Top 5 Best Torque Wrench Reviews For 2017
A torque wrench is a great tool that allows you to secure a nut or bolt correctly. There are many different types of wrenches out there. However, nothing compares to the precision of the torque wrench.
Today, we’ll be discussing how to use one. After all, there’s no point in buying this high-tech tool without knowing its uses and how it operates. Stay tuned for the product reviews so you can get a clearer idea of what the best torque wrench is!
Top 5 Best Torque Wrench On The Market
- TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150 ft.-lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
- Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench, Torque Range 30 to 250-Foot Pounds
- Set of 3 Pittsburgh Pro Reversible Click Type Torque Wrench Sizes 1/4", 3/8", 1/2"
- Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
- ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2" Digital Torque Wrench (4-99 ft-lbs)
What Exactly is a Torque Wrench?
As the name suggests, this kind of wrench focuses on securing a metal fastener by applying its precise torque. Many times, you’ll often notice that box wrenches and open wrenches are simply used to tighten nuts or bolts.
These are common in many industries, with the automobile industry being a good example.
These simple wrenches are great to use in non-moving parts of the car. An example of this would be the different housings inside the vehicle. These are the brake drum, the pressure plates, and some parts of the engine like the oil pan.
However, some bolts and nuts will break or loosen if the precise torque is not applied.
This is crucial in the performance of vehicles because the wrong measurement can potentially damage not only the efficiency of the car but also threaten the safety of the driver.
Some of the best examples where you’ll need a torque wrench are using it in critical parts of the vehicle such as the tires, spark plugs, and transmission.
If you’ve noticed, these areas of the car are either move steadily or provide something crucial that the vehicle can’t operate without.
The wheels obviously need to be properly secured, because a wheel that’s too tight or too loose can potentially cause accidents.
This is the same for gearboxes of manual transmission cars. The acceleration of the vehicle is highly dependent on this so the nuts and bolts must be in perfect condition.
As for the spark plugs, these are usually removed from time to time to inspect it using a feeler gauge. Spark plugs must be secured in the engine since it’s part of what ignites the engine for it to start.
Top 5 Best Torque Wrench Reviews
#1 – TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-150 ft.-lb./13.6-203.5 Nm)
On the other hand, Tekton boasts of the different packages that go along well with the torque wrench. Aside from the torque wrench itself, you can also buy the package deal with a four piece adapter set or the torque wrench with a breaker bar.
Tekton’s torque wrench comes with a reversible ratchet head which drives in both directions and measures torque in a clockwise direction.
Tekton can ensure you of quality all steel construction meant for durability with no plastic parts at all to break or wear out quickly.
- It is already pre-calibrated at +/-4% accuracy
- The high contrast dual range scale makes it very easy to read despite low light
- You will be able to hear an indicator click once the preset value has already been reached
- It is very sturdy and well built
- It only provides for a limited range (might not be the best for 0-10lbs or >150lbs)
- It cannot be used as a breaker bar
#2 – Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench, Torque Range 30 to 250-Foot Pounds
CDI’s Snap-On Industrial Torque Wrench also works as a drive adjustable micrometer. Its torque range is between 30 to 250 feet pounds. It also comes in different sizes and styles. This metal torque wrench is dual scale, also calibrated for dual direction.
It comes with an easy to read laser marked single scale. Also, it also features a positive lock with a spring loaded pull down lock ring and an ergonomic grip that will surely make it more comfortable to use.
- The quick release buttons provide for excellent socket retention and easy removal of socket
- The measurements from both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations are very accurate compared to other torque wrenches
- Its locking mechanism is suitable for multiple uses
- The handle is plastic so it might feel a little off or fragile if you are used to non-plastic handles
- It might be a little small if you will be working on projects with bigger sockets
#3 – Set of 3 Pittsburgh Pro Reversible Click Type Torque Wrench Sizes 1/4", 3/8", 1/2"
Just as mentioned in the heading, Pittsburgh’s pro-reversible click type torque wrench comes in a set of three. The sizes available in the set are ¼”, ⅜” and ½” inch. It comes with a heavy duty cam and a pawl mechanism. Its click type accuracy is within +/-4%.
The torque range itself works within the 50 to 300 feet pounds while its reversed form works within 20 to 150 feet pounds. But the best part is, Pittsburgh is giving this product a lifetime warranty to ensure you of a good experience.
- It is very cheap, considering that incomes in a set of three
- Along with the torque wrench itself, the package comes with a certificate of calibration
- The set of three, all in all, can give you an excellent and versatile work range unlike others that only work for a limited range
- It might be a little hard to calibrate for beginners or non-professionals
- You need extra rubber pads for the head to prevent scratches
#4 – Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head
Precision Instruments’ Silver ½” Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench offers an ergonomic grip with a flex head. It is made from Nickel/Chrome finish which are excellent anti-rust or corrosion materials.
However, what makes this particular torque wrench different is that there are available torque setting locks for adjustable wrenches and repetitive applications.
As for its knobs, it comes with an adjustable knob that helps eliminate spring tension. Finally, it also makes torque adjustment on adjustable wrenches a whole lot faster and easier.
- It comes with a large handle
- Storage is also very straightforward and easy
- The pivot head can swivel to about 10 degrees for both directions
- It only works in a clockwise direction
- Torque wrenches in general, might not be as accurate as micrometer type ones
#5 – ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2" Digital Torque Wrench (4-99 ft-lbs)
Finally, ACDelco’s Digital Torque Wrench is ranged at 4 to 99 feet pounds. The is pretty small compared to other brands of torque wrenches. However, it operates well in both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations.
The wrench itself is battery operated, powered by four AAA Alkaline batteries. It supports three standard functions: torque setting, measurement setting, and mode setting.
An audible buzzer indicates its torque confirmation. But most importantly, measurements are shown on the LCD, so you won’t have to guess or estimate.
- It is very well breeze
- The digital operation is very easy and smooth to use
- Compared to other manual torque wrenches, this one is pretty accurate because of its digital operation and LCD feature
- It is a bit hard to set it to the lowest torque or alarm
How to Use a Torque Wrench Correctly
Using a torque wrench is a lot more difficult compared to the standard boxed or open wrench. However, it’s easy to master as long as you follow the correct procedures in using it. Here are some tips on how to handle a torque wrench:
Always check its packaging
When you buy a torque wrench, it would usually be packaged in a box that is similar to its frame’s length. It’s almost like you’re buying a box of wine. One of the first things that you should look for when purchasing a torque wrench is its certificate of calibration.
This certificate is a small piece of paper that’s usually folded underneath the wrench.
There, you’ll see its specifications and the legitimacy of its calibration. The lack of this certificate might lead to a faulty if not inaccurate torque wrench. Thus, you’ll be buying nothing but junk.
Consult the manual
Every torque wrench should have a manual in its package. You’ll see all the details and instructions on how the torque wrench operates here, specifically the brand that you bought.
Some torque wrenches have slight differences, so be sure to consult the manual for an easier time using it.
Moreover, check if the manual has instructions for calibrating and maintaining the torque wrench. It’s a lot easier if you have that guide instead of playing the guessing game.
Have a variety of sockets and extensions
Your torque wrench isn’t a wrench on its own, unlike the boxed or open wrenches. It’s simply a ratchet with a handle but without a socket.
Hence, you’ll need to purchase devices of all kinds of sizes separately. These sizes vary because your vehicle makes use of large and small bolts.
It’s a good idea to buy these sockets in one kit. These are usually stored in a plastic or metal briefcase where everything is already there. As for the extensions, at least one 4-inch extension will be ideal for your auto work.
The purpose of this extension is to connect the socket to the ratchet. And since you’ll get more distance away from the nut, you’ll have an easier time loosening or tighten it.
Without an extension, you’ll try to force your way in removing or tightening the nut. This is a dangerous scenario given that you might damage both your torque wrench and the vehicle.
Know how the ratchet and handle works
The ratchet is the head of the wrench. It’s where you connect either the sockets or the extensions.
Typically, this ratchet is where you can see if the rotation of the torque wrench is working just fine. On the other hand, the handle is where you can calibrate your torque wrench.
Let’s make a scenario here. Try to imagine that you’re about to use your torque wrench on your car’s wheel. Now that the car is jacked up, and your wrench and sockets are ready, all you need is to tighten it firmly.
It sounds like a fundamental and necessary thing to do, but trust me, people get this wrong all the time. Once you’ve planted the socket on the screw, the first thing you should do is to check your handle.
Your hand must be firmly gripping the middle portion of the rubber in the handle. It shouldn’t be closer to the ratchet nor should it be at the very end of the rubberized part.
This will give you the best leverage and ensure your car and wrench are safe from damaged.
Then, only rotate the ratchet by treating the handle as a sort of lever. Once you hear it click, that means it has applied the correct torque that it was calibrated to. Any more than that and you’ll be using way too much tightness.
At the end of the day, there will be mixed reviews about all these products we’ve listed above. However, based on the most significant things to look for in torque wrenches and other reports, we find that Tekton’s Drive Click Torque Wrench might be a good option.
Remember, the most technologically advanced or most expensive ones in the market, are not necessarily the best torque wrenches out there. Performance, durability, and versatility should be your primary guide factors.