Don't you hate it when you over-tighten that bolt and wallah... threads area destroyed!
From personal experience, that has to be the most AWEFUL feeling ever.
Knowing that you now need to rethread the thing and God knows how long that will take. A torque wrench is exactly what you need in this scenario.
- Torque Wrench Reviews (Top 9 Picks of 2019)
- 1. Tekton 24335 - The BEST Torque Wrench of 2019 (editors choice)
- 2. EPAuto ST-010-1
- 3. CDI 2503MFRPH
- 4. eTORK C3250
- 5. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F
- 6. Neiko 03713A
- 7. Park Tool TW-5.2
- 8. ACDelco ARM601-4 - Best Digital Torque Wrench
- 9. Precision Instruments PREC4D600F
- What Happens When You DON'T Tighten Bolts? (Infographic)
- What Do I Do From Here?
Most people nowadays use this type of tool in automotive applications, such as tightening wheel bolts and a variety engine parts.
A torque wrench is exactly what you need in this scenario. Most people nowadays use this type of tool in automotive applications, such as tightening wheel bolts and a variety engine parts.
Try going on Google and type "torque wrench", you'll get bombarded with numerous tools. It can be difficult to narrow down exactly what to get.
Luckily for you, this entire buyer's guide is created for that reason. You need to pick the best torque wrench for your needs, that means if your needs are just to take wheels on and off, you won't need anything fancy. A simple wrench would do. On the flip side, if you are doing work on more fragile equipment and need "to the dot" precision, we have recommended a few as well.
When you are done with this entire guide, you'll have a greater understanding of what to look at.
Torque Wrench Reviews (Top 9 Picks of 2019)
Now that you saw the chart above, what do you think so far?
Those are my top 5 picks, primarily because they have excellent reviews, are reasonably pried for what they do, and lastly... they are most likely to last much longer. It's not to say all others won't last long, not at all. From my research, these are ones I found to be most popular and thus making it to the top 5 list.
Below, I have featured all the torque wrench reviews including not just the 5 above but also 5 additional ones. I think you'll truly love what's below!
1. Tekton 24335 - The BEST Torque Wrench of 2019 (editors choice)
Tekton got it right with its 24335 model, that is why it belongs in the #1 spot as the best torque wrench for the money as of 2019. You may be wondering why this one in particular, there's so many to choose from. Let me tell you why:
First of all is simplicity in design, they are doing it right by making each aspect manually adjustable. From the direction you torque things, to the actual torque number you'd like to achieve. Some would call this old school, but most places that do any kind of automotive repairs don't need a $500 wrench that can has a handle warmer, built-in wifi, an lcd screen and a whole bunch of other features.
I'm of course exaggerating those things a bit but I hope you get the point.
This thing is made of durable stainless steel. There's an easy to use grip handle that also adjusts torque ranging from 10 to 150 foot pounds (that's 13.6 to 203.5 newton meters).
For the price just shy of 40 dollars, they got it right with being affordable for everyone. Not to mention an overwhelming number of people who left a positive review (2,336 reviews as of January 23, 2019).
You can get this thing with a breaker bar or a 4-pc adapter set for an extra 15-20 dollars, but that's up to you.
Check it out by clicking the button below, this thing is for you!
2. EPAuto ST-010-1
Coming in as a close number two is the EPAuto ST-010-1 torque wrench. To be honest this would made it to the #1 spot had it not been for the newness of this particular model. Still with more than 500 reviews from people who actually bought the thing, it sure does paint a good picture.
Let's start with its built quality. You are getting a 100% stainless steel with a mixture of a chrome vanadium steel alloy used on the ratchet head. Just like most manually adjustable wrenches, the handle is made of metal and is also the part that lets you adjust both foot pounds (10-150) and newton meters (13.6-203.5).
Did you want to hear a reassuring "click" when you reached the desired tightness? You will definitely hear it!
Holding it in your hand will give you the feeling of durability, as stated earlier about being stainless steel. As with all fragile tools, there's an included plastic case that allows you to store it wherever you please.
In closing, let's talk about the price. If you thought #1 was cheap at just below 40 dollars... this thing is just below 30 dollars. It's an affordable and overall solid unit, no questions about it. Do consider looking into it if this thing sounds appealing!
3. CDI 2503MFRPH
Would you like some more leverage?
The CDI 2503MFRPH is the adjustable micrometer torque wrench for you. You gotta love this thing, it is nearly 2' feet long at around 21.2" inches.
After doing some digging, I'd say this is the torque wrench you NEED to get when you are going after some very tight jobs. Being so long lets you reach torque levels higher than many others. Here you can get 30-250 foot pounds (or 40.8 to 340 newton meters).
This model in particular gives you the option to choose from 1/2", 1/4", 3/4", or 3/8" size of socket to use. Bigger equals more the more torque you'd need for the bolt.
While being roughly 150 dollars, it's not the best value out there. You can get similar models with more features for same or less money. However, it appeals to me that it manages to stay manual in each type of adjustment.
Does your lifted Jeep or truck need the wheels tightened with 100% certainty they will NOT fall off? You get this torque wrench!
I strongly recommend you look further into this model, there's plenty of positive reviews that may assure your conviction going with this model!
4. eTORK C3250
I love it when competition in any market takes a unique approach to something, that is why the eTORK C3250 is on the list as #4. Time to get your "click" on because this is the torque wrench that will let you know exactly what torque number you are on, especially given the fail-safe mechanism built into the wrench.
At the end of this wrench, there's a knob that lets you push it out to unlock and set an adjustment and push it in to lock the adjustment. This ensures there's NO accidental changes to the torque specs, which can many times prove to be BIG mistakes.
If you are the type of individual that finds it difficult to read the torque numbers on most wrenches, eTORK has done it a bit different. While still being manually adjustable, there's a scale styled graph that lets you go from left to right and vise-versa. Showing you both foot pounds and newton meters at the same time. I find it of most importance when you're an individual that needs clear labeling (such as myself).
When it comes to how much you can torque, it ranges from 50 to 250 foot pounds and 70-340 newton meters. Combined with the 1/2" inch driver, it will tackle most jobs any normal person could throw at it (with the exception of tightening construction equipment).
5. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F
Precision Instruments has taken a unique approach to how their handle is shaped. As you saw with all others with completely round bars, this one has a bar which takes a rectangular shape all the way through.
The model's name is PREC3FR250F, this is one of their premium models.
Inside the hardened case you'll get this entire split beam wrench which features a 1/2" driver, a "meter" styled scale that shows you torque tension ranging from 20 to 250 pound feet (you can get a version that shows you newton meters instead).
There's an adjustable knob that eliminates spring tension, so setting specific torque on this wrench is quite easy and keeps accuracy more consistent.
Something worth mentioning about this unit is it only works towards a clockwise direction. This is typically done to ensure these reversible wrenches are protected from abuse.
For a dependable, fairly long torque wrench with great capabilities to torque things to low and high specs, this Precision Instruments tool is great. At around 150 dollars (more or less), its a good overall buy!
6. Neiko 03713A
So we've talked about "powerful" wrenches that can tighten the space between the moon and earth (jokingly), but with this one we are going to focus on tightening things that simply don't require much effort. Number 6, we have the Neiko 03713A adjustable torque wrench.
There are fragile things that need torque specs as little as 10 foot pounds or 13.8 newton meters.
At just 14" inches long, this wrench isn't a heavy-metal champion when it comes to tightening things. While in many cases automobiles will require higher than 80 max pound feet, this unit specifically would be great for small applications such as compact automobiles, utilities vehicles, light weight lawn equipment and more.
The type of sockets required for use should be approximately 3/8" inches.
The entire construction of this thing is metal with multiple parts being stainless steel. Everything is manually adjusted including the torque settings and the lock/unlock knob which lets you keep any specific torque spec for longer periods of time.
As expected, the entire wrench comes in a ABS plastic case that is fairly durable, keeping this tool protected from small to medium falls.
For the price of around 25 dollars, it's an excellent deal. Not for heavy duty use, but enough for many light duty jobs!
7. Park Tool TW-5.2
Talk about a little guy that packs a punch, the number seven on this list is the Park Tool TW-5.2 ratcheting torque wrench.
Sometimes big things come in small packages, and sometimes medium sized things come in small packages. In this case, it's the second one.
What caught my eye with this unit in particular is the super small size, I'm talking 10" inches from top to bottom. This thing seems to be very ergonomic when holding it, in addition to being also small enough to use in small spaces.
Now one thing I'll say right away is quality isn't 100% metal, not even close. It appears the handle and selectable knob at the bottom is made of a hard plastic. As you move towards the ratchet, you'll see a small ruler which looks a bit sloppy the way they placed it there.
While being small, you can still get 18 to 124 inch pounds (or around 2-14 newton meters).
Yes, I said inch pounds and not foot pounds.
This is the type of tool you use to tighten engine components, or other things that are just as fragile. Being a specialty type of tool, it is still priced high at around 105 dollars.
To some I think it would be a turn-off, but if you understand the need for such a fragile device... the cost is justifiable.
8. ACDelco ARM601-4 - Best Digital Torque Wrench
While being rated as the #8 on this list, I still recommend this one as if it was in the top 5. ACDelco ARM601-4 is the best digital torque wrench on this list, letting you see EXACTLY what torque number you are currently on to the first decimal ( 0.X). This thing has quite a few things up its sleeve, lets talk about them now!
As you can see from looking at right away, it has an LCD screen. There's four buttons which let you adjust the torque figures, among other things.
They seem to have created this tool with users in mind, because the rubber handle makes it very easy to grip and difficult to loose when holding. While the electronics area is mostly plastic, where it really matters going towards the ratchet you'll feel hard stainless steel.
Speaking of the ratchet, there's different sizes you can choose from such as 1/2" inch and 3/8" inch.
It ranges in foot pounds from 4 to 99. While some have had a hard time achieving the 4 foot pounds on the digital scale, they do clearly state anything under 10 foot pounds won't be audible once reached (in manual wrenches the audible thing is actually a "click").
Most would recommend using this at or above 10 foot pounds to ensure the audible noise is made.
For the price of 110 dollars, it's a good deal.
9. Precision Instruments PREC4D600F
As we draw to a close (almost), this list would not be complete without mentioning a wrench that will tighten the Manhattan bridge. Precision Instruments PREC4D600F is as close as we are going to get on this list. As you see most of these wrenches I talked about so far range anywhere between 20 and 250 foot pounds. This one is drastically different!
This is considered to be a split beam torque wrench, capable of producing 200 to 600 foot pounds, which is ONLY for heavy duty types of cases.
This thing comes with a detachable head that features a 3/4" inch socket sized input. Adjustments are made manually using the standard dial. Even for the price, it seems to be lacking any kind of electronics.
Unlike many, this one is actually made in the USA which signify quality but also the higher cost of around 360 dollars. This tool comes with a 1 year warranty which enables you to have peace of mind for proper accuracy even if something bad happens.
Lastly, I'd like to mention how long this whole thing is. Because it has the ability to tighten things up to 600 foot pounds, when put all together you are looking at 48" inches long from top to bottom.
With such length, you better believe it's a heavy thing at 15.8 lbs.
Get this if you need to work on heavy equipment.
What Happens When You DON'T Tighten Bolts? (Infographic)
What Do I Do From Here?
If you've made it this far, I congratulate you!
It takes some determination before reaching a place such as the ending and conclusion. If you saw the list and still need help deciding on what to do next, here are the things to keep in mind:
- What type of job you looking to do?
No matter what type of tightening you'll be doing, be sure you know the exact specs before you commit to any type of product.
- What budget are you working with?
More precise tools tend to cost more money while ones that are ranging in the middle tend to be reasonably priced.
- Do you have a plan B in case something happens?
No matter what you are doing, do you know what to do if for some reason you over-tighten and break the bolt(s).
If you answer all those questions with 100% assurance, you're ready to move forward. But before you do, if you found this guide useful, please share it with others on social media!