10 Best Digital Torque Wrenches 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
We like to think of the digital torque wrench as more than just another tool. In addition to making things more efficient, a good digital torque wrench can make working on projects more fun than ever before.
However, both the efficiency and the “fun factor” can vary significantly from wrench to wrench. How can you know that you’re getting the best possible wrench instead of simply wasting your money?
That’s our cue. We put together a comprehensive set of reviews and a buyer’s guide to help you find the best digital torque wrench. Keep reading to discover everything you need to make your purchase and get back to work!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||GEARWRENCH 85077 Drive Electronic Torque Wrench||
|Best Value||eTORK EC3250 Digital Torque Wrench||
|Premium Choice||CDI 2401CI3 Drive Electronic Torque Wrench||
|ACDelco ARM601-4 Digital Torque Wrench||CHECK PRICE|
|Summit Tools WSP4-135CN Digital Torque||
The 10 Best Digital Torque Wrenches – Reviews 2020
1. GEARWRENCH Drive Electronic Torque Wrench – Best Overall
While we put together a complete guide to these wrenches, some of you may want to cut to the chase. So, what’s the best overall digital torque wrench? In our opinion, it’s the GEARWRENCH 85077 Drive Electronic Torque Wrench.
We love the variety of torque alerts on here, including vibration, sound, and a shining LED screen. It’s user-friendly enough for beginners while providing the durability (it can measure up to 250 foot-pounds) veteran handymen need. Finally, it has a long handle and impressive torque range, making it a great choice for almost everyone.
Honestly, the only gripe we have is minor: it would have been more convenient if batteries were included. Ultimately, that’s a small price to pay for a solid digital torque wrench!
2. eTORK EC3250 Digital Torque Wrench – Best Value
Many handymen face the classic dilemma: there are too many tools you need and not enough money to go around. If you’re a budget buyer, you’re probably looking for the best digital torque wrenches for the money. And that would definitely be the eTORK EC3250 Digital Torque Wrench.
We loved the accuracy: this wrench is accurate to within +/- 3% in a clockwise direction. It’s user-friendly, too, as it can click or release when the given torque is reached. And we love the value of the lifetime personal use guarantee from the company.
What keeps this from being our best overall pick? There is a lot of annoying play while you use the wrench. And some users report that it’s a bit too touchy compared to other digital torque wrenches.
3. CDI Drive Electronic Torque Wrench – Premium Choice
Some handymen embrace the classic wisdom of “buy once, cry once.” That means buying a high-quality tool and being assured it will last, even if it was expensive. When it comes to premium digital torque wrenches, your best choice is the CDI 2401CI3 Drive Electronic Torque Wrench.
We really liked the rubber grip: it is both non-slip and very ergonomic, blending convenience and comfort. The 15-degree flex ratcheting head gives you a lot of versatility. It is lightweight at only 2 pounds, and it can handle up to 20 foot-pounds.
In terms of drawbacks, the lack of torque angle can be a bit frustrating. And it’s a bit too long to use in smaller, more confined spaces.
4. ACDelco ARM601-4 Digital Torque Wrench
The ACDelco ARM601-4 Digital Torque Wrench didn’t make it into our “top 3” list. Nonetheless, this tool is one of the better and more reliable digital torque wrenches on the market.
We were impressed by the torque range which extended from 4 to 99 foot-pounds. The peak and trace modes provide a surprising amount of versatility. Finally, there is plenty of convenience in the form of the ergonomic design of the grip and different alarm modes (LED and buzzer).
What kept this great model off the top of our reviews? First of all, the controls are very unintuitive. And second of all, the manual isn’t very good. Put these factors together and you have a digital torque wrench that isn’t very user-friendly.
5. Summit Tools WSP4-135CN Digital Torque
The Summit Tools WSP4-135CN Digital Torque offers a lot of value in the form of this small set. But does the set measure up to expectations? For the most part, yes!
The power (5 to 99.5 foot-pounds) is nice and reliable, and the large LED display is easy to read. Finally, we love the compact design, making this a solid choice for those working in smaller spaces.
There are really only two drawbacks to this wrench. First, the buttons are a bit too sensitive and easy to accidentally activate. Second, the lifetime warranty may be difficult to use because it is difficult to contact the company.
6. Craftsman Drive Digi-Click Torque Wrench
Compared to some of the big sets on this list, the Craftsman 9-13919 Drive Digi-Click Torque Wrench seems like a return to a simple and streamlined design. But does it deliver the performance you need? More or less.
The ability to measure between 25 and 250 foot-pounds is very impressive. And the ergonomic design makes it easy to hold the wrench. Finally, the buttons are easy to access and use.
There are still a few drawbacks to watch out for, though. The fact that it only has peak mode is disappointing. And the click-based warning system harkens back to the days of inconvenient, non-digital torque wrenches.
7. Yellow Jacket 60648 Digital Torque Wrench
The Yellow Jacket 60648 Digital Torque Wrench comes near the end of our list. But is it a great torque wrench or a purchase you will forget? Honestly, it’s a mixed bag.
At 1.6 pounds, it’s nice and lightweight. And the fixed square head design works well for certain projects. At the same time, a few things about this wrench are frustrating.
For example, there is no real warranty or guarantee, so you buy this wrench at your own risk. And at 62.7 foot-pounds of max torque, the uses for this wrench are a bit limited compared to its peers. Ultimately, as digital wrenches go, there are both better and worse choices out there.
8. BikeMaster RJ40583 Digital Torque Wrench
Shopping for budget tools is pretty tricky. The key is to find something with a low price but high performance. Unfortunately, the BikeMaster RJ40583 Digital Torque Wrench makes a few unwanted compromises that hold it back from being a solid choice.
First, the good parts about this wrench: we liked the included peak and trace mode. And the fact that it stores different torque values is handy. Finally, the torque alarm and light are convenient.
But the torque range (up to 22.1 foot-pounds) is pretty small. And it’s a bit longer than advertised (14 inches compared to the advertised 9 inches). Finally, the construction is pretty weak, and some users report this model dying sooner rather than later.
9. Olsa Tools Digital Torque Wrench
At first sight, you might think the Olsa Tools Digital Torque Wrench looks like a premium choice. Unfortunately, this is less of a “premium” choice and more of an “overly priced” choice.
We liked the LED torque indicator light, and the LCD screen is easy to read. And the chrome vanadium steel (industrial grade) means the wrench should last a good, long time.
However, the fact that it doesn’t do angled torque is a bit annoying. And the fact that it cannot be recharged is a bit disappointing for a premium model. The lack of warranty is disappointing, and the whole thing is overpriced for what you get.
10. Hilmor 1963826 Digital Torque Wrench
The Hilmor 1963826 Digital Torque Wrench lands at the bottom of our list. Did we save the best for last, or is it here for a reason? Unfortunately, this digital torque wrench is sure to disappoint.
Some parts of the design are very convenient. For example, the LED and sound warning for torque are nice. And the adjustable wrench design and 9 memory settings makes this wrench convenient and versatile.
But the torque range is very small for the price. There is no trace mode. And at the end of the day, this digital torque wrench simply costs way too much compared to the features it offers users.
Hopefully, our reviews have helped you learn more about some of the most prominent digital torque wrenches on the market. However, you may still need a bit more information before you decide on which wrench is best for you.
That’s why we put together this comprehensive buyer’s guide. It covers everything you need to know about digital torque wrenches and allows you to make the best possible purchasing decision.
Ready to get answers to all your questions so that you can go ahead and make a purchase? Let’s go!
One element we touched on in our reviews was torque range. But what does this range represent, and why is it so important to know before you buy a wrench?
As the name implies, “torque range” refers to the range of torque available via this wrench. And you can tailor the kind of range you need based on the projects you have lined up.
For example, some wrenches brag about their 100 foot-pounds of torque. But you may have something that needs tightening to less than 20 foot-pounds. In that case, getting a digital torque wrench with such a large range is basically overkill.
Another important consideration is torque accuracy. Generally speaking, digital torque wrenches are less accurate in the lower parts (20% or below) of their range. This is another reason to avoid the high range when you really need a low range: with a really high range torque on a short-range project, you may not have the accuracy you need within that first 20% of the range.
Peak vs. Trace
Another thing that our reviews touched on are things like “peak mode” and “trace mode.” Some digital torque wrenches feature both modes. But what are these modes, and why should they influence your purchasing decision?
“Peak mode” is pretty straightforward: this simply tells you the highest amount of torque you have applied so far. This may sound simple, but it’s a real lifesaver when you are trying to apply a specific amount of torque to a specific task. With peak mode, you’ll know you’re always hitting the mark.
Trace mode isn’t as universally useful, but it’s still a good tool to have. Trace mode shows you how much torque you are applying at the exact moment. For example, you may not want to max out on torque, but you may want to apply a steady and constant pressure, and trace mode will make sure you can do just that.
You don’t always have to overthink what makes for a good tool. For example, think about how long you’ll be using a torque wrench when you use it. Because of that, a comfortable and ergonomic handle is very important!
If you don’t have a comfortable handle, you are likely to experience fatigue while you work. At that point, it’s not the tool that will be letting you down. Instead, it’s your own body.
In addition to sheer comfort, a comfortable handle can help prevent hand injuries from use. And you can go for extra features (like a non-slip grip) to help protect yourself from discomfort and injury even when your hands are covered in oil, sweat, or grease.
How many units of measurement does your digital torque wrench offer? Believe it or not, this can save you plenty of time on your projects.
For example, some wrenches may only have one unit of measurement such as “feet pounds.” This means you may have to do some “on the fly” conversions and calculations while you work.
However, some wrenches have up to four or five units of measurement. This includes feet pounds, inch pounds, newton meter, kilograms per centimeter, and kilograms per meter.
It may sound like overkill to have that many units of measurement. But if it helps save you time while you work, then it’s worth it.
When it comes to a digital torque wrench, the display is arguably the most important part. This is where the wrench will show you all of the most important information. However, that is meaningless if you can’t actually read it!
Most modern displays are LED. It’s important to make sure you can easily see this display in a variety of work and lighting conditions. If you’ll be working in the dark quite a bit, you may want a high-contrast LCD display in order to maximize visibility.
Automatically Shutting Down
One common complaint about digital torque wrenches is the battery life. It seems like the batteries never last as long as you’d expect. However, you can prolong the battery life by choosing wrenches with an auto-shut down feature.
This just means the wrench shuts down after a certain period of inactivity (like, say, 5 minutes). That may sound like a small thing, but it’s very easy to accidentally leave your wrench on and walk away.
With this feature in place, you don’t have to worry about leaving the tool on. And your batteries will ultimately last so much longer than they otherwise would.
One question you might ask during shopping is simple: “why digital?” There are plenty of analog torque wrenches out there, so what makes the digital versions so special?
One answer to this is that digital torque wrenches make it easy to know when you have hit the target torque. There are several ways that a digital wrench may indicate this, including flashing bright LED lights.
Do you absolutely need such a feature in your digital wrench? Honestly, it comes down to preference. Some people find the flashing lights less disruptive than, say, a vibrating handle. Others may not care for a light indicator because it requires them to look directly at the tool to know when the desired torque has been reached.
Don’t care for the bright LED light indicator? In that case, you may be more interested in a wrench with a vibrating handle.
It couldn’t be simpler: once you hit the target torque, the wrench handle begins to vibrate. And this can be useful in many different situations.
For example, you may be working in an area where you cannot visually monitor the tool for blinking lights. In that case, a simple vibration in the handle provides a cue that you simply cannot miss.
Depending on your other projects, though, you might be working with quite a few vibrating tools already. If that’s the case, you may want a digital torque wrench with another kind of indicator.
Just because your torque wrench is digital doesn’t mean that all of its features are super-modern. For example, some wrenches feature an audible beeping noise to indicate when you have reached the target torque.
For some handymen, this is the best of both worlds. You get an unmistakable notification about the torque without having to look down at the tool or put up with annoying vibrations.
However, this assumes that you can easily hear digital beeping. If you work in a loud environment or you like to work with headphones on, then the blinking lights or the vibrating handle may be better for you.
Between our reviews and our buyer’s guide, we have hopefully answered all of the major questions you have about digital torque wrenches. Now, there is only one question left: who were the biggest winners in our review roundup?
If you’re looking for the best digital torque wrench you can buy in terms of price and performance, we must recommend the GEARWRENCH 85077 Drive Electronic Torque Wrench. It impressed us with its solid and consistent performance, and it will be equal to just about any task you need it for.
For handymen on a budget, our top pick is the eTORK EC3250 Digital Torque Wrench. While still being an affordable choice, this digital torque wrench brings a surprising amount of power and performance. It’s basically a value product at a premium performance rate.
At the end of the day, though, only you have the power to pick the best digital torque wrench for your particular needs, preferences, and projects. With any luck, our reviews and buyer’s guide have saved you some time and helped you find the latest tool for your toolbox!
Now that the hard part is done, here comes the fun part: grabbing your new digital torque wrench and getting started on your latest project.
More content related to torque wrenches:
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Digital Torque Wrenches – Reviews 2020
- 1. GEARWRENCH Drive Electronic Torque Wrench – Best Overall
- 2. eTORK EC3250 Digital Torque Wrench – Best Value
- 3. CDI Drive Electronic Torque Wrench – Premium Choice
- 4. ACDelco ARM601-4 Digital Torque Wrench
- 5. Summit Tools WSP4-135CN Digital Torque
- 6. Craftsman Drive Digi-Click Torque Wrench
- 7. Yellow Jacket 60648 Digital Torque Wrench
- 8. BikeMaster RJ40583 Digital Torque Wrench
- 9. Olsa Tools Digital Torque Wrench
- 10. Hilmor 1963826 Digital Torque Wrench
- Buyer’s Guide