Maybe you aren’t totally convinced you to need a high-quality torque wrench, and you want to try a cheaper one out first before spending $200-300 on a super high-quality one. Well, which one should you buy? I found that this one on Amazon had awesome reviews and an even better price. With torque wrenches, it is about finding a brand that offers a lifetime warranty and also seems to send out units that are relatively accurate. If this is your first torque wrench would you even know if it wasn’t calibrated right? Probably not, which is why it is good to get one that has great reviews and a great price.
Best Torque Wrench Under $50 in 2019?
I found that for the price the Tekton 24335 1/2″ 10-150 ft-lbs torque wrench had the best reviews and value for your money (click the link to check the price on Amazon).
It is basically a great beginner option for a torque wrench that is perfect for rotating tires or lug nuts.
Some people complain that it isn’t very accurate at the lower torque values (10-40ft lbs). However, you really shouldn’t be using this tool for low torque values. If you plan on using a torque wrench for oil pan drain plug bolts, or transmission pan bolts, then you really need to be using a smaller 3/8″ torque wrench like this one on Amazon.
Remember to use the right tool for the right job. A 1/2″ torque wrench is made for heavier duty applications and NO 1/2″ torque wrench will really be that accurate on a 10mm fastener down to 14 ft-lbs. For that, you need to be using a smaller torque wrench made for smaller more accurate torque numbers.
The ETORK 1/2″ torque wrench is a tiny bit more expensive than the Tekton but definitely worth checking out. I just received one to test out and the hand feels and build quality is pretty high. I love the fact that it goes all the way up to 250ft-lbs and seeing/reading the gauge is made very easy.
If you want to invest a bit more money than go with the ETORK wrench. Lifetime warranty, calibration certificate, and great feeling handle/case make it a great budget 1/2″ torque wrench as well. Tekton does make a more expensive 1/2″ torque wrench capable of 250ft-lbs here. The ETORK and the Tekton are both relatively the same price and I think they are both quality products. The Tekton does have an extra 6″ of length than the ETORK model, which is a bit of a bonus– but the Etork has a better handle layout and torque readout (easier to see and adjust).
How to Properly Use a Torque Wrench On Lug Nuts:
- First, find your car’s factory specified lug nut torque value by googling “lug nut torque– fill in your car make and model here.” On smaller cars, it will usually be around 80-90 ft-lbs. Larger trucks can range from 90 ft-lbs to 150+ft-lbs.
- Start all lug nuts by hand to make sure they do not cross thread.
- You can run the lug nuts down until hand tight with either an impact wrench (cordless or pneumatic) or by hand with a ratchet. Stop when the lug nuts begin to be any tighter than hand tight.
- Finish torquing down each lug nut to the specified torque using the star pattern and your torque wrench.
- For click type torque wrenches always stop when you hear the click at the correct torque.
- Finish torquing all wheels and double check with a torque wrench for a click on every lug nut.
- For alloy wheels or aluminum rims double check the torque again after 1,000 miles of driving. Some rims, especially aftermarket wheels, have a tendency to loosen up over time.
The main things are TO NEVER DROP A TORQUE WRENCH. If you do drop a torque wrench you should immediately check its calibration or send it off to be professionally calibrated. In the aviation industry, for example, a torque wrench that has been dropped from nearly any height will almost always be immediately removed from use.
Obviously, with automotive technicians, there isn’t nearly the same level of care or scrutiny by regulations, but it is a good thing to know that dropping a torque wrench can almost immediately ruin it and cause it to be widely inaccurate.
Why Buying A Torque Wrench Is Worth The Money:
All videos are queued up to the interesting parts. I also highly recommend watching videos on youtube at 1.5x speed. You can do that by clicking the gear wheel and selecting playback speed.
What if I Want A Snap-On Quality Torque Wrench:
I totally understand and respect you for wanting a higher-quality torque wrench. I myself feel that a torque wrench is one of the tools that should be the most research and coveted buy by any technician or DIYer.
You will be better off having one of the torque wrenches I listed above for under $50 than not having one at all. But if you can get a way better and more accurate torque wrench for a little bit more money, then why shouldn’t you?
Look you don’t need to spend $600 on a Snap-On base model torque wrench to get an accurate one. In fact, many people have had problems with the super expensive Snap-On torque wrenches.
What have I found most people love, what brand makes the best competitive torque wrench to Snap-On?
The brand is called CDI tools and many people think that they make all the Snap-On torque wrenches. Snap On just rebrands them as their own. I don’t know any facts about that or not, but go read online and there are plenty of topics discussing just that.
You will pay a bit more for a CDI branded torque wrench say versus a Harbor Freight or Tekton tools torque wrench, but what do you get in return?
A professional feeling tool, and a company that has made torque products for industrial uses for a long time. Here is an Amazon search for CDI tools 1/2″ torque wrench, 1/4″, and 3/8″ (all from CDI tools). Honestly, the prices on Amazon for CDI tools are AWESOME and these are literally OUTSTANDING torque wrenches.
As you can see they have great reviews, are priced higher than these cheapo torque wrenches, and also come with a great warranty. Check the reviews and prices for yourself, and if you can afford a slightly better torque wrench DO IT!
The best torque wrench under $50 in 2019 is arguably the Tekton 1/2″ click style torque wrench. They have pretty awesome customer service and usually if you have a problem with the tool they will send you a new one right away. Try finding that level of service from other tool companies, especially since a lot of other brands don’t warranty their torque wrenches at all!
To see all the torque wrenches on Amazon under $50 click here (I dialed in a search for you). You really can’t go wrong with any of these have decent reviews (especially look for reviews that mention accuracy).
Once you start using a torque wrench, trust me, you will NEVER go back to just lazily guessing when a lug nut is tight. There is just something satisfying about hearing a torque wrench click and knowing you installed your car tires like a professional would. Plus, you will gain the respect of any mechanic if they see you using a torque wrench.