6 Main Torque Wrench Types and Sizes: Which One Do You Need?

torque wrench types

Table of Contents

FramingNailersGuide is reader-supported. If you buy an item through the links on this site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Last Updated on May 8, 2021 by John Patterson

Torque wrenches are a blessing for any handyman or mechanic or hobbyist DIYer. But once you end up with the wrong size and power in hand, the situation can backfire.

Until or unless you’ve got the right power (torque), quality brand, and size in your top-quality torque wrench list, that will be almost crap for you. It’s even worse for people who’re new with this little kit.

Therefore, we’ve come up with a complete guide on the most convenient torque wrench types and their applications. We’ve discussed it from both points of view of torque power, and size. Either way, you should be figuring out the essential help you need.

Enough of the introduction. Let’s get going about the types of torque wrenches-

What Are the Basic Torque Wrench Types?

#1. Beam Torque Wrench

Beam Torque Wrench


Beam torque wrenches are the simplest and basic type of torque wrench available in the market. A lever arm separates the handle and the head. Also, it can be bent slightly to deviate the level of pressure.

One important feature that this kind of wrenches has is, a scale moves to give you reading while you’re applying torque on it. Also, a needle pointer is there to show up the weight of the product.

Neiko 03727A 1/4-Inch-Drive Beam Torque Wrench, SAE and MM Bicycle and...
4,109 Reviews
Neiko 03727A 1/4-Inch-Drive Beam Torque Wrench, SAE and MM Bicycle and...
  • QUALITY AUTOMOTIVE WRENCH: This beam torque wrench...
  • VERSATILE CAR-NUT WRENCH: Our beam torque wrench...
  • BIDIRECTIONAL TOOL: Designed for both left and...
  • EASY TO USE: The ball detent and chamfered ends...

#2. Click Torque Wrench

Click Torque Wrench

Click torque wrenches are a bit sophisticated version of what we can find in a regular torque wrench. While using, the user can present the level of work that should be done with the wrench.

Once the level is reached, it will automatically start slipping off. The design of click wrenches is also made in a more precise way. It prevents or over-stretching and overreaching.

TEKTON 1/2 Inch Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench (10-150 ft.-lb.) |...
  • Includes storage case and product manual with...
  • Wrench emits a click that can be heard and felt...
  • High-contrast dual-range scale is easy to read,...
  • Reversible ratchet head drives in both directions...
  • Durable all-steel construction has no plastic...

#3. Dial Torque Wrench

Dial Torque Wrench

Dial torque wrenches are made in a way to show up the data on a dial. When it comes to capturing the finishing torque that’s applied to a fastener, this one can provide high accuracy.

Dial torque wrenches are usually used in the case of controlling instruments or to check the torque pressures on them. Also, jobs like auditing, join the testing, etc. are also idea jobs for it.

CDI Torque 751LDIN Dial Indicating Torque Wrench, 1/4' Drive, Dual...
297 Reviews
CDI Torque 751LDIN Dial Indicating Torque Wrench, 1/4" Drive, Dual...
  • Torque range is 0 to 75-inch pounds
  • Memory needle
  • Designed for the automotive, nuclear, and...
  • Features a sturdy torsion beam design for...
  • Easy to read laser marked single scale

#4. Digital/electronic torque wrench

Digital/electronic torque wrench

Quality Electric torque wrenches are one with the minimum manual effort required. These are programmable, and you can set limits to their capacities.

To transducer and determine the torque necessary/forcer needed, there is a strain gauge attached to a torsion rod. Also, there is a small chip that has a memory stick attached to it. They can remember any reading which is accessible from your computer as well.

GEARWRENCH 1/2 Drive Electronic Torque Wrench - 85077
2,281 Reviews
GEARWRENCH 1/2 Drive Electronic Torque Wrench - 85077
  • 72-tooth ratchet mechanism with a 5° swing arc...
  • Torque accuracy of +/-2% CW and +/-3% CCW between...
  • “Target Torque Alert” gives a warning as you...
  • 5 torque measurement units provide a readout in...
  • Handle and housing are oil and solvent resistant,...

#5. Hydraulic Torque Wrenches

hydraulic torque wrenches

In the case of hydraulic torque wrenches, the idea is to apply torque on a deflecting beam instead of through a coil spring. That eventually gives more accuracy and lessens up the effort you need to use a torque wrench. Also, you can hear the visual impacts of the mechanism to ensure appropriate and safe application.

Enerpac W4000X Hydraulic Torque Wrench, 1 5/8"-3 1/8" Hex
  • Superior strength to size ratio provides easy...
  • Tough manifold design with added safety feature...
  • Fast release drive unit enables rapid exchange of...
  • Includes robust handle which mounts on both sides...
  • 30 degree rotation angle and rapid return stroke...

#6. Micrometer Torque Wrenches

Micrometer Torque Wrenches

These are the different torque wrenches with both forward and reverse movement capacities. There is a quick-release trigger that makes it even easier to use.

GEARWRENCH 1/4' Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench 30-200 in/lbs. - 85060
1,278 Reviews
GEARWRENCH 1/4" Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench 30-200 in/lbs. - 85060
  • Thin profile, sealed, teardrop head design offers...
  • Torque accuracy of +/- 3% CW between 20% and 100%...
  • Pull adjustment collar feature allows you to make...

Torque Wrench Sizes

Torque Wrench Sizes

In the case of both automotive and industrial uses, torque wrenches are of various sizes. The capacity and size- both range from small to medium and large torque wrenches.

Torque wrenches of small sizes are usually of any size within 30 to 200 in. lbs which usually has square drives of 1/4 or 3/8 square drive. Often, for everyday use regarding low torque requirements are the best place to use this kind of small wrenches.

Medium-sized models usually feature a higher torque limit that lies within 20 to 30 ft-lbs. For little medium-range applications like automotive, garage, or mechanic works, these are the torque wrenches that you should go for.

Talking about the most significant type of torque wrenches, the application seems to be substantial as well. They usually come with torque limits from 250 ft. lbs and beyond.

The drive adapter that they are generally supplied with is 1/2 square drives. Works like engine rebuilding and reconditioning are the ideal cases when you should use them.

Torque Wrench Sizes Chart

Image Credit: rustyautos

What You Should Keep in Mind to Find the Right Size

If you’re an expert mechanic, you might have a clear perception of the correct torque wrench you need. But in case you’re new to the world of torque wrenches, things will look a bit creepy.

Because not every size of torque wrench is the right fit for every job. Here we are sharing some practical tips so that you can find the right size-

#1. Torque Limit

The first and foremost factor for every torque wrench you can find. You need to sort out the type of works you will be doing. At least you should set a range. And move forward to see the model that can deliver that much.

#2. Have an Eye on The Material

The torque range isn’t the only quality defining a factor of a torque wrench. It should also be made of durable materials that can undergo even the most robust of workloads.

#3. Torque Wrench Calibration

To attain maximum efficiency in whatever job you do with the torque wrench, calibration is a must. You must go for a model which is calibrated as per to the standard, and through proper equipment. Take help from a technical expert if you need one and don’t forget to know how a torque wrench works.

In Conclusion

Thank you for being until the very bottom of the article. Hope our guide on different types of torque wrenches comes up to be a helping hand to choose the right one from various torque wrench types.

Related Reading:
#1. What are the best bike torque wrenches?

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.