The Best Torque Wrench: A Complete Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
If you 're busy man, here is the best torque wrench that you need to consider and buy;
Tightening bolts and nuts is a relatively simple task. What most individuals fail to realize, however, is the fact that bolts and nuts have a threshold beyond which further tightening can and most often compromises the said bolts or nuts’ strength. Other than the obvious problem of the bolt being impossibly hard to remove afterward, several other serious concerns arise when a bolt is over-tightened.
There is something innately satisfying about tightening a bolt or nut as hard as you can. That is where torque wrenches come in. They help to apply just the right amount of torque to match the specifics of a particular tightening task. This article aims to highlight the top five torque wrench models and brands and what you should consider when buying one.
Type Of Torque Wrenchs
Torque wrenches are precision tools used in a variety of project descriptions ranging from automobile to home DIY uses. These tools exist in several types which are as follows below;
- 1. Beam Torque Wrenches
- 2. Hydraulic Torque Wrenches
- 3. Click Torque Wrenches
- 4. Deflecting Beam Torque Wrenches
- 5. Electronic Torque Wrenches
- 6. Plumber’s Torque Wrenches
These are the simplest types of wrenches available anywhere. In terms of design, the tool comprises a lever arm that separates the handle from the head. Thanks to the arm’s elasticity, the tool can actually bend by some degree against the pressure being applied to the arm. The scale can be used to get a reading during operation as it looks and performs just like a weight scale with a traditional needle pointer.
These wrenches are pre-calibrated and are designed to handle heavier loads such as in automobile projects or Industry projects.
Click wrenches use a clutch mechanism to pre-set the torque levels that when achieved causes slipping as a way of indication. These wrenches are precision tools that prevent overtightening and accompanying effects.
With is a type of torque wrench, a beam deflecting mechanism is used which gives off a distinct click once a specified torque value is achieved. This class is the most popular.
Electronic wrenches are programmable and also have pre-set limits. A strain gauge is linked to the torsion rod. Signaling the transducer helps in determining the torque force per unit. A handy LED readout displays the torque values. A tiny chip is also used to record all the data from the wrench.
This type of torque wrenches are built for soil pipe and coupling use. This wrench resembles a ratchet with a T-shaped handle and is mostly used by plumbers.
What To Consider When Choosing A Torque Wrench
It is impossible to find a great torque wrench for specific project’s needs, if you are unfamiliar with how to properly use one. As is the case with most tools, careful scrutiny and consultation before buying are advised. With torque wrenches, you need to have a few expectations and also be aware of the nature of your projects.
A great deal of time, effort and resources can be reduced with the careful selection of the ideal torque wrench based on its features and consequently its application purposes. Several aspects combined collectively go on to define the best torque wrench. Take a look below;
1. OPERATING TORQUE RANGE: Depending on the nature of your project, it is important to consider the torque ranges of prospective wrench models. You do not need a hydraulic grade wrench to fix a bike.
2. CALIBRATION CERTIFICATE: The point to having a torque wrench is to prevent over tightening of bolts and nuts. A calibration certificate is a proof that a wrench is well capable of delivering on its mandate.
3. WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM TORQUE MEASURABLE: Each wrench has a max torque value it can measure which is a reading of how tight it can allow nuts to go?
4. LOCKING MECHANISM: This feature is important to look out for as it allows the torque settings to stay put as you get to work on your tightening tasks.
5 Best Torque Wrench Models Which You Should Buy
TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (25-250 ft.-lb./33.9-338.9 Nm)
The Tekton brand is famous for its range of simple hand tools and the level of perfection realized in each. The 24340 half inch click torque wrench is no exception to this fact. The tool is beautifully designed and is suitable for beginners and experienced users as well.
The tool comes accompanied by with a conversion sheet and a storage box for portability. A detailed manual is also included in the same package. This wrench audibly lets the user know via a click when the required torque value has been reached therefore stopping the further application of pressure preventing over-tightening.
- This torque wrench’s body is entirely made of Chrome Vanadium steel, making it as strong as it is durable. A corrosion resistant finish is an extra addition that ensures the tool stays in service way longer than most other tools.
- The dual range scale featured on this wrench adds the versatility and functionality of this 24340 model. The scale reads in either N/m or in/lb. The micrometer on this model is stamped and painted while the primary scale on the body of this wrench’s handle is laser etched.
- This wrench weighs a total 6.5 pounds and is 25 inches in length from the ratchet head to the base of knurled handle. These specifications make its use quite comfortable.
- This product boasts an impressive ft/lb torque value which is in the range of 25-250 ft/lb.
- The size of this wrench makes its use rather limiting in confined spaces.
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
Precision Instruments is a world-renowned industry leader that is famous for the manufacture high-quality tools and equipment; torque wrenches included. This torque wrench model by Precision Instruments is a maximum accuracy tool that is unparalleled. Most torque wrench models require calibration before storage, the PREC3FR250F doesn’t. This wrench is the ideal pick for both home and professional purposes. This model’s speed of wrenching is enhanced by the use of the spring-loaded mechanism incorporated onto the wrench.
- The adjustment knob on the wrench eliminates spring tension allowing the torque setting on this adjustable wrench to be fast and easy.
- The torque setting featured on this model locks on the wrenches for repetitive tasks.
- This tool weighs 4.5 pounds and is 25.5 inches in length. These specs define a torque wrench that is bigger than most other members in its class. The handle length increases the user’s mechanical advantage during use.
- This product features an attractive Nickel/ Chrome finish that enhances the tool’s durability and service life.
- This torque wrench features a ft./lb. torque value varying in the range of 40 to 250 Ft Lbs.
- This wrench is a bit heavier than one would expect.
Craftsman 9-31425 20-150 ft lbs 1/2" Drive MicroTork Torque Wrench
It is the perfect tool for tasks ranging from simple engine assembly, bike repairs and so on. This torque wrench model features easy to read stamped inch-to-pound increments and is accurate to up to to 4% of the measured working load. The wrench weighs 3.64 pounds and is 21.4 inches in length.
This product is designed and built to withstand heavy duty bolt and nut tightening tasks. The body is built from a high tensile strength steel alloy which means that this wrench can really take a beating when you need it to. The handle is made from rugged plastic which is molded perfectly to enhance the wrench’s ergonomics and user comfort.
- This torque wrench features an impressive ft/lb torque value which varies in the range of20 to 150 Ft Lbs.
- This model also incorporates an audible click feature that allows the user to prevent overtightening of nuts and bolts once the higher torque value has been reached.
- A handy scale is stamped onto the side of the wrench’s housing showing well-calibrated inch and metric torque settings.
- The molded plastic on the wrench’s handle enhances the grip comfort and overall ergonomics.
- Being built from a steel alloy, this wrench is as durable as it can get.
- There have been cited concerns about this wrench model being a bit heavy.
Capri Tools 31100 1/4-inch Drive Torque Wrench, 25-250 Inch Pounds, Diamond Ergonomic Grip
This powerful torque wrench by Capri Tools boasts a diamond contoured handle grip design that combines the aspects of ergonomics, lightweight impact resistance, and sheer user comfort. This model is part of Capri Tools’ Diamond Series, whose focus is prime user comfort and reliability in performance as well.
The design incorporates a positive lock mechanism that securely keeps the torque settings in place during operation. The wrench’s adjustment value lies in the range of 25 in/lbs. to 250 in/lbs. or 2.8-16.4 Newton meters. The tool’s torque tolerance is rated at +/- 4%.
- This wrench comes with a NIST traceable certificate of calibration which is in line with ASME B107.300-2010 and ISO 6789:2003 standards. The buyer is therefore assured of the tool’s uncompromising quality of calibration and performance.
- The 31100 wrench features a smooth torque dialing mechanism which allows for quick torque toggling alongside a spring-loaded pull-down ring and a secure torque setting with a positive lock mechanism that keeps the torque settings intact during operation.
- This torque wrench features an impressive ft. /lb. torque value which varies in the range of 20 to 150 Ft Lbs with a tolerance value of +/- 4%.
- The handle on this wrench has been termed as being unnecessarily large.
- The dial takes a bit of effort to turn.
OEMTOOLS 25687 Torque Wrench (Click Style - 1/2 Drive), 1 Pack
This product is the perfect tool for hobbyists and professionals as well. It is a reliable torque wrench built to handle prolonged use. The design of this tool is impeccable and the build durable and sturdy. OEMTOOLS is a leading Taiwanese manufacturer of specialty tools and equipment. The quality of this torque wrench is quite evident from the word go, earning it a five-star consumer rating. This product weighs 3.5 pounds and is 22.7 inches in length.
- This torque wrench features an impressive ft/lb torque value which varies in the range of 30 to 250 Ft./Lbs.
- The scale on this torque wrench reads in either N/m or in/lb. The micrometer on this particular model is stamped and painted while the primary scale on the body of this wrench’s handle is laser etched; a feature synonymous with most members of this class of torque wrenches.
- This wrench features a hardened steel body and a vinyl/plastic grip which is comfortable to hold.
- This model also features a Positive lock with spring loaded pull down lock ring mechanism that keeps the torque settings intact during operation.
- The torque adjustments are a little still and require some bit of effort.
The Best Torque Wrench is PREC3FR250F
The torque wrenches discussed in the list above are all top selling pieces of equipment. Any pick from the models featured would be a worthwhile purchase. However, the top spot goes to the Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Torque Wrench. This wrench features a refreshing design incorporating a range of functional and highly specialized features. This model is, therefore, the best value pick for your money.
Torque wrenches are a useful addition to any toolbox or garage be it for professional or D.I.Y tasks. These tools require some level of insight from before buying one and as such it is recommended to consult experts and tool reviews prior to making a purchase. Over-tightening bolt is a common mistake most people fail to realize. It does the bolts and nuts no good. The best torque wrench should effectively avoid the occurrence of such a case while also delivering the user’s comfort.
I hope you have picked up a bit of useful information regarding torque wrenches. Feel free to share your comments, thoughts, and ideas in the space provided below.