Best torque wrenches to tight the bolt to precise amount

Looking for best torque wrench for money?

But!   
Can’t decide which square drive size and brand suitable for your need?

No Worries. 
In this article, We will guide you to get a perfect professional torque wrench for your repairing work.

First of all, It is important to know required drive size and torque range before buying any wrench.

For example, 100 ft-lb is average torque value for most lug nuts (Also Called Wheel Nuts) of cars but exact value depends on the model of a car. Same wise, 1/2 inch drive torque wrench is good for most of repairing work on cars, but some bolts need 3/8″ drive. 

There is 2 ways to know the exact torque value.

Either you can check your car manual (Check the section, Changing or replacing a spare tire)

or If you lost your car owner manual, you can check below links.

This & This

After knowing the torque value, you can easily pick desire wrenches for your need. For example, if you have Honda Civic (1984-2016) then you need 80 ft-lb force for tightening the nuts.

In this article, we have picked some wrench that are suitable for most of repairing work like tire rotation, Changing spark plug, cylinder head bolts etc.

In a hurry? 
Here is some quick but useful suggestion for you!

WINNER
After  lot of research and expert opinion, we find
Tekton 24335 1/2 inch drive click torque wrench is best suitable torque wrench for tightening lug nut of the wheel for the most of car brands/models because it torque range is 10-150 ft-lb.check price

RUNNER UP
Tekton 24320 1/4 inch drive click torque wrench  for smaller bolt head

Neiko 3/8 inch 10-80 foot pound 14 inch long handle  for other engine parts 

Torque wrench

Performing a repair is hard enough. You don’t want to perform it twice.

Anyone who has performed mechanical repairs knows what this means. You’ve cut corners.

Just Imagine!
You’ve made a tool to work for something other than its intended purpose. You’ve finished the job, then stood back and admired your handiwork, only to have it fail once you begin to use it or start it up.

Think about it for a moment.

The disappointment can bring you to tears.

Now you have to redo all the work you’ve just done. You could’ve saved yourself the time, effort, and extra cost of doing it right the first time. Using the proper procedures, but more importantly, using the right tool for the job will save you agonizing hours of redoing work you’ve just finished.

No matter if you are a mechanic in the Automotive Industry or if your hobby is to maintain or repair your own car, motorcycle, or bicycle, you need hand tools. You need tools like screwdrivers, wrench sets, Spanners, pliers, cutters, hammers and others. You definitely need the right tool for the job at hand.

Fact:
Often mechanical and automotive jobs impose tight work areas, while precision and accuracy is also required. Despite years of experience, an expert mechanic can over-tighten or under-tighten a component which causes damage or breakage of vehicle parts.

In these situations we need tools which can work easily in these critical environments, provide accurate results, and alert the user to avoid over- or under Stress. For tightening of lug nuts on cars, trucks and other large vehicles, a torque wrench is the best tool for applying proper force on fasteners to get the job done precisely.

Avoid a Do-Over: Pick a best torque wrench for your need

TW Sizes
There are four basic sizes of square drive head, which are used for different purposes:

  • 1/4 inch drive is used for very small nuts and bolts which require small amounts of torque such as Motorcycle, Bicycle, Lawn and Garden equipment.
  • 3/8 inch drive is mainly used for passenger vehicles like Cars and Light Trucks.
  • 1/2 inch drive torque wrenches are used for tightening lug nuts of Cars, Trucks, SUV’s, some large equipment and for larger automotive repairs.
  • 1 inch drive torque wrenches are also available. They are used for heavy vehicles like Tractor-Trailers, Large Cargo Aircraft, Passenger Airlines and Marine works.

Are you searching for a reliable, robust, and accurate torque wrench that won’t break the bank? Here is our top pick with detail reviews.

6. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver ½” Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench w/ Flex Head

The Precision Instruments ½” Split Beam Torque Wrench is on top of the list since it delivers great accuracy at a rather friendly price. This beautiful torque wrench has a nickel and chrome finish and is equipped with an ergonomic grip handle that feels good in the hand.

This ½” split beam torque wrench is ideal for cars, light trucks, SUVs, and other demanding jobs. The great thing about this torque wrench is the adjustment knob. This feature eliminates the spring tension so you can easily adjust the proper torque settings with a click of a finger. The torque setting can also be locked in place which is perfect for repetitive applications such as tightening the bolts on the valve cover of your car’s engine.

The Precision Instruments ½” Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench doesn’t need to be relaxed or wound-down after each and every use. It is rated to handle 40 to 250 pound-feet of torque. This is a professional grade tool that deserves a place in your garage.

Pros

  • Premium nickel and chrome finish
  • Accurate to within 4%
  • Easy to adjust
  • Does not need to be wound-down after use

Cons

  • Slightly higher price tag

5.Pittsburgh Pro Reversible Click Type Torque Wrench – Set of 3

When it comes to value, it is hard to fault the Pittsburgh Pro Reversible Click Type Torque Wrench. This kit is sold as a set of 3 torque wrenches in ¼”, 3/8”, and ½” sizes. You know what this means, right? If you’re a serious hobbyist and you need a complete set of torque wrenches for your car, truck, and bicycle, the Pittsburgh Pro should be on top of your list.

This kit is a click-type torque wrench that is accurate within +/- 4%. All three wrenches are equipped with a heavy-duty cam and pawl mechanism to achieve maximum durability. Best of all, the torque wrenches are reversible and each comes with its own hard case. The torque range is rated at 20 to 200 pound-feet.

If you don’t want to spend too much money on a torque wrench, this kit is a perfect choice.

Pros

  • Fantastic price
  • Premium quality and feel
  • Accurate within 4%
  • Easy to adjust

Cons

  • The torque readings are hard to read

4. Venzo Bicycle Torque Wrench Allen Key Tool Socket Set Kit

If you need a high-quality torque wrench for your bicycle, you need the Venzo Torque Wrench Kit. It comes complete with a wide assortment of Allen keys, including 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm keys. It even includes a longer 5mm Allen key and T30, T25, and T20 keys as well.

The Venzo ¼” torque wrench is accurate within +/- 4%, but it is a good idea to have the kit calibrated if you are planning to use this on a carbon fiber bike. Remember that carbon parts need to be tightened to exact specifications since overdoing it will either crack or damage the part.

The gauge is easy to read and the torque values are easy to set. The torque range is rated at 2 to 24 newton-meters. The kit even comes with a compact hard case so you can bring this with you on your next biking adventure.

Pros

  • Complete Allen key set
  • Easy to use
  • Clear and legible gauge
  • Great price

Cons

  • Calibration is required if planning to use on carbon fiber bikes

3. Tekton 24330 3/8” Drive Click Torque Wrench

The Tekton 24330 3/8” Drive Click Torque Wrench is all about long-term accuracy and durability. This torque wrench features an all steel construction with no plastic parts that might break or wear over extended duress.

This kit is also equipped with a reversible ratchet head can drive in both directions. However, take note that it can only measure the torque in a clockwise direction. The good thing about the Tekton 3/8” Drive Click Torque Wrench is the high-contrast dual-range scale. This makes the torque values easy to read even when it’s a bit dark or gloomy. The torque range is 10 to 80 inch-pounds.

This torque wrench is also calibrated to within +/- 4% to deliver faultless accuracy.

Pros

  • Great low price
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Durable all-steel construction
  • The scale is easy to read

Cons

  • Minor gripes with quality

2. Tekton 24320 ¼” Drive Click Torque Wrench

If all you want is a handy ¼” torque wrench for your motorcycle, bike, or small equipment, you need not look further than the Tekton ¼” Click Torque Wrench. This tool is easy to use and comes with the same easy-to-read scale as the Tekton 3/8” model. The high-contrast dual-range scale is rated from 20 to 200 inch-pounds of torque and is easy to adjust.

Similar to the Tekton 3/8” torque wrench, the smaller Tekton ¼” has the same all steel construction to deliver fantastic durability. There are no weak and brittle plastic parts so you can expect to use this torque wrench for a long time indeed.

This ¼” torque wrench is accurate within +/- 4% and comes with a compact storage case.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Easy to read torque scale
  • Tough all steel construction

Cons

  • Minor issues with quality

1. Tekton 24335 ½ inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (Best overall)

This Wrench will remain a perennial favorite since it continues to offer fantastic value. This kit comes with a 4-piece impact adapter and reducer set and is rated at 10 to 150 foot-pounds of torque. The 4-piece adapter set is made from premium-grade chrome vanadium steel and has a black oxide finish.

The adapter and reducer set are equipped with spring-loaded detent balls that prevent them from being dropped when locked into place. This is a great feature when working in tight spaces under the hood of your car or truck.

Why should you buy Tekton 24335 torque wrench?

Like all the Tekton torque wrenches in this list, this ½” Drive Wrench is equipped with a high-contrast dual-range scale that makes it effortless to view the torque readings even in poorly lit working conditions.

1/2 inch drive and 10-150 ft-lb torque range is good enough for most of the mechanic’s works.

Spinning handle helps to set the desired torque you want to apply. Click type mechanism ensures an audible sound upon reaching preset torque. Not only you hear click sound but also feels in hands.Demarcated scale helps to read easily.

It is marked in ft-lb((Foot-pound) and Nm (Newton meter) on the opposite of the handle. Half marked on the knurled handle and half on the metal body. Knurled handle scale is called micrometer scale and handle body scale referred to the main scale.

The ratcheting head helps to continue works on bolt tightening without lifting it again and again.

This could be used for removing fastener(Not recommended by the manufacturer, you should use the standard wrench for removing fasteners) but it cannot measure torque in the anti-clockwise direction. It measures in only clockwise direction.

The wrench itself benefits from an all steel construction with no plastic parts.

Tekton brand offers exchange warranty for broken or damaged tools. You don’t need to worry if you wrench got damage. You will get replacement. Just contact to manufacturer.

Used for:

Tightening the lug nut of your car and cylinder head bolt. Perfect for cars and SUV’s tires rotation and swapping summer tires for winter tires. Also used for Installing power steering pump, changing time belt and changing lawn mowers blades.

Pros

  • Terrific value for the price
  • Easy to read scale
  • Spring loaded detent balls to firmly secure the adapters
  • It comes in decent carrying case, you can keep it safe.

Cons

  • This is not good for smaller screws and bolts.

What exactly a torque wrench??

It is an easy-to-use precision tool used to measure the accurate torque on a bolt, nut or other fastener. In other words, it is used to measure the amount of force applied on fasteners to meet the criteria set by the manufacturer. It helps the user to be efficient in tightening or loosening nuts, bolts, and screws while avoiding under-tightening and over-tightening them.
Importance of this tool in our daily life
When we apply a force to the nuts and bolts during the assembly of automobile parts, we actually apply torque for clamping the parts together. For safety measures and for the longevity of fasteners, we need proper fastening tools; tools that will precisely tighten to an exact specification.

A torque wrench is a precision tool and measures the applied force/load/tension on the threaded fasteners during assembly. It helps to achieve the specific fastening torque quickly and correctly, yet operates smoothly with minimal human effort. A properly torqued fastener remains tight during the rigors of operation and vibrations that occur and can save the vehicle from any serious damages. Inadequate tightening or poorly torque fasteners can fail suddenly during operation due to high vibrations or strain and may cause premature failures. To avoid these problems we need proper torque tools. With these problems in mind, engineers have designed torque wrenches to apply the specific amount of torque to joining the parts.

Mostly modern torque wrenches are equipped with a ratchet mechanism. It allows the user to keep the  wrench on the fastener once it has reached the end of travel in the work space. The user simply turns the wrench in the opposite direction from its intended travel. The ratcheting mechanism uses a gear inside the wrench head to let the handle slip backward while the fastener remains still. It allows faster operation in a tight work space.

Application: These wrenches are used in Automotive, heavy engineering, Aeronautic, Watercraft, Fertilizers and Defense Organizations, etc.

The most recognized and best brands/manufacturer for these wrenches are:

  • Tekton
  • Norbar
  • Snap on
  • CDI
  • Craftman
  • Parktool
  • Pittsburgh (We do not recommend this brand because many users complained their tool)

Every brand’s torque wrench has the same operating principle, but accuracy, durability and prices are different. They are available in different sizes and lengths, and are sold in retail shops and online stores like Amazon. Before selecting or buying a torque wrench, we need to understand their features and select the best suitable tool according to our needs.

Features and Qualities to Look For

When purchasing any torque wrenchthere are a lot of questions of how to select the best torque wrench among the numerous sizes and brands available in the market. While requirements vary from person to person, some important things should be kept in mind before making a final decision to purchase so that we select the best suitable tool according to our needs:

  • What size of square drive is needed?
  • What is its operating torque range?
  • Can it measure torque in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, or only one?
  • What is the maximum torque it can measure?
  • How accurate is it?
  • Is it easy to use and easy to grip during work?
  • Is it easy to read the torque spec while tightening or loosening the fastener?
  •  Is its weight and length easy to handle?
  • How durable is it?
  • Does the manufacturer provide warranty?
  • Does it include a Certificate of Calibration?
  • Does it include a storage case?
  • Does it meet ASME B107.14M-1094 and ISO 6789 standards?
  • Is it manufactured with a locking feature?

Square drive: These wrenches are available with different sizes of square drive which have been previously explained in detail. Before choosing any wrench to buy, make sure the size of square drive matches the job you need to perform.

Accuracy:

Mostly torque wrenches have an accuracy of (+/-) 5%, which means a particular wrench should read within plus or minus 5% of the exact torque value. For Example, we set the value 15 newton meters (nm) on the torque wrench, and it should click constantly when the actual torque is between 14.7nm – 15.5nm.

Storage case

Mostly torque tools available on the market come with their own storage case. It is very important to have storage case for to maintain the accuracy and longevity of any tool, especially precision tools. Be sure to buy a case for your tool if it doesn’t come with one.

Certificate of Calibration

It is a document which certifies the accuracy of your wrench against the standard, which the wrench is being tested. Most calibration certificates are valid for 3 years after the inspection or for one year after date of usage. It includes the following key features:

  • Model number
  • Serial number
  • Toque setting to which TQ wrench is calibrated.
  • Accuracy limits
  • Units in either SI or in English
  • Ambient Temperature
  • Date of calibration

 

Decision factors when buying

It heavily depends on your needs and your budget to determine the best torque wrench for you. TEKTON, NEIKO, GEARWRENCH, and CRAFTSMAN brands are good quality and have wrenches under $50 for the price-conscious shopper.

If you are more concerned with owning high quality, long lasting tools, then you should buy CDI, NORBAR, SNAP-ON. These brands have highly reliable tools with highly precise accuracy.

Type of torque wrenches

  • Clicker type wrench

The type of torque wrench most suited for automotive work is a clicker type torque wrench. It is the most popular and widely used torque wrench product in the world. It employs a clutch mechanism so that once the required torque value is reached the clutch starts slipping. It creates an audible click when it reaches the set value.

  • Beam type wrench

It consists of two parallel rods:  the wrench handle, and a second rod contains a needle or pointer which moves in both directions, clockwise and counter-clockwise by applying pressure. Using this style of wrench is accurate, however, it may be a challenging task because you have to constantly look at the needle for an accurate reading.

  • Split beam type

The “split beam” provides accurate reading and trouble-free performance. We can adjust it from the bottom of the scale to the top of the scale within seconds. It requires the least maintenance as the ratchet head is sealed. It has an easy grip handle and reduces user fatigue. The key benefit of this wrench is that you don’t have to release the torque after use.

  • Dial

The design of this style of torque wrench and heavy metal guard makes it robust and durable. It uses a needle, which moves by applying force and shows the exact torque value. Mostly dial torque wrenches can measure torque in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions. According to some experts, dial type torque wrenches are more accurate than clicker type wrenches. It is the only wrench whose accuracy is not affected by hand-hold position. Usually its dial face is large which makes it easier to watch the value and reduces human error.

  • Electronics with digital read out

This is the most expensive, but also the most reliable torque wrench. It is most commonly used where angle plus torque is required. It uses of a large backlit LED display for showing torque digitally to ensure that the users see the reading quickly and easily. It also includes a buzzer for audible noise and 3 different LED lights to alert the mechanics that the required value has been reached. These type of wrenches usually display all 4 types of units of torque: Inch-pounds, foot-pounds, Newton-meters, Kilogram-centimeter. The most advanced electronic torque wrenches have a feature that measures the tightening angle as well as torque. Its accuracy is unbeatable in both clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.

Final Words

Finding the right torque wrench for you depends on your purpose. For bicycles, small engines, and precision repairs to small projects, a ¼ inch square drive is your best choice. 3/8 inch square drives are the best choice for automotive repairs, and ½ inch square drive torque wrenches are best for heavy mechanical, cars, trucks, SUVs, and large equipment. For any industrial projects or repairs, 1 inch square drive torque wrenches are your best choice.

Learn from the mistakes others have made. Obtain the right torque wrench for the job at hand. You will save yourself the time and effort of redoing work a second time.

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