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Introduction To The Best Torque Wrenches To Buy For Your Car
A Torque wrench is used to tighten down nuts and bolts to a specific torque. You should use only the best torque wrenches because you can easily over tighten nuts and bolts and damage the threads or you can even snap the bolt head tight off.
If you don’t tighten nuts and bolts well, they can become lose which is very dangerous especially in a vehicle.
Torque is a rotational force. While working on a car, you are likely to rotate a lot of parts from the wheels, suspension, brakes and even when working on the engine.
Any basic torque should have two beams which is the lever and the deflecting beams. The lever is applied to the fastener and also serves the purpose of handling.
The second kind of beam is the deflecting beam which is a patented technology. The torque is applied to the deflecting beam rather than the coil spring. This helps in prolonging the accuracy of the wrench.
There are also electronic torque wrenches which makes tightening nuts and bolts easier. Torque wrenches comes in 4 styles, that is digital, dual, bending beam and clicker style. Dual and digital beams tend to be more expensive because of their precision.
There is a notion that ‘tighter is better ‘ which is not always the case. Over tightened lug nuts is the main cause of warp or what is commonly known as brake rotor lateral run out. Overtightening also breaks wheel studs. Studs may not be as expensive but the pain is in changing them. You are better of tightening it correctly than having to buy new studs every time.
To get the job done, you need to get only the best torque wrenches. We have reviewed some torque wrenches, from the affordable ones to the most expensive.
Best Torque Wrenches Buyer’s Guide
- TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
If you have been contemplating on a buying a Torque wrench for a while but not yet made a decision, the TEKTON 24340 comes highly recommended. It is one of the best if not the best Torque wrenches in the market today.
It is 1/2 inch drive, 24 ratchet with a range of torque settings. It goes from 10-150 foot pounds.
TEKTON guarantee a replacement product if it does not meet your needs. TEKTON will either provide a full replacement or replace parts free of charge.
The reversible ratchet enables you to take measurements in both directions. This torque wrench uses the click style and will let you know if the ideal torque settings are achieved by a mechanical click sound and you can feel it as well.
It has a precalibration of +/- 4% before reaching the hands. You will never have to worry about wear and tear because the torque does not have any plastic parts.
You can use the micrometer which is located at the bottom of the handle for the preferred torque configuration.
- Snap-on CDI 2503MFRPH Industrial Brand CDI 1/2-inch Torque Wrench
Snap-on CDI have a good reputation of creating quality products for the automotive industry and their Torque wrench is no exception. They are by far the largest distributors of quality torque tools. The CDPI is one of the best Torque wrenches and has received stellar reviews.
It has a torque range of 30-250 foot pounds and the dual scale means the torque can be calibrated in both directions.
It also boasts of a quick button features which not only makes it easy to remove the sockets but also to provide good socket retention.
It is very easy to set and the accuracy is on another level. A good torque wrench should provide ergonomic value and the Snap-on CDI does well in that regard by providing a comfortable grip handle.
The laser engraved markings makes it easy to read the scale. It is 21 inches in length, 2.8 inches in width and 2.4 inches high and is made in the USA. This is one of the best torque wrenches given its price point.
- Tekton 24335 1/2-inch Drive Torque Wrench
This another Tekton torque wrench on our list. They seems to have mastered the art of producing quality torque tools. Compared to our number one review, this is shorter and more economical. It seems to be more popular though with more than 1000 positive reviews.
It can handle from 10-150 foot pounds and just like most Tekton torques style. You will get a click sound and definitely feel it when the ideal torque settings is achieved.
The reversible ratchet which rotate in both direction means and the clock can be measured in a clockwise direction.
Just like the number one reviewed torque, this one too is made from durable steel and you don’t have to worry about wear and tear because there are no plastic parts.
It is not always advisable to use it to loosen very tighten nuts or bolts as it might get damaged. In such a case, you can use a breaker bar.
It comes in a cool red casing to protect it from wobbling around. The Tekton 24335 is a popular product and it has everything to do with the build quality and its ability to get the job done.
- Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2″ Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench
It has to be one of the smallest torque wrenches we have reviewed. Looks and size can be deceiving as this torque packs a punch.
It has a chrome/nickel finish with an ergonomic grip which makes handling an easy endeavor and can handle between 50- 250 foot pounds.
Most torque wrenches need you to turn down the torque settings after every use but not with this device which is a great convenient.
It works in such a way the torque locks automatically on each selected setting without having to necessarily turn it down after use which can be pain especially for repetitive applications.
You will get an audible click anytime you reach the preferred torque settings. Any spring tension is eliminated by the adjustable knob.
The device might be on the higher side of the spectrums it is one of the best torque wrenches in the market right now. It is reliable just like the Snap-on brand and eliminates repetitive task which can be time consuming if you have a lot of nuts and bolts to tighten to the correct precision.
- Gorilla Automotive TW605 1/2-inch Drive Torque Wrench
Not a well known brand but Gorilla Automotive produces some of the best torque wrenches. It is also fully made of steel is adjustable both going forward and back. The settings can be adjusted from 20-150 foot pounds.
Unlike most torque wrenches we have reviewed, this one uses the dial style setting with the selector at the base of the handle for adjustability.
The Gorilla Automotive toque wrench is very affordable as it is under 100 bucks. This is one of its biggest selling point given the fact that is competing with the likes of Snap-on and Precision instruments.
It features a 5” extension bar together with a high impact casing to prevent wiggling. The 1/2 inch wrench fitment makes the extension a perfect for small sockets. It is also compact in size and weights just 4lbs. If you constantly on the move and have a small tool box, this torque wrench is an ideal choice.
- Craftsman 9-31425 20-150 ft lbs 1/2″ Drive MicroTork Torque Wrench
This is yet another Torque wrench that can work in both directions. Craftsman is a big deal in the industry and they have tried making virtually everything you could possible imagine.
Their torque is a work of art. To start, it has an in housing scale which makes it convenient to find the correct metric torque settings.
The direction of the ratcheting can be turned left or right as far as it allows the function to be changed. There have been complaints the casing it comes with is not even half decent for storage. You should have a tool box to store such equipments.
This Craftsman torque wrench is completely made from stainless steel with a rugged rubber finish. The torque selector is calibrated to an accuracy of +/- 4%.
It has a micro clicker which will alert you when you have reached the desired torque settings which can range from 20-150 foot pounds. It is also very light and weighs under 4lbs. It may not be a premium brand but it still does a great job given the price tag.
- ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2″ Digital Torque Wrench
At number 7 of our best Torque wrenches is the ACDelco ARM601. This device is for those people who find it hard or cumbersome adjusting the torque settings to find the correct fit. It has a beautiful LCD screen together with a bunch of buttons which makes adjusting the torque settings a matter of just clicking buttons.
The real time display will show you the exact amount of pressure on the wrench as you tighten up the nuts and the bolts.
Of all the torque wrenches we have reviewed, this one has to be the most fragile even when most of its parts is made of steel. The electronic part of the devices needs to be handled with utmost care. This might be a killer buzz to many people.
The torque settings range from 9-99 foot pounds. This has to be one of the least power in all the products that we have reviewed. It weighs 4lbs and is 17 inches in length. You will also have to buy batteries as they are not included in the purchase. It might not be among the best torque wrenches but it is still decent.
- CDI 1002MFRPH 3/8-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
This one is 3/8 unlike most torque wrenches we have reviewed which are 1/2.It has a rating of 10-100 foot pounds and is meant for light jobs. It is made of stainless steel with the exception of the bottom grip which is made of rugged rubber for easy handling. For easy torque settings, the CDI 10002MFRPH has dual direction scale.
This can be said to be a replica of the Snap-on CDI but more tailored towards non-industrial applications as it weights just around 2 lbs.
It has laser mark scale which is easy to read and has quick release buttons for easy socket retention and removal.
If you are looking for a torque wrench for light jobs, this CDI is perfect. The only drawback would be the price bearing in mind the functionalities you will be getting.
It has received a couple of good ratings which just goes to show that people find it to be a good product.
9. Neiko 03713A 3/8-inch Drive Torque Wrench
If you a have limited budget but still want a torque wrench to get the job done, the Neiko torque wrench is perfect for you. It is 3/8 inch wrench that is made from heat treated steel for extreme shock and durability and has a narrow neck for penetrating even in the tightest of spots.
The 3/8 inch wrench can go in either direction and is easy and simple to use. The torque settings can be adjusted between 10-50 foot pounds and you will hear an audible click whenever the desired torque is achieved.
If you are looking for a professional torque wrench then this is not the product for you. This is for those who want to get the job done and are looking for something under the $50 price tag.
The 14 inch length makes it easy to loosen up nuts and bolts. The ABC custom fitted storage for safe keeping might also be appealing to some people.
- Pittsburgh Pro 239 Professional Drive Click Stop Torque Wrench
Last but not least is the Pittsburgh torque wrench. It is the cheapest on the list and you can get it under 30 bucks. It comes with a beautiful polycarbonate case which is meant to prevent the product from wiggling.
It has a torque setting of 20-150 foot pounds and just like most torque wrenches you will hear a click sound when you reach the desired settings.
It is 18 inches in length which is ideal when you look at comfort and compactness. It should be noted that this torque wrench might not last long given its price. Some users have reported of the ratchet head being broken upon delivery.
To get better value for money and durability, you should look at torque wrenches from 4 going up. This one should do the job if it is a onetime thing or a quick fix.
Considerations When Choosing The Best Torque Wrenches
This should be the number one consideration on your list. It is better to pay more for a toque wrench that will perform and last long. Our recommendation for the best performing torque wrenches go to TEKTON and snap-on CD. You can never go wrong with these torque wrenches.
Price is also another major consideration. You may be in need of a torque wrench but limited with funds. There are budget torque wrenches which will also do a good job. Our recommendation would be CDI torque wrench. It gets the job done and you don’t have to break the bank in order to buy it.
Finding the best torque wrenches all boils down to performance and safety. Incorrect tightening may lead to strip threads, premature loosening or broken fasteners that may lead to catastrophic failures.
A good torque wrench should be able to apply a predetermined amount of torque to the fastener. Bolts or nuts are designed to creating a clamping force when torque is applied to the thread fastener. We hope this review has been helpful.