So, what is the best torque wrench for the buck? After all, there are a lot of torque wrenches to choose from, running the gamut from the really cheap to the “skip-the-cruise-this-year” price. Is it really smarter for a home wrencher to go with a $500 torque wrench?
Recently, Four Wheeler magazine decided to test the You-Get-What-You-Pay-For theory by pitting three popular 1/2″ click-type torque wrenches–
- Craftsman ($79.99)
- Snap-On ($323)
- Harbor Freight Tools’ best-selling Pittsburgh Pro 1/2 In. Drive Click-Type Torque Wrench #239 ($21.99 on sale)
— against each other for performance and value. In his How-To article, “Who Builds the Best Torque Wrench for Less,” columnist Jeff Smith took the tools to Cornerstone Metrology in Van Nuys, CA, “a company that does calibration work for both industrial and individual mechanics,” where they measured the three dial torque wrenches on a digital scale accurate to within 0.10 of a pound.
Then out of curiosity, they used the Pittsburgh Professional Digital Torque Adapter (#68283, $31.99) to compare their findings. Amazingly, after several measurements they found the digital adapter hit within 0.10 of a pound as well!
It comes as no surprise, the Pittsburgh torque wrench came out being the best value for the home or pro mechanic looking for a mechanical click-type torque wrench. And with Harbor Freight Tools‘ incredible lifetime warranty on all hand tools, it just doesn’t get better than that.