At first glance, one might mistake a torque wrench for just an ordinary wrench. Though certainly larger in size, you’d be forgiven to think that its sole purpose is only confined to get REALLY hard bolts loose. But while that might be true to some extent, a torque wrench is designed to snug a bolt to very specific tightness levels. Its application is mainly on automotive vehicles, from motorcycles, cars, SUVs to trucks.
That brings us to this essential question - what is the best affordable torque wrench for automotive in 2017?
Prior to owning one, one should have the proper understanding required to use it in order to avoid damaging it, or even worse, snapping/stripping off a bolt. Luckily, below is a comprehensive review that covers five of the best affordable torque wrenches for automotive uses available on the market today to help you find the best value.
Thanks to a calibration of +/-4%, this torque wrench from TEKTON eliminates unnecessary guessing and the common predisposition to over-tighten by improving accuracy levels and therefore allowing you to work with confidence. Abiding by the manufacturer’s recommended torque specification ensures that parts are not damaged during fastening. To achieve this, you first input the specifications on the handle scale after which you can now go ahead and begin fastening in the usual clockwise direction.
On attaining the set torque, a mechanical operation inside the handle will produce a click that sounds to alert you that the input figure has been attained and force application should stop to avoid damage. In order to ensure it lasts long, this torque wrench from TEKTON is made from high strength steel. Also, the manufacturer says it can be depended upon for consistent performance.
No batteries are required and it lacks plastics that can break or wear out.
Also, the scale is easy to read. Even in low light situations, this torque wrench’s high contrast allows for an easier read thanks to the dual-range scaling. Furthermore, the calibrations of +/- 4% allow you to adhere to the manufacturer’s torque specifications and prevent unnecessary breaking of parts.
This adjustable click affordable torque wrench from NEIKO takes guessing out of ratcheting applications that require exact torque levels. Just like the one described above, this one also is shipped with a +/-4 percent accuracy. The manufacturer says because of the calibration, this torque wrench is able to accurately measure torque between 6.8-108.5 Nm/5-80 foot pounds.
So how do you use it? Simple. The desired level of torque indicated on the shaft is achieved by adjusting the torque levels through aligning the rotating the grip in diamond pattern. Tiny adjustments such as those in micrometer can be had thanks to the 0-10 gradient that is etched onto the grip. Any 3/8-inch socket can be compatible with the 3/8-inch drive head, while pre-set torque values are integrated with a click functionality. The click sound notifies you that the pre-set torque figure has been achieved and that there should be no more pressure beyond that.
To ensure the product withstands the rigors of time, the manufacturer says it comes with a sturdy forged chrome vanadium steel construction. Add to that an ABS storage case and chrome finish to prevent corrosion and rusting and you’re guaranteed of a shiny, clean, and accurate tool for years to come.
This torque wrench from Craftsman is designed with the latest torque technology. It is accurate within the range of +/-4%. It is long lasting – made from high-strength steel construction. And it’s easy to use. The manufacturer says the scales are stamped inside the housing clearly indicating the inch-metric torque settings.
Just like the products aforementioned, this one also comes with the click’ notification. Once the preset figure on the calibration is achieved, it’ll give off a clear click’ sound to notify you that no more pressure is needed. Needless to say, the click is an invaluable functionality that mitigates against unnecessary breakages.
Even in the dark, this torque wrench comes with a brightly lit LCD display that provides up-to-the-minute information. Its design is ergonomic, its easy to operate, and comes with simple handle adjustments. Designed to handle tension from 20-150 pounds, this torque wrench will work on anything ranging from hulking diesels to small household engines.
Unlike those previously mentioned, this torque wrench from Pittsburgh utilizes a heavy-duty cam and pawl mechanism. This technology ensures that regardless of whether it is automotive work or home repair you’re working on, it remains within the specified range of plus or minus 4%. This range is crucial as it allows a bit of flexibility in case the pressure applied slightly exceeds or falls below the required range.
In addition, it features a click-stop design that guarantees you won’t go past the pre-set figure. The click-stop torque wrench design also allows for a torque range of between 20 to 50 pounds feet and is precise at values of within +/-4%.
The manufacturer says its easy to use and operate. Directions start with a calibration of 5. Depending on the torque level setting, you're required to start turning the knob counterclockwise until the set torque is reached. Then re-tighten the lock knob by turning the knob handle clockwise all the way. Lastly, put the socket on and turn the lock knob until the 'click' sound is heard. It is steel manufactured therefore ensuring the product lasts a lifetime.
This torque wrench for automotive use from Mountain ratcheting is a click style wrench that measures 10-inches long and is designed to be used for 25-250 ft/lbs. It comes in a blow molded case to allow for easy storage. The long arm allows for easier application of pressure. It's application is broad and can be used on a variety of things, including cars, minivans, SUVs and trucks.
The manufacturer says its been designed to last long. This is evidenced by the sturdy steel construction that is chrome finished. The chrome finishing not only ensures it looks and feels nice but it's also free from corrosion and rusting. Again, it comes wrapped in a fine blow molded case for easier storage and transportation.
Priced under $100, this torque wrench, all features considered, probably ranks among the best. This is mainly because it makes it rather easy to dial-in the desired amount of torque, features an all-meta; construction with grip, and its longer wrench length makes it easier to apply torque. Additionally and most importantly, the manufacturer believes so much in the product that it is offered with a one year warranty. This covered material and workmanship.
All things considered, we find the Mountain Drive Torque Wrench is definitely a cut above its rivals. Its precision, usability, followed by the dearer but not just quite yet Craftsman Drive MicroTork Affordable Torque wrench is the best for buyers looking for best value for their buck. Its clear calibrations, manufacturing design, longer wrench, and sturdy construction are among the top-notch features it provides.
And just so you know, this conclusion was arrived at after spending countless hours comparing its features such as construction and size, range and features, price and performance against those of its rivals. We hope this review will serve as a guide for buyers looking to buy the best torque wrench on a budget.