Looking for the best budget torque wrench? You’ve come to the right place. Be it the factors determining your choice or the range of options catered for your specific use – it’s all here. We’ve provided a comprehensive study of the factors that will help you develop an overall understanding of all things concerning a torque wrench. Never again will you have to stand bewildered when buying a best budget torque wrench. We’re here for you!
What is a torque wrench?
Ask any DIY enthusiast and they’ll tell you the importance of having a good torque wrench in your garage. In today’s self-sufficiency based living, it’s an essential tool to have. There are various kinds of torque wrenches which serve specific purposes; the ones used for auto repair work are the most common. The torque wrench as a tool is immensely versatile – from tightening engine cylinder head bolts to ball joint studs (and a whole exhaustive list of bolts) it’s there for everything. So when you’re looking at buying one, consider the following factors before making a trip to the store:
Factors to consider while buying a torque wrench
The torque wrench, like all mechanical tools, is very much reliant upon measurements and specificity. Tasks that require this wrench need accuracy and precision. Torque is a rotational force, the force that is exerted when swinging a bat, pushing a merry-go-round, or closing a door. While turning a fastener (say, a screw connecting two pieces of wood or a lug nut attaching a wheel to a car), torque, or rotational force is used. Torque wrenches are of various builds and can come with various degrees of accuracy. Standard wrenches usually feature a ± 5% accuracy in their foot-pounds (ft-lbs) setting. A certificate of calibration is often provided by renowned brands. So depending on what your use for the wrench is, you can choose which one to buy.
There’s a steadfast rule with mechanical tools – the higher the quality of constituent materials, the more durable the product. Cheap torque wrenches are made of predominantly low-quality plastic material. Hence, though the wrench may work substandard, it won’t last long. Another issue with low-quality wrenches is that they are often vulnerable to factors that affect the calibration of the tool – and that has the potential to cause unwarranted damage. So if you are looking for a torque wrench as a long-lasting tool, invest a bit in the good stuff.
The ratchet wrench consists of two parts – the handle and the socket. The handle is the wrench itself. The ratchet makes the wrench more efficient and easy to use. So look for torque wrenches equipped with a ratchet head. They also have options – but bi-directional (moving in both directions – clockwise and anticlockwise) ratchets are very convenient as they allow users to tighten screws and bolts with right-hand and left-hand threads. The bi-directional feature is available in most click-type and electric torque wrenches. However beam-type wrenches are not equipped with this feature. So look closely and make your choice.
The torque wrench is used as a lever to generate force. The user has to hold the tool in their hand and wield it physically to achieve results. Hence it is of vital importance to make sure that the wrench has a good, firm grip and feels comfortable to use. Grease is always present while using wrenches, so it is important to ensure a decent grip for safety and ease of use.
It is imperative that individuals choose the best budget torque wrench based upon the task they want to use it for. Heavy duty torque wrenches are good for users who use it for professional purposes as opposed to small duty torque wrenches for domestic and occasional use. It is more practical to buy a sturdy metal wrench that is just as accurate but is economical as opposed to a fancy one with a LED readout (although there is nothing wrong with a LED torque wrench).
Top 10 Best Budget Torque Wrenches 2020
1. TEKTON 24335 ½ inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
Meant for cars, trucks, and lawn or garden equipment, the TEKTON 1/2-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench lets you confidently tighten fasteners to precise specifications, ensuring that parts are properly secured without any damage. It is equipped with a high-contrast dual-range scale which is easy to read (in low light as well) and has a decent range of 10-150 ft.lbs.
It comes with reversible ratchet head that drives in both directions and measures torque in a clockwise direction. With a calibration of +/- 4%, you can confidently tighten fasteners on a vehicle or equipment, preventing stressed, broken or poorly secured parts. This model is built for durability and performance with its mechanical all-steel design providing solid uninterrupted use. It is for sure the best budget torque wrench!
2. EPAuto ½ inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This is another impressive budget wrench, that boasts a range of 10-150 ft.lbs. This model comes equipped with a reversible ratchet head that drives in both directions and measures torque in the clockwise direction. Made from durable chrome vanadium steel alloy, it not only provides a great outlook in terms of design but is also tough and long-lasting.
The wrench comes with accuracy pre calibrated to ± 4% and equipped with a dual range scale for easy reading. It is also corrosion-retardant and has a fine satin finish. Slick is what we think!
3. TEKTON 24340 ½ inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
TEKTON is a celebrated name in the world of wrenches and this model is another testament to the company’s success in combining durability and efficiency. At a range of 25-250 ft.lbs, this is one of the broadest in TEKTON’s click typeset. This is a heavy-duty model that is built on foundations of durability and rigorous use. With a chrome vanadium steel body and overall length of 25 inches, it is equipped with 24 teeth and a ½-inch drive.
The 24340 is tailor-made for repair-work on trucks, SUVs and other large equipment. Overall, this model is a durable efficient product that gives you value on every penny spent on it.
4. EPAuto ⅜ – inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This EPAuto model, like many of its other variants, is ideally suited for moderate usage. With a range of 10-80 ft.lbs,(13.6-108.5 N/m) it is efficient in function when called upon to use. A drive of ⅜’’ and a body composed of chrome vanadium steel, this tiny tool can pack a significant punch.
Torquing is made easy with this model as it also lets the users know when the preset torque value is reached by sounding out a click. The wrench is equipped with a dual-range scale that lets users choose their measurements either in foot-pound or newton-meter. Tough and efficient – a wrench worth every cent.
5. Pittsburgh Pro Reversible Click-type Torque Wrench Set
This set of 3 heavy-duty wrenches are sure to entice anyone who plans to purchase torque wrenches on a tight budget. With an impressive click-time accuracy of ± 4%, the best thing about this deal is that the user gets 3 wrenches of different drives that are all duly crafted for performance and functionality. The heavy duty cam and pawl mechanism of these reversible drive type torque wrenches make them the ideal go-to tool for securing precise torque.
This super pack of 3 different torque wrenches has a different range for each tool. The ¾’’’’ drive tool has a range of 50-300 ft.lbs while the range of the ½’’ drive tool is 20-150 ft.lbs. The ⅜’’ drive is equipped with a torque range of 5-80 ft.lbs. With a set as versatile as that, there’s nothing you cannot do!
6. TEKTON 24430 ⅜-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
This TEKTON variant, like its earlier predecessors, enjoys a tremendous pedigree for performance and efficiency at a very reasonable price. Built for tough use and durability, the mechanical design of the TEKTON 24430 is all steel and guarantees years of dependable service. It comes with a markable ± 4% accuracy rating. The high contrast and dual-range scale are comfortable to read, even in poor lighting conditions.
This model is equipped with a reversible ratchet head that drives in both directions and measures torque in a clockwise direction. Like its other rivals, the TEKTON 24430 is also fitted with a “click-mechanism” which lets the users know when the preset value is reached.
7. Venzo Bicycle Bike Torque Wrench Allen Key Tool Socket Set Kit
The Venzo wrench has been ideally crafted to fix bolts and screws on bicycles. This budget tool is a must have as it comes with an Allen key set that has torques of 3mm to 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, T25 and T30 with a 5mm longer one for ease of use. A hand protective case is also provided where you can keep your additional torques.
For bicycle enthusiasts, this tool is a must-have as it allows them to install parts or bolts to their bicycle without having the need to deform it. Equipped with a range of 2-24 newton-meter and a drive of ¼’’, this tool is easy to use, sturdy and most importantly, very pocket-friendly. This is one of the best everyday wrenches we’ve seen so far. And we’ve seen a lot.
8. Capri Tools 31002 10 to 150-Foot Pound Torque Wrench, ½ inch Drive
This Capri Tools model is another fine choice for potential seekers of torque wrenches as its sleek design and smooth usage ensures quality and performance. This tool is made of chrome vanadium steel that allows it to be used for heavy-duty professional purposes adorned with a stylish matte finish. It also comes equipped with pulse-stop technology which allows users to feel and hear exactly when the desired torque setting is reached.
It boasts of an impressive range of 10-150 ft.lbs and a ½’’ drive that is fine-tuned for efficiency. The Capri Tools 31002 has a standard but impressive accuracy threshold of ± 4% and it also provides a certificate of calibration to that regard. When we talk about value for money, not many wrenches can claim to beat this one. Talk about packing a punch!
9. Precision Instruments PREC3FR2505 Silver ½’’
This particular split-beam torque wrench is unique, as it has a nickel/chrome finish and an ergonomic grip that is designed to specifically address the issue of adequate grip-capacity and ease of usage. The model is fitted with an adjustment knob that eliminates spring tension and makes setting torque on adjustable wrenches fast and easy.
With a drive of ½’’, this is an easy to use, handy and efficient product. Setting the tool requires only fingertip force since the adjustment mechanism is not under load. It is also important to remember that Split-Beam Click Wrenches overcome many of the problems associated with micrometer-style clock wrenches in abusive environments. Considering all these factors, this is one of the best budget wrenches available in the market – hands down.
10. ACDelco ARM601-4 ½’’ Digital Torque Wrench
This particular model of ACDelco is a high-end, high-functioning torque wrench that is duly constructed for sturdy performance and extended durability operating in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. It comes with a healthy 4-99 ft.lbs range and a flashing buzzer alarm when the torque setting is reached. The LCD display makes reading easy with multiple measurements (kg-cm, N-m, in-lb. ft-lb).
The ACDelco ARM601-4 is also equipped with a quick release ratchet and a soft anti-slip grip for comfort. Additionally, this torque wrench runs on a 3 AA battery making it one of the most lightweight wrenches out there. Backed with a 1-year warranty, it’s a prudent purchase for anyone looking for an A-class torque wrench.