(Updated on October 24, 2019)
One of the essential tools for an automotive mechanic is a torque wrench. It usually comes in the form of a socket wrench, providing specific internal components that let you see how much torque applies to a bolt or nut.
This tool is useful in situations where the tightness of a bolt or screw is crucial to the outcome of a job. You must have an accurate measurement from the torque wrench to know that the item in question is secure.
Top 10 Best Torque Wrenches for Home Mechanics
1) Tekton 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This tool offers 26 inches of length and three inches of width to give you a firm grip on almost any project. It features a high-contrast, dual-range scale that is easy to read even if you’re working in low-light conditions. This popular torque wrench can be set between 25 to 250 ft.-lb.
The reversible ratchet head drives well in both directions, measuring torque in a clockwise direction. It features an all-steel construction (zero plastic parts), and it ships pre-calibrated so that it is ready to use.
2) Capri Tools 1/2-Inch Industrial Torque Wrench
The premium components included with this heavy duty torque wrench will take the quality of your work to the next level. It offers a knurled handle to reduce slippage and an all-steel body for added durability. You can set it to between 30 and 250 foot-pounds of torque.
The engraved dual torque scale markets and bi-directional calibration mean you have accuracy without the risk of fading. Individualized traceable serial numbers allow you to verify the quality of the tool upon receipt if you wish. Also available in a super heavy duty 3/4″ drive torque wrench with a 100-600 foot-pounds torque range.
3) ACDelco 1/2-Inch Digital Torque Wrench
This ACDelco torque wrench offers between 4-99 foot-pounds of torque of tightening making it great for light to medium duty precision use. It features multiple setting functions that include measurement, mode, or peak and trace settings in addition to the torque reading you need.
The guaranteed accuracy range is also double that of most other products on this list, and it meets or exceeds ASME and ISO standards. Each tool is individually serialized with a matching certificate of calibration so that you have a guarantee on its quality.
4) Summit Tools 3/8-Inch Digital Torque Wrench
This compact torque wrench doesn’t come with the traditional long-handle design but instead it’s made to have excellent accuracy for the smaller, precision jobs that come up. Set it to anywhere between 1.11 to 22.12 foot-pounds of torque have it notify you with an LED and buzzer when target torque is reached.
It uses a combination of digital technologies, steel components, and targeted plastic parts to keep the price down. It will survive in even high-humidity conditions to provide an accurate reading and is excellent for long-term use.
5) Precision Instruments 3/8-Inch Split Beam Torque
If you want a tool that can offer a flex head on a split beam design, then this is the torque wrench to consider today. It offers durability, speed, and reliability. You won’t need to turn it down after use like some of its competitors.
It is an all-steel construction that gives you more resistance to automotive fluids and impact issues. You’ll receive a dated calibration compliance certificate and a 1-year warranty with purchase.
6) TackLife 1/4-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
If you need something in the 1/4-inch drive size for your shop or garage, then this small torque wrench is the way to go. You’ll feel the click in the grip in addition to the sound so that you know when you’ve reached the desired torque (between 20 and `200 foot-pounds).
It’s a reversible design as well, which means it is useful in restricted spaces. It comes with a 2.95-inch extension bar and a 3/8-inch adapter to give you an extra level of versatility too. Laser engraving for the dual range scale ensures that you reach the correct result.
7) EPAuto 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
When you’re on a budget, this 10 to 150 ft.-lb. torque wrench from EPAuto is hard to beat. The durable ratchet head is made from a hardened and treated chrome vanadium steel alloy and is pre-calibrated to with +/- 4%.
It comes with a non-slip grip with its knurled handle, while the dual-range scale features high-contrast reading for easy use. The satin finish fights corrosion for you as well. It also comes with a sturdy plastic storage case so that you can protect your investment when not in use.
8) Teng Tools 1/2-Inch Drive Torque Wrench
Featuring a reversible design with a lever on the ratchet mechanism to switch direction, you can use this torque wrench for a variety of needs. When it reaches a preset value, then you’ll feel that you are there in the tool if you can’t hear the click.
The high-contrast 10 to 150 foot-pounds of torque scale is easy to read. At about 18 inches in length, it doesn’t offer as much leverage as some others but this will allow it to get to places others can’t.
9) Gorilla Automotive TW705 1/2-Inch Drive Torque Wrench
This model is a long-bar design that features the standard click-type mechanism to know when you’ve reached your target torque. The adjustments are easy to read on the tool since it is printed in Newton meters and foot pounds for convenience.
It is 22 inches in length overall, offering a total range of 50-250 feet pounds for maximum use. You’ll receive plastic storage case with purchase as well to preserve the quality of the product.
10) eTORK 3/8-Inch Drive Torque Wrench
As one of the best values around, this click style torque wrench is one of the few products available that comes with a lifetime personal use guarantee. It meets ANSE requirements, offers a 3% accuracy range, and operates both clockwise and counterclockwise so that you have more options when working. Adjusts from 50 to 250 foot-pounds of torque.
The best feature included by the manufacturer is the ball-bearing mounted release mechanism so that you get the accuracy and sensitivity needed to produce a high-quality result.
The best torque wrenches for automotive mechanics will help you to make simple work out of complicated projects. When you need precision with each turn, then choose from one of the tools on this list to get the results you want.