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The 4 Best Torque Wrenches (2022 Review)

Choosing a quality torque wrench will ensure that your fasteners are properly tightened every time. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the four best torque wrenches on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Torque Wrench Courtesy LEXIVON

Torque wrenches allow you to tighten fasteners using the correct torque, preventing the risk of under- and overtightening. The This Old House Reviews Team has selected the best torque wrenches on Amazon to help with all of your DIY projects. Read our review to learn about them.

Best Case: TEKTON ½-Inch Drive Torque Wrench

This wrench comes in a bright red case that protects the tool from damage in your toolbox or tool chest. It features an easy-to-read scale and a reversible ratchet head. It’s also available in a wide range of drive sizes and ranges, giving you options when it comes to specializing the wrench to your projects.

Key Features

  • Click wrench
  • 2.94 pounds
  • ½-inch drive
  • Range of 10–150 inch-pounds
  • Accurate within 4%

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised this wrench’s durable composition and the company’s excellent customer service. Multiple customers who received an inaccurate or otherwise faulty product were contacted by the company to get a replacement. Customers who weren’t satisfied with this torque wrench complained that it wasn’t accurate within 4% at the lower end of the range.

Best Electronic Wrench: GEARWRENCH ½-Inch Drive Electronic Torque Wrench

This electronic torque wrench’s screen can display torque in five measurement units, including inch-pounds and foot-pounds. It alerts you with a vibration, beep, and light when the target torque is reached, ensuring accurate results every time.

Key Features

  • Digital wrench
  • 5.19 pounds
  • ½-inch drive
  • Range of 25.1–250.8 inch-pounds
  • Accurate within 2%

What Customers Are Saying

Featuring both visual and auditory cues, customers found it virtually impossible to apply too much torque when they were using this wrench. However, some customers complained that the wrench used too much power, requiring them to change the batteries frequently.

Best ¼-Inch Wrench: EPAuto ¼-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench

This EPAuto torque wrench has a ¼-inch drive, making it a good option for smaller fasteners and more detailed work. It also includes a coated finish to prevent rusting, allowing you to use this wrench for years to come.

Key Features

  • Click wrench
  • 1.74 pounds
  • ¼-inch drive
  • Range of 20–200 inch-pounds
  • Accurate within 4%

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised the sturdy composition of this torque wrench, which allowed it to last for years despite its lower-than-average price point. However, many users complained about the calibration of this wrench, which they claimed was inaccurate.

Best Calibration: LEXIVON ½-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench

This ½-inch wrench features a large range between 25 and 250 feet, though other sizes and ranges are also available for purchase. It also delivers accurate results within 4% every use, and it comes with a calibration certificate with a trackable serial number to prove it.

Key Features

  • Click wrench
  • 6.4 pounds
  • ½-inch drive
  • Range of 25–250 inch-pounds
  • Accurate within 4%

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised the flexibility of this wrench’s head, which fit a range of nuts and bolts. The most common complaint from dissatisfied customers was related to the product’s click feature, with multiple users saying that they weren’t able to hear or feel the “click” that signified that the desired torque had been reached. This caused them to apply too much force.

Buyer’s Guide

In addition to the type, you’ll also want to consider a torque wrench’s drive size, unit of measurement, accuracy, and ease of use. This buying guide explores each of these factors to help you make an informed purchasing decision.

Type

There are five main types of torque wrenches.

  • Click: This is the most common type of torque wrench. It makes a clicking sound when the required torque has been reached. It’s easy to use and durable, but some people use it incorrectly. Instead of stopping at the first click, some people tighten the fastener too much by waiting until the wrench clicks a second time.
  • Break-over: This is similar to a click wrench, but it has a hinged section, typically near the socket head, that “breaks’’ when the torque is reached. Break-over torque wrenches make it difficult to accidentally overtighten the fastener, but it is possible.
  • Cam-over: This type of torque wrench has a built-in mechanism that releases pressure as soon as the torque is reached, preventing you from overtightening.
  • Dial: Dial wrenches look like click wrenches with an analog dial on them. Instead of the wrench alerting you when it’s reached the desired torque, you’ll have to read the dial for your torque measurement.
  • Digital: This type of torque wrench is fairly new to the market. It has an LCD screen that tells you what the torque is. Additionally, when you reach the desired torque, the tool beeps or flashes to alert you. Digital torque wrenches can be accurate up to four decimal places and can sometimes store old readings. However, they don’t stop the user from overtightening—the user has to stop themselves once they hear the beeping or see the flashing.

Drive Size

Drive size refers to how big the piece that fits over the fastener is. A ½-inch drive is common for automotive use, but manufacturers also make ¼-inch, ¾-inch, and ⅜-inch sizes. Measure the size of the fasteners you’re using for your project before purchasing a torque wrench.

Measurement

Torque is usually measured in foot-pounds on the imperial scale or Newton-meters on the metric scale. Occasionally, you’ll find a torque wrench that’s measured in inch-pounds or kilograms per centimeter. A mechanical torque wrench will have one or two of these measurements, but a digital one might have all of them.

Accuracy/Range

The accuracy of a torque wrench will be stated as Full Scale (FS) or Indicated Value (IV). FS tells you the allowable error over the full range of the tool, while IV tells you the allowable error at the stated value. Wrenches that use IV measurements are more accurate.

It’s also important to note that accuracy for a click wrench isn’t quoted over the tool’s whole range. It’s common for it to only be quoted between 20% and 100%. For example, if a torque wrench has a range of 25–250 feet, it might only achieve its stated accuracy starting at 45 feet, which is 25% of the range.

Handle

A longer handle allows you to maintain more control and apply pressure more evenly. Sometimes, handles will have plastic or rubber grips on them to prevent the tool from slipping out of your hand during use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do torque wrenches require maintenance?

Torque wrenches are durable tools, so they don’t require a lot of maintenance. However, most tool manufacturers recommend keeping your torque wrench clean and not dropping it. They also said to store it in a separate case to prevent collision with other tools and to recalibrate it about once a year.

How do I convert foot-pounds to Newton-meters?

Follow these rules to convert foot-pounds to Newton-meters or Newton-meters to foot-pounds:

  • 1 foot-pound is equal to 1.3558 Newton-meters
  • 1 Newton-meter is equal to 0.73776 foot-pounds

What are preset and deflecting beam torque wrenches?

The torque wrench that you’re most familiar with is called a micrometer torque wrench, and it looks like a ratchet-drive socket wrench. However, there are two other types of torque wrenches:

  • Preset: These wrenches are set for a single amount, so they can’t be adjusted. They’re usually small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
  • Deflecting beam: With this type of torque wrench, a beam runs from the head where the socket is attached to the grip where a scale is located. The deflection of the beam indicates the amount of torque.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.