Torque wrenches allow its user to measure torque required to fasten the nuts and bolts without over tightening them. This is the reason why you need the best torque wrench, making it an excellent addition to your tool box. If you don’t know what to buy, read this guide in order to come up with an informed decision. We’ll also be providing you the top five picks for the best ones, as well as their pros and cons.
What is a Torque Wrench?
A torque wrench is a tool that permits its user to appropriately and accurately tighten a fastener to a specific torque. Some of you might think that it’s just a regular wrench but a closer look will tell you otherwise. Torque wrenches are bigger in size and you will realize that it can also be used to loosen hard bolts. However, it’s not what they are used for. Torque wrenches do the opposite; they tighten bolts to a particular level of tightness.
Simply put, torque refers to the tightening force. Using it too much may cause damage to the fastener and mating parts. Using it too little only gives the bolt an opportunity to shear off when the joint is not loaded. This may potentially result in dangerous and catastrophic failure. It is considered as a crucial safety item that you use to apply the correct amount of torque when necessary.
A torque wrench will let you tighten a fastener accurately to a torque level you specify. Normally, you only use one and you swap out sockets that match the bolt size. They also come in different types but the most abundant types are used in the automotive industry. Big jobs will require you the best torque wrench while smaller ones will be adequate for light jobs. It can be used on various vehicles such as cars, SUVs, vans, among others.
Top Five Picks for the Best Torque Wrench
In this section, we are going to discuss the top five picks for the best torque wrench available right now. We will provide you their key features, pros, and cons that can help come up with a better decision.
Types of Torque Wrenches
There are six types of torque wrenches that you should be aware of. Not all are suitable for the job you’re going to apply it to so you have to review these carefully. This can also help in order to have a better decision in choosing the best torque wrench.
- Electronic Torque Wrench: These are programmable torque levels can be set. A strain gauge that is attached to a rod will send a signal to a transducer. This would mean that the force of torque per unit could be determined. They come with a small chip containing a memory stick that saves settings, which you can view for later use.
- Click Wrench: This can be considered a clone of the socket wrench but is more sophisticated. You may be able to preset the level of torque using a clutch. Once it reaches the target torque level, the clutch will slip to indicate the level. They have the capability of preventing over-reaching and over-stretching that leads to breaking.
- Beam Wrench: This is a most simple and basic type of torque wrenches. It features a handle that is separate from the lever arm. The wrench can be bent slightly due to the elasticity of the lever arm. Once you apply torque, a moving scale will be able to give you a reading. It functions like a weighing scale that has a needle pointer that indicates the weight.
- Plumber Wrench: This is specifically designed for couplings on soil pipes. It features a T-shaped handle that is similar to a ratchet wrench. One thing to note is that it is pre-calibrated to slip until the target torque level is reached.
- Hydraulic Torque Wrench: This is designed to exert torque to a fastener. To use this, pressure is applied either to a bolt head or a nut. It also features a pre-calibrated torque that assists in tightening the bolt head or nut.
- Deflecting Beam Wrench: This type applies torque to a deflecting beam instead of a coil spring. It provides high accuracy and safety especially if dealing with higher levels of torque pressure. It also comes with an audible click that lets you know that you already reached the target level.
Essential Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Torque Wrench
Before we conclude, let’s discuss first what you need to look for in a torque wrench. This is the most important section as it will help you narrow down choices in choosing the best torque wrench.
- Size and Construction: The best torque wrench must have a solid and fine finish. Size can also be a critical consideration because you don’t need the big ones. However, for heavy applications, a larger wrench may be suitable.
- Performance: Product specifications might not fully reveal how the device is working in real life. This might happen even though the brand discloses a number of technical details. One effective way to address this is to read user reviews and ratings before actually buying the torque wrench.
- Features: A number of torque wrenches offer foot-pounds or Newton meters units of measurements. To add, most of them are now digitalized. You should choose a torque wrench that offer clear visibility. What’s the use if you cant read and interpret the readings easily?
- Grip: Always look for the torque wrench that will be able to provide you an easy grip. This may come in handy especially if you hands are slippery because of oils and engine fluids. With this, a slippery torque wrench can become a very frustrating inconvenience.
Now that you have all the information you need, it’s now up to you to choose the best torque wrench. Decision-making may be tricky but with this guide, it should be an easier task. You just have to review each product’s features, pros, and cons to come up with a better decision. To add, check if the price makes great value for your money if you relate it to a specific model.
Are you also looking for other products to use on your vehicle? Click here to check some of the products that are available in the market right now.