Torque wrenches – handy tension tools that you can use to tighten fasteners to a predetermined torque.
Usually, the drive on them fits any socket as well as an accessory of the same drive size found in regular socket sets.
Even though manufacturers don’t insist on specific torque settings for every nut as well as a bolt, when they do, it is wise to abide by their specifications.
For example, most manufacturers specify a torque setting for head bolts, which ensures the bolt offers the ideal clamping pressure and will not come loose.
The desired torque setting can easily be achieved with a high-quality digital torque wrench as opposed to traditional torque wrenches.
- Top 5 Digital Torque Wrenches
- How to choose a digital torque wrench
- Final Words
Top 5 Digital Torque Wrenches
#1 Summit Tools Digital Torque Wrench
This high-performance digital torque wrench by Summit Tools leverages a combination of durable plastic and high strength steel that can tackle tough conditions without breaking.
Unlike the conventional products you know, this model has been quality tested to ensure that it can survive high humidity for long-term use.
It is equipped with an easy to decipher LCD display that is capable of displaying readings in one of four different units, including ft-lb., in-lb., N-m, and kg-cm.
The accuracy of these units is ensured because the wrench provides values with +/-3 percent clockwise as well as +/-4 percent counterclockwise rotations.
In addition to the advanced LCD display, this model comes with a buzzer alarm that does an exceptional job of providing audible feedback when you hit the targeted torque.
It has a remarkably soft touch accompanied by a comfortable grip that allows for continuous hand placement with no slippage.
- Ensured accuracy allows you to obtained trusted readings
- Durable materials excel in tough conditions without breaking
- Easy handling thanks to the comfortable, strong, non-slip grip
- Unique buzzer that lets you know when targeted torque is achieved
- Comes with three socket sets (3/4, 13/16, 11/16 inch)
- Two AA batteries not included
#2 GearWrench 85077 Digital Torque Wrench
Introducing the new GearWrench 1/2-inch drive 85077. Even though it comes second in our list, this model features top-of-the-line innovations as far as torque measurements are concerned.
This electronic torque wrench makes extremely accurate tightening super easy. It has flashing visual and honking audible noise that let you know before you hit the target torque.
Therefore, there is less chance of over-torquing fasteners. In fact, the vibrating handles confirm that you have reached the torque setting.
Unlike conventional micrometer and beam style torque wrenches, this GearWrench model is more accurate at +/-2 percent in clockwise and +/-3 percent in counterclockwise rotations.
This tool is more versatile; it switches from foot-pounds to Newton-meters to inch-pounds and more at the touch of a button.
There is no unwinding after each use since it is an electronic and not a mechanical tool. There is no need for resetting the spring back to the rest position.
This good quality digital torque wrench is more resistant to low-level shock. But you should avoid exposing it to significant impacts since this can destroy the calibration.
- Flashing LED and beeping noise help avoid over-torquing
- More accurate in both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations
- Highly versatile since it allows you to switch units with a touch of a button
- No unwinding after use, just switch it off
- More resistant to low-level shock enhances durability
- Large LCD display that is very easy to read
- Easy to navigate controls that allow for easy operation
- Two AA batteries not included in the package
- Tends to deplete the batteries faster than usual
#3 Topeak D-Torq Torque Wrench
The Topeak D-Torq Torque Wrench guarantees proper installation of today’s lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber components.
To prevent over tightening, the wrench includes a programmable audible warning for your target torque setting as well as over-torque.
The visible display makes the wrench simple to program in Newton-meters, inch-pounds, foot-pounds, or kilogram-centimeters.
The D-Torq features a standard 3/8-inch square drive as well as a torque range of four to eighty Newton-meters. This makes it suitable for bolts requiring a higher torque specification.
The complete kit contains a selection of sockets along with hardened steel tool bits. So, you will have everything you need to tighten your components when you buy this model.
This is the most compact digital torque wrench on the market. Its lower torque range of one to twenty Newton-meters is perfect for securing bolts on the most delicate parts of your bicycle.
- Digital LCD display is programmable in four different units
- Audible warning sound prevents over-tightening and over-torquing
- A wide torque range is ideal for higher torque specification
- Lower torque range is perfect for delicate high-performance parts
- Easy operation thanks to the easy to navigate controls
- Contoured soft handle offers a strong, comfortable grip
- A steep price range
- May come with a missing piece
#4 ACDelco ARM601-4 Digital Torque Wrench
Do you have some heavy-duty fastening to do? ACDelco ARM601-4 is one of the most complete digital torque wrench to consider.
This unique ACDelco digital torque wrench is engineered from sturdy materials that are highly durable. It has also undergone production process calibration to guarantee the best quality.
It has a wide torque range that matches every application. It can go as high as 738 foot-pounds for the strongest parts, and as low as 1.1 foot-pounds for the delicate parts.
Accuracy is at a premium with this model. It can measure +/-2 percent clockwise and +/-3 percent counterclockwise from 20 to 100 percent of the maximum torque.
It has one of the largest LCD readouts in the industry with four programmable units. Switching between the units of measurements only requires you to press a button.
Another impressive feature is the handle, which is contoured and soft to provide a comfortable grip. The control buttons are also easy to navigate.
- Made of sturdy materials and production process calibration
- LED flashing and buzzer alarm prevents over-torquing
- Easy to decipher LCD display with four programmable units
- Multiple setting functions available apart from a torque measurement•
- Guaranteed accuracy range for effective performance
- Meets/exceeds minimum certification standards, such as ISO
- Buzzer alarm may function intermittently, leading to over-torquing
#5 CDI Computorq 3 Electronic Torque Wrench
The CDI Computorq 3 is one of the finest digital torque wrenches for featherweight aluminum and carbon parts. This is literally a plug-in-play product. You turn it on, set it, and use it.
It comes with a sleek new construction and a fifteen-degree flex ratcheting head that is highly versatile. It also has a push button socket for releasing the head.
This has a digital display indicating the numbers visually. There is also auto audible alarms to go with it, as well as a sequence of light indicating how close you are getting to your set torque.
The simple digital readout features four programmable units. You can easily switch from one unit of measurement to another with a push of a button.
The molded rubber handle is ergonomically made to provide you with a soft, comfortable grip that you can hold for longer.
- Wide application, including bicycles, automotive, watercraft, and motorcycle
- Audible alarm and flashing LED helps to avoid over-torquing
- Simple LCD readout allows for easy input of values
- Ergonomically made rubber handle offers a comfortable grip
- Features a versatile fifteen-degree flex ratcheting head
- Does not vibrate to emphasis when the set torque is reached
- May perform intermittently
How to choose a digital torque wrench
A digital torque wrench normally uses a spring steel bar with an electronic strain gauge to measure the amount of torque being applied.
The best thing about this type of equipment is that you can preprogram it to the desired torque. It then displays the torque as the fastener is being tightened.
Digital torque wrenches tick many boxes as far as high performance is concerned. How do you choose the best model that will give you surefire performance for a long time?
Here are the things you have to consider.
Digital torque wrenches are available with the various drive sizes. All torque wrenches are considered to be the drive that drives a removable socket.
The most common drive sizes that you will come across are 1/2-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/4-inch. The 1/2-inch drive will generate more torque than a smaller drive.
This measurement comes from the size of the square adapter that receives the socket. For example, a 3/8-inch ratcheting drive will have an adapter that is 3/8-inch on all four sides.
All socket sizes of a digital torque wrench refer to the size of the fastener that they will be used on. For example, you will need a 1/2-inch socket to tighten a 1/2-inch fastener.
A socket can also be sized for specific drive size. A socket with a 3/8-inch drive receptacle can be used only on a 3/8-inch drive without the use of a drive adapter.
We don’t recommend an adapter because a socket that is made for a 3/8-inch drive is designed to handle more torque than a socket that is designed for a 1/4-inch drive.
There are times when you will be using your digital torque wrench right up to its limits for measuring foot-pounds.
Other times, you will be using it at the low end of the scale. You still have to select a torque range with the ideal poundage range by considering the application you will use it for.
Always check the service manual of your car, motorcycle, or bicycle to see the specified torque values for the jobs you will be doing most.
Then go ahead and choose a digital torque wrench with the ideal poundage range so that the working range you most often use will be within the mid-two-quarters of the scale.
For example, if 4 to 99 foot-pounds will be the torque range you will be using often, then choose a torque wrench with a 100 foot-pound capacity.
Accuracy and Safety
Apart from convenience, the main advantage of contemporary digital torque wrenches is accuracy. You will hardly second guess your readings.
The digital readouts that come with these units provide readings/values within a given accuracy range, both in clockwise and counterclockwise rotations.
Most accurate units have a torque accuracy of +/- 2 percent in the clockwise rotation, and +/- 3 percent in the counterclockwise rotation from 10/20 percent to 100 percent of the wrench capability.
Notable features that guarantee the safe use of a digital torque wrench include an LED flashing light, vibrating handle, and an audible buzzer alarm.
These three features let you know when you are approaching the desired or programmed torque value. This prevents you from over-tightening and over-torquing.
The whole idea of buying a digital torque wrench is convenience. So, you have to make sure that you choose an ergonomically made design.
The LCD readout/display should be large and easy to decipher. You should not struggle when reading digital figures.
The readout should come with all the four units of measurements, including foot-pounds, inch-pounds, Newton-meters, and kilogram-centimeters.
The control buttons should be clearly labeled and easy to maneuver. A good device should allow you to switch between measurements with a push of a single button.
The device should have an ergonomically made handle that is not only soft but comfortable to hold. The grip should be strong and non-slippery.
We also advise you to settle for a device with superior battery life. This may be a problem with inexpensive models. You definitely don’t want to spend a fortune on replacement batteries.
If you own a vehicle, a motorcycle, or a bicycle, you are not complete without a high-quality digital torque wrench.
This is the ultimate tool for assembly. It measures as well as restricts the amount of torque applied to a fastener.
This is of the utmost importance since too little torque can cause a nut/bolt to fall off, while too much torque can damage an important part.
Depending on your applications, we recommend buying two wrenches: one for small increments (delicate parts), and one for large tasks (heavy-duty parts).