Choosing the best torque wrenches can be a difficult undertaking, particularly if you do not know what factors and features to look for. The best wrenches accurately guarantee loosening or tightening of nuts, screws, bolts and other fasteners. The choice of a torque wrench varies from person to person depending on the intended function. However, being a precision tool, a few factors will determine the functional accuracy and durability.
Factors and Features to Look For When Choosing the Best Top Wrenches
This is the widest factor of consideration when shopping for any other mechanical tool. Despite the fact that all brands have the same operating system, some brands may not be as durable and accurate as others. Reputable brands include CDI, Snap On, Tekton, Craftsman, Neiko, GearWrench and Parktool among other recognized brands.
Four different sizes of the square head range are available. They correspond to different torque range and are used for different functions. The 1/4 inch drive is suitable for small nuts and bolts like on bicycles, motorcycles, and garden equipment. They produce between 4 to 21 foot-pounds of torque. The 3/8″ drive is suitable for a majority of automobiles. Passenger vehicles, light trucks and cars which require automotive work of between 15 to 75 foot-pounds are torqued with this wrench size. It is by far the most versatile size and covers a wide range of functions. 1/2 inch drive covers larger nuts and bolts like in engine mounts and suspensions while the 3/4 inch drive is essential for special applications such as in large cargo aircraft and tractor trailers.
There are at least four major types of torque wrenches to choose from. The Beam type torque wrench is the oldest while the Electronic/Digital is the newest in the market. The digital type has a great memory and a loud notification when the correct torque is applied. It is the most preferred torque wrench type for general automotive work. Lastly, an interchangeable head torque wrench is also widely used in many places around the world.
4. Accuracy and Calibration
Wrenches have varying accuracy. It is important to choose a wrench with an accuracy of minus or plus 5%. When shopping for a torque wrench, check the calibration for the date and accuracy according to the manufacturer’s settings. A well calibrated torque wrench has a clear scale visibility.
To maintain the longevity and the accuracy of precision tools, they require safe storage cases. Most torque wrenches come with storage cases. However, buy your torque wrench a storage case if it does not come with one to protect calibrations.
Most digital and click type torque wrenches have this feature. They are bidirectional hence efficient in both clockwise and anticlockwise fastening. They are ideal for fasteners that have both left-hand and right-hand threads.
7. Materials Used and Durability
Materials used determine the durability of your top wrench. Buy wrenches that are almost entirely made of strong Metallic materials and not plastic.
The last factor when choosing the best torque wrenches is the grip. Wrench grips should be wide enough and comfortable for your hands. Also, they should not be prone to slips.