For those looking for a bit of a more industrial tool, then the digital torque wrench stands out as an excellent option for anyone looking to work on automotive or industrial applications. These are great tools that will tell you the precise level of torque, and many of the more modern devices can stand up to a lot of punishment on the worksite. Some of the best products on the market will have a high degree of accuracy but finding the right one can be relatively difficult for a newbie.
In this guide, we’re going to show you five of the best digital torque wrench products on the market today. Many of these products have a robust design, easy-to-grip handles, and more than enough power to provide you with the right level of torque. In addition, we’re also going to provide you with an in-depth guide that’ll help you know precisely what to look for when on the market for one of these products. As always, we have taken the time to ensure that all of the products in our guide are top-notch and more than ready for the job.
The Best Digital Torque Wrench Reviews
1) Summit Tools Flex-Head Digital Torque Wrench with 1/2-inch Driver and 5-99.5 ft-lbs Torque Range, Buzzer and Sequential LED, 0.1 ft-lb Resolution with ±2% Accuracy, Calibrated [WEF4-135BN]
There’s a reason why this Summit Tools product is considered a best seller; it has a design that’s super ergonomic, a great LCD display, and a build quality that’s 100 percent reliable. It even employs a flex-head, which allows for workers to get a good amount of leverage, even when they are working in very tight confines. The aforementioned LCD display is also relatively large, and with a flick of a button, you can select various measurement types, including kilogram-centimeters, Newton-meters, foot-pounds, or inch-pounds.
When it comes to everyday use, the handle on this product is crafted of ultra-durable, yet comfortable plastic. In most situations, you should experience little fatigue during use, but you also won’t have to worry about incidental nicks and bruises showing up on the material. In moist environments, this product will still function. It’s shielded from humidity and can withstand warmer worksites as well. The plastic will also protect the tool from accidental drops, and the material is also anti-slip.
The working end of the tool is also incredibly durable. In fact, this part of the wrench is made of steel that’s been treated to withstand a wide variety of environments. The wrench even comes with three socket sets, which include options for ¾-inch, 13/16-inch, and 11/16-inch sockets.
During daily use, most will find that the product is relatively easy to utilize; it only weighs about two pounds, and there’s a defined grip surface that provides easy handling. Its maximum torque value tops out at 99.5 foot-pounds, so the tougher automotive jobs shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Summit Tools designed this to be battery-powered, and it utilizes a AA battery for daily use. To save this power, the device also utilizes an auto shut-off feature, which will shut the product down after extended inactivity. This can be very useful, especially when you’re looking to take a break. Additionally, the barrel of the grip is blue and black, which makes the entire tool relatively visible in a wide variety of workplace environments.
It has a CW/CCW switch so that you can seamlessly switch between torque directions, which can make tightening in narrower environments much easier. If you’re looking for a product with a means of telling you that you’ve tightened enough, then the LED indicator, which lights when you’ve reached the preset torque, will be your cup of tea.
- The flex head adds versatility.
- It’s very ergonomic.
- This is a durable tool.
- The barrel runs a little too thick.
- Battery life could be better.
2) ACDelco ARM601-4 1/2″ Digital Torque Wrench (4 to 99 ft-lbs.) with Buzzer and LED Flash Notification – ISO 6789 Standards with Certificate of Calibration
For our money, the ACDelco ARM601-4 is the top pick in this guide because it is so well-rounded. Not only does it have an extensive range that spans from four to 99 foot-pounds of torque, but it has some high-quality software that really opens up its capabilities. For example, it’s reasonably easy to change up the measurement types from kilogram-centimeters, Newton-meters, foot-pounds, and inch-pounds. This means that you will not be hindered by various torque requirements, and it’ll be relatively quick and easy to select the right amount of tightness.
This product also stands out thanks to its high level of accuracy; when using the product clockwise, it’s possible to experience ± two percent accuracy. When tightening counter-clockwise, you’ll experience ± three percent of the indicated value, which is very accurate.
Design and functionality are clearly crucial to ACDelco; the physical dimensions of the product really help enhance the feeling of comfort while you’re working with the tool. The first thing that someone might notice while using it is the red handle. This handle has a shaping that’s designed to fit neatly in most hands, and there are indentations and scaling throughout the handle that will make it easier to grip confidently. In fact, the material used is also textured so that it’ll be tough to accidentally drop the product.
Additionally, this is a relatively long torque wrench; it will provide a good amount of leverage in most situations, and the materials are strong enough to never snap under the pressure. In fact, ACDelco utilized a relatively high-grade steel to ensure durability. The handle is also made to be tough; they used a scratch- and abrasion-resistant plastic so that it’s relatively hard to do lasting damage to the wrench.
The wrench also has several notifications; when you’ve tightened to a pre-approved level, not only will it buzz, but it will also vibrate and flash a pair of LEDs. This makes it easy to determine when to stop tightening, and the LCD display is also big enough that it’s reasonably easy to read, even in semi-dark environments.
Cycling through measurement types is also very easy; the device has a few onboard buttons that make quick selection easy. If there were a drawback, it would be the fact that these buttons can be accidentally hit while you’re tightening.
- Torques are available in CW and CCW.
- A very durable product.
- Very precise digital torque wrench.
- Different measurement types are available.
- Batteries not included.
- Resets frequently at the most inopportune times.
- A bit heavy.
The first thing you’ll notice about this torque wrench is its wide-set handle; it tapers outwards, so it’s definitely tough to accidentally drop it. This wider base also makes the wrench very comfortable in your hands, and on the worksite where you have to work for hours on end, this can be a precious feature. This base also has a rubberized design that will protect the components inside from impact, so dropping the wrench shouldn’t damage it.
This Craftsman product is called the Digi-Click because it has a click-style operation, which means that it emits an audible noise as you crank it. The Digi-Click is also a model of electronic wrench that utilizes backlighting; this is definitely a product that’s useful in the low-light environments that you may find while working underneath a car or truck. In use, this display is very bright, and the numbers are very large and high-resolution, so keeping track of the torque level shouldn’t be a problem.
There are also multiple measurement options for the product; it can be set for foot-pounds, inch-pounds, and Newton-meters. This is accomplished via a few quick button presses, and the buttons are positioned in such a way that they are hard to accidentally depress by accident. When you need to adjust quickly, the buttons are well-placed, and usually, changing between settings will take only a few seconds.
For practical use, the torque wrench has a functional range between 25 and 250 foot-pounds, so not only will you be able to torque reasonably high, but for those jobs that require a lighter torque, you should have no issues. The 250-foot-pound maximum is also very useful; you’ll have a hard time finding a job that this product can’t carry out. For those looking for a less professional model, Craftsman also offers a five to 80-foot-pound variant.
When it comes to everyday use, most people will enjoy the sheer amount of leverage that this product grants; it’s built tough, and it makes it fairly easy to torque. While it does suffer a bit in tighter environments, you can easily adjust for this with its comfortable and fairly adjustable design. The clicks are also very reassuring when you’re working under a vehicle.
When it comes to simplicity, one of the best features of the product is how the torque is set. At the base of the handle is a wide-set section. To set the torque, you simply pull this out and turn it, and the digital display will show the torque value going up or down. If you attempt to go either too low or too high, the digital display will say, “stop,” which will indicate that you’re either below 25 foot-pounds or higher than the 250-foot-pound limit of the device.
- Very accurate.
- Smart torque adjustment system.
- Provides a high degree of leverage.
- Multiple measurement options.
- Very ergonomic.
- Takes a moment to change the batteries.
- No included case.
While our top pick may be the ACDelco ARM601-4, when you’re ready to purchase your next digital torque wrench online, consider this product from GearWrench. As you may have noticed, this product is specifically designed for tightly confined automotive work, and as a result, you don’t need a lot of space to torque.
The product utilizes a five-inch swing arc design that means you won’t have to need a lot of space to torque tightly. In addition, the ratcheting mechanism has a 72-tooth design that provides a more reliable tightening experience with less of a requirement placed on having a lot of space to swing your arms.
For material construction, this product may have one of the best in our guide. Not only is the head of the product made of hardened steel, but the handle is also made of sturdy plastic that’s rated to stand up against oils and any solvents that may be present on the worksite. For the sake of toughness, GearWrench didn’t sacrifice comfort or grip; the body is shaped to fit comfortably within the palm, and the texture is rough enough to ensure that it does slip, even when your palms are sweaty from the work.
When it comes to functionality, this model of electronic torque wrench is designed to provide a ± two percent level of accuracy. To alert you when you’re near the prescribed torque, the wrench will emit a high-pitched sound that increases in intensity as you get closer to the torque goal. The fact that it beeps slowly at first is a great warning system for those that are looking for a high degree of accuracy in their tightening. In addition to the audible alert, there is also an LED flash that accompanies the beep, so you’ll be able to see when you’re near your torque, even in dim environments. The final alert method that this wrench utilizes is a vibrating handle, which provides a haptic alert, which can also be useful when you can’t quite see the wrench.
Like many of the products we’ve featured in this guide, this wrench can easily convert from the standard foot-pounds to kilogram-centimeters, Newton-meters, or inch-pounds. For power, the device is also designed to be convenient – it utilizes two AA batteries.
- Very ergonomic.
- Provides excellent leverage and control.
- Designed to torque in tighter confines.
- Three methods of alerting users.
- Very high accuracy.
- It can shut off at inopportune times.
- No backlighting.
5) Summit Tools Digital Torque Wrench with 3/8-inch Square Driver and 5-99.5 ft-lbs Torque Range, 0.1 ft-lb Resolution, ±3% Tolerance, Peak Hold Feature, Certificate of Calibration (ES3-135CN)
Many of the other products that we’ve hit on are top-notch devices to consider for just about any heavy-duty job, and our final product, which is from the same manufacturer as our first wrench, is also a great option. To start, its range goes from five foot-pounds all the way to 99.5 foot-pounds, so you’ll have excellent coverage for a wide variety of applications.
The LCD on this is also fairly large, so you won’t have to squint when you’re trying to adjust the torque to the required level. For clockwise function, the accuracy is ± three percent, so it’s very reliable. With the wrench, Summit Tools also included these sockets:
This varied socket set allows for you to have options as you work, and like the other products that we’ve reviewed, this Summit Tools wrench can easily allow you to switch through various measurement systems for torque.
By now, you surely understand that a torque wrench needs a bit of durability, especially since these heavy-duty digital products are designed to torque in automotive and industrial environments. For this reason, Summit Tools designed this product to be exceedingly tough; it’s primarily made of steel but is coated in a sturdy plastic along the handle to allow for comfortable usage. For those that want a more inclusive experience with their tools, in addition to the included socket set, this wrench comes with a storage case as well. Finally, to prevent over-tightening, this torque wrench displays messages when you’ve exceeded the target torque level.
- It’s very durable.
- Rubberized and tough grip.
- Steel construction.
- Multiple torque options.
- Included socket set.
- Included carrying case.
- Could be more ergonomic.
- Battery cap is hard to remove.
Reasons to Purchase a Digital Torque Wrench
When you’re in need of a torque wrench, not everyone immediately considers purchasing one of the digital models. That being said, these devices definitely stand out despite having a rough patch where they were deemed unreliable. The latest models of digital torque wrenches are designed to be very useful for anyone doing any form of automotive or industrial work, and it’s now kind of hard to not find these at many modern worksites.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider purchasing a digital torque wrench for your next series of jobs:
- You Need to Reliably Torque any Bolt or Nut: When the job you’re doing requires a precise amount of torque, the last thing you want is to not hit the prescribed level. For example, adding components to a car or truck sometimes requires that you torque bolts into place, and with a haphazard job, you can easily cause an accident.
The best digital torque wrenches will make tightening the nut or bolt to the correct torque an easy process. The digital displays are tunable, and with most of these products, the accuracy is top-notch and reliable.
- You Need Something that’s Versatile: One of the coolest features of a quality digital torque wrench is that, in many cases, they are reasonably variable. Consider this: a torque job can come in kilogram-centimeters, Newton-meters, foot-pounds, or inch-pounds, and not every non-digital wrench has these torque settings.
For those that prefer not to have to do reasonably complex math equations, having a torque wrench that can digitally display each of these torque options is very useful for anyone that does heavy-duty work. For those that need to work on various jobs with different torque levels, this can be particularly invaluable.
- They Can Alert You When the Proper Torque is Reached: Sometimes, when you’re working in dim, under-car work zones, it can be hard to read a torque wrench, even when it’s one of the digital variety. Some models of digital torque wrenches allow for the worker to preset a desired torque level, and when that torque level is reached, the device will then emit some form of alert so that the worker can stop tightening.
For some models, this means that the wrench will emit an audible sound, and for other models, this means that the device may just vibrate in the hand for a second or two. Finally, other models will actually light up in a “traffic light” style that will alert you visibly when the preset torque has been reached.
- The Job Needs Exacting Accuracy: Needless to say, digital is typically a lot more accurate than analog, and the same can be said of the digital torque wrench. In usage, this form of torque wrench can be accurate down to four decimal places. That’s exceedingly accurate and will provide a good level of dependability for the more demanding automotive jobs. If you’re doing a lot of tightening, many can even store data, so if you’ll be tightening multiple nuts or bolts, you won’t have to keep setting the torque limit between jobs.
- When the Job Requires Multiple Torque Values: With an LED display on many models, it’s fairly easy to quickly switch from torque values without much effort. In fact, many of these products allow you to store the values you need, and switching can be as simple as a few button presses. Some of these even come complete with lower torque settings, so you can have more options.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Digital Torque Wrench
As you can see, there are a lot of great reasons to purchase a digital torque wrench, and the best models definitely can easily have all of these useful traits. Still, the type of tool has earned a somewhat bad reputation in the past. This is due to the fact that many legacy products were inaccurate and had a tendency to snap off at the head. Nowadays, it’s a lot harder to find semi-deficient models like these, but still, it’s a good idea to consider these factors before you make a purchase:
The Ergonomics and Design
For a hand tool, this is far and away the most essential feature for you to consider. This is due to the fact that, when you’re tightening, you end up using a lot of muscle power, so having a less physically fatiguing design for your wrench is absolutely critical. In this section, let’s look why ergonomics and design are absolutely essential for your torque experience with one of these products:
- For Grip: When you’re working, the last thing you want is for your wrench to literally be wrenched from your hands. For this reason, it’s a great idea to seek out a tool that has a modified grip so that you’ll experience far less slippage as you work. To ensure a grippy feel, many manufacturers use finger indentations, textures that resist slippage, and a comfortable circumference. These all can contribute to a more relaxed time using the tool, which can help you shorten the job time.
- For Reliability and Comfort: Hard work is hard work, but why should you feel extra uncomfortable while you’re working to torque on a nut or bolt? With comfortable materials that can take a beating, one of these can be truly useful on the worksite. Most of the best digital wrenches incorporate a plastic handle and a hardened neck that can be made of stainless steel or some other tough material. As a result, you can rely on one of these, even in some of the stricter work areas where welding and abrasion occur. Some are even designed to resist oil and solvents as well.
- For Leverage: When you need to torque an item, you’re virtually using the wrench as a lever, so a longer body with a robust construction will mean that you’ll have to do less work to get great results. The best products of the type should have an easy-to-crank shaping that will let you get good leverage, even when you’re in tighter areas, like under a vehicle.
The Range of Torque
When you’re working with a digital tool like this, it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between the practical torque ability of the tool versus its maximum torque output. In theory, you can fairly easily torque a digital product past its stated limit, but you’re going to lose ability when you do this because the LED readout will only show you the rated maximum torque. This is also a great way to find yourself out a digital torque wrench since this is a great way to break it.
For this reason, for the most ideal usage, you might just want to purchase a product that has a larger range of torque. Not only will this ensure that you’ll be able to accurately track exactly how much torque is required for a job, but you’ll also more easily be able to work the jobs on both ends of the spectrum. To start, it’s a good idea to figure out the kinds of jobs you’ll be doing before you make a purchase; this will grant you a bit of insight into the type of instrument you’ll need.
Only tightening to 30-foot pounds, then there may be no need to purchase a product that torques up to 100. Still, if the range is that high and can still tighten at a lower level, you’ll know that you’ll have a tool that can do so with relative ease.
As we mentioned, these are very precise, and you can reasonably easily keep track of your accurate torque level. Still, not every digital torque wrench is equal; some have displays that are even visible in low-light situations, and some even pack in multiple alerts that can make it easier to know when you’ve hit the right torque level. For example, say you are tightening a nut in a low-light situation, and you’re wearing work gloves.
You may not be able to see the indicator on some products, and for products with vibrating features, you may not be able to feel the vibration when you hit the prescribed torque level. This is where multiple indicators can really help; some products pack in LED lights that would make determining when you’ve tightened enough much easier, even when you’re somewhat hindered.
The best digital torque wrench is going to last you for years of work and is going to be a great way to take on more industrial jobs. Each of the products that we’ve covered in this guide is accurate, tough, and comfortable to use, so pick the one that seems to have the specifications that you need. If you’re still not quite sure which to select, review our buyer’s guide for a quick rundown on the features that you may need for your next job.
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