What is the best torque wrench for cars

What is the best torque wrench

If you are one of those who enjoys car mechanic jobs, the torque wrench it is an indispensable tool to achieve certain precision. If you take a look at the workshop manual for your car, you will see that each screw has a specific tightening torque that must be respected.

For this reason, here we bring you a list of ordered torque wrenches according to the use for which they are intended. So you can rest easy when you change a part or do maintenance on your vehicle.

Comparison and guide to the best torque wrenches

Jomafa torque wrench

Let's start with a key that allows you to adjust very low tightening torques. This Jomafa model is a good option for mechanical work for several reasons: the first is that with its range of between 2Nm and 24Nm, serves many pieces of motorcycles, Car y other vehicles. including the Bike. The second is that, your calibration is certified.

Su coupling bolt is ¼, which is well suited for low-torque jobs and is very common in toolboxes. However, if you need a larger one to be compatible with yours, you can get Adapters for very little money. For example: those of Newer or those of CCLife they are fine. You may lose a bit of accuracy, but at negligible levels.

Adapters for use on a torque wrench

TackLife Torque Wrench

With this model we already passed a top Nm range, with which you will end up covering practically all the tightening torques specified for your vehicle. The exception may be the wheel bolts of some cars or motorcycles because depending on the model they may be above.

Despite this, if you add up their torque range (13,6Nm – 108,5Nm) to the previous model, the most normal thing is that you do not need anything else for your mechanical work. It is cheaper to proceed like this, than trying to get a key that covers everything by itself.

As you can see, in this case the Nm do have decimals because they have chosen to calibrate it by leaving the inch pounds in round numbers. However, it is worth it because its price quality it is almost insurmountable. If the decimals bother you, go to the next model. Although you should keep in mind that it matters less when the torque that is applied is already high.

Su coupling bolt is 3/8, but if you have already done with the Adapters that we have mentioned before, you can use it with the ¼ and ½ measures. Other examples can also be added to them, such as those of akozone or those of walfront.

Famex 10869 torque wrench

This key is a alternative to the previous one, with very similar qualities. Its torque range is from 20 Nm to 110 Nm. In other words, it also pairs well with the low-end SOS Tools S1001. As we have anticipated, this model has integer values ​​for measurement in Nm. What is a plus of comfort and accuracy if you work with that unit.

In addition, the main difference with the previous one is that it is slightly more precise with an error range of ± 3%, instead of ± 4%. As a counterpart to both advantages, it is somewhat more expensive. Only you can weigh whether it is worth the extra investment according to your preferences.

How to choose the best torque wrench

Silverline Torque Wrench 633567

Now we are going to change the third because this model is designed to be used in other tasks that require more strength. Hence their range of pairs tighten depart from 28 Nm to 210 Nm. With a minimum of 28, only some screw-tightening jobs can be done, where some force is required. But in reality this key is designed for high tightening torques, such as those of a wheel.

A compact car usually needs about 100 Nm for its wheel bolts. If we go to sedans, that value tends to increase, and it is an SUV or a large car, the torque required will be even higher. The characteristics that affect the most are the diameter of the wheels, the weight of the vehicle and its performance. The material of the rims also influences. With 210 Nm few cars will be too much for you.

Naturally, use a ½ coupling bolt, but includes a ½ to ⅜ adapter, in case your tools need it.

Luluspace torque adapter

Finally, we are going to talk about a digital torque adapter, which is also a good option to assess. The main difference is that you must have a ratchet, in addition to the socket wrenches or similar that you need for the screws. The adapter will only come between one and the other.

In the link you will see that the adapter that appears is indicated to measure between 10Nm and 200Nm, but you can choose Other versions depending on what you need: 1.5 Nm to 30 Nm, 6.8 Nm to 135 Nm, 17 Nm to 340 Nm and 60 Nm to 600 Nm. The latter are perhaps too much for the typical mechanical work of a conventional car.

Car torque wrench: what to consider?

If you are going to buy a torque wrench to do work on your car, you should mainly take into account three factors:

torque range

Is maximum and minimum torque that can be measured the torque wrench. It will be useless to buy a wrench that measures between 40 Nm and 200 Nm, if you are going to use them for tasks that require less tightening. For example, put the crankcase screw with just enough force so as not to damage the thread. This operation is usually below this range, about 25 Nm or 30 Nm depending on the model.

The same happens if you want to tighten a wheel but you have a torque wrench that does not reach the necessary torque. For example, one whose range is between 5 Nm and 25 Nm, when what we are looking for is a torque of 120 Nm, for example.

Coupling Bolt Size

This measurement is often in line with the torque range, but it is not a universal standard. You will find that most torque wrenches for sale they are just the ratchet. This way you can attach the key you need according to the screw or nut in question.

Coupling bolt of a torque wrench

Our common measurements are ½, ⅜ and ¼. That is, one-half inch, three-eighths of an inch, and one-fourth of an inch. See what measurements your toolbox uses, to choose the correct key. The most common in automotive tools are ½ and ¼.

Use of adapters? You can also buy a torque wrench of a different size than your tools and a adapter. What's more, there are models that already come with their own adapters. However, you should be aware that the accuracy of the key may be affected. The shorter the adapter, the less the value indicated on the key will change.

Precision

Of course, the more precision the better. Keep in mind, however, that for most auto mechanic jobs, It is not necessary to go to extremes either.. The torque wrenches that we have analyzed in this article have a ±4% error range or even less. With that you have more than enough accuracy for any typical operation on a car, motorcycle, etc. If the key you buy has the international DIN-ISO-6789 certification, all the better.

What is a torque wrench?

It is a key that indicates the pair that is being exercised with it. A function that is not only useful, but necessary, if you want to do mechanical work with precision. Most car bolts should be tightened to the torque indicated by the manufacturer. If it is turned with more force than necessary, it can damage parts that would stop fulfilling their function properly.

Some examples of them are the aforementioned crankcase screw, oil filter or heaters. The tightening torque is indicated in the manufacturer's workshop manual, although information on each model circulates in various specialized forums.

Torque wrench for use with car toolbox

How do torque wrenches work?

Depending on the type of key we are talking about, it will work in one way or another. If it's a mechanical jump key simply will “jump” when we get to par that we have selected. That is, it will stop exerting resistance to our hand. If, on the contrary, it is a digital torque wrench, will make a sound or vibration when we get to that point.

Also exist clock torque wrenches, which mark the torque that we are exerting by means of a needle. Although they are less frequent in the current offer, especially in car mechanic jobs.

How to use a torque wrench?

Torque adapter for torque wrench

Select the pair

Choose the necessary torque for the screw in question. On mechanical jump keys, it's done by turning a thread until the pointer is where you need it to be. You will see that, in the thread there is also a kind of ruler, which will allow you to refine more. For example, if you need 21 Nm, set the knob to 20 and then turn the thread a little more until it reads 1.

Slow movements

torque wrenches should be turned slowly and steadily. This is how they work with their maximum accuracy. Also, the less torque has been selected, the slower it should turn.

Stop as soon as the indicator jumps

In jump keys it will sound a clack when it reaches the correct pair, in the digital ones it will emit a beep or vibration. when that time comes you should stop squeezing immediately. Pay close attention to mechanical jump keys when using them with low torque, because the clack will sound less.

Don't use it the other way around

If you use such a wrench to loosen instead of tighten, the most normal thing is that it ends up decalibrating. This means that it will no longer provide a correct torque measurement and will no longer be useful.

The torque wrench provides the necessary precision for mechanics

no blows

Do not use the torque wrench to give the typical taps that help in mechanical tasks. That too would cause it to lose the necessary precision to perform your task. For the same reason, it should also not be hit by falling or being thrown roughly on the table.

Do not use it with stuck screws

Being a precision tool, not good for brute force tasks. Instead, use a regular wrench and some WD-40 or 3-in-One style looseners. Also don't climb on top of it for extra tightening.

Do not clean it with products

Torque wrenches can only wipe with a rag without any added liquid. They should also not be immersed in any cleaning product, water or oil. So keep it away from any of these substances, which are usually found in any workshop.

Do not retighten

Once you've used it to tighten a bolt to the proper torque, do not retighten it by hand or with any other tool. It seems obvious, but you would not be the first to think that it lacks a few tenths of Nm and tries to get them by eye. It is not a good idea because, the most normal thing is that you end up further from the perfect tightening.

Do not add lever

Trying to boost the lever of the torque wrench using other tools is not recommended. At least if it is not a compatible accessory, which will normally be included.

save them correctly

When you have finished using the torque wrench, store it in its case without hitting it. But above all, don't forget select the lowest pair who has the key.

Where to store your torque wrench well

Not using them for a long time...

The internal parts of these keys have lubrication and when they are stored for a long time they lose it. For the lubricant to redistribute, you must use them with little pair several times before using them at full capacity.

It is also not superfluous to carry out this operation when you buy one. It may have been calibrated a long time ago and it has been in its box for months or years.

Opinions and final conclusions: which one to stay with?

As we have told you, there are professional torque wrenches with great precision and a very wide range of torque measurements. However, its price can be 10 to 15 times higher than the most mundane keys.

If you are going to do car mechanics sporadically, it is better to get two different keys, to cover a wide enough range of Nm. We opt for the SOS Tools S1001 wrench plus the TackLife. Even so, your investment will be much less than if you buy a professional key. In addition, unless you do work that requires a lot of precision, the percentage of error of the keys that we have mentioned is sufficient.