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A quality inch pound torque wrench will allow you to apply the right amount of torque to open or close nuts and bolts.
But how do you pick out the best one with so many different options available from quality brands?
Picking out the wrong one will leave you frustrated and out money – especially if you have to buy a second one.
Our short guide gives you several suggestions for the best inch pound torque wrenches available for any budget restrictions you may have.
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench with Reviews
Here's a list of the best Inch Pound Torque Wrenches we found on the market:
1. CDI 1502MRMH Inch-Pound Torque Wrench
- Audible click
- Lightweight and rugged
- Protective case included
- Torque lever slips
- Calibration goes out quickly
- Awkward in tight spaces
The CDI 1502MRMH is a nice pick if you’re looking for rugged, industrial strength torque wrench that’s more high quality. It has a 3/8 inch drive size that makes it a good tool for light trucks and automobile work. It’s extremely versatile, and it offers 20 to 150 inch pounds of torque.
Although Snap-On is the parent brand of this company, it doesn’t have the same durable head type that true Snap-On products have, and it’s more expensive. However, the certificate of calibration ensures it’s ready to go out of the box, and it has a limited lifetime warranty.
If you’re a mechanic or tradesman, consider buying the CDI 1502MRMH and adding it to your collection. The drive click shaft lets you pre-set the torque range you’d like to tighten the fasteners too, and it’ll give an audible click once it reaches it. It has a reputable brand backing it, and there are several positive reviews. The non-slip grip and metal design can help you tackle a range of projects.
2. Capri Tools 31200 Inch Pound Torque Wrench
- Easy adjustments
- High precision
- Has a good mix of accuracy and range
- Slightly more expensive
- Torque setting etching is small
- Tool collar is flimsy
The Capri Tools 31200 torque wrench is a great value for your money if you want a model that is very easy to adjust with a positive locking ring. It comes with a lot of excellent features that makes it a smart buy. The torque scale is engraved in the handle, and this means it won’t chip or flake off.
There were concerns about having to pre-set the torque on this wrench before setting it to the desired rate to prevent it from overshooting the mark. The click also isn’t extremely audible, and this make pose a problem in louder working conditions.
If you like working on your own vehicles, you’ll want to consider buying the Capri Tools 31200. Not only does it come from a reputable brand, but it features an excellent value in terms of pricing. The all-metal design ensures that it’ll last through your small and large projects while being versatile enough to reduce your frustration levels and help you keep your projects on track.
3. EPAuto ST-013-1 1/4-Inch Torque Wrench
- Chrome vanadium steel alloy
- Satin finish resists corrosion
- Hard storage case included
- Doesn't feel durable
- Need to re-calibrate often
- Clicking noise is quiet
The EPAuto ST-013-1 is a good pick if you need a durable torque wrench without breaking the bank. The chrome vanadium steel alloy lends a durability to this wrench that allows it to take on large and small-scale projects. It has several nice features for the price point.
There is a drive click that tells you when you reach your set torque range, but it is very quiet and subtle. So, if you work in a loud shop, you could miss the click and shear off the bolt. It has a slightly larger scale that is easy to read in different light conditions.
If you’re a DIYer who likes to work on small projects around the house, consider adding the EPAuto ST-013-1 to your toolkit to have it on hand. It comes from a reputable brand, and the 1/4 inch drive size is adequate for working on bikes and lighter vehicles like boats. The satin finish and hard storage case will help protect the wrench between uses to save you money.
4. TEKTON 24320 Torque Wrench
- Ships pre-calibrated to +/- 4% accuracy
- Emits an audible click
- Durable design
- Only measures torque clockwise
- Printed scale is light
- Torque range slips
The TEKTON 24320 is a solid choice if you want a torque wrench with a very wide range as this on goes from 20 to 200 inch pounds. It’s slightly more affordable despite the fact that it has an all-steel construction that helps it withstand accidental drops.
The drive click is very quiet, and the torque range can slip when you use due to the handle material. Knowing this, you really have to work slow and exercise caution when you use it to avoid over-tightening your fasteners and damaging the parts you’re working on.
Any car enthusiast should seriously consider buying the TEKTON 24320. The reversible ratchet head allows you to use it both clockwise and counterclockwise for a higher flexibility level. Additionally, it comes backed by a quality brand, and it ships out calibrated with a high accuracy level. The wrench comes with a storage box to make securing it easy between uses, and it can help ensure you have all of the tools you need when you need them.
5. Neiko Pro 03706B 1/4" Drive
- Heat treated chrome vanadium steel construction
- Resistant to shocks
- Dual measurement scale
- Scale is light
- Torque may be inconsistent with the setting
- No calibration plot included
The Neiko Pro 03706B is a mid-range torque wrench that’s a great pick if you need something slightly more powerful that has a durable design. The chrome vanadium steel construction lends shock resistance that can help protect the wrench from accidental drops. It has several other excellent features as well.
The scale is only lightly stamped into the metal of the handle, and this can make it difficult to read or see in certain light conditions. However, the lock and unlock adjustment makes sure your torque wrench stays at your desired setting. You’ll hear a click when you reach it.
Any tradesman who specializes in working on light vehicles or bikes can benefit from adding the Neiko Pro 03706B to their collection of tools. The broad 40 to 250 inch pound range is very impressive, and it’ll work in dozens of different settings. The hard case will protect the wrench between uses, and ability to drive the wrench in both directions will keep your project moving smoothly from start to finish.
Inch pound torque wrenches can be an expensive investment, so it makes sense that you want to know exactly what to look for when you shop. There are a few things that stick out when it comes to this type of torque wrench, and you can read more below.
Arguably one of the biggest buying factors with inch-pound torque wrenches is the accuracy rating. Did you know that the majority of torque wrenches have the highest accuracy rating between 30 and 80% of their total scale?
Think about what torques you’re going to use your wrench to tighten to. This will give you the highest accuracy rating if you find the torque wrench that offers an inch pound scale that falls between 30 and 80% of the total scale.
Additionally, see if your torque wrench will measure the torque clockwise and counterclockwise. A lot of models will allow you to drive in both directions, but they only measure the torque in one.
If the wrench measures torque both clockwise and counterclockwise, your readings will be less accurate when you torque clockwise. Ideally, you’ll get a model that is equally accurate in both directions.
The build of your torque wrench is another important feature. Durability will be one of the biggest indicators of build quality. All-steel or metal designs are going to be more durable than torque wrenches with plastic elements.
The build quality also extends to the printed or engraved scale. Printed scales will eventually wear away and be difficult to see while engraved scales can stay for the life of the tool.
Pre-calibration is another aspect of the build quality of your torque wrench. Since it’s not standard on all torque wrenches, see if your particular model comes pre-calibrated to a high accuracy rating. The ones that come ready to use generally stay calibrated for a long time. If it doesn’t come calibrated, you’ll have to manually calibrate it. This can be very time-consuming if you’re never had to do it before.
Wrapping it up
The CDI 1502MRMH was our pick for the best inch pound torque wrench out of the lot. The 3/8 drive size made it flexible enough to work on an array of projects, and it had a large torque range of 20 to 150 inch pounds. The all-metal design made it a durable option that resists wear and tear, and the drive click system was very audible to remove any guesswork. All of these features came wrapped in an affordable price, and we could see it lasting for years.
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