For a low cost torque wrench, this one has an amazing range; allowing you to set torques up to 250 foot-pounds. That’s 100 foot-pounds higher than any of the other torque wrenches on this list; which is why I feel it deserves the top spot. It’s 25 inches long, making it slightly longer than the others; but you need that extra length for the higher torque values. The ratcheting head makes it easy to use it in tight places. It comes in a blow molded case for easier storage and to protect the tool.
Craftsman 62001 1/2” Drive Microtorque Torque Wrench
I’ve given Craftsman high marks on this tool because of their reputation for quality and their warranty. The one thing you want in a tool is dependability. With Craftsman tools, you don’t have to send broken tools to Timbuktu for repairs; you can just take it to your local Sears store for repair or replacement. This torque wrench is also the only one of my selections that comes with a rubberized handle for easier grip; easier to hang on to and easier on your hands. To me, that’s worth a lot. The wrench covers a torque range of 20-150 foot-pounds. in 1 pound increments. Accuracy is rated at 4 percent of load requirement.
K-Tool, sometimes known as Kool Tool provides another option in micrometer torque wrenches. This is a very common wrench to find available at local auto parts stores. Like most micrometer torque wrenches, it clicks when the proper torque is achieved. This torque wrench has a 1/2 inch drive ratcheting head. It can be used over a range of 10-150 foot-pounds.
Sunex brags that this torque wrench is calibrated to plus or minus 3% of torque accuracy, which actually makes it more accurate than the Craftsman. Of all my picks this is the only one which states this in their specifications; all the other manufacturers rate their tools at plus or minus 4%. The ratchet gears are CR-MO steel for long life. This wrench provides a torque range of 10-150 ft. lbs. Comes in a blow molded case.
MIT, sometimes sold under the brand name “Tekton” provides a nice torque wrench kit. I say kit because it is the only torque wrench I have seen that comes with 5” extension and a 1/2-inch to 3/8-inch drive adapter. This saves you a couple of bucks in not having to go out and buy your own to use the torque wrench with 3/8-inch drive sockets. The micrometer torque adjustment is locking, so that you don’t have to worry about it moving when you adjust it. The torque range for this wrench is 20-150 foot-pounds.
CDI Torque is a company that specializes in torque wrenches, torque measurement equipment and torque calibrators. This is one of their top wrenches, although I must confess they have one line thats even more expensive than these. The wrench has a flex ratcheting head which allows you to have the wrench as much as 15 degrees off of true, without affecting the torque value. It is a digital model, with push button controls. The controls remember the last torque used, so that you dont have to reset it. A three LED system as well as an audio alarm lets you know when you are getting close to the right torque, as well as when you have overtorqued. It can be used for a range of torques up to 250 ft/lbs. the tool is 27 inches long.
GearWrench is the same company that really made ratcheting box end wrenches popular. This torque wrench is a dream to work with. The digital readout has three LEDs, like the CDI unit, as well as an audio tone. The gear head is low profile and swivels for hard-to-reach areas. The 60 tooth gear allows a 6 inch ratcheting arc. This tool will set torques from 25 to 250 ft/lbs. It is 26.5 inches long.
Snap-On QCE325A Electrotork 1/2” Drive 25-250 Ft/lb Torque Wrench
Snap-on makes the best mechanics tools available anywhere. I have to include this torque wrench in that. This is a digital torque wrench, which maintains its accuracy for both right-hand and left-hand thread, regardless of handhold position. That can cause problems for a lot of torque wrenches. It can be used over a range of 25 to 250 ft/lbs at increments of .1 ft/lb. the membrane control panel makes it easy to set and LEDs as well as an audio tone let you know when youve reached the set torque. Overall length is 21.5 inches.
This is a split-beam wrench, which makes it extremely easy to work with. The mechanism is not under any load, so there is no reason to reset it to zero after each use. That also makes it possible to adjust it with only fingertip force. It adjusts through a range of 40 to 250 ft/lbs in 5 ft/lb increments. An audio indication lets you know when youve reached the right amount of torque. Like the others weve looked at, this wrench has a flex ratchet head. The overall length is 19 inches.
This is the only 3/8 drive wrench I've included on this list; all the others are 1/2 drive. However, with todays lightweight components, there are times when a lightweight torque wrench is needed. This wrench covers a range of 115 to 530 in/lbs (9.5 to 44 ft/lbs). A dial is used to set the desired torque value. When the proper torque is reached, it is indicated by a click sound. It works for both right-hand and left-hand threaded fasteners. The tool is 15 inches long.