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Once you have entered the realm of various wrench forms and sizes, frankly, there is no return ticket.It is not a bad thing, you know.
Even an expert mechanic trying to find a tool might indicate it as “that wrench with a thing” instead of fully describing it as its proper title.
In the trait of working with these wrenches, not many of us know the exact technical specifications of these tools even though we quite frequently utilize them.
Do you not think now is the high time we familiarize ourselves with torque wrench vs socket wrench before we assemble them in the wrong category?
First, you will have to understand their differences. How about we begin with the torque wrenches?
Torque wrenches are hand tools that require manual force. This force must have a significant setting.
Some equipment fasteners will need the correct application of the tool at a precise torque level.
These machines/equipment rely on such accuracy in order to avert unnecessary damages.
For example, if you feel pulse underfoot when stepped on a vehicle’s brake pedal, it explains an improper torquing of the lug nut.
Such mistakes occur only when the torque setting is wrongly measured before applying.
Therefore, a torque wrench is a crucial tool that fastens according to a specific setting to attain accurate tightness or vice versa.
Torque wrenches are better specialized for heavy-duty applications such as a locomotive, large machinery, aircraft maintenance, etc.
Many manufacturing fields also entail the safe conduct of torque wrenches for high-precision fastening.
The point is, this tool offers an adjustable torque setting of fasteners, usually in ft.-lbs., or Nm, to deliver the intended pressure the user applies.
Socket Wrench or Torque wrench?
Despite both being driven manually with hands, several variances distinctly set aside the tools. Let us see what they are.
Both wrenches rely on a physical maneuver to operate. Nevertheless, torque wrenches are the king of precision that do not damage the fasteners.
In that term, comparing a socket wrench is futile, even when it plays a significant role as well.
The torque wrench provides far better control than the socket wrench due to the adjusted pressure amount.
Regular ratchets refer to your hand as guidance while it tightens/loosens the fasteners.
A typical socket wrench is designed like a pipe-shaped handle where the square drive is situated at one end. You fit in the socket in the drive to function properly.
Torque wrenches, on the other hand, do not come with sockets even though you will need them to utilize.
This wrench is designed with measuring scales and markings engraved on the tube surface.
Right below is the knurled handle for precise operations. It also has a square drive on the top end.
There are four main torque wrenches; dial, beam, electronic, and click. On the contrary, there are plenty of socket sizes in the market to fit different sized bolt heads.
In short, there are a lot of options when you consider a socket wrench set but not many choices with a torque wrench.
A single torque wrench costs as much as a whole socket wrench set. If you think you are saving up a bunch by getting a kit, think again.
The device should be purchased, based on what equipment the user intends to maintain.While a good torque wrench is expensive, it will last for years.
A socket wrench, in contrast, is all about the quality because it will still be very cost-effective to own for minor repairs.
Recommended Torque Wrench to Buy
Who would not love some suggestions regarding the subject anyway? This is our way of ensuring that we are with you every step of the way. Let us see what awaits!
LEXIVON 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (LX-183)
Not many are well acquainted with this brand, but we have to admit we were pretty surprised at its proficiency. In that sense, it is a good catch for the price.
Some may think it is expensive, while others find it easily accessible. It is all about the budget one plans out to own this incredible torque wrench.
What catches the eye at first glance is the highlighted dual-range scale. It is so visible that working in a low light environment will not be an issue for the user at all.The yellow print truly brings out the markings in the dark.
This small brand has taken over the first position of this article is because of the decent performance it delivers without complaint. The ½-inch drive is capable of powering 10 to 150 ft.-lbs. of torque.
Do not worry about the calibration when it comes to LX-183 since it is pre-calibrated for you to apply it right out of the box.
We all wish for such tools that do not need tuning after purchasing at some point, right?
A +/-4% of sheer accuracy is greatly reliable upon conducting on heavy equipment.
This gives the user the advantage of precise torque application over machinery that necessitates accurate pressure in specific parts.
Another reason to love this device is the durability it possesses. That is right; this 16-inch long item is somewhere between grand appearance and master of steel.
The full steel constructed LEXIVON click torque wrench speaks only of accuracy, strength, and robustness.
It comes with a carrying case to further protect the device from accidental impacts.
There is just one tiny problem with the unit. This torque wrench does everything your expert/newbie hands directs it to do.
However, it will fix it all in a clockwise direction despite having a reversible ratchet head.
Related Guide: Impact Driver vs. Impact Wrench
TEKTON 1/4 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (24320)
TEKTON is a brand every tradesman/mechanic/DIY builder is aware of, no matter the type of torque wrench you choose.
The name itself is the reason many loyal customers often return to acquire more of their products.
But are the products that impressive? Over recent years, there had been some negativity regarding the accuracy and quality of their torque wrenches.
It has made us question this ¼-inch click torque as a precaution.
So we will point out the things we loved in this device first.
When we consider buying such tools, we mainly think about the quality and the precision it delivers.
You can rest assured of both because Tekton 24320 has no plastic element to weaken its structure.
As a matter of fact, the entire thing is made out of sturdy steel of premium grade.
The ¼-inch torque wrench also offers a 24-tooth reversible ratchet head. Consequently, the user can easily twist the device in either direction. Even the dual-range scale is easy to read due to the high-contrast marking.
We love the TEKTON’S signature black knurled handle that adds style and firmness as you grip.
As for the most vital feature, the torque ranges from 20 to 200 in.-lbs. It is pre-calibrated with a precision level of about +/-4%.
Gaining a high accuracy level is very important, as we all know. Hence, keep in mind that the click is not as audible as other torque wrenches, due to which there is a fair possibility of over-tightening.
This click mechanism tends to fail in following the alignment if the device is not stored at the lowest set up when not in use. So, preserve it well!
GEARWRENCH 1/2″ Drive Electronic Torque Wrench (85077)
The last most recommended torque wrench in the list is from a brand known as GEARWRENCH. It is another name that often gets lost amid all the famous names.
As an outcome, very few people with keen eyes are aware of the name that conveys high-grade tools to fulfill the tasks. However, its longevity will depend on how well you maintain it after usage.
Otherwise, there is no point in spending a large amount of money if the device is not treated carefully. It is just the harsh truth the user will have to accept.
On top of it, this wrench is electronic that requires you to take extra care when storing it.
But it will all be worth the hassle because the ½-inch drive provides the right amount of accuracy with a perfect alert system.
From handle vibration, buzzer to solid LED light, if one does not alert you, the other definitely will when the target is attained.
The internal mechanism features a 72-tooth ratchet along with 5 degrees of arc swing.
Moreover, you can, therefore, apply this tool to confined areas where it is difficult to maneuver a half-inch torque wrench.
You can turn it clockwise and counterclockwise that increases the productivity to a notch.
The perk of digital scale reading is that there can be more than two torque measurement programmed in the device.
This one supports five! Whichever you find more accessible to the readout, simply choose it, and then apply.
Remember, it is electronic; thus, it needs two AA batteries. It also is the reason why you will get the exact torque and speed required for the job.
Related Guide: Impact Driver vs Hammer Drill
What sets a socket wrench apart from a torque wrench? Better yet, how do we know when to operate with a socket wrench?
A socket wrench is a hand tool similar to the latter instrument. However, socket wrench is straightforward when it comes to application.
It looks like a small tube with ridges in one end. The other end appears to have an opening square for three individual socket sizes, depending on which ratchet you select.
So, the most common sizes are ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, and ½-inch. These are often vital in tightening/loosening nut bolts by engaging manually. It is commonly known as the hand-tight.
This mechanism does not have any preset torque adjustment. The user has to operate on instinct, which is why it is preferable to use the tool on simple fastening tasks.
A socket wrench even comes in sets where a hundred or more sizes can be acquired to ensemble a particular project.
Recommended Socket Wrench to Buy
Below are the top three recommended socket wrenches to choose from in case you are not sure how to begin the process. Shall we find out what we have in store for you?
EPAUTO 45 Pieces 3/8″ Drive Socket Set with 72-Tooth Pear Head Ratchet
If you are familiar with socket sets, you will probably know that these sets range from 10 as being the smallest to almost 150 being the largest of the kits. You might even find more varieties in numerous stores.
The point is, not everyone wants to have too small or too big of a set in the back of their vehicle, right?
We all want a box that fits somewhere in between, which would not seem invisible nor bulky to fit the space.
EPAUTO 45-piece set is such the case. It is ultra-portable that incorporates all the essential items perfectly tidied into one place.
There are SAE deep sockets, shallow sockets, metric deep sockets, and shallow sockets.
These various socket ranges increase the chance of swift repair if your vehicle needs a quick touch up by the roadside. The kit also contains an extension bar and a universal joint.
It is basically a top to bottom completion of a set within the moderate assortment.
Lastly, the handle has a 72-tooth ratchet head that ensures smooth application of the device with whichever socket you set.
The moment you open the box, you will come to love the polished silvery gleam each unit projects.
It is the result of sturdy construction using the material knows as Cr-V, or hardened treated Chrome Vanadium steel alloy.
Moreover, thanks to the chrome-plated and mirror finish, all the parts in the kit are corrosion-resistant.
Thus, the kit lasts for months, years even as long as the items are kept clean after each operation. This improves longevity as well as fastening accuracy effectively.
Makita A-97069 Impactx 1/2″ x 2″ Socket Adapter
Makita A-97069 may not be the whole set you are looking for, but it is an essential item amongst the socket kit you might already own.
Suppose you have lost the socket adapter from your toolbox. It is imperative that you get one because otherwise, your works remain incomplete.
This is where Makita comes to rescue you with their competent 1/2 x 2-inch adapter.
Now, if you already own the Makita Impactx socket toolset, then this adapter will solve the problems even faster!
It has a hex-shaped head style. The other end provides a retention ball for a secure fit to the socket.
That being said, this adapter is most suitable for impact drivers and driver-drills. It is a tool that many comprehensive sets need to accomplish various tasks.
There is not a single mechanic/repairman who would not understand the value of a single hex headed ½ x 2-inch adapter for their impact drivers. So what makes this small device more robust than others?
First of all, the drive head has chamfered edges that we typically find in professional impact toolsets.
This aspect ensures the user to fit the drive easily into the socket without fighting with it frequently.
The overall unit is constructed from S2 steel with a performance-optimized flair. It increases the lifespan of the product better than the standard ones.
So no matter how many times you apply the thing to complete a particular job, the Makita socket adapter will remain intact of any immediate scratch or damage. The steel makes further strengthens the durability by calibrated heat treating.
You do not just get an adapter with robust construction but also achieve a long-term operational item for the Makita complete set.
Crescent 20 Pc. 3/8″ Drive Pass-Thru X6 Standard Spline Mechanics Tool Set – CX6PT20-2 Pack
The reason Crescent socket wrench set is on our final recommendation is due to its two-pack kit facility and cost-efficiency.
For people who do not want to spend much but wish to own a kit for emergency use, this will do the job well enough.
It includes all the necessary units you will need for the tightening/loosening of the bolts. The best part is that the socket and the ratchet features a Pass-Thru system.
This eliminates any constraint of using deep sockets. They are all suitable for a 3/8-inch drive. Crescent 20-piece kit includes socket sizes from 10 up to 7/8-inch.
All these sizes have the upper hand for fitting with about six types of fasteners, from hex, square, 12-pt to E-Torx, spline, etc.
While many users have assessed the kit as useful, some have issued a few drawbacks regarding the quality.
The overall make is quite sturdy to last for a long time as each part functions properly to meet your need. However, there had been some trouble with a few sockets that seems to have an off-center pattern.
Now this problem could lead to failure in applying those specific sockets when obliged. This is why we have decided to choose our last resort rather than a suggestion.
Yes, it is very cost-effective in a sense, but if half the sockets are created with such obvious mistakes, then we cannot ask you to spend the budget on it.
However, it is the manufacturer’s fault. Hence, not all Crescent 20-piece socket wrench will have the same issue.
On the other hand, its ratchet handle is another favorable item in the set. It is 50% thinner than the typical wrench handles in the market. Consequently, the user gets better access to enclosed areas while working.
Now that you comprehend the argument of torque wrench vs socket wrench, it shows both are in a way useful in various jobs.
Personally, though, we think a torque wrench offers the best of both as it can preset the value for not ruining or damaging the bolts.
A socket wrench, however, is a handy device to have around inexpensively for fixing small matters. Hope it helps!