The 3 Best Digital Torque Wrenches in 2020

Best digital torque wrenches
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Some non-professionals may think that the more you tighten a fastener, the better it’ll hold in place. This is absolutely wrong. Over-torquing a fastener will increase the probability of its fracture in the future if it didn’t already fracture during the tightening.

But how to actually know how much torque you’re applying? That’s when a digital torque wrench comes in handy. In contrast to the traditional wrench, this tool lets you know the exact torque you’re applying in real-time.

That’s why we’ll review the 3 best digital torque wrenches in the market. Shall we begin?

What We Chose for You

We’re going to review each product based on its technical specs in addition to the pros and cons we found in customers’ reviews.

GEARWRENCH 85078 “3/8” Flex Head Electronic Torque Wrench – Our Top Pick

GEARWRENCH 85078 "3/8" Flex Head Electronic Torque Wrench - Our Top Pick

This is one of the most accurate torque wrenches out there. It reads torque in a range of 10-100 ft-lb with +/-2% accuracy in the clockwise direction and +/-3% accuracy in the counter-clockwise direction. For better accessibility in tight spaces, the head can rotate up to 5 degrees.

It works with a pair of AA batteries and reads torque in 5 units: ft-lb, In-lb, Nm, kg-m, and kg-cm. While setting the torque, you can add in increments as small as 0.1 ft-lb, which really makes sure you provide just the right torque.

For a better experience, this wrench provides a triple alert when it reaches the specified torque. These are: a vibrating handle, a buzzer, and a solid LED indicator.

It can also notify you before actually reaching the torque by a percentage of your choice. So if you set the torque to 100 ft-Ib with a notification at 10%, it will alert you at 90 ft-Ib.

The tooth count on this product is 72-tooth, which gives you a fast seamless ratcheting experience.

Considering durability, the grip handle and the metal housing are both resistant to varying oils and solvents, which are abundantly found in most workplaces.

It also comes as 1/2″ drive, with or without the flex angle.

Pros

  • Highly accurate
  • Triple alert system
  • Multiple drive sizes
  • 72-tooth wheel
  • Long durability

Cons

  • Wears the battery faster than other models.
  • Torque reading is inaccurate in low temperatures.
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CDI 1002CF3 Electronic Torque Wrench, 3/8-Inch – Second Best Digital Torque Wrench

This wrench from CDI can read torque in the range of 10-100 ft-Ib and display it in 3 other units: in-lb, Nm, and Kg-cm. The notification system is through an LED indicator and an audible buzzer.

But the greatest feature about this product is its 15-degree flex head. There’ll be no tight situation this wrench can’t handle.

The rubber handle is molded on the side which gives the most ergonomic and efficient grip possible.

For a better and faster experience, this product has a push-button that releases the socket without any undue hassle.

The other drive sizes available from CDI are the 1/2″ and the 1/4″.

Pros

  • Large flex angle
  • Push-button socket release
  • Multiple drive sizes

Cons

  • No vibration alert
  • Some customers reported difficulty in battery replacement.
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ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8″ Digital Torque Wrench– Best Affordable Digital Wrench

With this wrench, you can read torque in the range of 2-37 ft-Ib. The accuracy is +/-2% accuracy in the clockwise direction and +/-3% accuracy in the counter-clockwise direction.

The torque can be set in 4 units: kg-cm, N-m, in-lb. and ft-lb. When you reach the specified torque, the wrench will notify you with 2 alerts: a buzzer, and a LED indicator. These indicators are run via a AAA battery.

ACDelco also manufactures other drive sizes like 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1″.

Considering these features side to side with its price, this is one of the best wrenches for the money.

It comes with a 1-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship

Pros

  • Low price
  • Multiple drive sizes
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a flex angle.
  • No vibration alert
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Comparing the Wrenches

In this section, we’re going to discuss which is the best wrench in each point to save you the effort of going through each product review in detail.

Since we mentioned 3 products from 3 different brands, we’ll refer to them by the brand name for convenience.

Torque

GearWrench and CDI both share the same torque range. But GearWrench excels in the accuracy.

ACDelco falls behind in the torque range but holds high accuracy.

Flex Angle

CDI has the highest flex angle of all three. GearWrench comes in second.

ACDelco, on the other hand, doesn’t have a flex angle at all.

Measurement Units

GearWrench accepts the highest number of units. ACDelco and CDI come in second and third respectively.

Alert Feature

GearWrench is the most versatile with a buzzer, LED indicator, and a vibrating handle. It also has an additional alert at values before your specified torque.

ACDelco and CDI notify you at the specified torque with a buzzer and LED indicator only.

Price

ACDelco is the best for your budget. GearWrench is cheaper than CDI but with a small difference.

How Often Should You Calibrate Your Torque Wrench

As a general rule, torque wrenches should be calibrated after 12 months of regular use.

However, if the wrench is subjected to a high workload, extreme temperatures or frequent physical impacts, you’ll need to calibrate it more often.

The Verdict

Our top pick for the best digital torque wrenches is GEARWRENCH 85078 “3/8” Flex Head Electronic Torque Wrench. It has one of the best accuracy levels in the market. The triple alert system and the five torque measurements it reads greatly improve its experience.

If you’re more restrained in the budget, we’d advise going with ACDelco ARM601-3 3/8″ Digital Torque Wrench. Its torque range is quite acceptable considering its price and its high accuracy.

The 3/8″ driver size is the most common size you’ll need in your garage, car, etc. If you have other special uses in mind, consider the other sizes of 1/4″ and 1/2″.

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