digital Torque Wrench (2 to 37 ft-lbs.), with Buzzer & LED Flash Notification - ISO 6789 Standards with Certificate of Calibration
ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8" Digital Torque Wrench (2 to 37 ft-lbs.), with Buzzer & LED Flash Notification - ISO 6789 Standards with Certificate of Calibration
227 Reviews
Best Clicker Wrench
TEKTON 24335 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
TEKTON 24335 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
2,757 Reviews

What’s the purpose of a torque wrench? To avoid over-tightening fasteners like nuts, bolts, and lug nuts. Believe it or not, most handymen, professional or wanna-be, are guilty of overtightening.

torque wrench calibration
Torque wrenches allow you to accurately and precisely set how ‘tight’ a fastener will be attached.

While over-tightening in many situations is not the end of the world, many automotive jobs require fastening of nuts or bolts to be perfect and precise. Any over-tightening or under-fastening may lead to damage and can be dangerous. Imagine a set of lug nuts loosely secured onto a tire rim.

What is a torque wrench?

Manufacturers often define the torque needed to tighten or loosen the lug nuts of vehicles. The torque wrench has the ability to measure exactly the torque needed for a particular job and apply that much force as needed to perform the task precisely and in a timely manner. Torque wrenches also minimize the chance for human error.

Types of torque wrench

types of torque wrenches
The three most popular styles of torque wrenches: click, beam, and digital.
  • Clicker wrench. Most popular among automotive mechanics, the clicker wrench uses clutch mechanism while tightening lug nuts and the clutch alerts you by sounding a click sound and automatically starts slipping.
  • Beam wrench. Beam type torque wrenches consists of two rods and one rod comprise of an analog torque-meter. To tighten the nut, you have to rotate one rod and stop when the needle reaches the intended torque.
  • Split wrench. It is one of the compact and durable wrenches of all types and most used in automobile industry. A small knob is provided on the wrench which needs only a gentle touch to adjust the torque settings. After using the split wrench, you do not need to reset the wrench to re-uses it. At one time, you can use it only in one direction.
  • Dial wrench. Instead of a scale used in the split wrench, this wrench has large round dial to show the torque value. Little large in size, this one of the most accurate torque wrench and can be used in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
  • Digital Wrench. It is the most expensive of all torque wrenches available in the market. Having said, the wrench not only displays the torque value, it also tells you the tightening angle electronically in an LED backlit display. Once the required levels are reached it will give you a buzzer and displays accurate torque reading in different units.

Common Uses for Torque Wrenches

Torque wrenches are used for wide range of home and industrial applications.

  • Automotive industry
  • Defense sector
  • Aeronautical industry
  • Heavy engineering
  • Fertilizer industry
  • DIY jobs
  • Watercraft

How to Use a Click-Torque Wrench

A click torque wrench is the most popular type of wrench and is relatively easy to use:

  1. Determine the torque specifications for your fastener. This will normally be measured in foot-pounds. For example, many lug nuts have a 90-120 ft.-lb. specification.
  2. First tighten the fastener with a wrench or socket. We’ll follow up next with the torque wrench.
  3. Adjust your torque wrench to the desired torque. Loosen the adjustable dial and then turn the handle until it reaches desired torque specification. Tighten the adjustable dial.
  4. Turn the torque wrench until you hear a click. Once you hear a click, you’re done.
SaleBestseller No. 1
Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque Wrench and Tipton Best Gun Vise
2,213 Reviews
SaleBestseller No. 2
TEKTON 24335 1/2' Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
2,757 Reviews
TEKTON 24335 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
  • Wrench emits click that can be heard and felt when the preset value is reached
  • High-contrast dual-range scale is easy to read, even in low light. Product Dimensions - 18.5 x 1.9 x 1.4 inch
  • Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions and measures torque in clockwise direction
  • Durable all-steel construction has no plastic parts to break or wear out
  • Ships pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy and ready to use
Bestseller No. 3
EPAuto 1/2-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench, 10~150 ft./lb, 13.6~203.5 N/m
805 Reviews
EPAuto 1/2-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench, 10~150 ft./lb, 13.6~203.5 N/m
  • Durable Ratchet Head: Made from Hardened treated Chrome Vanadium steel alloy (Cr-V) Corrosion-Retardant: Satin Finish. Made in Taiwan
  • Easy Storage: A sturdy plastic storage case is included. Non-Slip Grip: Knurled handle
  • Easy to Read: High Contrast & Dual Range Scale. Accurate: Pre-Calibrated to ± 4%
  • Accessories included: 1/2" Drive 5" long Extension Bar and 1/2" Drive to 3/8" Drive Reducer
  • Simple and Reliable: "Click" sound tells the preset torque value is reached. Stop applying force when you hear and feel it.
Bestseller No. 4
Neiko 00206A 1/2 Inch Drive Premium Breaker Bar, 24' Length | Cr-V Steel  | Chrome Moly Head
926 Reviews
Neiko 00206A 1/2 Inch Drive Premium Breaker Bar, 24" Length | Cr-V Steel | Chrome Moly Head
  • 24 Inch extra long chrome vanadium steel handle provides maximum torque
  • Forged and heat treated chrome-moly 1/2" drive head for added strength and durability
  • 180-degree flexible head works at any angle, to reach around tight space and generate optimized leverage
  • Spring-load ball bearing holds sockets securely
  • Ideal to break and loosen rusted, stubborn or stuck nuts and bolts
Bestseller No. 5
EPAuto 1/4-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (20-200 in.-lb. / 2.26~22.6 Nm)
844 Reviews
EPAuto 1/4-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (20-200 in.-lb. / 2.26~22.6 Nm)
  • Durable Ratchet Head: Made from Hardened treated Chrome Vanadium steel alloy (Cr-V)
  • Easy Storage: A sturdy plastic storage case is included. Non-Slip Grip: Knurled handle
  • Easy to Read: High Contrast & Dual Range Scale. Accurate: Pre-Calibrated to ± 4%
  • Corrosion-Retardant: Satin Finish. Made in Taiwan
  • Simple and Reliable: "Click" sound tells the preset torque value is reached. Stop applying force when you hear and feel it.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Torque Wrench

To make sure you buy the suitable torque wrench that meets your requirements, there are many technical questions that need to be addressed. Here are some of the factors, vital to your final selection of torque wrench.

  • Square drive size. The torque wrenches come with different square drive sizes suitable for various jobs needing different levels of torque. 1/4Inches size is used for small nuts of the bicycle, bikes or other gardening equipment. 3/8” torque wrenches are used for light duty for wheelers. 1/2” drive size wrenches are used for large equipment or SUVs and 1” torque wrenches are used for aeronautics and heavy vehicles like tractors and shipping industry.
  • Precision. When you research for the suitable torque wrench for you, always look for precision tolerance. The tolerance level is marked as +/- x %. The value of x or tolerance should be as less as possible. The tolerance is the percentage deviation from accurate or precise torque reading.
  • Torque Range. Depending upon the required application, you should choose the torque wrench with low or high torque range. The torque wrench comes with different torque slabs like 15 to 75 ft-lb, 50-250 ft-lb, 120 to 600 ft-lb or 200 to 1000 lb. Remember higher the maximum torque range, heavier is the job work, you can perform with a torque wrench.
  • Calibration certification. Almost all the torque wrench brands are shipped with calibration certificates. These certificates are a testament to the quality and precision of torque wrenches.
  • Tool case. This feature might not look quite impressive to many but actually, it is a vital accessory that comes with a torque wrench as it maintains the calibration and precision of the wrench. The carry-case should be a robust one and at the same time should not be heavy in weight.
  • Cost. The torques wrench with high precision and more torque range will come with high price tag. Again, it all depends on your work requirements whether you need an expensive one with high accuracy or an entry-level torque wrench.

Reviews of Best Torque Wrenches

After deep market research and tool-room experts, we have compiled below the best clicker, beam, and digital style torque wrenches.

Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2' Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
202 Reviews
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
  • Nickel/Chrome finish with ergonomic grip
  • Tool does not have to be 'turned down' after use, providing convenience. The length also provides the needed reach for those-hard-to-get-at places.
  • Torque setting locks on adjustable wrenches for repetitive applications
  • Adjustment knob eliminates spring tension, so setting torque on adjustable wrenches is fast and easy

This is one of the most affordable and accurate beam wrenches on the market. Compared to other clicker models of torque wrenches, this wrench from Precision Instruments is far more reliable and accurate.

precision instrument torque wrench

This wrench is similar to the Snap-On version (which is a subsidiary of the Precision Instruments). While this version isn’t quite as ‘pretty’ as the Snap-On version, it performs equally as well. It features a very loud and re-assuring “click” when you’ve got the correct tightness however, it gives no feedback as the limit is being approached.

This wrench conveniently does not need to be wound down after every use. The adjustment knob eliminates spring tension, so setting torque on adjustable wrenches is fast and easy. Like most torque wrenches it includes a (slightly ugly) carrying case.

For those looking for precision and reliability, this wrench can’t be beat.

Sale
TEKTON 24335 1/2' Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
2,757 Reviews
TEKTON 24335 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150'.-Lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
  • Wrench emits click that can be heard and felt when the preset value is reached
  • High-contrast dual-range scale is easy to read, even in low light. Product Dimensions - 18.5 x 1.9 x 1.4 inch
  • Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions and measures torque in clockwise direction
  • Durable all-steel construction has no plastic parts to break or wear out
  • Ships pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy and ready to use

You want a cheap and fairly reliable clicker torque wrench? Look no further than this wrench from Tekton.

In our tests, this wrench performed within the range of +/- 4% the specified torque. It normally under-applied torque. However, after some ‘exercising’ of the wrench, it performed much more respectably, well within a +/- 1% margin of error.

tekton torque wrench

This wrench comes with a nice carrying case and convenient instructions.

Overall, this is an excellent value wrench if you recognize the limitations clicker wrenches in this price-range have.

 

ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8' Digital Torque Wrench (2 to 37 ft-lbs.), with Buzzer & LED Flash Notification - ISO 6789 Standards with Certificate of Calibration
227 Reviews
ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8" Digital Torque Wrench (2 to 37 ft-lbs.), with Buzzer & LED Flash Notification - ISO 6789 Standards with Certificate of Calibration
  • [Advanced Technology]: 2 to 37 foot pounds torque range with LED flashing/ buzzer alarm when torque is reached. Easy to read LCD display with measurements (kg-cm, N-m, in-lb. ft-lb)
  • [Multiple Setting Functions]: Torque, Measurement, and, Peak & Trace, Mode Settings. (Torque setting range: 10% of max torque value. Measuring range: 2 to 37 ft-lbs.)
  • [Guaranteed Accuracy Range]: ± 2% clockwise ± 3% CCW of indicated value, CW, from 20% to 100% of full scale.
  • [Quality Assurance]: Meets or exceeds ASME B107.14-2004, ISO 6789 standards, individually serialized with matching certificate of calibration traceable to N.I.S.T.
  • [1 Year ACDelco Tools Limited Warranty]: One-year limited manufacturer's warranty against defects in materials and workman ship

Fairly priced, this digital torque wrench from ACDelco deserves to be on the top of the list of electronics type torque wrench owing to its elegant looks and multi-functionality. With 4 to 99 ft. pounds, this wrench works great for light duty tasks.

The ACDelco torque wrench bears sharp electronics display which can display the torque value in four different units. Once the set torque value reaches, a tone is emitted rather than a click. You can release the 15-degree ratcheting head socket with just a push of the button. The handle is crafted nicely with a firm grip, non-slip molded rubber which lets you work care-free and for a long time without any fatigue.

The wrench overall has a sturdy construction and it has a smooth action. This feature rich, lightweight electronics torque wrench is highly recommended for a digital torque wrench for around $100.

Conclusion

Picking the right torque wrench might not be a cakewalk since many technical parameters are to be taken care before buying. Read our latest buyer’s guides on different types of wrenches at WrenchAdvisor. Every factor mentioned in above best torque wrench reviews is important whether it is the drive size or torque range, you have to make sure the torque wrench you select is able to handle your workload easily and fits in your budget.

  • Drive Size
  • Torque Power
  • Durability
  • Handling