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Even for a seasoned mechanic, there are parts of the car where relying on intuition isn’t enough. Torque wrenches are perfect for taking the guess work out of tightening bolts and ensuring you conform to the standards set out by the car manufacturer when it was designed.
Torque is a unit of measurement that determines how much pressure is required to turn it, torque is determined by the amount of force used and the distance to the pivot point. But we don’t need to go all sciencey on you because a digital torque wrench will do all of that for you and use it’s electronic sensor to tell you when the correct torque level has been reached.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the best digital torque wrenches available in the UK to help you choose your next tool.
Digital Torque Wrench Buying Guide
Here are the key things to keep in mind when buying a digital torque wrench. If you’re familiar with buying torque wrenches, the concept of buying a digital torque wrench is relatively similar so you can skip straight to the recommendations.
Each torque wrench will have a certain range of accuracy depending upon the electronic sensors inside. Cheap torque wrenches are often not as accurate as more expensive ones, as you’d expect. We recommend a wrench that has an accuracy within 5%. Although some of the wrenches here have an accuracy within 2% which means they are even more precise.
A torque wrench will have a set range within which it will work so you should ensure it’s suitable for the tasks you’ll be doing. Torque is measured in foot-pounds (ft lbs), kilogram-metres (kg-m) or newton-metres (n.m.). We’d typically recommend a torque range of about 20-120 n.m. for an all-round wrench. A spark plug might be at the lower end of this spectrum, whereas head bolts will be at the other end.
The head sizes of a torque wrench is really important. For most people, a ½” or 3/8” head will provide the torque range needed and be most suitable for working on most vehicles.
Metric or Imperial
As mentioned earlier, there are various units of measurement for torque. Being from the UK, we try to work in metric units where possible (n.m.) but there are benefits to having both options available. Most digital torque wrenches will cover foot-pounds and newtown-metres, however, don’t take this for granted and be sure to check. Ultimately, this depends on the make of your car and how you like to work.
Best Digital Torque Wrenches
Here are the top digital torque wrenches available in the UK:
Sealey STW308 Digital Torque Wrench – Best Overall
The industry standard in digital torque wrenches from a trusted British tool brand
- 3/8” head
- 8-85 Nm
- Accuracy +/- 2%
This Sealey digital torque wrench was designed for factory and garage use, so it will perform fantastically well for anyone looking for a wrench to use every so often. Whether you’re working on your dream car and intend to use this wrench every weekend, or want a wrench for when it really matters, this torque wrench will be perfect.
As it has a digital display, this wrench can be used in imperial or metric. It also has a 72-tooth ratchet made from Vanadium that is reversible. Plus, it has five user presets that are easy to set up. So no matter what tasks you need a torque wrench for, this one outperforms most on the market.
You’ll notice that this torque wrench has a moulded plastic handle which provides comfort when using it all day.
Sealey STW306 Angle Torque Wrench – For the Tougher Jobs
A bigger digital torque wrench capable of up to 200n.m. and features angle tightening
- ½” head
- 20 – 200 Nm
- Accuracy +/- 2%
This Sealey torque wrench may look and sound very similar to the first one on this list so you might be wondering what’s different. Well, these wrenches are designed for different tasks and compliment each other well. The first wrench is perfect for smaller jobs and will fit into tighter areas. This torque wrench is great for wheels and bigger tasks.
Of course, once again Sealey has delivered a torque wrench that will easily perform all day long. This has all the features of the torque wrench above but also has an angle mode too. So, when precision turns are required, this torque wrench takes that into account when set up correctly.
Again, this wrench can display imperial and metric and has five presets for easy repeat operations. Finally, it also has a comfortable plastic handle and metal body, and it can be run in reverse too. This torque wrench isn’t as easy to use as the one above, but that is simply because it provides more helpful features that will become essential in some cases.
Draper Expert Precision Electronic Torque Wrench
Designed for precision and used by professionals
- ¼”, 3/8” and ½” heads available
- 6-30, 27-135 and 40-200 Nm
- Accuracy +/- 4%
Draper has created a set of torque wrenches that can provide a professional with many years of use with these. This torque wrench is available in ¼”, 3/8” and ½”. If you buy all three torque wrenches, you’ll never be caught short. Something brilliant about these torque wrenches too, is that they all have nine presets that are really easy to get to. Plus, the torque settings are really quick to change at the touch of a button.
These torque wrenches were clearly designed to be used every day but used quickly and easily too. So, whether you’ve never used a torque wrench, or want to pick up a digital torque wrench for the precision, but don’t want a steep learning curve, these digital torque wrenches are ideal.
CDI Computorq 3 Electronic Torque Wrench
Simple to use and rugged design that will last frequent use
This is an American-made torque wrench with a digital display that provides real-time torque values in all of the torque units. We’ve opted to show off the 3/8” torque wrench here, but the same model is also available in a ¼” version too. Both models have a very clear LED display and a comfortable plastic handle, meaning you can use this wrench all day long and never feel fatigued.
The alarm on this torque wrench is loud enough so even in a busy garage, you’ll hear when the preset torque value has been reached.
- 3/8” head (¼” available as well)
- 13 – 135 Nm
Clarke International Digital Adaptor for Wrench
Retrofit to an existing wrench or ratchet that you love
This Clarke ½” digital torque adaptor can turn any standard ½” square drive ratchet or wrench into a digital torque wrench. Even if you already own an analogue torque wrench, you can use this digital adaptor as a digital readout to ensure precision in any number of jobs. The torque adaptor is really easy to use and quite compact for how much it can do. This means that this torque adaptor can often get into places where some torque wrenches will struggle.
This torque wrench is calibrated to BS EN ISO6789 standards, and the digital display shows imperial and metric measurement units at the touch of a button. Keep this digital torque adaptor in the handy case, and use it whenever you’re in a pinch. This is a Clarke Pro tool, it’s built for the toughest work and will certainly perform perfectly for any car enthusiasts looking for a quality, digital torque wrench.
- Converts a ½” head wrench or ratchet into a digital torque wrench
- 30-360 Nm