Tighten those bolts properly: our guide to the top 10 best torque wrenches
Whether you're tightening the head studs while rebuilding your engine, changing a wheel on your car, or even just doing up a screw that holds some trim together, you're going to want to tighten it properly to the torque rating specified by the manufacturer, and to do just that you'll need to use the best torque wrench you have available for the task.
But what if you don't have a torque wrench and don't know where to start when looking for one? Thankfully, help is at hand, as we here at DriveTribe have put together a comprehensive list of ten of the best torque wrenches you can find online right now, ranging from old-school ones to those that feature modern digital solutions to getting that bolt torqued just right.
The old-school one
If you like doing things the old-school way, one of the best torque wrenches for you could be an older beam-style unit. This unit from Ram-Pro is not only an affordable solution, but one that won’t cost more money in the long run as it won’t need to be recalibrated or stored at specific settings like a click-style one. It also has both 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drives on it, and measures both clockwise and counter-clockwise in both foot-pounds and meter-kilograms. Sometimes going old-school might just be better.
The affordable one
Amazon, as some may or may not know, has introduced its own line of affordable products under the Amazon Basics banner, and one of the many products it offers is one of the best torque wrenches around, which is also one of the most affordable, too. This click-style torque wrench features a 1/2-inch drive size and is available in two different torque ranges – 20-150ft-lb (27.1-203.5Nm) or 25-250ft-lb (33.9-338.9Nm) – for higher torque applications.
The one for smaller jobs
If you’re in need of the best torque wrench for smaller jobs, this TackLife set could be the right option for you. With a 1/4-inch drive and included 3/8-inch reducer and 1/4-inch extension, it’s ideal for use when space is limited, or for low-torque applications with its range of 2.26-22.6Nm.
The popular one
With over 1800 positive ratings, this popular 1/2-inch torque wrench from Silverline is clearly one of the best torque wrenches available to you right now. With a wide 28-210Nm torque range, 125mm extension bar, and 3/8-inch adapter, there’s no wonder why this competitively-priced torque wrench is one of Amazon’s best-sellers.
The starter set
If you want to make sure every little nut and bolt is done up exactly to the required torque specification, this unit from PowerAxis might just be the best torque wrench for you. Featuring a 1/4-inch drive and providing a range of 2-20Nm in 0.1Nm increments, it also comes with an 18-piece socket set to ensure you’ll be able to get every sort of bolt or screw torqued correctly.
The solid bet
This 1/2-inch drive torque wrench from Urceri is another of Amazon’s highest-selling and best torque wrenches on offer. With a 10-150lb-ft (28-210Nm) specified range, its ratcheting head will assist with operation in cramped spaces, and for added versatility, a five-inch extension bar and 17mm and 19mm adapters are also included.
The little digital one
If precision is truly what you’re after, a digital torque wrench may be the best torque wrench for you. This TOOGOO digital torque wrench is ideal if it’s only a smaller – or less expensive – one that you’re after, as it features a 1/4-inch drive and 1.5-30Nm torque range.
The big digital one
Looking for the best torque wrench that’s digital but need something bigger or has a higher torque range? Give this digital torque wrench from Beslands a try. With a 3/8-inch drive, 6.75-135Nm torque range, measurements in four different units, a 36-tooth ratchet mechanism for tighter turns and better precision, and an automatic shutdown feature after five minutes to save battery life, it may be more expensive than some of the non-digital options on this list, but if real accuracy and ease of use is of concern, it’s worth the extra spend.
The more-affordable digital one
While getting the best torque wrench can often be expensive, especially when it comes to digital ones, some more affordable alternatives are out there. This one from Clarke, like the Beslands digital torque wrench, features four different units of measurement, a similar 10-135Nm torque range, and a 3/8-inch drive, but comes in at over £20 cheaper.
The one that turns any wrench into a torque wrench
If you’re looking for a piece of equipment that’s a bit more versatile than some of the best torque wrenches we’ve mentioned on this list, or you’re after something a bit lighter and easier to store, then this attachment from KKmoon might just do the trick. This adjustable torque meter can connect to any regular wrench to give you an accurate torque reading, and is available with a range of different maximum torque measurements – 30Nm, 135Nm, 200Nm, 340Nm, 600Nm, and even 1000Nm – so that there are models available to cover even the most heavy-duty jobs you’ll encounter.