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The best torque wrenches

• Never go to the garage to change a wheel again
• Best torque wrenches to keep in your boot
• Brands such as Silverline, Sealy and Icetools

Written by Ryan Gilmore Published: 31 August 2022 Updated: 1 December 2023

What are torque wrenches, you might be asking? One thing you’ll quickly learn when you begin to work on your car is that the correct torque reading for every fastening is important. As a result, alongside the best tools for each job on your car, you’ll essentially need a tool-shaped guarantor.

This is something that can accurately measure the torque on the important fasteners. That’s where a torque wrench comes in.

It’s not the end of the world if you’re fiddling around with non-important interior trim. That’s where a socket set might come in handy. But if you’re changing a wheel or working on your engine, it’s incredibly important to listen to a manufacturer’s instructions.

The best torque wrenches at a glance:

Editor’s Choice: Silverline Torque Wrench – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best budget torque wrench: Amazon Basics 1/4-Inch Drive – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best compact torque wrench: Icetoolz Torque Wrench – Buy now from Amazon UK

A torque wrench is much more advanced than a more familiar spanner set. They allow you to see how much torque has been applied as you do up the fastening. It’s a real garage essential for car work and we’ve selected our favourites below, suitable for a whole range of tasks and budgets.

The best torque wrenches

Editor's choice
Price: £40.02
Amazon Amazon Prime
The simplest a tool wrench can be, this option from Silverline is ideal for any car-related maintenance. It features an impressive range of 28 to 210Nm and also features a reversible ratchet head. It also ships with a 125mm extension bar, 1/2in to 3/8in socket adapter and a handy plastic storage case.


  • Hefty limit of 210Nm
  • 465mm long handle


  • Overkill for smaller fasteners
Best mid-range torque wrench

Rrp: £49.62

Price: £37.05
Amazon Amazon Prime
Draper's 3/8 inch Square Drive Ratchet Torque Wrench is an honourable mention simply because it's a great tool for lesser fastening jobs. It's only limited to 80Nm, but it's compact enough to be useful in tight spaces, measuring in at only 30.6 x 5.4 x 5.2 cm.


  • Good quality tool
  • Great value


  • Limited to 80Nm
Best budget torque wrench
Price: £22.92
Amazon Amazon Prime
Another basic torque wrench that's perfect for basic car duties, the Amazon Basics torque wrench is a good budget option. It can be set from 27.1 to 203.5Nm and like the Silverline option, offers a reversible ratchet head and a plastic storage case.


  • Great value
  • Good limit of 203.5Nm


  • Too large for smaller fasteners
Best compact torque wrench

Rrp: £33.82

Price: £31.90
A very small option that's not really suited to cars. The IceToolz T-Handle is great for bicycles and other smaller fixtures. It only goes up to 10Nm, but it does feature an inbuilt torque meter as well as a selection of head attachments. Be warned; however, there is no pre-set torque limit, and if you're not careful, you can overtighten the fixture.


  • Great for smaller jobs
  • Changeable drive bits


  • No way to pre-set limit
Best digital torque wrench
Digital torque wrenches may cost the most money but are often the easiest to use. This example from Sealey uses a 3/8in drive socket and features an alarmed pre-set torque limit so you don't accidentally over-torque a fastening. It also features a digital read-out to show how much you've torqued something. And it goes up to 85Nm, enough for most car tasks.


  • Actual torque read-out
  • Audible and visible limit


  • High cost for an amateur or occasional mechanic

Best old-fashioned torque wrench
Price: £22.58
Amazon Amazon Prime
You're grandad probably owned a torque wrench like this, and while they may look old and outdated, they're still an excellent option for working on your car. It's a 1/2-inch drive handle with a separate bar that indicates on the built-in scale the actual torque being applied. There's no pre-set warning or limit which means you'll need to keep your eyes on the scale as you're using it.


  • Good value
  • Simple to operate


  • No pre-set limit to indicate the correct torque
Best premium torque wrench

Rrp: £159.99

Price: £154.99
On the premium end of the spectrum from Wera, it offers the C3: a 1/2 inch square drive torque wrench with a range of 40-200Nm of torque.

You simply adjust how much torque you want using the knob at the end, and being a Wera product, you can be assured the C3 is built to great build quality. There's even a version called the C5 which can go up to 400Nm of torque.


  • Great build quality
  • Easy to adjust torque settings


  • Doesn't differ too much from lesser options
Best torque wrench accessory
Price: £16.50
Amazon Amazon Prime
Sometimes regular torquing isn't enough; sometimes, a fastening needs to be set to a specific angle as well as torque. This attachment makes working out angles a lot easier by slotting underneath the ratchet handle of a torque wrench to give you precise adjustability.


  • Make torque handle application easy
  • Adjustable stop bar


  • Doesn't indicate the actual torque value

What does a torque wrench do?

A wrench is a tool designed to turn nuts and bolts, often by connecting to an appropriate socket. While the terms spanner and wrench are technically interchangeable. In the UK, spanners are fixed sizes while wrenches can be adjusted. Over in the world of multi tools, the attachments are generally fixed sizes as well.

Everything in your car that’s fastened will have a set torque setting set by the manufacturer that needs to be torqued to the correct setting. From something as simple that can’t be tackled by a precision screwdriver set to important bolts that hold the wheels on and keep the engine held together, they all need to be torqued. If you’re planning on doing any task like this you must use a torque wrench so you don’t do some serious damage to your car as you rebuild it.

The best hand tool brands for torque wrenches

Torque wrenches require calibration and need to be accurate for more heavy-duty jobs. Therefore, there is a massive price gap for entry-level and more professional offerings. Professional options from the Sealey Professional line and Norbar are possibly the most accurate examples available. But these may be a little overkill unless you’re doing some serious wrenching. Draper and Sealey cover the more affordable end of the price spectrum. The same applies when it comes to socket sets which are produced by the same brands.

Ryan Gilmore is the Deputy Autos and Tools Editor for Parkers, specialising in car cleaning and hand tools. A veteran car cleaner; if it details, waxes or washes he’ll be on hand to make sure it’s worth your money.

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