The Complete Guide to Buying Torque Wrenches

Torque Wrenches 1637057167
ballpoint, blue, close-up @ Pixabay

The torque wrench is one of the most common tools in the automotive industry, allowing users to have control over the over the force – the torque – that they apply when loosening or tightening belts. 

Torque wrenches can be used in a number of different automotive and industrial applications and come in different sizes.  

Small size torque models can range from 30-200 inches and pounds and can be used for everyday purposes with low torque applications and is commonly used for the purpose of transmission servicing. 

Medium size torque models come in a low range from 20 or 30 inches-pounds with around 250 feet-pounds of torque high range. This type of torque wrench is suitable for use when reconditioning applications and rebuilding engines.

Large capacity torque models have a range of up to as much as 1000 feet-pounds and can also be used for heavy industrial and automotive use such as heavy plant, machinery and truck maintenance.

There are a number of different types of torque wrenches for different applications. 

Deflecting Beam 

This torque wrench works by applying torque to a deflecting beam instead of a coil spring, ensuring extreme accuracy while also extending the life of the torque wrench. A dual audio and visual signal allows the operator to know when they have reached the desired torque and the simple design guarantees great results every time. 


The most versatile and commonly used torque wrench, this wrench will be found in every mechanical workshop and is able to be adjusted just with a twist of the handle until it gets to the right torque setting. The ratchet function for right or left-hand operations is one of the big advantages of this torque wrench. 

Dial Type 

The very accurate Dial Type is the only torque wrench where the wrench’s hand-held position cannot easily affect the final reading. Wider than other types, the dial scale of this wrench always needs to be in sight in order to determine the applied torque. Used in defence and aerospace as well as automotive industries, this type is also more expensive than others.

Electronic Readout 

These wrenches come with a readout screen that allows the torque limit to be programmed by the user, with some also featuring an internal computer chip that enables the saving of torque measurements. These wrenches are now much more affordable than was once the case. 


These wrenches are used to yield applications that are predominantly specified for cylinder head bolts but can also be used for suspension components and main bearing caps. Correct sequence tightening is required to remove distortion and this wrench works in a similar manner to standard electronic torque wrenches with the additional feature of applied angle rotation for nuts or bolts. 

Detachable Head 

A relatively new product, this wrench usually comes with a standard ratchet head and many open-end adaptors. Detachable heads mean the wrench can be used as an open-end torque wrench or standard Screen Wrench and the wrench is very cost-effective with open-end heads of different sizes usually coming with the kit. 

It is wise to invest in a high quality torque wrench to ensure you are using a durable and accurate tool.


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