When you’re working on your vehicle, there are many parts when you’ll need to find the optimal tightness of a nut or bolt to ensure quality, performance and, most importantly, safety. For example, you wouldn’t want your wheels coming off while you’re speeding down a highway.
In many cases, if you don’t tighten up your bolts to the optimal level, whether that’s under or overtightening, this can cause huge amounts of damage to the components of your vehicles, which is only going to result in expensive repair costs.
To ensure this level of accuracy, you’re going to need to invest in a torque wrench. These are specially designed wrenches that allows you to see exactly what tightness the bolt was on previously, and then you can set it back once you’ve replaced or upgraded the respective part.
However, there’s no reason why you need to spend a fortune on this expensive tool. In fact, there are many units out there that allow you to purchase a fully-featured and highly accurate torque wrench for under $100.
Not only will these wrenches provide you with the accurate tightening services you require, but it also guarantees that you won’t break the bank, giving you more cash in the long-term to invest on more lucrative parts or upgrades for your vehicle.
When choosing an affordable torque wrench, there are several considerations you’ll want to be thinking about. These include the accuracy of the wrench itself, as well as the quality (so you know it’s built to last), the ease of use, such as a gripped handle and a stable build that will survive years to come, even if you drop it.
To help you make this all-important decision on what wrench is right for you, we’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve searched across the board and streamlined the best of the best into our four favorite options.
This way, you’ll be able to find the perfect wrench simply by seeing which one best suits what you’re looking for.
Craftsman 20-150ft lbs. ½ Drive MicroTork Torque Wrench
To start off our list, we’ve chosen this outstanding mid-range torque wrench that’s the perfect balance between affordability, quality, and accuracy. In fact, this wrench is capable of giving you a true torque reading within a 4% range, which is more than enough for all your repair, upgrade and servicing requirements.
When you’re using this wrench, the torque settings are incredibly easy to read since they are engraved on the device itself, meaning there’s no risk of them rubbing off over the future coming years. On these scales, you’ll find both the inch and metric (newtons) scales, so you can easily work with whatever measurements work best for you.
This ease of use is made even simpler thanks to the twist ring that includes a ‘lock and unlock’ setting, ensuring you can hold your measurements without the risk of losing them. The wrench itself is capable of reading and operating within a 20 to 150ft. per lb. range, which is likely to cover all the tightness ventures you’ll ever need!
Furthermore, this wrench is fully reversible, allowing you to work in the best way to suit you that’s ideal for reaching all those tight spaces in your car or truck. However, while this wrench does come calibrated from the factory, you will find a sheet included with your purchase so you can calibrate it yourself to make sure you’re working accurately.
- Superior 20-150ft. lb. operating range
- Inch and metric scales imprinted on the device
- Comes calibrated and ready to use
- Reversible operation for simple usage in any space
- Only a one-year warranty
- Can break easily compared with other premium models
Tekton 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
Tekton is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to vehicle tools, and this professional torque wrench is no exception.
Firstly, this is easily one of the most durable wrenches available thanks to its production from solid steel. There are no plastic parts here meaning the risk of it breaking or becoming damaged over time is minimal; even if you drop it.
Regarding the operational use, you’ll find a dual-range scale built into the wrench that’s easy to read, even if you’re working in low light environments. Since the scale is engraved, there’s no risk of it coming off over time, which, of course, would render the wrench useless.
As you would expect from a premium quality wrench, this unit boasts a reversible ratchet head that works in both directions, although torque can only be measured in the first place by going in a clockwise direction. However, this will ensure you can use the wrench in all the tight spaces you need to work in.
Furthermore, this wrench comes fully calibrated from the factory and ready to use as soon as it ships in.
With the industry standard of a 4% accuracy on the readings, you can be sure that you’re always applying the right amount of tightness to any vehicle work you’re carrying out.
With a truly outstanding operational range of 25 to 250ft per lb., along with a competitive mid-range price tag, this is one torque wrench that will serve you for years to come.
- Superior operational range of 25 to 250ft per lb.
- Reversible ratchet head for ease of use
- The industry standard of 4% accuracy
- Solid all-steel build for maximum durability
- The locking system is a little ropey compared with other premium wrenches
- Limited teeth compared with other conventional wrenches
TackLife 3/8-Inch Torque Wrench
The TackLife Torque Wrench is one of the most popular wrenches in the industry for under $100 and boasts a wide range of premium features that make it stand up there with the more expensive, premium quality counterparts.
With this 3/8-inch drive wrench, you’ll be able to enjoy the operating range of 10-18ft. per lb., or the equivalent in Newtons.
Both measurements are scaled directly onto the torque wrench itself. As the industry standard allows, all measurements can be taken within a 4% accuracy, ensuring an accurate tightness every time you use it.
This level of easy operation is only added upon thanks to the reversible ratchet head which means you’ll be able to get into all those tight spaces with minimal stress when trying to make everything fit together. You can even pre-set the torque reading and then hear an audible ‘click’ once the required tension is met.
If you want to read the scales yourself, this has been made effortless thanks to the engraved figures on the device itself that have been designed with a high contrast for easy reading against the rest of the wrench. This means you can even operate the wrench in low-light conditions with ease.
In terms of quality, this wrench is crafted using hardened and treated chrome vanadium composed of a steel alloy. This is adds protection from types of corrosion, such as rust, and won’t break when it’s dropped, guaranteeing a wrench that will last for the foreseeable future.
- Highly durable and reliable chrome/steel alloy construction
- Universal sockets included to fit any bolt
- Comes calibrated with a certificate of calibration, so it’s ready to go
- High contrast scale for ease of use in low-light conditions
- Limited torque readings compared with other wrenches
- Not ideal build for excessive use
EPAuto 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
To conclude our list of best torque wrenches for under $100, we’ve opted for this outstanding wrench from
EPAuto which goes above and beyond the call of duty, even for a fraction of a premium price wrench.
Although you’ll only have access to a limited 10-80ft lb. operating range, this wrench is full of features that won’t let you down.
Firstly, you’ll benefit from the highly durable ratchet head that’s not only reversible but is produced using the coveted chrome and steel alloy combination that ensures reliability and a long lifespan.
This quality only continues since the wrench has been treated, and ultimately protected, from rust and other forms of corrosion. When you’re not using your wrench, you can safely store it in the hard case that comes included with your purchase. All these features come together to ensure a wrench that will continue to perform for many years.
As with all premium quality wrenches, this one prides itself on its easy to read high contrast scale that reads both metric and Newtons, so you can work with what measurements best suit your personal preference.
Of course, this wrench also operates within a 4% accuracy, so you can ensure optimal tightness.
With the reliable ‘click’ sound when you’ve reached your required pre-set torque and the fact it comes pre-calibrated and ready to use straight away, this could be the only torque wrench you ever need.
- 4% accuracy when tightening bolts
- Drive ‘click’ sound for accuracy operation
- Comes with an included hard case for storage
- High contrast scale for easy reading
- Limited torque range compared with other models
- Not as durable as other premium models
When you’re looking for a torque wrench for under $100, it’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by the number of options that are available to you.
However, any of the four wrenches above are ideal choices when it comes to finding the one that best suits you; so long as you match the right wrench to what you need!