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A reliable torque wrench will help you fasten or loosen nuts and bolts to keep your project on track without breaking down on you.
But with so many cheap options available, how do you know which one will work best for you without blowing your budget?
Buying the wrong one can be a costly mistake, and it can mean you have to purchase a second torque wrench.
Our guide highlights the five best torque wrenches under $100 available on the current market today that are cost-effective enough to fit into any budget.
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Budget Torque Wrench Under $100
Here's a list of the best budget torque wrenches we found for under $100:
1. GearWrench 85060 Torque Wrench – Top Pick
- Scales stamped into the housing
- Factory calibrated for high accuracy
- Easy to adjust
- Torque setting lock can move
- Handle is plastic
- Scale can wear away
The GearWrench 85060 is an excellent cost-effective torque wrench. This drive clicker-style tool ensures you take the guesswork out tightening or loosening any smaller nuts and bolts because you put in the desired torque rate. Once it’s in, tighten it until you hear the wrench click. This click signifies you reached the desired range.
Many people did mention that there is a lot of play in the handle when you really tighten down on it. If the handle slips mid-use, it can throw your torque range off. To correct it, you have to reset it to your last setting and start over. However, it’s comfortable enough for extended use.
If you’re a DIYer or your friends and family’s go-to mechanic, the GearWrench 85060 is a torque wrench that you’ll seriously want to consider buying to have on hand. Not only does it come from a reputable brand with happy reviewers, but it has a higher accuracy rating at +/- 4% to ensure you can tackle all of your projects with ease.
2. Capri Tools 31007 Torque Wrench – Best for the money
- Offers a broad 20 to 246 inch pound torque rating with one pound increments.
- Available in 1/2, 1/4, or 3/8 drive size for maximum flexibility.
- Pulse stop technology will alert you when you reach the desired torque level.
- Click-style design offers precision accuracy with an etched scale in the handle.
- Chrome Vanadium construction is very durable and resistant to rust or corrosion.
- High contrast scale is visible in low lighting
- Pulse-stop technology ensures a high accuracy level
- Made with automatic CNC machinery
- Click is very quiet
- Have to calibrate often to keep it accurate
- No dual scale
The Capri Tools 31007 is an excellent value for your money for anyone who needs a durable and simple torque wrench. It has three different drive sizes that allow you to work on large, medium, and small fasteners. You pre-program the torque you want, and you’ll hear an audible click when it reaches your settings to prevent you from over or under tightening anything.
The handle is very comfortable and ergonomic, it is less durable than the rest of the wrench. It can crack or peel, and the measurements can wear off after a few years. This makes it hard to use it.
Any DIYer who likes working on cars could really benefit from adding the Capri Tools 31007 to their collection to have it ready to go when they need it. It’s a reputable brand with a straightforward design that’s easy to use. If you plan to work on small projects for family or friends, the automatic CNC machinery build ensures it’ll last and help move your projects along.
3. Neiko 03727A Beam Style Torque Wrench - Cheapest Pick
- Has both metric and standard readings to remove the need for conversion charts.
- Ambidextrous design allows it to move clockwise and counterclockwise.
- 1/4 inch drive size is great for smaller bolts and nuts like on bicycles or boats.
- Offers 0 to 80 inch pounds of torque with one pound increments.
- Ball handle makes it easy to turn without fatigue.
- Large scale is easy to see
- Ensures accuracy within +/- 4%
- Dual measurement systems
- Odd shape
- Not as durable as other options
- Have to watch the gauge closely
The Neiko 03727A is a beam-style torque wrench that has a 1/4 inch drive size that makes it suitable for small nuts and bolts. It has a torque range of 0 to 80 inch pounds, and this makes it a great buy for those on a strict budget.
The torque wrench does have a slightly awkward design that makes it very challenging to work in tight spaces. Additionally, the beam-style of this wrench is less durable than more traditional torque wrenches, but you can easily use it in both your left and right hand without a problem.
Any DIYer can benefit from having the simple and straightforward Neiko 03727A at their disposal. The standard and metric readings ensure you don’t have to worry about converting your torque range to keep it accurate. Additionally, the large scale makes it easy to read in lower light conditions like you’d find indoors. Backed by a reputable brand, this torque wrench can help you keep your projects moving while reducing your frustration levels.
4. TEKTON 24335 Torque Wrench
- Has a 10 to 150 foot pound torque range.
- All steel construction ensures it won't break or wear out quickly.
- Ratchet head reverses to drive in both directions while measuring the torque counterclockwise.
- Drive click alerts you that you reached your desired torque range.
- Has a 1/2 inch drive size for medium to large fasteners.
- Scale is etched into the handle
- Loud click
- Ships pre-calibrated and ready to use
- Ratchet mechanism has low teeth
- Torque only clicks when you loosen bolts
- Challenging to set an exact torque range
The TEKTON 24335 is a solid torque wrench if you want something that is durable, lightweight, and built to last. It has several nice features like a loud drive click system that alerts you when you reach your desired torque range to remove any guesswork. The dual range scale has very high contrast to make it easy to see.
However, this torque wrench does have a lower amount of teeth in the ratchet mechanism that can make it difficult to get a firm grip on your nut or bolt. The torque range also has play, and this can make it difficult to get precise readings.
If you’re passionate about working on vehicles, you want to consider buying the TEKTON 24335. It comes from a well-known brand, and it has a reversible ratchet head that will drive in both directions for added convenience. It you have a larger project on the horizon, the 1/2 inch drive size will help you quickly and easily remove larger nuts and bolts.
5. TACKLIFE HTW2A Torque Wrench
- Comes with a 2.75 inch extension bar and a 3/8 inch adapter.
- 1/2 inch drive size suits working bigger nuts and bolts that require more torque.
- Drive click system is powerful enough to feel when you reach the desired torque range.
- Head allows for clockwise and counterclockwise use in tight spaces.
- Storage box is durable and will protect the wrench from corrosion.
- Available in 1/2 or 1/4 drive sizes
- Dual range scale
- All steel construction adds durability
- Adapter is flimsy
- Have to work slowly
- Click is quiet
The TACKLIFE HTW2A is a high-quality torque wrench that’s a solid pick if you want a durable option that falls into the mid-range for price. It comes packed with great features that make an excellent buy. The all steel construction makes it lightweight and compact without sacrificing durability.
The laser engraving the manufacturer used for the dual scale is very light and difficult to see in certain lighting conditions. However, it’s deep enough to withstand a lot of use without flaking or fading. You’ll hear and feel the click when you reach your pre-set torque range to prevent you from over-tightening it.
Any part-time mechanic could benefit from adding the TACKLIFE HTW2A to their toolkit. The 1/2 and 1/4 inch drive sizes make possible to use it on medium and large nuts and bolts without fear of shearing them off. If you have a large project on the horizon or you do a lot of car maintenance, the accessories and reversible design make it easy to get into all of those tight spaces.
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Just because you’re going to buy a more cost-effective torque wrench doesn’t mean you have to trade quality. They help you achieve the recommended torque levels on your threaded nuts and bolts without a lot of effort on your part. What’s more, there are reputable brands that offer torque wrenches for under $100.
Sizing Your Torque Wrench
The first thing you have to do is decide which size torque wrench you want to buy. You’ll choose from four basic ranges that includes:
- 1/4 drive
- 3/8 drive
- 1/2 drive
- 3/4 drive
This is the drive size, and each size specializes in working with nuts and bolts of different sizes from smallest to largest respectively.
Cheaper torque wrenches tend to have a lot of plastic components to cut costs, but this also makes them more prone to breaking. Instead, make sure that your chosen torque wrench has very little or no plastic components. Pure steel designs are very popular, and they last.
Torque Wrench Weight
Torque wrenches come in several sizes and weights. Are you looking for a torque wrench to get you into tight spaces? If so, you’ll need something more compact that doesn’t sacrifice power.
If you plan to use your wrench for general use scenarios, you can get away with buying one that has more bulk to it. Consider the weight as well because heavier torque wrenches are going to be more taxing to use, and they’ll cost more.
Each torque wrench will come with a specific torque range attached to it. It could be ranked as foot-pounds or inch-pounds. This will tell you how much torque the wrench will use to move one pound of matter around an axis.
The lower this range is, the smaller and less powerful the wrench will be. The higher the range, the bigger the wrench.
Keeping your torque wrench calibrated and in good shape can be a challenge, especially if it doesn’t come with a case. A case can shield it from damage due to accidental drops. It’s a good idea to pick one with a hard-sided storage case included in the purchase.
Wrapping it up
We believe that the 1/2 inch drive size is a good all-around range for a torque wrench to have, and any wrench that has a drive clicker system on it helps ensure very accurate readings. Your wrench should come with an ergonomic handle for user-comfort, but it should have more metal than plastic. Finally, it should come from a well-known company with a great reputation.
For these reasons, we picked the GearWrench 85060 as our pick for the best torque wrench under $100. It has a high accuracy rating with a measurement scale stamped right into the shaft for maximum convenience and usability.
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