Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench- Top 10 and Buying Guide

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Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench- Top 10 and Buying Guide

Working with bolts and nuts can be done without applying much effort. Having the best inch pound torque wrench is the key. This versatile tool is probably the most useful one in your arsenal because there’s a lot that you can do with it.

However, buying the most practical torque wrench isn’t always easy, especially when you’re shopping online. Nevertheless, since you’ve come here, you’ll find everything you need to know about purchasing a handy inch pound torque wrench. We’ll suggest 10 top products and answer all your questions, so keep on reading.

Reviews of the Best Inch Pound Torque Wrenches on the Market

Whether you’re a mechanic or not, having the best inch pound torque wrench will always come in handy. Check out our top picks.

1. Capri Tools Inch Pound Torque Wrench

Although this is one of the most premium tools for industrial use, it’s quite easy to adjust, giving you maximum versatility while you’re working. The precisely manufactured components result in great accuracy, which makes your job easier, so you can finish it faster. Moreover, the scale is engraved, so it doesn’t wear off like other painted models.

With a range between 20 and 150 inch pounds, you can easily customize this torque wrench to suit various purposes. The audible click lets you know when the desired setting is reached. The scale is also set in newton meters, so you don’t have to worry about doing the conversions. It can be accurate within +/- 5% in counterclockwise direction and +/- 3% in clockwise direction.

The built-in lubrication feature reduces friction and facilitates the movement of all the parts. This is the best addition to your wrench because the friction can damage the metal parts.

This torque wrench is one of the most durable ones on the market, maintaining its accuracy after 10,000 cycles. Viewing the desired setting might be challenging because the font is small, and it’s more expensive than other torque wrenches on the market.

What We Like

  • Engraved scale.
  • Easy adjustment and accurate results.
  • Metric compatibility with no conversions.
  • Durable components.
  • Measures torque in both directions.
  • Built-in lubrication.

What We Don’t Like

  • More expensive than other torque wrenches.

2. Neiko 1/4″ Drive Adjustable Click Torque Wrench

This is an affordable torque wrench that has been factory tested and calibrated for superior performance. The wrench is made of chrome vanadium steel to withstand harsh working conditions, as it’s shock-resistant. Moreover, it features a comprehensive range of settings between 20 and 200, so you can tighten bolts on bikes, cars, and engines.

The chrome-moly drive head is heated and forged, so it’s impossible to break no matter how challenging the job is. Therefore, this head is the right choice for more demanding chores as it won’t bend or break. Metric conversions are visible on the torque wrench and case for maximum convenience.

Holding this torque wrench is easy because the handle is textured for a non-slip grip. Moreover, the lock and unlock button is easy to adjust, and once you reach the desired setting, the torque wrench will emit an audible click to minimize errors.

The spring load ball bearing will help you hold the torque wrench in position while applying pressure and also reducing the risk of slips that can accidentally damage the job you have at hand. The torque wrench has an accuracy percentage of +/- 4% and features forward and reverse lock settings.

A beginner might struggle a little with this torque wrench as there’s no calibration plot, and it does not help that the scale is a bit hard to read.

What We Like

  • Affordable torque wrench with a non-slip grip for more control.
  • Durable forged head.
  • Spring load ball bearing to reduce friction.
  • Excellent locking and unlocking feature.
  • Engraved scale.

What We Don’t Like

  • The scale is hard to read.
  • No calibration plot.

3. TEKTON 1/2 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench

Even when you’re working in low light, the high-contrast settings are easy to read and adjust. Once you’ve reached the right setting, you’ll hear an audible click to help you finish your job with high precision. The reading is available in 2 systems to eliminate guessing.

The reversible ratchet design works in both directions but measures in a clockwise direction. This is a sturdy steel wrench with no plastic parts. It arrives pre-calibrated for easy use with +/- 4% accuracy for fast adjustment while preventing poorly secured or stressed parts.

This wrench is the best choice for beginners because it’s easy to use and affordable, which makes it perfect for amateurs and users who are on a tight budget. The range on this wrench is between 10 and 150 foot pounds, so you will have to do some conversions to reach the precise inch pounds value.

Compared to other torque wrenches, this is quite low in tooth count having only 24 teeth, therefore you might struggle when you’re working on tighter spaces.

What We Like

  • Affordable and durable wrench.
  • Reversible ratchet that works in both directions.
  • Audible click when you reach the setting.
  • Comes pre-calibrated.

What We Don’t Like

  • Low tooth count.
  • Less accurate than other tools.

4. TEKTON 1/4 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench

This is one of the most durable tools on the market, featuring all-steel parts that allow you to work on various projects with maximum accuracy. Moreover, it can handle drops and other accidents that are likely to occur on the job site without affecting the accuracy or functionality of the wrench.

Compared to other torque wrenches, this has a massive range from 20 to 200 inch pounds, allowing you to work on all sensitive and massive projects with no issues. Once you reach the right torque setting, the audible click will prevent you from going too far, so you can finish your tasks with maximum accuracy.

You shouldn’t worry about making any conversions as the scale is available in metric and customary systems. Luckily, the tool comes pre-calibrated and is accurate within +/- 4% range for the best results. It does not hurt that this model is an excellent value for money.

Although it works in both directions, it measures torque in a clockwise direction only, which is not an issue for most users. The scale is printed not engraved, meaning that it might not last as long as other models.

What We Like

  • Affordable made of steel.
  • Big torque range.
  • Arrives pre-calibrated.
  • Accurate results.

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t measure torque in a counterclockwise direction.
  • The scale is printed, not engraved.

5. EPAuto 1/2-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench

Adjusting and using this torque wrench is quite easy as it comes pre-calibrated with +/ – 4% accuracy. The high-contrast dual-range scale allows you to set it for the job accurately, so you can finish all your jobs fast. Another plus is that the knurled handle provides the best grip in slippery conditions.

The ratchet head is made of heated and forged chrome vanadium steel that is corrosion and shock-resistant. Moreover, the tool comes with a convenient plastic case for storage and portability. As a bonus, it comes with useful accessories that can make your life easier; the ½ inch drive 5 inch extension bar and the ½ inch drive to 3/8 inch drive reducer.

With a torque value between 10 and 150 feet pounds, professionals and beginners can work on wheel replacements and different types of projects, and higher values available for more challenging jobs. Once you’ve reached the desired torque setting, the wrench will emit an audible click to notify you.

However, it doesn’t click in the reverse direction. Moreover, it’s not that accurate in lower torque settings.

What We Like

  • High-contrast scale reading.
  • Forged chrome vanadium steel head.
  • Comes with useful accessories.
  • Storage case made of plastic.

What We Don’t Like

  • Not that accurate in lower torque settings.
  • Doesn’t click in the reverse direction.

6. Neiko 1/4-Inch Drive Beam Style Torque Wrench

Although this tool doesn’t look like other ones on the list, it’s still one of the best torque wrenches as it’s designed to finish jobs that other wrenches can’t tackle. Unlike other click style torque wrenches, this one features a beam style torque, which makes it more suitable for beginners and DIYers. Although it won’t click, you can see the visual scale and choose the right setting for the job you want to finish.

Being able to work in clockwise and counterclockwise directions, you can work on all nuts and bolts. You can adjust it in customary and metric settings as it can be adjusted between 0 and 8 inch pounds. However, the design can be limiting, especially if you’re working in a tight place.

Using this torque wrench is easy, thanks to the ball handle that provides the best grip and control. It’s an ambidextrous wrench that can be used by both right and left-hand users and as many others in the list, it arrives factory pre-calibrated.

Just like other beam style torque wrenches, this one is convenient to use. However, it’s less durable than other models.

What We Like

  • Beam style torque wrench.
  • Visual scale.
  • More accuracy, thanks to the ball handle design.
  • Suitable for right and left-hand users.

What We Don’t Like

  • Not as durable as other models.

7. Venzo Bicycle Bike 1/4 Inch Driver – Torque Wrench

Forget about losing your wrench or its accessory parts, as everything comes in a convenient hard case that you can take wherever you go. It’s thoroughly tested and calibrated with a +/- 4% accuracy and comes with a gauge which makes it the best choice for bicycle carbon parts. Also, it features a ¼ inch torque fix set.

You’ll receive 6 standard-sized bits and one extender Allen Key with your kit. These will allow you to work on various jobs with maximum accuracy. The Allen keys measure 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10, and the 5mm longer Allen Key will facilitate your job regardless of what you’re working on. This wrench has torque range between 2 and 24 newton meters, however, the most accurate range would be up to 18 newton meters.

When you reach the desired torque setting, you’ll hear a noticeable click. It’s recommended that you turn it very slowly because forcing it can damage your screws.

Setting it at a lower torque level below 4 newton meters might give you inaccurate results, so you might accidentally crack your screws. Also, the adjustment handle feels a bit flimsy.

What We Like

  • A must-have tool for carbon parts.
  • Comes with 6 standard-sized bits and a longer Allen Key.
  • Comes in a hard plastic case for portability.
  • Audible click to guarantee accurate results.

What We Don’t Like

  • Results might not be as accurate at lower torque settings.
  • The adjustment handle isn’t as durable as more professional models.

8. TEKTON 3/8 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench

With this tool, driving the ratchet in both directions is not a problem. A good thing is that this torque wrench will help you finish any job with excellent accuracy and precision without breaking the bank because it’s quite affordable.

Once you’ve reached the desired torque setting, the wrench will emit a click that you see or feel, guaranteeing that you won’t make any mistakes while working, even if you have little experience with this tool.

The high-contrast dual system is easy to read, so you can easily work on the tightest spots and in low light conditions. Moreover, the torque range is between 10 and 80 foot pounds, so you’ll need to convert the values if you want to measure your torque in inch pounds.

Also, this is a sturdy steel tool that won’t break or bend like other flimsy torque wrenches that might contain plastic parts. It ships pre-calibrated with an accuracy of +/- 4%, so you can start using it right out of the box.

The handle allows for a better grip to prevent slips that might jeopardize the accuracy of the job you’re working on. The torque is measured only in a clockwise direction, which can limit the versatility of this torque wrench. In some settings, the click might not work, which can cause you to accidentally snap the bolt due to excessive pressure.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly torque wrench.
  • Made of steel for maximum durability.
  • Slip-proof handle for a better grip.
  • High-contrast dual system for accuracy.

What We Don’t Like

  • The wrench might not click at some settings, so you might accidentally snap your bolts.
  • The torque is only measured in a clockwise direction, which limits the range of this tool.

9. Set of 3 Pittsburgh Pro Reversible Click Type Torque Wrenches

For the money you pay, you’ll receive a set of 3 torque wrenches that can be used for multiple jobs and purposes, making the set an excellent value for money, because you can tackle several jobs for the price of one tool.

The set is made of high-quality steel that can withstand the harsh conditions on the job site. It’s an excellent choice for professionals as well as DIY enthusiasts who want to add versatile torque wrenches to their arsenal.

With heavy-duty cam and pawl mechanism and reversible action, this torque wrench won’t disappoint you regardless of the job you have at hand. The torque range of the ½ inch drive is from 50 to 300 inch pounds, so you can tackle any bolt with excellent precision. In addition, the reversible range is from 20 to 150 foot pounds.

The range of the 3/8 inch drive is from 5 to 80-foot pounds, while the ¼ inch drive has a torque range between 20 to 200 inch pounds. Furthermore, this versatility makes it an excellent choice for a DIYer who wants to save money while taking various jobs with no issues.

Your set arrives in a protective case where you can keep all your tools and take them wherever you go, and also the readings are available in both systems.

These click type wrenches can be a little confusing as the numbers on the dial don’t line up exactly. The set is less accurate than other tools on the market.

What We Like

  • Versatile set with three wrenches.
  • Affordable inch pound torque wrenches.
  • Click type tools that suit professionals and beginners.
  • Various torque ranges for more versatility.
  • The set arrives in a convenient case.

What We Don’t Like

  • Less accurate than other tools.

10. Precision Instruments 1/2″ Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench with Flex Head

This is one of the lightest and most precise tools that you can buy for sensitive jobs. Although it’s more expensive than other wrenches, it will allow you to work on bolts and nuts with extra precision. A nickel-chrome luxurious satin finish and an ergonomic grip that allows for better control even if you’re working in a very tight space.

Being a long tool, it will reach the most challenging spots easily, so you can work on every job. As a beam style wrench, you don’t have to worry about returning it to the lowest torque setting after each use, which makes it more versatile and flexible.

To adjust this tool, you need to look at the display and choose the correct setting. It has a torque range between 20 and 250 inch pounds and comes in a plastic case to keep it safe.

Using the adjustment knob, you can lock the desired setting and use it for multiple applications with no issues. It eliminates spring tension and allows you to reach the desired setting fast.

Unfortunately, it only works in a clockwise direction, which is a bit limiting, given the price of the wrench. Calibration instructions are not included, and it is a bit more on the pricier side. Hence this model is more suitable for professional users as it can be too expensive for an occasional DIYer.

What We Like

  • Nickel chrome satin finish.
  • Ergonomic handle.
  • No need to reset the torque wrench after each use.
  • Easy to adjust.

What We Don’t Like

  • More expensive than other tools.
  • Doesn’t come with calibration instructions.

What is An Inch Pound Torque Wrench?

A specialized torque tool that allows you to tighten bolts with maximum precision and accuracy. It’s extremely useful, especially if you’re worried about damaging the surface you’re working on if you’re working with plastic, carbon, or metal alloys.

The best inch pound torque wrench will come in handy if your vehicle breaks down or if your bicycle needs some basic maintenance. Anyone, regardless of their level of experience, can use this wrench due to its multidirectional features.

Just like a regular ratchet, the torque wrench allows you to use leverage to tighten bolts easily, regardless of their size and position. You can slowly and precisely tighten the screw to the required position, and the amount of pressure or effort exerted is measured by pounds of pressure that have been placed on a perpendicular axis of the fastener. The purpose of this wrench is to give you strength or power in inches to pounds.

In most cases, your tool will arrive in a practical and convenient case that allows you to take it from one place to another. The case also protects the wrench from the elements and keeps all the accessories in the same place, so your wrench is always ready for use.

Can I Use a Foot Pound Torque Wrench for Inch Pounds?

If you’re an amateur or a DIYer, you can definitely use a foot pound wrench for inch pounds. However, for professional use, this method isn’t recommended.

Precision is the key when you’re working on a sensitive job if you want to achieve accurate results. Doing a conversion will jeopardize accuracy. However, if this is the tool at hand, you can definitely do some conversions and experiment with it.

Inch pound wrenches allow for finer increments than foot pound tools. This is why they’re more popular as they will allow you to get the most precise setting that you need, so you can work on your nuts and bolts.

To convert from foot pound to inch pound, you simply take the number and multiply it by 12. So 1-foot pounds will be 12 inch pounds, and 200-foot pounds will be 2400 inch pounds. The opposite will happen if you want to convert inches to feet; just take the number and divide it by 12.

What Type of Torque Wrench is Most Accurate?

There are four basic styles available; click adjustable, beam, slip, and digital electronic torque wrenches. Each type of wrench comes with some pros and cons.

Beam Style Wrenches

Beam style tools are easy to adjust and will last for a long time. Using one shouldn’t be a problem because you don’t have to maintain it. Unless you bend the beam indicator or the shaft, your tool will work for long with no issues.

The wrench has a long handle and a beam attached to the head, and comes with a scale under the handle. The handle will flex as the pressure increases, which will cause the scale to shift under the pointer to give you the correct reading. You can use this tool by looking at the scale, the same way you would read a weight scale.

There are affordable and expensive models available, so you will have several options when you’re looking for a beam style torque wrench. These models are quite easy to maintain because you don’t have to reset the value after you’ve finished the job. If the indicator is bent or doesn’t read zero with no load, you should calibrate it until it reads zero on the scale.

However, beginners might find these wrenches more difficult to use because they’re less accurate. To make sure that you’re getting the numbers right, you should look at the the scale straight on. Reading it at an angle can give you false measurements that can damage your bolts.

Click Style Wrenches.

These are probably the most popular tools because they’re precise and easy to use. There’s an internal spring and an adjustable handle that you should rotate until you reach the correct torque setting.

The torque wrench will produce an audible click that you can also see and feel once you’ve reached the desired setting. As a result, you won’t risk applying too much pressure that can cause your bolts to snap.

A click-style wrench is accurate as you can precisely set the torque to the exact setting that suits your job. There are also various models to choose from, giving you the option to pick the most convenient torque range for the job you need to finish.

In most cases, you will have dual readings that minimize your effort, so you don’t have to worry about making conversions. The numbers are printed on the handle, so you can set the value easily. Once you’ve reached the correct number, you should lock the torque wrench to prevent altering the setting as you work.

Some wrenches are designed to measure torque in both directions, although most of them will only provide accurate torque readings in a clockwise direction. You should, however, return the torque to the initial position, once you have finished work. This will relieve pressure off the internal spring and guarantee that your tool will last for long. If you forget to reduce the setting, the torque value might set, producing inaccurate results later on.

Nevertheless, you can still fix this problem by setting your torque wrench to a mid-range value and work on a fastener several times to release the internal spring. After the spring is back to normal, you can choose the correct setting.

High-quality models come pre-calibrated from the factory, although some models will have to be manually calibrated. This can be quite challenging, especially if you’re a beginner. Even if it has been previously calibrated, it’s a good idea to have your wrench checked and calibrated by a professional if you have been using it for a couple of years. Over time, the internal spring will set and won’t be as accurate as it used to be.

Although click style tools are extremely popular, they don’t prevent over-tightening. You should stop once you hear the click to prevent damage.

Slip Style Wrenches

These are straightforward to use as your tool will lose grip once the desired torque setting is reached. Unlike click style tools, a slip style wrench prevents accidental over-tightening that might snap your bolts. This model will work for amateurs and beginners who have less experience with torque wrenches.

However, you can’t monitor or set the torque on this tool. You will just keep on applying pressure until the bolt is properly tightened. This means that it’s less accurate than other types. Moreover, a slip style wrench will rarely reach a value of more than 100 newton meters, so it’s not the best choice for professionals.

Digital Style Wrenches

These are the most expensive and best inch pound torque wrenches on the market, and also the most accurate and precise. They arrive pre-calibrated and are +/- 0.5% accurate, so they’re only used by professionals who work on extremely sensitive jobs.

Being designed for professional use, a digital wrench can be set to various torque settings, unlike other models. It can also retain the setting for multiple uses, and you don’t have to reset it to zero once you’re done working.

Using a digital tool is quite straightforward. Once you’ve reached the desired setting, the tool will notify you with a buzz, beep, or light, and you should stop tightening your bolts to eliminate the risk of snapping them. The notification system can combine all of these to prevent over tightening your bolts while working.

These models require batteries that will have to be changed after a while. Moreover, they might need to be calibrated after some time to retain their accuracy. They’re the least favored by occasional DIYers because they’re quite expensive.

How to Choose the Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench

Buying the correct tool means that your job will be finished faster and in better quality, guaranteeing that there will be no damage or delay. However, finding the best torque wrench can be daunting, especially since there are lots of good models on the market. Here are some things to take into consideration before buying one.

Accuracy

This is the most important thing to think about before adding an inch pound torque wrench to your arsenal. The best wrenches are only accurate up to 80% of their original scale. This is why you need to make sure that your tool is extremely precise to begin with; otherwise, you will end up with overly tight bolts that might easily snap or break.

You need to make sure that your tool has been tested and calibrated by the manufacturer to minimize guessing, as this will have a huge impact on how accurate your job will be. The torque wrenches are accurate up to +/- 4% of the calibrated value, so they will be precise enough to finish the task you have at hand.

Pre-calibrated models are ready to use the right of the box, so they’re more convenient. Moreover, they’re more suitable for beginners and amateurs who don’t have much experience with wrenches as they minimize the guessing and help you start working on your project at once. Some users assume that all inch pound wrenches are pre-calibrated, but this is not true.

Manually calibrated tools are more suitable for professional users. Manual calibration allows you to customize your wrench to suit your specific needs, but the job is difficult and time-consuming.

Check if your tool can measure the force in both directions. While most wrenches are designed to measure the force while working in a clockwise direction, some good models will also work in a counterclockwise direction to give you more versatility. These tools are more flexible and allow you to fasten bolts regardless of their position.

Style

There are several styles of torque wrenches, including click, beam, slip, and digital. The click style is probably the most popular one because it’s easy to calibrate and use.

All wrenches have readings that show the torque range available, so you might need to buy more than one for professional use. A click-style tool will emit an audible click that shows you that you’ve reached the right setting. With a beam style tool, you’ll simply read the number and stop when it reaches the right value.

Most users prefer click style wrenches because they’re more accurate and easier to adjust. Beam style wrenches, however, can be calibrated accurately in a clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Only some click wrenches can do that.

Size

Wrenches are available in various sizes, so you have to pick the right one for the job. ¼ inch models are the smallest and the most common. You will probably need those if you’re working on a small aluminum gas motor, so you might need one if you have a motorbike. You can also use it in vehicles or to maintain HVAC systems.

A 3/8 inch is the one that most amateurs and professionals use for automotive repair. It’s the right size to use when you’re tightening spark plugs.

A ½ inch wrench is the best size if you’re working on vehicle suspension. A bigger size like a ¾ or 1 inch wrench will be needed only if you’re working on a construction vehicle or something with a bigger engine.

Quality

When it comes to choosing a tool, you want to make sure that it’s durable enough to withstand heavy-duty use. Chrome vanadium steel is sturdier than carbon steel, so it’s best suited for industrial use. A flimsy wrench won’t last for long and can accidentally break as you use it.

High-quality models tend to be engraved. Having a printed scale might seem convenient at the beginning, but as you use the tool more often, the print will start to wear off. This means that you won’t be able to set the correct torque, which can lead to inaccurate results.

Engraved models last for long. The numbers on your tool will stay visible even if they get in contact with oil, acids, and other chemicals that might be present on the job site. A high-contrast font is easier to read, especially in low light situations.

The locking and unlocking mechanism guarantees that the setting chosen will be held as you use your tool multiple times. If the lock isn’t properly secured, the setting can be adjusted as you apply pressure.

Tips to Use the Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you should be careful while using the best wrench. It’s extremely delicate, and one wrong move can damage it or the bolt you’re working with. Here are some tips to help you use this tool accurately for the most precise results.

  • Make sure that the torque wrench is designed to work in the direction you intended to use it in. Some models are not designed to work in a counterclockwise direction and won’t be that accurate.
  • If you’re using a click style wrench, rotate the handle and align it with the scale printed or engraved on your tool. Use your hand to hold the pivot in place and put the other one on the handle. Keep on rotating the handle until you hear the click.
  • You will be able to feel and hear the click. Stop immediately to prevent mistakes.
  • Make sure that you lock the wrench to prevent changing the setting as you’re working.
  • Apply slow and smooth pressure because applying too much force won’t get you the result you want.
  • Don’t use the wrench to loosen tight fasteners as this can damage it.
  • Keep your tool clean.
  • After using a click style tool, return the torque setting to the lowest range.

Wrap Up

Inch pound torque wrenches are often used in automotive applications, but you can also use them for any job where you need to apply torque to a bolt. Knowing how the tool works and understanding how to pick the right one will have a huge impact on the success of your job.

We chose the Capri Tools Inch Pound Torque Wrench as our top choice because it applies force in both directions, with maximum accuracy and precision. The engraved scale is easy to read and will last for long, guaranteeing outstanding results every time you use this inch pound torque wrench. Luckily, there are other good tools on our list, so you can definitely check them out and pick the most suitable one.

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