16 Best Torque Wrenches [Buyer’s Guide]

A torque wrench controls the amount of force that is used in tightening or loosening nuts or bolts.This is critical in motorcycles and cars because bolts that are too tight or too loose can cause damage that results in undesirable and dangerous consequences. In this article, discover the best torque wrench for you.

Things to consider before choosing a torque wrench

There is a wide variety of torque wrenches available on the market today, making the purchase of this tool more complicated than it used to be.

If you are thinking of buying one, you need to carefully think about your needs vis-à-vis your options.

Choosing a torque wrench is a decision that should take into consideration the following variables:

Preset or Adjustable

Do you need a wrench that is adjustable? Or do you want a tool that allows you to preset your desired torque and then let you know if it has been achieved?

Mechanical or Digital

Do you prefer working the time-tested way using mechanical tools? Or are you a believer in harnessing the powers of technology to make your work easier and more accurate?

Click, Break-Over, or Cam-Over

If you decide to buy a mechanical wrench, how would you want to know if the proper torque has been reached?

Would you want to hear a clicking sound, then feel the wrench swing? If you would, then get a click-type wrench, which is the most popular one.

Would you rather do away with the sound, and just have the wrench break over? Then get a break-over wrench.

If you choose this type, you will further need to decide if you want one that has an automatic resetting feature—so you can move on to the next job immediately—or one that you have to manually reset. 

If you need to make sure that you never go beyond the set torque, a cam-over torque wrench is the one for you.

It is designed with a ball and lobe mechanism that sets the wrench free upon reaching the correct torque.

Even if you accidentally continue to apply force, you will not go over the preset torque. Because of this, this type is more accurate than a click-style wrench, and results are more consistent.   

Branded or Generic

How much money are you willing to spend on a torque wrench? Will it be something that you will use every day, or just for occasional projects? How long would you want it to last?

Your answer to these questions will help determine whether you will be better served by a branded wrench, which is backed by a company’s solid reputation of quality and will guarantee years of service, or if a generic one will serve your purpose perfectly at an affordable cost.  

Best Overall Torque Wrench  

Considering the sheer number of available torque wrenches, brands, price points, and the equally wide ranges of user needs and preferences, it is challenging to choose one and call it the best.

After all, no single torque wrench can do everything, given the myriad purposes this tool is needed for. Moreover, here’s our bet of the best overall torque wrench.

Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Drive Split Torque Wrench

This product closely fits the bill, considering factors such as quality, durability, cost, and user comfort.

The Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F torque wrench is accurate, dependable, and quite reasonable as evidenced by it being the tool of choice for many mechanics and dealerships who use it on a daily basis.  

For those looking for a torque wrench that would deliver precision, performance, and quality, this one is the best option to take.

This torque wrench is more convenient to use and will save you time because it does away with the need to regularly recalibrate or reset the torque settings.

It also has an audible click feature to confirm that you have reached your desired torque setting.

This Precision wrench is made from stainless steel, assuring the owner of a long product lifetime. It has a torque range of 40 ft. lbs. to 250 ft. lbs.

Pros:

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    Comfortable, reliable, accurate, and easy to use
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    Good design and durable construction
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    ​Enables users to work on multiple bolts without needing to reset the torque settings

Cons:

  • Some users report issues with flex angle

Our Rating


Best Beam Torque Wrenches 

The beam torque wrench is the most basic type of torque wrench. It has three parts: the main beam, the scale, and the pointer. The first beam-style torque wrench was introduced in the 1940s.

This type of wrench is a good and less costly alternative to other types of wrenches.

The significant difference in cost is enough reason to choose it over the others. After all, it is also accurate, durable, and long-lasting when properly cared for.

Most importantly, as long as you are using the correct size of wrench, a good quality one will perform well on the job for which you need it.

A beam torque wrench is reliable and can measure a torque in both directions.

Its accuracy can be quite high, but the scale has to be closely monitored and recalibrated when necessary to ensure its precision. 

Here are some of the best beam torque wrenches that you can purchase:

1. Neiko 03727A 1/4-Inch Drive Beam Style Torque Wrench

This budget-friendly wrench is a worthy addition to any toolbox. It is good for small engine repairs, such as on bikes, motorcycles, cars, and even boats.

It can be used with standard sockets and is great to use for rear-end pinions as well as small-torque bolts. 

The Neiko 03727A is also convenient as it can be used in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions.

It can also give both standard and metric readings, and it works within a range of 0-80 in/lbs in Newton meters.

Pros:

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    Inexpensive
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    Features both standard and metric readings
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    Precise reading within +/- 4%
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    ​Can be used clockwise and counter-clockwise

Cons:

  • A few users had issues with the handle

Our Rating


2. Performance Tool M195 0-80 in/lb.

This wrench comes in two sizes. The smaller one is ¼ inch 0-80 in/lb which is used for a lot of screw sizes and pinions.

It is good for jobs requiring lighter torque. The larger size is ½ inch 0-150 in/lb. For the given price, this is a good buy.   

Pros:

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    Equipped with a ball type handle that helps ensure accuracy by force localization
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    ​Allows direct measurement of torque values when tightening fasteners

Cons:

  • May need modification before use to set pointer on zero
  • More suited for occasional DIY repairs rather than for professional use

Our Rating


3. Precision Instruments PREC2FR100F 3/8" Dr. "Split Beam" Torque w/Flex head

This wrench is the perfect choice for those who want the ease of using a beam torque wrench and those who want the convenience of hearing an audible “click” to indicate that the desired torque has been reached.

It is mainly made of steel and is relatively lightweight. It can be used for jobs needing up to 100 ft/lbs. Its accuracy is 4% in a clockwise direction. It does not reverse.

Pros:

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    Convenient; does not need turning down after use
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    Adjustment of torque can be performed using only fingertip force
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    Lightweight
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    ​Comes with one-year warranty

Cons:

  • Some users experienced calibration issues

Our Rating


Best Click-Type Torque Wrenches     

This is the most widely-used type of torque wrench. It is valued for the “click” that the user can clearly hear when he has reached his desired torque value.

This “click” sound is generated by the clutch that releases inside the wrench when the needed torque is achieved.

In addition to the “click,” there is also an alert that the user can feel so he will stop applying force.  

This feature is especially useful for jobs where the person cannot directly see the wrench while he is working.

With a click-type wrench, all he has to do is keep turning until he hears that distinct “click” sound.

In a shop or garage where very loud noise levels can drown out the sound of the “click,” the disengagement of the clutch that lets the wrench swing free is an important feedback mechanism that the correct torque has been reached. 

1. TEKTON 24335 Drive Click Type of Torque Wrench

This wrench is compact and lightweight. It is good for reaching those tight corners. It has a finish that resists corrosion to make it durable. It also has a grip to prevent slippage.

It measures through foot-pounds and Newton meters, and for a budget tool, it has an accuracy of +/-4 percent. The Tekton 24335 has a range between 10 ft. lbs. and 150 ft. lbs. 

Pros:

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    Click can be both be heard with sound and felt with vibration when specified torque is attained
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    Has an easy-to-read scale
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    Comes with a reversible ratchet head
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    All-steel construction
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    Pre-calibrated

Cons:

  • Adjustment may be difficult for some users

Our Rating


2. CDI 1002MFRMH 3/8-Inch Drive Metal Handle Click Type Wrench

For light to medium-duty projects, the CDI 1002MFRPH is well worth considering because it has a range between 10 ft. lbs. and 100 ft. lbs.

It has the advantage of being equipped with a dual scale calibrated in both directions.

For clockwise rotation, it has an accuracy rating of +/-3 percent, which is better than the typical torque wrench.

For counter-clockwise rotation, its accuracy is at +/- 4 percent.  Setting-up and reading of the torque are done on a laser-marked scale.

Pros:

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    Can be used clockwise and counter-clockwise
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    Accurate, fast, and hassle-free setting
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    ​Has a good grip

Cons:

  • Laser-marked scales may be difficult for some users to read

Our Rating


3. Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench

Solidly constructed, the 2503MFRPH is an exemplar of the quality that its company is known for.

The casing is chrome-vanadium steel to resist rust. Its range is wider than the typical torque wrench, from 30 ft. lbs. to 250 ft. lbs.

The torque can be set in either direction, unlike other wrenches that don’t perform well on both turning directions.

To ensure accuracy, the 2503MFRPH has a lock-down ring to prevent any undesired changes in the settings.

It also has a quick-release socket button feature to facilitate socket retention and removal.

Pros:

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    Accurate and easy to set
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    Features a dual scale that is calibrated in both directions
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    Equipped with a positive lock with spring loaded pull down lock ring
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    ​Comfortable grip

Cons:

  • Case may be a bit short to store the wrench in lowest setting

Our Rating


Best Electronic Torque Wrenches      

Electronic torque wrenches have the advantage of technology which makes them very easy to use and highly accurate.

Instead of an internal clutch, these wrenches employ a strain gauge to determine the level of tension.

When an electric torque wrench detects that the desired torque has been reached, it sends a signal to the control, which in turn, deploys feedback to alert the user.

This feedback may be auditory, visual, or tactile, or a combination of these.    

Readings can be stored in an internal memory, which is useful for applications such as quality assurance or in-process documentation.

The readings can also be transferred to a PC or printed out on a printer.

The typical level of accuracy of an electronic torque wrench is +/-0.5% to 4%.

All these upgrades over the more traditional wrench types, however, come at a cost because electronic torque wrenches are more expensive than their mechanical counterparts. Among the best ones are:

1. CDI 1002CF3 Drive Computorq 3 Electronic Torque Wrench, 3/8-Inch

The CDI 1002CF3 has a 15-degree flex ratcheting head. It can display torque values in real time, which a choice of any of the four torque units.

Its well-designed, non-slip rubber grip is ergonomically molded for maximum user comfort. This is great for jobs requiring 10-100 ft/lbs.

Pros:

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    Good design
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    Great for home automotive and precision work
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    LEDs are easy to read
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    ​Can be used to fasten and loosen

Cons:

  • May not be durable enough for heavy-duty industry use
  • No vibration feature when torque is reached, so it cannot be used solely by feel
  • Beep may not be heard in a noisy working environment

Our Rating


GearWrench 85077 1/2" Drive Electronic Torque Wrench

The GearWrench 85077 can track torque measurement as you work. It features multiple alerts—handle vibration, buzzer sounding, and LED lighting— when you reach the target torque. This is good for jobs from 30-340 Nm.

Pros:

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    Accuracy is good
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    Multiple alerts make it difficult to over-torque
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    Measures in Newton-meters, foot-pounds, and inch-pounds
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    Easy to setup and use
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    Affordable

Cons:

  • Does not measure in degrees
  • Batteries are in parallel setup
  • Batteries may result in issues if wrench is used for long periods

Our Rating


Best Digital Torque Wrenches           

Digital torque wrenches offer the ease and accuracy that comes with technology. Upon reaching the specified torque value, they alert the user by either beeping, lighting up, or vibrating.

Some feature a very convenient progressive alert that gradually increases as the user reaches his target. Among the best ones are:   

1. ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8-inch Digital Torque Wrench

The ACDelco ARM601-3 is designed for smaller and more precise jobs needing 2-37 ft/lbs of torque. It works on both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions. It has an LCD that displays torque measurements in kg-cm, N-m, in-lb, and ft-lb.  

Pros:

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    Easy setup
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    Great for small jobs needing precision
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    Works both clockwise and counter-clockwise
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    Displays torque in 4 values
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    ​Uses AAA batteries, which are easy to find

Cons:

  • Settings may be too low for some users

Our Rating


2. ACDelco Tools Angle Electronic Torque Wrench

When precision is your main priority, choose the ACDelco ARM303-4A as it works in a clockwise direction with an accuracy of +/- 1.5% and in a counter-clockwise direction with a +/- 2.5% accuracy.

It has a backlit LCD that displays the torque, battery life, and measurement modes and is built-in with a flashing and buzzer alarm.

Pros:

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    Operates in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions with high accuracy
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    LED flashes and vibrates when under torque or when overloaded
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    ​Memory can hold 30 data sets

Cons:

  • Instructions for use may not be clear

Our Rating


3. Powerbuilt 944004 1/2-Inch Drive Digital Read Out Torque Wrench

Designed to be reliable, versatile, and meet tool standards, the Powerbuilt 944004 works with a torque range of 30 ft/lbs to 150 ft/lbs.

It comes with a digital torque readout in ft/lbs, N-m, cm-kg2, and m-kg and a reversible ratchet.

Pros:

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    Good design
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    Reliable and accurate
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    ​Good weight and build for the price

Cons:

  • Some users found issues with battery life

Our Rating


Best Value Torque Wrench    

There can be many aspects to focus on when selecting a torque wrench, and one could be the value. Here’s the product with the best value for us:

Tekton 24335 Drive Click Type Torque Wrench

In terms of value, this product is among the best ones there is. It is effective and efficient, and it can be used on cars and trucks.

It can also be used for DIY home repairs that need precision. It features a high-contrast scale which facilitates reading and is made of steel for durability. This torque wrench is fairly light and good for jobs in cramped spaces.

Pros:

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    Features both audible and tactile alerts when reaching desired torque
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    Scale has good readability
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    Equipped with a ratchet head that works in both directions
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    Durable

Cons:

  • May need a bit of effort to adjust

Our Rating


Best Torque Wrench Under $100       

If you’re on a tight budget, there are many torque wrenches that are sold below $100. One of the best torque wrenches that fall into your ideal budget range is the Tekton Drive Click Type Torque Wrench.

Tekton 24340 Drive Click Type Torque Wrench

For users who are looking for the best torque wrench at this price range, this product is for you. It comes already calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy. It is 26 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 2.5 inches high.

Pros:

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    Features a scale that is easy to read
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    Measures torque clockwise
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    Ratchet head reverses and can be used in both directions
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    Made of steel
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    ​Comes already calibrated and ready to use

Cons:

  • Some users report units with loose parts out of the box

Our Rating


Best Torque Wrench for Cars 

Different types of torque wrenches are made for different purposes. For car use, here’s the best torque wrench to use:

EPAuto 3/8 in. Drive Click Type of Torque Wrench

The best torque wrench for cars is the EPAuto Drive Click Type of Torque Wrench. It boasts a quality level consistent with all EPAuto wrenches with a durable ratchet head and non-slip knurled handle.

Set-up with this wrench is a breeze, owing to its scale which is high contrast and easy to see. Its accuracy is at +/-4 %.

Pros:

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    Accurate
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    Easy to set-up and use
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    Robust ratchet head of hardened treated chrome vanadium steel alloy

Cons:

  • Adjustment may be tricky for some users

Our Rating


Best Torque Wrench for Motorcycles

If you’re planning to buy a torque wrench for your motorcycle, don’t make the mistake of buying one that is not for motorcycle use. Here’s one that will surely be great for motorcycle use.

Tacklife DIN Calibrated 1/4" Torque Wrench, 20-200 in.-lb./2.26-22.6Nm Drive Click

When it comes to working on motorcycles, this product is recommended. It works on a range between 20-200 in/lbs.

Users can depend on the Tacklife since each unit comes with a certification that it has passed international calibration standards.

It is durable and has an anti-rust finish and an easy-to-read scale.  It also has the advantage of being reversible, so users can use it to loosen and tighten.

Pros:

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    Comes with a calibration certificate
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    Scale is easy to read under different lighting conditions
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    Reversible ratchet head enables both tightening and loosening
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    ​Comes with adapters to increase the range of use

Cons:

  • There are few complaints of not clicking at low torque settings

Our Rating


Wrap-up

The surge in popularity of torque wrenches have made choosing the torque wrenches a much more complex decision than it used to be. If you find one that meets all your needs, then you have found the best torque wrench for you!

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