Look no further, we’ve done the searching for you. In the sea of torque wrenches of different purpose, quality and price point, we have handpicked six of the best reviewed and praised.
In the article below, you will find most important things you need to know about torque wrenches and how to care for them, as well as full reviews of our top picks and a comparison table.
Do you own a lot of tools? You might consider getting a tool chest for easier storage.
Last updated 7/20/2018.
Best Torque Wrenches 2018
|Model (link jumps to our review)||Image||Item Weight (pounds)||Item Dimensions (inches)||Rating||Price*||Order Online|
|1. CDI 1002MFRPH 3/8 inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench||2.2||15.5 x 3.1 x 2.4||
(309 Reviews reviews)
|$126.70||Buy on Amazon|
|2. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F ½ inch Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench||4.5||25.5 x 3 x 2.1||
(340 Reviews reviews)
|$149.94||Buy on Amazon|
|3. ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2 inch Digital Torque Wrench||4||1.5 x 1.5 x 17||
(140 Reviews reviews)
|$87.31||Buy on Amazon|
|4. VENZO Bicycle Bike Torque Wrench Allen Key Tool Socket Set Kit||5.5||5.9 x 5.9 x 1.9||
(970 Reviews reviews)
|$59.98||Buy on Amazon|
|5. TEKTON 24335 1/2 inch Drive Click Torque Wrench||2.2||18.5 x 1.8 x 1.2||
(4,927 Reviews reviews)
|$36.80||Buy on Amazon|
|6. Snap-On Industrial Brand CDI 2503MFRPH 1/2 inch Micrometer Torque Wrench||4.3||21.2 x 2.8 x 2.4||
(309 Reviews reviews)
|$159.63||Buy on Amazon|
Torque wrench is a hardware tool that allows users to accurately and precisely tighten a nut or bolt to a specific torque. If you want to know more about this tool, read it here.
Using of torque wrench is very simple. All you have to do before any work is to adjust you torque wrench and then you can screw or trim. If you need a more detailed explanation about using your tool you can follow up these steps.
Torque wrench sometimes can need some special care and adjustment. Calibration should be done by a professional every year, but if you’re interested, there is a way to calibrate one yourself. More information about it you can find it here.
Yes. Torque wrench is very sensitive tool, so you should take care of it. In our article you can find a few tips on how to do it easier.
Here’s Our List of 6 Best Torque Wrenches:
We’ve compiled a hand picked list of best buying options based on editor’s experience during the testing.
1. CDI 1002MFRPH 3/8 inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
With a torque range from 10 ft-lbs to 100 ft-lbs, this CDI torque wrench was meant for smaller jobs. It weighs at just over 2 pounds, which makes it very well balanced and comfortable to use.
It is made completely out of stainless steel, except for the bottom grip which is made of a knobby rubber material. That knobby rubber material feels great in your hand, and it gives you better control over the tool and overall better handling.
CDI Adjustable Torque Wrench is a durable tool able to manage heavy work with high level of accuracy. It comes with a hard plastic box capable of protecting it from corrosion, rough weather, and any possible damage. In the box is also included a factory calibration certificate.
Setting a torque is easy and always precise due to the dual direction scale. To keep your torque setting in place, CDI Adjustable Torque Wrench features a positive lock with spring loaded pull down lock ring. The scale is laser marked and easy to read, with readings in both Newton/meters as well as foot/lbs, each marked on either side of the handle.
CDI Adjustable Torque Wrench offers amazing accuracy, 0.9% at low and 0.6% at 100 lbs range. This excellent for any kind of work, but it’s perfect if you’re usually doing light to medium application duty jobs. Also, CDI Adjustable Torque Wrench features quick release buttons positioned practically for easiest use. These buttons provide good socket retention and easy socket removal.
CDI surely made a great, durable tool with excellent accuracy and a loud click-stop notification. Most customers were extremely satisfied with this tool, although there were a few users who complained about the visibility on the scale and the plastic feel of the handle.
2. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F ½ inch Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench
One of the leaders in this industry, Precision Instruments bring you just what the name says – precision and accuracy at all times. With this torque wrench, it doesn’t matter whether you’re working on light or heavy machinery, every bolt will be tightened with the right amount of torque.
Precision Instruments Torque Wrench is primarily made out of stainless steel with Nickel and Chrome finish, and these materials are great for keeping the corrosion away. Another thing that helps keep this torque wrench safe and rust-free is a hard plastic case.
The length of Precision Instruments Torque Wrench is a bit over 22 inches, and this makes it perfect for a variety of jobs. This length, combined with ergonomic grip and a flexible head which pivots about 10 degrees in both directions, makes it really easy to reach any awkward angle without any problems. Also, because of the ergonomic design of the tool itself, you won’t need a lot of force in order to apply the maximum torque.
The torque range goes from 40 ft-lbs to 250 ft-lbs, and impressive factory calibrations provide you with plus or minus 4% accuracy across the entire torque range of the wrench.
Setting a torque is fast and easy, you can do it with only a fingertip touch due to an adjustable knob that eliminates spring tension and makes the whole process a lot simpler. After you reach the desired torque, there is an audible click that will tell you not to go further from that point. Don’t worry, the click is pretty loud, and you’ll be able to hear it at all times except for when you’re blasting music in your garage.
Another positive side to this torque wrench is the lock option for setting a torque. When you set the desired torque, you can lock it at that and keep it set for the next use. This means that Precision Instruments Torque Wrench doesn’t have to be recalibrated after each use, contrary to most torque wrenches.
This torque wrench is a great option for both professional mechanics and DIY users, it provides you with amazing accuracy and durable design. However, there are some downsides to Precision Instruments. The most notable complaint was about the ratchet head not being reversible, which means it only tightens in a clockwise direction.
3. ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2 inch Digital Torque Wrench
Next up on our list, we have a digital torque wrench coming from a well-known brand in automotive industry – ACDelco.
ACDelco Digital Torque Wrench is made out of chrome vanadium alloy and strong plastic and rubber materials for a handle. Great build of this tool resist corrosion and looks beautiful even after some time of usage. Although this is a durable tool, it is a bit more sensitive than other torque wrenches we covered, and it requires more careful handling.
Compared to other torque wrenches, ACDelco has a smaller torque range from 4 ft-lbs to 99 ft-lbs. This torque wrench operates at both clockwise and counter clockwise directions. It gives exceptional accuracy in both directions, +/- 2% clockwise and +/- 3% counter clockwise.
ACDelco Torque Wrench is packed with features when it comes to scale. There are four scale readings available: Newton/meters, ft/lb, in/lb and kg/cm. Available modes are peak and trace modes, and they are easy to set – you have a total of four buttons which are easy to navigate. The LCD screen is bright, and that means you won’t have any problem reading it. Also, you are able to see the torque you’re applying in real time. When you reach the torque you’ve set, you’ll be notified by a buzzer to stop.
This digital torque wrench is powered by batteries, which are unfortunately not included with the wrench. You are going to have to buy them separately, but you’ll need four AAA batteries to power it on. Great addition to ACDelco Torque Wrench is an auto shut off feature that turns of the wrench after a minute of inactivity. This little feature saves the battery life and helps if you’re forgetful.
Overall, ACDelco Digital Torque Wrench is a precise and compact tool, made from durable and high quality materials. It will perform magnificently at any type of mechanical job. Only complaints customers reported were about the lower torque range. They say that the lowest ACDelco can go is actually 10 ft-lbs, not 4 ft-lbs as the specs say. That fact can be a deal breaker if you’re looking for something that has lower torque range.
4. VENZO Bicycle Bike Torque Wrench Allen Key Tool Socket Set Kit
If cycling is your passion, we have just the right tool to keep your bike in order. VENZO packed up a convenient torque wrench set kit for every bike lover.
VENZO Torque Wrench is made out of high quality materials and feels solid in hand. The set comes in a hard plastic case, capable of protecting the wrench and the parts from corrosion and bad weather.
When you’re working on a bike, every bolt needs to be tightened with a right amount of torque. Otherwise, the bolt can break or come off which can be quite dangerous. With VENZO, you get a torque range from 2 N-m to 24 N-m and great level of accuracy as well of +/- 4%. This range will cover different kinds of bike parts.
VENZO comes with a gauge that’s ideal for bicycle carbon components. Included in a kit are Allen keys, which are 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, and 10 mm. Additionally, there is a longer 5 mm Allen key which allows you to reach every bolt easily. VENZO torque wrench has a release button on the head, and this makes taking the keys off easy and simple.
Setting the desired torque is easy, but the handle doesn’t have a locking mechanism. After the preset torque is reached, you’ll be notified with an audible but quiet click sound, and a vibration. When you hear or feel the vibration, you should stop because over tightening could cause damage to your bike, and therefore you.
In order for this tool to last a long time and work properly, you need to use it regularly so that it can lubricate itself internally.
VENZO Bike Torque Wrench is a versatile tool that will cover you in a wide range when it comes to bike jobs. This is a good tool, but it’s not perfect. Some customers complained about the clicking sound being too quiet. Not being able to hear the clicking sound lead them to under tighten or over tighten. So, if you’re interested in this tool, be sure to go slowly and to pay attention to the vibration. Also, there were a few who said that this bike torque wrench broke after some time of use.
5. TEKTON 24335 1/2 inch Drive Click Torque Wrench – Our Best Value for Money
TEKTON is one of the most famous brands in tool industry, and this particular torque wrench model is an all-time best seller.
This torque wrench is made out of high quality chrome vanadium steel, and it doesn’t have any plastic parts that can be easily worn out. Though some users prefer the rubber handle, the steel one on the TEKTON does feel good in the hand. The steel shaft is plaited with material that is corrosion resistant. This torque wrench weighs a little bit over 2 pounds, making it a lightweight tool. The length of the TEKTON is 18 3/8 inches, and this length is long enough to reach almost everything. If you need something longer, you can always buy extender bar. TEKTON Torque Wrench comes in a hard plastic case, which protects the tool and keeps the rust away.
The scale is located on the handle, it’s easy to read, and it offers measurements in both foot/pounds and Newton/meters. The torque range goes from 10 ft-lbs to 150 ft-lbs, with amazing accuracy of +/- 4% across the entire range. If you want to keep this level of accuracy and precision, always turn the torque value to the minimum when you’re not using the wrench.
TEKTON features reversible head, which means it can operate in both clockwise and counter clockwise direction. This feature will mean a lot if you’re left handed. Setting a torque value is simple, and once you reach the preset torque, you’ll hear a loud click that lets you know not to go past that point.
This torque wrench is praised by many for its performance, precision, and durability. It is lightweight, medium length torque wrench that can reach almost everywhere. And you get all that for $36.99! TEKTON Torque Wrench is without a doubt out best pick for the money.
There are some downsides though. Some customers have complained about not being able to hear the notifying click sound, and miss their mark to stop. In this happens to you, you have to have patience and pay attention to what you’re doing. Also, a few users reported breaking after some time of use.
6. Snap-On Industrial Brand CDI 2503MFRPH 1/2 inch Micrometer Torque Wrench – Our Top Pick
A leader in the industry Snap-On brings a top notch torque wrench every serious or aspiring mechanic needs in his tool box.
Snap-On is a well-known brand, praised by many professionals and amateurs for its high quality tools. This torque wrench is nothing less than high quality, and there are many reasons why it is our top pick. It is made out of chrome vanadium steel and a plastic handle. The hard plastic of handle feels nice in hand, and allows a good grip. Snap-On Torque Wrench weighs a little bit over 4 pounds, and it is 21 inches long, which makes it easy to reach every place you need it to reach.
The torque range goes from as little as 30 ft-lb to as much as 250 ft-lb, and the scale has two measurement readings – lb/ft and N/m. Measurements on the scale are laser marked, and they are very easy to read. Setting a torque is simple, just turn the handle on the desired measure and pull down the spring-loaded lock-down ring to make sure that the setting will stay the same.
Snap-On Torque Wrench features reversible head, meaning that it can operate in both clockwise and counter clockwise. Snap-On offers exceptional accuracy which is +/- 3% in clockwise direction, and +/- 5% counter clockwise, and the readings stay within the error range of 0.9% to 0.6% based on the torque setting. This torque wrench also features quick release buttons, and they provide good socket retention and easy socket removal.
This tool feels sturdy in hand, it is perfect for both heavy and light mechanical work, and it doesn’t require using a lot of force to reach the preset torque. There is an audible and loud click sound that lets you know you’ve reached the desired torque.
Snap-On Torque Wrench comes backed up with a lifetime warranty, and this fact alone can be an indicator of the tool quality.
The only things customers have complained about are the size of the plastic case, and some weren’t able to clearly read the markings on the scale.
What is a Torque Wrench?
A torque wrench pretty much does what a normal wrench would do, screw on nuts and bolts. However, a torque wrench is a hardware tool that allows users to accurately and precisely tighten a nut or bolt to a specific torque.
In some cases, when it comes to automotive or biking industries, it is extremely important for screws to be tightened to a right amount of torque. Using too much torque will result in damaging the fastener or bolt. And on the other side, if you’re not applying enough torque, it will result in loose nuts and bolts that can cause big problems, and put your life at risk.
The torque wrenches are only used to fasten a nut or bolt, not to loosen them – there is a special tool for that too. If you use the torque wrench for something it wasn’t meant to be used for, it can lose its effectiveness, calibration, and accuracy.
If you love doing the handy work yourself, a torque wrench is a must have in your tool box. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working on water or gas pipeline, fixing automotive or bicycle parts, you will find a use for this tool always.
Types of Torque Wrenches
There is a variety of different types of torque wrenches that can be found on the market, and before deciding on a model, you should know the main types and differences between them. There are nine types of torque wrenches, and we covered them all below.
This torque wrench consists of two beams, the first one is a lever that serves as a tool handle, and it is used for applying the torque to the fastener that’s being tightened. The second beam is the indicator beam, on one side it’s free to travel over a calibrated scale (which is marked in units of torque), and on the other end, the second beam is secured to the wrench head. A better version of a beam torque wrench features a dial gauge indicator that can be set to give a visual or electrical indication when a set torque is reached. This is the simplest and oldest form of a torque wrench, and it is also the least accurate torque wrench on the market. However, a beam-type torque wrench is the cheapest torque wrench you can buy.
This type of torque wrench is similar to the one mentioned above. It is also made of two beams connected to the wrench head, and trough only one beam the torque is being applied. The main difference here is that the torque is being applied through the deflecting beam, not through the coil spring. Applying torque through the deflecting beam prolongs the life and accuracy of a torque wrench. Scale, with a fitted wedge that can be moved along the scale to set the desired torque, is attached to the deflecting beam. When you reach the desired torque, you’ll hear a loud click, triggered by a pin on the indicating beam. Deflecting beam torque wrench will last longer than beam torque wrench, it will offer better accuracy, and you’ll be able to both hear and see when the desired torque is reached.
This torque wrench consists of a roller and a cam mechanism. Roller pushes against the cam with a specific force set up by an adjustable spring. Slipper torque wrench gives you accurate torque control by canceling over and under tightening due to slipping technology.
This torque wrench is also known as a plumber’s wrench, because it is used by plumbers for tightening clamping bands on hubless soil pipe couplings. These wrenches are preset to a specific torque, and when that torque is reached wrenches just slip back.
This is the most common torque wrench used by mechanics for automotive work. It consists of the ball detent and a spring that is preset by an adjustable screw thread, calibrated in torque units. When you reach the desired torque, you will hear a loud click sound. It is important to stop turning it when you hear that sound because the wrench won’t slip if you don’t stop – it will continue to apply the torque. There are many variations of this type of torque wrenches, and some have added the slipping technology to prevent adding more torque.
This type of torque wrench can be pre-programmed to specific limits. They work just like the click-type wrenches, but instead of the clicking sound, you’ll hear the beeping sound. And they have a digital screen that shows you the torque that’s being applied. Electronic torque wrenches also feature internal memory which can save all measurements applied, and those measurements can easily be transferred to a PC. With all these features, electronic torque wrenches also come with a higher price tag.
This type of wrench works the same as the electronic torque wrench, except it also measures the tightening angle, measured with an angle sensor or an electronic gyroscope. This added measurement provides you with a better accuracy.
Mechatronic torque wrench works like a click-type wrench, but the torque is measured as a digital reading. This is a combination of the click-type wrench and an electronic torque wrench.
These torque wrenches are specialized tools used for heavy machinery and aviation. They consist of minimum one hydraulic cylinder operating a drive head ratchet. Hydraulic torque wrenches offer high accuracy for tightening large torque.
Now, which one is the best option for you?
Well, if this is the first time you’re buying a torque wrench and if you’re just starting to know the handyman in you, the best option would be the beam torque wrench. These torque wrenches are mostly cheap and really easy to use, with a satisfying accuracy.
If you have a big budget set for this particular purchase, you should go for an electric torque wrench. You don’t have to be a professional mechanic to use it, it is pretty simple. Actually, electronic torque wrenches are easiest to use, and they are the most accurate.
However, my choice would have to be click-type torque wrench. This type does require a little bit of mechanical knowledge, but it is not nuclear physics – you’ll be able to operate it easily. Just invest your money in pre-calibrated, high quality model, and you’ll be good to go.
How to Choose the Best Torque Wrench – Buyer’s Guide
Below we covered the most important features you should have in mind when deciding on a torque wrench.
Important features to keep in mind
Construction and the materials used to make a torque wrench should be high quality. Cheaper torque wrenches will have some plastic materials, which is not bad, but if you want to own a durable torque wrench that can handle the pressure that will be placed on it, you should look for those wrenches made out of steel. There are also varying grades of steel, some are lighter, and some are heavier. Heavier and thicker steel ensures the maximum amount of durability and leverage.
Torque wrenches come in a variety of sizes, and some of them are really big, and some are small. People might think that size is not the deciding factor when you’re choosing a torque wrench. However, it is not the same if you’re a mechanic that spends the majority of the day under a car or under a truck, or if you’re working with bicycles. A big torque wrench will be perfect if you’re working on a truck, but if you’re working with a smaller car or bike a big, heavy wrench will only be a pain to work with. So make the decision based on the things you’re working on.
Torque wrench is a sensitive tool, and it is not meant to be kept in a drawer or a tool box with other hardware tools. Before buying a torque wrench, make sure that it comes with a hard plastic case that will keep it safe and secure.
Always check if the ratcheting is bi-directional or not. Bi-directional ratcheting means that the torque wrench is able to tighten a nut or bolt in both clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. Not having this option is not a deal breaker, but those who are left handed will appreciate this feature. Beam-type torque wrenches usually don’t have this feature, but most of the electronic and click-type wrenches have the bi-directional ratcheting.
When you’re buying a torque wrench, you should look for one that has a non-slip, textured handle. This will give you a better hold and a better control of a tool.
Scale visibility is also of great importance. Whether the scale is on a digital screen or on a mechanical handle, make sure that you can see it clearly at all times.
This is the most important thing you need to check when you’re buying a torque wrench. If you want a great torque wrench, look for one that is set at least to a plus or minus 4% of its actual value. I need to mention, every now and then, a torque wrench should be recalibrated in order to maintain the factory accuracy. In case you drop your wrench and disturb the scale, you should get it checked as soon as you get the chance. Torque wrench demands good care, so try to be careful when you’re using it.
Another extremely important factor is the indicator that will tell you when the desired torque is reached. In some cases, you won’t be able to see the wrench, and because of that you will not be able to easily see the indicator. This is the reason why having an audible indicator is a great thing. It doesn’t matter whether the indicator beeps or makes a clicking sound, as long as it lets you know that you’ve reached the wanted torque.
A great torque wrench should cover a wide range of torque. This will allow you to work on different things with just one wrench, it will save you both money and time.
Instructions manual is another thing of great importance, especially if you’re just starting to use a torque wrench for the first time. User friendly manual will be very helpful even if you already worked with torque wrenches. It will help with setting the torque and other important stuff. So, always check if the desired wrench comes with an instruction manual.
Warranty in a way tells you how much the manufacturer believes in a product. The longer the warranty, the better the product.
Price of the torque wrenches varies from cheap to very expensive. Before reading reviews and choosing a torque wrench, set a budget and stay in it. It will save you some time on reading up on wrenches you are not going to purchase because they don’t fit in your already set budget.
How to Maintain a Torque Wrench?
We mentioned before that torque wrench is a sensitive tool that requires a good care, in order to work how it’s manufactured to. Here we have some tips on how to take care of your torque wrench.
When you’re not using it, always keep your torque wrench in a hard case. This tool is not meant to be bumped around in a tool box. If it hits something or if you drop it on the floor, make sure to check its calibration as soon as possible.
From time to time, make sure to lubricate all the moving parts of a torque wrench. If you don’t lubricate it, after some time of using it, it will start to corrode and not function properly.
Never dip the whole torque wrench into the water. Sensitive mechanics and torque setting should at all times be kept dry. In case your torque wrench gets wet, dry it off with a hair dryer instantly.
Customer’s Opinions – See What Other Users Say:
Every tool on our list is great, and you won’t make a mistake with whatever your choice may be. However, depending on your needs, some of these torque wrenches might not suit you well.
Our top pick is Snap-On torque wrench, but if you’re looking for a bike torque wrench our top pick will mean nothing to you, and you should opt for VENZO Bike Torque Wrench.
With that said, first thing you have to do is to decide what you’re going to use the torque wrench for, then set a budget, and the rest of it will come pretty easy.
I hope our guide helped you make the best choice.
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