Best Torque Wrench for the Money 2016 Reviews & Guide

A Torque Wrench can be defined as the tool that is used to apply torque and fasten nut and bolts. This tool comes in the form of a socket wrench and features internal mechanisms. Conrad Bahr invented these in 1918 to prevent the over-tightening of bold on water pipes. These wrenches share similar mechanisms with Torque Screwdrivers. These Wrenches also help the user to measure torque needed to fasten the bolt or nuts without over tightening them.

Top 5 Best Torque Wrenches with Reviews for 2016

Torque Wrench
Type
Weights
Square Drive
Range
ft. lbs
My Rating
TEKTON 24335

TEKTON Drive Click Torque Wrench
Click
3.8 pounds
1/2 inch
10-150
5 Stars

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CDI 2401CI3 Drive Computorq 3

CDI Torque Wrench
Electronic
2 pounds
1/4 inch
2-20
4.8 Stars

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CDI Torque 2503MFRPH

Snap-On Industrial Brand CDI Torque Drive with Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
Click
4.3 pounds
1/2 inch
30-250
4.7 Stars

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Precision Instruments C3FR250F

Precision Instruments Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench
Split Beam
4.2 pounds
1/2 inch
40-250
4.5 Stars

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CDI 1501MRPH

CDI Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench
Click
9.6 pounds
1/4 inch
20-150
4.5 Stars

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TEKTON 24335 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench

TEKTON is known for one of the best torque wrench brands and its range of affordable torque wrench. Tekton 24335 torque wrench is designed especially for motorcycles, cars, trucks and even SUVs. It is also ideal for people who are looking for long lasting and accurate tool for tightening nuts and bolts. It is ideal for all do-it-yourself guys and professionals alike. Made with chrome vanadium ratchet head and combined with Corrosion resistant finish, this Wrench is ideal for heavy use.

It is simple and easy to use thanks to its non-slip twisting ability. With its dual range of 10-150-foot pounds, this wrench helps to prevent accidental over tightening. The High contrast marking on this Wrench`s scale is easy to ready even in low light.

As the fastener has been tightened, a click will be heard which will help you confirm you have reached the pre-set torque value. Following are a few of its other features:

  • Easy Readable High Contrast Dual Range Scale
  • Chrome Vanadium Steel Ratchet Head can be reversed
  • Non-Slip Comfortable Grip
  • Knurled Handle helps for easy Handling
  • Durable Steel Made with Corrosion Resistant Finish
  • 10-150 Foot Pound Torque

CDI 2401CI3 Drive Computorq 3 Electronic Torque Wrench Review

This best electronic/digital torque wrench is easy to use tool. It features a digital readout displace which provides current statistics of this device in Foot Pounds, Inch Pounds, Newton Meter, and Kilogram Centimeter. Users can easily adjust this tool according to their use and wait for the indicator to illuminate.

​Easy to read Digital Display The Computroq3 Electronic Wrench makes a Best Digital Torque Wrench for both industrial and home use. It is also just the thing for people who have a hard time reading the calibrations on the small scales. People who dislike carrying around notebooks to write down the readings on the wrench will surely benefit from this electronic torque wrench. It works in four different torque units with CW Reading of 20% to 100%.Following are a few of its features:

  • Easy Push Button for Socket Release Head
  • Long Battery Life
  • Works in both directions, Clockwise, and Counterclockwise
  • Non-Slip Rubber Grip
  • Remembers last saved user settings
  • 3 Led lights
    • Yellow indicates desired torque is about to be reached
    • Green indicates desired torque has been reached
    • Red indicates torque has exceeded desired limit

Snap-on Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench Reviews

This Snap-On Torch Wrench has the torque range of 30-250-foot pounds. This micrometer adjustable tool is fast and convenient to use. It can calibrate in dual direction with its high contrast dual scales.

This Wrench comes with a locking safety that can be turned on and off with just a push of button based on the back of this wrench’s head. The Snap On Wrench provides Good Socket Retention with easy socket removal. Here are a few of this wrench’s Features:

  • Readable Laser Marked Single Scale
  • Positive Lock featuring Spring Loaded Pull down Lock Ring
  • Ergonomic Comfortable Grip
  • Quick release button for easy retention
  • High Accuracy
  • Lightweight with Metal Constructions
  • ½ Inch Drive

This CDI torque wrench is ideal for all experience levels whether you like to do-it-yourself or whether you are seasoned professional. It is a relatively inexpensive addition to your tool rack. It is also suitable for people who crave a lightweight tool to work with.

Precision Instruments 1/2 in. Drive 40 – 250 ft-lbs. Split-Beam Click-Type Torque Wrench C3FR250F

The Precision Tools made their way into our Best Torque Wrench list. The Precision Split Beam Torque Wrench offers unmatched convenience thanks it durability. This torque wrench is made with Speed Innovative Torque mechanismthat only needs a slight push to adjust. The Precision Instruments C3FR250F torque wrench is ideal for home use and professional use. If you require a relatively inexpensive wrench, then this model is your best bet. It is very easy to use and sets up very quickly. It is ideal for people dealing with both light and heavy industry machines whose bolts require tightening.

This tool needs no rest, and it comes with 1-year warranty. This wrench doesn`t need to be turned off after use. Below, we are discussing it’s other features:

  • Steel Constructions
  • Build for industrial use
  • Easy to use
  • Automatic Shut down
  • Comes in a Storage Case
  • Better Accuracy in Clockwise

CDI 1501MRPH 1/4-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench

If you are looking for the torque wrench reviews, then your search is over. The CDI Drive Adjustable Torque Wrench has a range of 20 to 150 inch. The comfortable handle comes in an ergonomically durable design. It is ideal for self-styled and do-it-yourself guys, and professionals alike. It is great for calibrating bikes because of the very small torque values associated with it.

The CDI wrench has a metal handle that featuresAn Ergo Shaped Grip for Easy Handling. It’s capable of working in calibrated dual direction thanks to its dual scale. To add security in this device, the CDI Torque Wrench is integrated with a positive lock.

This lock features a spring loaded pull down ring that makes it easy to lock and unlock. Below, we are discussing a few other features of this Torque Wrench:

  • Readable Laser Mark Single Scale
  • Easy Settings
  • Single Scale Inch Pounds
  • Features a Quick Release Button for Socket Removal
  • Ergonomic Comfort Grip makes it easy to use
  • Accurate and it works both Clockwise and Counterclockwise
  • Compatible with ISO 6789 Standards
  • Easy Socket Removal
  • Features Dual Scale with Dual Calibration


What is a Torque Wrench – Why you need it?

The simplest idea that trickles into DIY minds is ‘Why not use the same torque value on every fastener that is of a particular size? A shop manual, really? Just to tell us that a valve cover held down by a 5⁄16-inch bolt requires a 11 ft-lb torque, and that a stud of the same measure sitting on the shock absorber demands 20 ft-lb?’ You can almost see how high their eyebrows have gone. Listen up, DIY-ers.

  • Inclined wedges or planes help you turn bolts and nuts into place. These grooves are called threads.
  • As you turn the nut or bolt along these threads you are veritably applying force along them; the bolt therefore acts like a tension spring.
  • The bolt shank tension helps clamp two components into one.
  • If this clamping force exceeds the load exertion between, say, the block and the head the pieces will never get loose of their own accord; this is a good thing.
  • What is clamping force? It is how much twisting force you are putting on the nut or bolt head.

The DIY-er raises his chin and says, ‘So, yeah, you’re right about all that. Tighten till it won’t come loose. That’s it. Why make it sound so complicated?’

No, no, and no. The ideal amount of torque you need to apply is determined by these factors:

  • If a gasket is present between ther two components
  • Differences in total bolt length
  • The bolt’s alloy type
  • What material the clamped parts are made of
  • The amount of friction being applied between the threads. This last point is a crucial one, it determines the link between the torque application on the bolt head and the clamping force needed for the job.

From as little as a few percent to over fifty, different friction levels determine how much force you need to apply during tightening. Doing it just right can save you a lot of hassle. Ths is where your brains come in and sheer strength can end up being a bad thing.

You can therefore certainly expect variations in clamping force. Too many differences can be a bad thing, especially for intake manifold and cylinder installations.

Use the right torque wrench, apply the right torque amount (ft-lb), and pay attention to friction and clamping factors.

How Reviews Help With Torque Wrench Usage

You cannot hope to find the best torque wrench for your needs if you do not know how to properly use one. Sooner or later the wrench you buy because someone said so or a review insisted it will resolve all your problems will lose its importance as one of the top tools for use in your garage or workshop.

In this spirit, let us broach a crucial topic where so many DIY users go wrong, namely applying the right amount of pressure using a torque wrench. Lug nuts are quite a common automotive repair element; you will come across these a lot during car and bike repairs and maintenance.

There is more to reviewing than merely telling readers which torque is best; we will leave that to the brand manufacturers. We also share facts and techniques on how best to use your selected wrench. That said, how do you tighten lug nuts properly and ensure maximum safety and quality of workmanship?

To get the ideal tightening level needed with your torque wrench, you must reach the ideal torque value for your vehicle (this is often measured in foot-pounds). Each fastener on, say, your car will require the same torque level.

How do you know when to stop? You cannot possibly be thinking about the torque level all the time, especially if you are a DIY-person. Here is an example:

  • Suppose you apply ten pounds of force on the handle as you press down on a nut using a one-foot long torque wrench. You are veritably going at the nut using a ten foot-pound torque (this is basically distance x force or in this case 1 x 10 = 10).
  • If you happen to apply 60 pounds of force using a 4-foot wrench, you will be applying a torque of 240 foot-pounds (60 x 4 =240).
  • Bear in mind that most torque wrench for lug nuts display a 100 foot-pound torque requirement. It is as much elbow grease as what the wrench is performing, so it depends on how much cranking you are willing to dole out.
  • Your aim is not to over-tighten a fastener but to keep it within a narrow range. Do not be surprised if a bolt or nut automatically unscrews after a while on the road. This is if they are too loose. Despite it all, if they still manage to hold on to their position you can expect leakage from the O-ring clamped there or the gasket even.
  • If, on the other hand, you tighten them too much the parts that are bolted may be damaged, warped, or compressed. If the threads strip or the bolt shank shatters, you will lose all clamping force and the fastener is as good as useless.

The fastener is the best tool for a tightening job but you will be surprised how often people forget the basics, assuming that mere force alone will get the job done. It is not about strength alone, we have brains for a reason.

​How To Find The Best Torque Wrenches Online

In this section, we are going to share with you a motley mix of useful information on how you can find the best torque wrenches online.

Size

There are currently four different kinds of sizes for torque wrenches.

  • Cars do well with 1/2-inch drive torque wrenches. The same applies to moderately big equipement and automotive repairs, not to mention SUV’s and trucks. You can find some inch pound torque wrench in here.
  • If your projects involve small bolts and nuts, a 1/4-inch drive is ideal. Small torque applications like with this wrench are best for garden and lawn gear as well as motorbikes and bicycles.
  • Overly heavy equipment and machines demand the use of a 1-inch drive torque wrench. Such machines include passenger airlines, tractor-trailers, marine equipment, and cargo aircraft.
  • Light trucks and cars, among general passenger vehicles, are great with our final wrench size, namely a 3/8-inch drive.

Learning from the user experience, suppose you want to perform tire and/or engine work and you are confused about whether to use a ½-inch or 3/8-inch wrench. You can start with a ½-inch torque wrench with 30-150 and take it to your lug nuts.

The range has to be maintained around the middle because the bottom and top limits of the 30-150 ft-lb range are not as accurate. Using that value to fasten, say, 30 ft-lbs can result in your torque being off by 7%, which can be a good or terrible one. Apparently with torque wrenches, size does matter.

Types of torque wrench

When selecting a precision tool of this caliber and type, make sure you can use the one you want to apply the needed tension, load, or force to threaded fasteners; this is usually during assembly time.

Since you are most probably going to shop for a torque wrench online, bear in mind that you cannot skimp on accuracy and quality when it comes to torquing. After all, a machine has to hold under vibrational pressure not to mention general operation rigors. Good torque equals long-term efficiency and adequate component tightening.

  • Beam Torque Wrenches

One of the more simple wrenches out there, its design comprises a lever arm separating the handle and head. Thanks to its elasticity, the arm can actually bend against the pressure being applied to it. Do not worry, this is a good thing. If the wrench is inactive or there is no pressure, the arm and indicator remain parallel to each other. You can use the scale to get a reading during work; it looks and performs like a weight scale with a needle pointer.

  • Deflecting Beam Torque Wrenches

With this one, you do away with the coil spring method of applying torque and rather go for the deflecting beam technique; hence the name. Aside from promoting enhanced safety for higher torque levels, you also gain better precision. A distinct click can be heard when a certain torque level has been attained. This is one of the more smart torque wrenches out there.

  • Electronic Torque Wrenches

Not only can you program these, they also have pre-set limits. Linked to the torsion rod is a strain gauge. By signaling the transducer whenever needed, this feature helps determine torque force per unti. An LED readout shows you the value. You also have a tiny chip equipped with a memory stick to save all readings that are consequently open for computer access. How convenient is this.

  • Plumber’s Torque Wrenches

Solely for soil pipe and coupling use, this specialized wrench looks rather like a ratchet in that it has a T-shaped handle. Thanks to its pre-calibrations, though, it can slip back when the required torque strength is reached. As the name suggests, this wrench is best used by plumbers.

  • Click Torque Wrenches

A bit more sophisticated than the socket wrench whose design this one is based on, click wrenches let you use a clutch mechanisms to pre-set torque levels that when reached causes the clutch to slip by way of indication. As you can imagine, this is quite an accurate tool and prevents over-stretching or breakage.

  • Hydraulic Torque Wrenches

Especially made for torque applications to fasteners, you can use this one to place pressure on bolt or nut heads. Because the torque can be pre-calibrated, you can quickly get started with tightening. Just make sure the bolts and nuts are ideally lubricated. After all, this wrench is used for heavy-set automobiles where plenty of power and pressure are called for.

Square Drive

Thanks to the idea of square drive technology, rotors can expand outwards or inwards and display heightened functionality no matter the load or speed involved. In addition to improving rotor lifespan, square drives help avoid failures due to distortion.

Here is a table with ideal square drive recommendations for varied torque wrenches.

table with ideal square drive recommendations for varied torque wrenches

Range

The primary reason you are using a torque wrench is to apply an accurate or exact torque to a fastener. This includes a bolt or nut. By applying the wrong amount of torque, you can experience mechanical failures, loose fasteners, warped material, rattling, and other issues that will prove dangerous for the machine or vehicle you are working with.

Measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs) or Newton-meters (NM), this range tells you the minimum and maximum torque that can be applied to something from a particular torque wrench. For instance, light work to do with fastening or tightening will find a 15-75 ft-lb range more than enough for the job.

An operating range comprising maximum and minimum values is termed range, and you should never stick to the extremes. Calibration can be severely affected if you do not find a balance at the middle of the range; the wrench’s precision will drop as well. When it comes to range, do not surprised if you find yourself using different wrenches for one task or project; one range does not fit all.

  • As mentioned above, the 15-75 ft-lb range is ideal for light duty work as seen with valve cover bolts, oil drain plugs, and cover for spark plugs. This is the low range.
  • Still in the low range category is a 30-150 ft-lb range that is best for slightly heavier work as with tightening head bolts, caliper bolts, and lug nuts. It is imperative that you have a torque wrench with this particular range, because of how simple it makes the transition from maintenance to high-end upgrades and repairs.
  • The mid-range comprises 50-250 ft-lbs and is great for all critical assemblies from suspension to steering. Trailers and lightweight trucks make excellent use of this range.
  • Heavy and grand equipment and machines where driveline components and bearings need ace tightening do well with the upper range of 120-600 ft-lbs.
  • Even here you have a 200-1000 ft-lb range that is applied to camshaft sprockets and harmonic balancers. In other words, the bigger end of the upper range is multifunctional and used in racing vehicles; maintenance and repair.

Questions before Buying

Now that we have covered a mini product review and taken some strides into the basics of online torque wrench shopping, we gladly list a series of questions that you as the buyer should ask before pressing the ‘checkout’ button.

  • Can you read the torque spec easily while performing loosening and tightening at the fastener?
  • Does the wrench come with a locking mechanism?
  • What is the specific square drive (size) requirement I need for the job?
  • Can I readily find the grip during a strenuous work session?
  • Are the following standards met: ASME B107.14M-1094 and ISO 6789?
  • What is the maximum measurable torque this tool can perform?
  • The operating torque range, what is it?
  • Do I get a storage case with my purchase?
  • What is the torque wrench’s accuracy/precision level?
  • Does the tool’s weight and length make it easy to wield it, or will I develop avoidable physical pains after a few hours of usage?
  • Tell me more about the wrench’s durability statistics.
  • Is a Calibration Certificate included?
  • What about Warranty?
  • Is this torque wrench capable of measuring torque value both counter-clockwise and clockwise? If not, which does it come designed to perform?

Conclusion

We have a simple way to conclude our talk of torque wrenches and how reviews of them come crafted to educate users on what to look for and do as much as pointing out a few brands and models to check out.

What is the purpose of your buying a torque wrench? The more specific your answer to this question the more easily you will find a wrench that is perfect for your needs. You have seen the sizes available (listed above) and the type of questions you need to ask as a shopper seeking value for money (also listed above; after all, not just any wrench will do).

Time and effort can be reduced and saved if you select the ideal torque wrench based on its application purpose. It can be an inexpensive model and it will still out-perform a costlier one if it suits your purpose.

So take your time selecting one of the best torque wrenches on the market using our other site pages and full-fledged reviews. When in doubt, contact us. We’re happy to help. Remember that a good torque wrench practically pays for itself.