Torque wrenches are must-have tools for mechanics, engineers, do-it-yourselfers, and anyone else who works on automobiles from time to time.
Torque wrenches are used to apply the appropriate amount of force to a fastener – and they’re extremely important to use for safety and to avoid stripping, breaking, or otherwise damaging the fastener.
But not every torque wrench is the same and they all come with different features. Some provide greater precision and accuracy while others are suitable for more heavy-duty use.
Here are the 10 best torque wrenches for 2021 to make sure that you get the most value for your money.
1. Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
- Simple and easy to use
- Solid and sturdy build – built to last
- Accurate and reliable
- Excellent customer service
- Preferred by professionals and home users alike
- Straightforward markings for easy usage
- Some users have reported the pointer being inaccurate
- Accuracy issues for very low and high settings
- No indicator for high-torque accuracy range
- No audible or visual signals for peak accuracy numbers
- Can be hard to read – needs to be in good light and at a clear angle
SAE and Metric.
With its combination of straightforward design, high-quality build, and excellent customer service, the CDI 2503MFRPH has all the elements to be the best torque wrench you can buy. Users can easily adjust and the scale to any setting between 30 and 250-foot pounds. It's also easy to make fine adjustments to avoid over-tightening bolts and nuts, a common problem for users using cheaper models.
The one thing you don't get for this low of a price is a distinct indicator to tell you when you've surpassed the 250-foot pound accuracy range. But at this price, you're not going to find much better.
2. TEKTON 1/2 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
- Excellent Craftsmanship; Professional Quality With An Affordable Price
- Sturdy Construction; Will Last For Years
- Durable, Precision-Made Component; A Solid Feel In Your Hands
- Properly Anodized; Should Not Wear Off
- Comes With A Spare Storage Case
- Includes An Extra Bit; Comes In Handy For Switching Around
- Easy To Set Up; 25-150 ft.-lb. Range
- Tension Spring Is Strong
- The Numbers Are Visible At Glance
- The Floor Is Durable And Sturdy
- Not Designed For Large Jobs
- Gauge Is Small; Takes A While To Get The Feel For It
- You Should Disable The Click Feature To Do Tight Tasks
- Click Sounds Are Loud
- Best Used For 2" Bolts
If you’re looking for a torque wrench that’s both reliable and affordable, then the TEKTON 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench should be on your shortlist.
3. Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench
- Accurate to +/- 4%
- Easy to use and read
- Durable and long lasting
- On the pricey side
- Not fast enough for heavy duty users
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2" Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head is the next step up in a professional users tool box. It is able to read the accurate torque settings and is an excellent choice for automotive, marine, and even aviation use. It features a 1/2 inch drive that can handle 14 to 250 ft.-lb. with a very heavy duty construction. It comes in a non-reflective polished finish, making it the perfect choice for any professional. It is a great tool for any professional to have in their tool box, as it is extremely accurate and can take a heavy-duty beating.
4. TEKTON 1/4 Inch Drive Dual-Direction Click Torque Wrench
- * Dual Direction Click Mechanism
TEKTON tools are well-known for creating quality tools at a good price. Their craftsman are focused on delivering a quality product that will be reliable even if you don't spend a lot. The new TEKTON 1/4 inch Drive Dual Direction Click Torque Wrench delivers a heavy duty tool that offers the versatility of being able to click in either direction. The wrench is capable of much more than you would expect from a wrench in its price range.
This wrench has a 10-150 inch pounds torque range. It is known to be capable of on its lowest setting to be capable of handling even the most delicate of tasks. This is one of the most impressive features of this model due to the low price this wrench is sold at.
It is full of features typically found on torque wrenches that have a much higher price point. One of these features is the dual direction click mechanism that has a 2/3 click stop and an audible alert that allows you to click to the perfect setting. You typically find this functionality on more expensive wrenches and it is a welcomed addition.
5. EPAuto 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench,25-250 ft.-lb./33.9~338.9 Nm
- Extremely accurate
- Brighter display and easier to read
- No auto shut-off
- Maxes out at 250ft/lb
- Requires calibration after break-in
Analogue Display,Snap-On, Power, Black.
If the title didn’t give it away already, EPAuto’s Click Torque Wrench might just be the best manual torque wrench out there. But just what makes it such a great manual torque wrench?
At first glance, you might be a little bit confused as to how EPAuto managed to squeeze a range of 250 ft. lbs. into a torque wrench this size. If you haven’t guessed it yet, EPAuto went with an upgraded display which allows for larger numbers and in grayscale. This helps save on batteries and is easier to read than the standard red LED displays.
6. EPAuto 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
- Accurate Reading
- Easy To Use
- Easy To Set
Slowly but surely, the torque wrench is becoming more and more common among mechanics and DIYers. The EPAuto click torque wrench is a reasonably priced and accurate torque wrench that can be adjusted to a desired value in around half a second.
Torque wrenches are stringently used in any sort of performance upgrade. Driving nuts and bolts to certain levels of torque is important to make sure to put pressure on components properly, or the object to which they’re being screwed onto can become damaged or weakened. And this is where the EPAuto click torque wrench comes in, with an accurate reading of torque so you can work safely.
With this torque wrench, you can decide on just how much pressure needs to be applied, with pre-selected intervals running from 10 to 80 foot-pounds. You can either set it yourself or use the pre-set settings for a more quick and easy operation.
7. NEIKO 03727A 1/4” Drive Beam Style Torque Wrench
- High tool accuracy
- Great design
- High test accuracy
- Can be calibrated for accuracy
- The handle might be kind of small for some
- The calibration can be difficult
- It can be quite expensive when compared to others
This is a medium-priced torque wrench made by the Japanese company that continues to impress, and blow other top company’s torque wrenches out of the water. The handle is easy to grip, so you can be comfortable while maintaining accuracy.
In addition, it is made for accuracy, and the highest-quality quality that the company can provide.
8. Performance Tool M195 0-80 in/lb & 0-7 Newton-meter Beam Style Torque Wrench
- Versatile functions
- Quality construction
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t damage bolts, screws or fasteners
There are many ways to measure torque, but most people will be familiar with beam-style and click-type torque wrenches.
Both types use a calibrated spring, but the amount of force required to set the spring in either style is not adjustable, which means both styles offer fewer potential applications than electronic torque wrenches, which allow you to customize the amount of force needed to activate the torque wrench for the appropriate application.
Torque wrenches are used to ensure that fasteners are tightened to specified levels for adequate strength. If a fastener is over- or under torqued, it can easily become damaged, requiring replacement. Using one of the tools below means you’ll never have to worry about that.
9. Pittsburgh Pro 239 Professional Drive Click Stop Torque Wrench
10. ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2" Digital Torque Wrench
- Easy to read display
- Plenty of safety features like the buzzer in case you apply too much pressure
- Reasonably priced
- Extremely portable
The ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2" Digital Torque Wrench is definitely more expensive than most of its competitors, but it’s also one of the most reliable and accurate torque wrenches available in the market. This digital torque wrench allows you to set the desired torque and provides you with instant feedback as well as vibration and flash notifications for added safety.
The wrench is also extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of different applications like leak detection, assembly, and disassembly. The built-in LED light on the head of the wrench can be used to illuminate any area or any space you may be working in.
The combination of durability, accuracy, and performance really places this model ahead of the competition. The ACDelco ARM601-4 wrench is designed to be accurate to +/- 4% and is backed by a 2-year warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the best torque wrenches?
When trying to identify the best torque wrenches, one must look at each product individually, as the best option can vary depending on the size and weight of the product as well as for which specific application it is best used. Here are three of the best options currently available on the market, each of which is designed for specific items and applications.
What is the most accurate torque wrench?
In our opinion, the most accurate torque wrench is the one that has been certified to be accurate. Pretty simple, huh? Unfortunately, simple doesn't always equate to easy.
We've found that the best way to find an accurate torque wrench is by testing it yourself. To do this we typically do two things:
Test it ourselves at /r/mechanics. Simply search for the model number and you'll be taken to a thread of replies where a bunch of people have tested the device. However, it is important to note that there have been instances where a user has reported that the device was inaccurate, and a completely different result was achieved.
Call the manufacturer. Manufacturers are typically near-by so they'll be happy to run you through a test and ensure it is accurate.
What is the best digital torque wrench?
If you are looking to save a little money, the Imperial Ratchet wrench is best because it’s much cheaper (for you and the manufacturer). It also offers repeatable results with every pull. This is ideal in preventing injury.
If you prefer a digital application, then the gauge should read out in both foot pounds and Newton meters. Look for a wrench with a range of 20 to 200 foot pounds, unless you have a very specific need. If you plan to use your wrench for tightening European hubcaps, then having a narrower range, of 20-50 foot pounds is the better choice.
How do I choose a torque wrench?
A torque wrench is the most accurate and safest way to tighten fasteners, but choosing one can be difficult because there are a lot of factors to consider. It is very important to choose a torque wrench that will fit the fixtures in your home as well as your toolkit, so it's best to know what application you'll use it for beforehand.
A very common tool used in automotive, construction, and DIY work is a torque wrench. Torque is the tightening power applied to a bolt by a wrench, and is usually measured in inch-pounds, foot-pounds or Newton-meters, depending on the units chosen, and the scale of the wrench. Torque is usually measured in foot-pounds, but inch pounds and Newton-meters can be used for the same measurement, based on the scale of the wrench. Read on to find our picks for the best torque wrenches of 2021.