The Best Torque Wrenches (Review and Buying Guide)

Best Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is a brilliant addition to any toolbox but with so many to choose from, which one is best? We take a look at the best torque wrenches on the market, what makes them better than the rest and explain the differences between them.

Having the correct tools for a job makes a world of difference and a torque wrench is no different. How many times have you been left frustrated a nut or bolt that’s been overtightened on your car and is extremely difficult to remove? A torque wrench is designed to stop that from ever happening torquing down nuts and bolts to the exact torque spec that they should be – never overtighten a nut or bolt again!

Let’s take a look at the best torque wrenches to buy and why;

1. Wiesemann 1/2 inch Drive Torque Wrench

The Wiesemann 1/2 inch drive torque wrench claims our top spot. Available in 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch drive variants, the 1/2 inch drive version gets our vote as top pick.

It’s constructed from Q-30 Chrome-plated steel which not only makes it extremely pleasing on the eye, it’s more importantly extremely solid and well constructed. The Ensure series is part of Wiesemann’s top spec line products and features an impressive double scale, two component handle. The lesser spec models from Wiesemann don’t feature this.

It has a impressive torque range of 20-200 Nm or 14.75-147 lbs/ft. 45 ratchet teeth ensure absolute precision torque setting and a right handed thread operation. Adjustment is made the rotating handle and the locking function means that the double scale does not shift during operation.

Included in the package is;

  • 1x Wiesemann 1/2 inch drive torque wrench
  • 1x transport box / carry case

The key features of the Wiesemann 1/2 inch Drive Torque Wrench are;

  • 1/2 inch drive
  • 20-200 Nm or 14.75-147 lbs/ft torque range
  • 45 ratchet teeth
  • Constructed from Q-30 steel


2. Silverline Torque Wrench 1/2 inch Drive

The Silverline 1/2 drive torque wrench claims a close second spot becuase of it’s excellent performance and superb price point. Silverline produce some excellent, reliable tools and this 1/2 inch drive torque wrench is no different.

It’s constructed from chrome vanadium steel and also features a reversible ratchet head. A knurled adjustment handle and locking ring allow for extremely precise torque settings.

A torque range of 28 – 210Nm means that the Siverline 1/2 inch drive torque wrench is able to tackle almost any task.

Included in the package is;

  • 125mm extension bar
  • 1/2″ – 3/8” drive adaptor (202Nm max)
  • Storage case

The key features of the Silverline Torque Wrench 1/2 inch Drive are;

  • Constructed from chrome vanadium steel
  • Reversible ratchet head
  • Torque range of 28 – 210Nm
  • Includes 125mm extension bar
  • 1/2″ – 3/8” drive adaptor and storage case included


3. Tacklife 1/2 Inch Drive Torque Wrench

The tacklife 1/2 inch drive torque wrench sports an impressive range of features and represents superb value for money. It features an all steel construction, a chrome coating on the main body with sandblasting and black chrome on the handle section.

Tacklife claim that the torque wrench is accurate for 5000 clicks, impressive stuff. It has a torque range of 40-210Nm meaning is more than capable for almost all tasks. The reversible ratchet head drives in both directions allows for easy tightening and loosening.

Included in the package is;

  • 1 X 1/2 inch drive torque wrench
  • 1 x 1/2 inch drive (F) to 3/8 inch drive (M) reducer
  • 1 x 1/2 inch drive impact socket extension
  • 1 X warranty card
  • 1 x operating instructions
  • 1 x calibration certificate

The key features of the Tacklife 1/2 Inch Drive Torque Wrench are;

  • Constructed from solid steel with a sandblasted chrome finish
  • Reversible ratchet head
  • Torque range of 40-210Nm
  • Impressive range of included accessories


4. Sealey AK624B 1/2 Inch Drive Torque Wrench Black Series

The Sealey AK624B 1/2 Inch Drive Torque Wrench Black Series is from Sealey’s Premier Black range and sports an impressive electrodeposition finish. It’s solid too, constructed from fully hardened and tempered steel and then chrome plated for corrosion resistance. Every wrench is tested and supplied with an individually numbered test certificate and includes a micrometer type torque range adjustment with scale graduated in both Nm and lb.ft.

The AK624B has an impressive torque range of 27-204Nm (20-150lb.ft) and also features a flip reverse ratchet mechanism. The flip reverse ratchet mechanism allows for extreme ease of use at all times.

Included in the package is;

  • 1x AK624 1/2″Sq Drive Calibrated Micrometer Torque Wrench
  • 1x storage and carry case

The key features of the Sealey AK624B 1/2 Inch Drive Torque Wrench Black Series are;

  • Electrodeposition finish
  • Constructed from hardened steel
  • Flip reverse ratchet mechanism
  • Torque range of 27-204Nm (20-150lb.ft)


5. Teng 1292AGE4R 1292AG-ER4 1/2-Inch Torque Wrench Drive

If you’re well versed in the professional car tools industry, you’ll know that Teng tools are renowned for their astonishing quality and workmanship. This torque wrench from Teng is absolutely no different, it’s a proper piece of kit which would be at home in any tool chest – amateur or professional.

Comprising extremely premium materials, the ratchet head has a satin finish and for comfort and excellent grip, the wrench has a rubber handle. The rubber handle allows for extreme grip at all times.

It’s also features bi-directional torque wrench use for left/right hand threads with push through square drive and flip reverse ratchet action for torque checking.

With a huge torque range of 70 to 350 Nm, you’ll never be short of power with this torque wrench. As well as this, it is graduated in both Nm and, and has a degree scale for after tightening of cylinder heads.

Included in the package is;

  • 1 x TEN1292AGE4R 1292AG-ER4 Torque Wrench 70-350nm 1/2in Drive
  • 1 x Protective case


What Is A Torque Wrench?

A torque wrench is a tool for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts. It allows for tightening to a predefined torque specification rating. Specific torque specifications are extremely important, particularly so on cars as they allow for components to work as their absolute best and as they were designed to do so. Over tightening nuts and bolts can have a severely negatively impact on a car and sometimes provide a danger too. When removing any nuts or bolts from a car, it’s really imporant that they are torqued back down to the manufacturer specifications, this is only possible with a torque wrench.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Torque Wrench?

Using a torque wrench is the only definitive way of knowing that you’ve tightened a nut or bolt back down to it’s exact torque spec. Without using a torque wrench you’ll either be leaving the nut or bolt too loose or overtightening it. Whilst it might not seem hugely important for certain parts of a car, it’s vital on others. For example, suspension components have to be torqued back down to the exact manufacturer specification. Failure to do this can result in the suspension component moving more than it should or not moving enough, this can be a real safety concern and cause major problems.

How many times have you tried to remove wheel bolts in order to get the wheel off a car and found that the bolts are extremely difficult to remove? We’ve all been there and it’s extremely frustrating and can take a huge amount of force to get them off or worse still, you can’t get them off! The reason why they are so difficult to remove is because they have previously been over tightened. If a torque wrench been used and the wheel bolts torqued to manufacturer specifications, the bolts would have come off much easier and they were designed to do.

A torque wrench is not only useable on a car, they can also be used on motorbikes, for DIY around the house, construction tasks and much more. They are an extremely versatile and useful tool to have.

What To Consider When Buying A Torque Wrench

There are many different torque wrenches available on the market, be sure to consider these important factors;

Torque Range – A torque wrench’s torque range determines what it can and can’t be used for. The range specifies the minimum and maximum amount of torque it can be used for. It’s important to consider what tasks and jobs you’ll be using the torque wrench for. If you’re planning on using it for maintenance on your own car which is of medium size, a torque wrench with a range of something like 20-200nm should be more than sufficient. If however you’re planning on using it on a whole host of different vehicles and potentially SUV’s and trucks, you’ll probably want to go for a torque wrench with a maximum range of above 200nm.

Accuracy – It’s extremely important that the torque wrench is accurate as it could lead to over tightening and potential breaking of components. Most manufacturers will state the accuracy of the wrench from the factory and supply a calibration certificate to prove this. This helps provide peace of mind that it’s good to go and can be used straight away.

Materials – Torque wrenches come in a range of different sizes and will all feature different materials. For example, a torque wrench with a rubber handle is a really nice addition and makes a big difference. The rubber handle allows for good grip and avoids slippage when in use. Also consider whether the wrench is constructed from all steel or part steel, hardened steel etc. Some torque wrenches will also feature the use of sandblasting for added protection against scuffs and scratches.

Dimensions – The dimensions of a torque wrench can be important and very much depend on what you’re planning on using it for. For example, if you’re only ever going to use the wrench for torquing the wheel bolts, the dimensions of the wrench are pretty much irrelevant. If you’re going to be using it for more intricate work you may want to consider a smaller wrench but may have to sacrifice torque range and power.

Overall Quality – It might sound like a simple consideration but the overall quality of a torque wrench is extremely important. A good indicator of a torque wrench’s quality is to ensure that it complies with the relevant manufacturing specifications such as EN ISO 6789 & DIN 3121 as an example.

Torque Wrench FAQ’s

Q. How do I use a torque wrench?

A. First of all, you’ll need to find out the torque specification of the nuts / bolts that you’re working with. Once you have this, you can begin to dial that in to your torque wrench. Most torque wrench’s will have a locking system at the bottom of the wrench, twist this to unscrew and release it. Once the lock has been released, you can now twist the handle and rotate it until it lines up with your desired torque rating. Once in position, screw the locking mechanism back into place to ensure that it doesn’t slip and move. Begin tightening your nut or bolt until an audible click is heard. Once you hear the click, you’ve reached the specified torque rating and the wrench will not tighten the nut or bolt any further. That’s it, you’re done, repeat for the remaining bolts adjusting the torque rating where neccesary.

Q. What is a digital torque wrench?

A. A digitial torque wrench does the exact same thing as a conventional torque wrench with the only difference being how the desired torque rating is set. A digital torque wrench will have buttons and a display and allows the user to simply select how much torque is needed with the use of buttons and a screen. Digital torque wrenches tend to be much more expensive than conventional wrench’s.

Q. What should I do when i’ve finished with a torque wrench?

A. It’s best practice to always leave a small amount of tension on the wrench when you’re finished working with it. Simply dial in a very small amount of torque and twist the locking screw to secure it in place, this will keep the torque wrench working at optimum performance.

Just so you know, we may earn a small commission through the links on this page but we think that’s a fair trade off for the hours research and time that we put in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *