If you ask an Engineer about the subject of bolt torque, you may be shocked by the answer as the subject or torque can be pretty complicated. It covers topics such as bolted joint analysis, joint loading, material type, lubrication properties, and even tool RPM if you are using electric means to torque your fasteners. Failure to take these things into account can lead to trouble as incorrect torque settings can lead to bolted joint failure, which in the automotive world can spell disaster for the occupants of a vehicle. Fortunately, most bolted joints on cars have had these analyses performed and thus you can rely on the torque spec provided by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
When it comes to actually applying torque to meet these specs, most of the time people prefer the ease of a click type torque wrench because they are quick and don’t require visual readout. In other words, they simply click and you know that you’re done torquing your fastener. However, click type torque wrenches can cost a pretty significant sum of money. In the case you don’t want to spend as much, the beam type torque wrench is an affordable way to apply reliable torque to the bolts on your car.
A beam type torque wrench works by using a beam bending mechanism; as you torque your bolt, you deflect a calibrated beam on the wrench which provides you with a real time readout against a gauge. You will have to look at the gauge as you operate the tool as there is no tactile signal (such as a click) to alert you to the fact that you have reached the appropriate torque, but fortunately using a beam type torque wrench is still relatively straightforward. Beam type torque wrenches typically have lower torque ranges, as higher torque bolts tend to require more physical input from the user which makes the ability for the user to read the gauge more difficult as torque increases. Due to this, it is rare to see high torque range beam type wrenches. As we have experience with a variety of beam type torque wrenches and torque wrenches in general, we know that it can be tough to figure out which ones are the most reliable, so we have written this article to share our recommendation for the best beam type torque wrench.
The Best Beam Type Torque Wrench
Neiko Tools offers a large array of torque products that bring professional level precision to the do-it yourselfer mechanic, basic home handyman, or motorsports enthusiast. They offer the best beam type torque wrenches around and offer unmatched durability to keep your wrenches ready to use when you need them.
Neiko specifically offers a great beam type torque wrench (model #03727A) with an easy to read gauge. This model reads from 0 – 80 inch-pounds (0-9 Newton-meters). The torque head accommodates 1/4-inch sockets and is conveniently ambidextrous, measuring torque in either clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation. The red pointer indicates torque value over a white analog gauge measured in inch-pounds in increments of two with every ten indicated boldly. Equivalent values in newton-meters in 0.25 Nm increments are shown on the scale as well, so no need to convert between standard and metric units in your head.
Torque accuracy during fastening is within +/- four percent (4%) which is suitable for automotive use. This twelve inch torque wrench is perfect for smaller jobs that require low torque values such as electronics, spark plugs, etc. The torque wrench is made of durable steel and chrome vanadium coated to prevent corrosion over the life of the tool. This wrench does not come with a plastic or metal storage case, so be ready to clean and store it in a drawer to maintain it as well as keep it prepared for the next use.
As far as available purchasing options, Amazon’s competitive price makes the value tough to top. Overall, the Neiko Beam Type Torque Wrench is a great tool that will do the job right! That said, if you have a constant flux of automotive projects with varying fastener sizes, you may need pick up a couple different torque wrenches with varying ranges and different socket size attachments. This will give you the flexibility to be ready for any job whether big or small by having a wrench with the correct torque range no matter what the project is. You can read about other torque wrench options in our guide to choosing the best torque wrench which provides more info and should give you a feel for other wrenches with higher torque ranges. Happy wrenching!