The best cycling torque wrenches

We put 17 models to the test – which should you buy?

It’s a hand tool you probably see recommended plenty in manuals and maintenance articles – the torque wrench. Simply put, this device measures and helps to control the tightening torque of a bolt.

As the materials used in bicycles are pushed closer to the extremes, the tolerances for acceptable tightening have narrowed. Lightweight components can be crushed or slip under use, both raising significant safety issues. 

While there are plenty of hardened-skin naysayers for such a tool, the truth of the matter is that if you’re working with delicate components, then the use of a torque wrench makes it far less likely for things to go wrong. Yes, it’s possible that experienced mechanics have a ‘feel’ for tightening torque, myself included, but I still use a torque wrench when my warranty (and teeth) are at risk.

So which is best? To try to get a handle on that (no pun intended), we put 17 through their paces.

How they were tested

A torque wrench is only useful if accurate. For this, I acquired a 0-10Nm digital torque wrench-testing machine and went about testing each one at 3, 5 and 8Nm. Where the torque wrenches are pre-set in torque, equal 5Nm versions were tested.

A torque wrench is only useful if accurate. for this, i acquired a digital torque wrench tester to test peak loads between 1-10nm:
A torque wrench is only useful if accurate. for this, i acquired a digital torque wrench tester to test peak loads between 1-10nm:

A device with the sole purpose of accurately measuring peak torque

Each torque wrench was checked three times at each setting when new, and again after some moderate use. The figures provided are those recorded after some moderate use of each, as there’s some evidence of ‘break-in’ period to what we assume is tightening of moving parts after sitting from manufacture.

It’s worth pointing out that such a manual method of testing does have inconsistencies due to human input. While I’ve tried to keep the testing as constant as possible, the speed and pressure applied to the wrench can indeed affect the measured torque, as does the actual interpretation of the torque set on each tool.

Some torque wrenches can be a little vague in setting the torque. they may be calibrated correctly, but this lack of precision will stop them from being accurate:
Some torque wrenches can be a little vague in setting the torque. they may be calibrated correctly, but this lack of precision will stop them from being accurate:

Is that 5Nm? Some wrenches are more precise than others

The interpretation of set torque is indeed a large factor here, and although the tool may be calibrated correctly (typically within 4%), the error in setting it to the desired torque can greatly influence the outcome. It’s no different to how reading an analogue gauge can vary.

Given such issues, the scores and winners are based on more than measured accuracy and repeatability alone. Comfort, build quality, ease of use, speed and value for money are all factors in deciding which is best.

Things to consider

Obviously, price is the biggest factor to consider. While many will be tempted to pick the very cheapest, as you’ll read, spending just a shy more is something that's likely to serve you far better. (It's worth pointing out here that some of the tools on test are designed for the professional, although hobbyist mechanics will find purpose in them too.)

Another thing to consider is your overall torque range required. Torque wrenches are typically most accurate in their middle range. Most common applications for torque wrenches on bicycles range from somewhere between 3 and 7Nm – that’s pretty low compared with many automotive torque wrenches.  

It also depends what you’re planning on tightening. If it’s literally to adjust your seat height and tighten your stem, then it’s possible a preset torque wrench is the right tool. That said, for the home user, adjustable models do allow more versatility.

Weight should be a consideration if you travel with your bike. Here, a preset torque wrench or something like IceToolz' Ocarina (more on which below) means your baggage allowance will hardly notice.

Some items on bicycles have cramped spots. hidden seat post clamps or minimal seat clamps can cause issues for many tools. for this, i measured each tool with the same 5mm hex bit to see which is shortest:
Some items on bicycles have cramped spots. hidden seat post clamps or minimal seat clamps can cause issues for many tools. for this, i measured each tool with the same 5mm hex bit to see which is shortest:

Some bikes may need a ultra-compact head design

Finally, there’s the ‘clearance’ of the tool that matters. Some bolts, such as those under seat rails, need a torque wrench with a low-profile head. Others, such as stem bolts, can be used with just about anything. If your bike has a propriety seat clamp or tucked-away rail clamps, then consider this aspect. To cover this, I measured the clearance of each wrench with the same 5mm bit and bit adaptor (where needed).

There’s a glossary at the end of this article to cover a few more technical terms.

Best preset torque wrenches

Pre-set torque wrenches are factory set to a pre-determined tightening torque. four popular models of these were tested, each in 5nm variants:
Pre-set torque wrenches are factory set to a pre-determined tightening torque. four popular models of these were tested, each in 5nm variants:

Preset torque wrenches offer a specific factory-set torque. While others exist, they’re most commonly available in 4, 5 or 6Nm options

Park Tool Preset Torque Driver 5Nm PTD-5

The park tool preset torque driver ptd-5 wins a bikeradar editor's choice award as the best pre-set torque wrench option:
The park tool preset torque driver ptd-5 wins a bikeradar editor's choice award as the best pre-set torque wrench option:

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Good: Perfectly accurate, ultra comfortable, quality construction, cam-over design
  • Bad: Weight, size, price (especially to buy all three)

This new model from Park Tool offers metal mechanical components to give a highly positive and durable wrench. Accuracy is superb and the cam-over mechanism means there’s zero chance of over tightening. This, along with the new ATD are Park Tool’s first ‘in-house’ designed and assembled torque wrenches, and it's certainly done a good job.

Using standard 1/4in bits that magnetically snap in place, the tool also houses three spare bits in the handle. This is the top pick for a preset torque wrench, although to buy a set of three (4, 5 and 6Nm versions) is certainly expensive.

  • Price: $45 / £40 / AU$75
  • Pre-set options available: 4, 5 or 6Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4 & 5mm hex, Torx 25
  • Weight: 216g
  • Length: 103mm       
  • Average torque reading at 5Nm: 5.18nm

LifeLine Hand-Torque Wrench

Cheap to purchase, the lifeline hand-torque wrench wins bikeradar's 'best value' award in the pre-set category. this same wrench is available under other brands too, so shop around:
Cheap to purchase, the lifeline hand-torque wrench wins bikeradar's 'best value' award in the pre-set category. this same wrench is available under other brands too, so shop around:

BikeRadar score4/5
  • Good: Price, metal internals, cam-over design
  • Bad:  Small handle, less accurate, included spare bits don’t have holder

LifeLine is online retailer Wiggle’s own brand. Surprisingly, this item offers metal internals, decent accuracy and a cam-over design. Its smaller size isn’t as comfortable in use as the Park or CDI, but its lower price makes up for that.

The included bits are likely to go missing though, so maybe hold onto the ziplock bag it comes packaged in.

  • Price: $15 /£10 / AU$18
  • Pre-set options available: 5Nm
  • Bits included: 4, 5 & 6mm hex
  • Weight: 106g
  • Length: 86mm
  • Average torque reading at 5Nm: 5.33

CDI Torque Preset T-Handle – 5Nm

An old favourite, the cdi torque preset t-handle is still a reliable choice, but the new park ptd showed us how good things can be:
An old favourite, the cdi torque preset t-handle is still a reliable choice, but the new park ptd showed us how good things can be:

BikeRadar score3.5/5
  • Good: Proven design, reputable company, cam-over design, comfortable handle
  • Bad: Plastic internals, no additional bits included

CDI, part of the Snap-On corporation is a torque specialist, and this is the cheapest tool it offers. Prior to Park Tool’s PTD, this was my past favourite preset option. Accuracy is acceptable, and it too is impossible to overtighten with a cam-over design.

The grip is perfectly comfortable, although only a 4mm hex bit is included and so you’ll need to supply any others needed.

  • Price: $36 / £TBC / AU$TBC
  • Pre-set options available: 4, 5 or 6Nm
  • Bits included: 4mm hex
  • Weight: 108g
  • Length: 95mm
  • Average torque reading at 5Nm: 4.62Nm

Ritchey Multi-Bit Torqkey – 5Nm

The original, the ritchey multi-bit torqkey is still a great value choice for occasional use:
The original, the ritchey multi-bit torqkey is still a great value choice for occasional use:

BikeRadar score3.5/5
  • Good: Widely available, price, travel size, perfectly accurate
  • Bad: Tiny handle makes it uncomfortable, plastic internals, not cam-over

Ritchey was undoubtedly the first to the cycling market with preset torque wrenches. Since then, this tool has been seen with other brand names plastered on it.

The Torqkey continues to be a reliable option, and is still the lightest/smallest available, but it’s no longer the benchmark. Consider this a close runner up for 'best value' of the preset options.

  • Price:$20 / £TBC / AU$34
  • Pre-set options available: 4 or 5Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4 & 5mm hex, Torx 20 & 25, Phillips #2
  • Weight: 50g
  • Length: 78mm
  • Average torque reading at 5Nm: 5.01Nm

Best adjustable torque wrenches

Adjustable torque wrenches are more versatile options. we tested 13 different models:
Adjustable torque wrenches are more versatile options. we tested 13 different models:

Adjustable torque wrenches are more versatile for all around bicycle repairs. While higher torque wrenches are easily found, this test  focuses on 13 cycling-specific low-torque options

Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II 2-16 Pro Deluxe

Winner of the bikeradar 'editor's choice' award in the adjustable torque wrench category, the effetto mariposa giustaforza ii 2-16 pro deluxe is one for those who value form and function and are willing to pay for it:
Winner of the bikeradar 'editor's choice' award in the adjustable torque wrench category, the effetto mariposa giustaforza ii 2-16 pro deluxe is one for those who value form and function and are willing to pay for it:

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Good: Compact, high quality, accurate, classy looks
  • Bad: Expensive, ratchet head spoils clearance compared to original

Made in Italy, the Pro version from Effetto Mariposa is positioned as the premium cycling-specific torque wrench. Testing showed reliable accuracy and ease of use.

The ‘Deluxe’ tool wrap and bits are great quality and it even includes a free calibration service (in Italy…). All wrapped up, it’s compact and doesn’t waste space in the toolbox.

The ratcheting head makes tightening quicker, but does remove some of the clearance the original non-ratcheting version became famous for.

Even with such praise though, it’s priced at a premium and doesn’t offer a great deal over more generic Taiwanese options. It's certainly one for those who appreciate both form and function.

  • Price: $260 / £190 / AU$395
  • Torque range: 2-16Nm
  • Bits included: 2, 2.5, 3, 4 (long), 5 (long) & 6mm hex, Torx 10, 15, 20, 25 (long) & 30, Phillips #2, 100mm extension
  • Weight: 192g
  • Length: 170mm
  • Clearance: 52mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3.05/4.9/8.06Nm

LifeLine Professional Torque Wrench

Sold under a few brand names, wiggle's lifeline professional torque wrench wins bikeradar's 'best value' award:
Sold under a few brand names, wiggle's lifeline professional torque wrench wins bikeradar's 'best value' award:

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Good: Price, proven design, bits included, accurate, ease of use
  • Bad: Generic

This is from Wiggle’s in-house tool brand and it’s hard to fault for the money. It’s effectively the same sourced wrench from Taiwan that many others have their brand on – and that’s because it just works.

The torque range offered is ideal for bicycles, adjustments are simple and the ratcheting head is compact enough for most situations.

  • Price:$70 / £50 / AU$90
  • Torque range: 3-15Nm
  • Bits included: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 & 6mm hex, Torx 25
  • Weight: 214g
  • Length: 195mm
  • Clearance: 45mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3.31/5.34/7.93Nm

Park Tool Adjustable Torque Driver ATD-1

With a limited adjustable range of just 4-6nm, the american-made park tool adjustable torque driver atd-1 came very close to winning this grouptest:
With a limited adjustable range of just 4-6nm, the american-made park tool adjustable torque driver atd-1 came very close to winning this grouptest:

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Good: Accurate, ultra comfortable, quality construction, cam-over design
  • Bad: Needs a 6mm hex to adjust torque setting, heavy, price

The adjustable version to Park’s new PTD wrenches, this version can be switched between 4-6nm in .5nm increments. To change the torque (silver dial), a 6mm hex key is likely needed as the chrome dial can be hard to turn with greasy hands. The opposite end hides three spare bits.

This tool offers everything we loved about the Park Tool PTD, but with further adjustment options. Accuracy is not quite as consistent as the pre-set options, but certainly close enough. Its American-made build quality is superb, but that does mean its heavy and priced relatively high.

This one gets an honourable mention and if we could have picked multiple ‘Editors' Choices’, this would have got an award.

  • Price: $73 / £60 / AU$120
  • Torque range: 4-6Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4 & 5mm hex, Torx 25
  • Weight: 266g
  • Length: 103mm
  • Clearance: 110mm
  • Ratchet function: No (but does cam-over)
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: N/A/5.13Nm/N/A

IceToolz Ocarina Torque Wrench

The top pick for those that travel, the new icetoolz ocarina torque wrench is super light, accurate and extremely affordable:
The top pick for those that travel, the new icetoolz ocarina torque wrench is super light, accurate and extremely affordable:

BikeRadar score4/5
  • Good: Price, accurate, bits included, silly light, ideal for travel
  • Bad: Plastic construction, clearance, hard to read torque in certain light or positions

I was sceptical of this as it felt like a toy, but the torque tester proved it to be the real deal. I’ve since packed it every time I’ve packed a bike, and at just 88g, it’s perfect for such travel.

 It works like a beam-type torque wrench and so you stop tightening once the needle hits the desired number.

The struggle here is it can be hard to read the raised numbers, especially if you’re wrenching in a poorly lit hotel room, or adjusting a saddle bolt upside down. It’s comfortable to use, but the hollow plastic construction certainly feels cheap and can lead to clearance issues in rare cases.

This one gets a honourable mention as a close finisher for the ‘Best Value’ award.

  • Price: $TBC / £25 / AU$TBC
  • Torque range: 1-10Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4, 5 & 6mm hex, Torx 25
  • Weight: 88g
  • Length: 133mm
  • Clearance: 146mm
  • Ratchet function: No          
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 2.92/4.83/7.7Nm

Topeak D-Torq Wrench

The most accurate on test, the topeak d-torq wrench does so much right. unfortunately it comes at a price and needs a new aaa battery from time to time:
The most accurate on test, the topeak d-torq wrench does so much right. unfortunately it comes at a price and needs a new aaa battery from time to time:

BikeRadar score4/5
  • Good: Super accurate, makes you feel fancy, zippered case, low clearance
  • Bad: Price, needs batteries

This is the only digital torque wrench on test, and also the most accurate. Without mechanical clicking parts, it proved immune to torque reading inconsistencies. Though without such a click, it’ll require a little patience as you gently build up to your desired torque, watch the screen and listen for the beep. 

While battery life is decent, you’ll only realise it needs a fresh AAA cell when you go to use it, which is just a pain when other torque wrenches will happily click away.

  • Price: $249 / £185 / AU$300
  • Torque range: 1-20Nm
  • Bits included: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 & 6mm hex, Torx 25, Phillips #2
  • Weight: 166g
  • Length: 195mm
  • Clearance: 21mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3/5.06/8.03Nm

Park Tool Ratcheting Click-Type Torque Wrench TW-5

It's the same model of wrench i've owned for years and while great, the park tool ratcheting click-type torque wrench tw-5 isn't the best value for money:
It's the same model of wrench i've owned for years and while great, the park tool ratcheting click-type torque wrench tw-5 isn't the best value for money:

BikeRadar score3.5/5
  • Good: Proven design, accurate, great range, easy to use, ratcheting, comfortable handle
  • Bad: Price, no bits are included, not as unique as you may think

This is the same model of torque wrench I’ve used for a number of years without issue. I must reveal a secret though (sorry Park), beneath the blue paint and comfortable handle, this is effectively a generic 3-15Nm torque wrench from Taiwan and internally is extremely similar to those from PRO, Pedro’s and even LifeLine.

Given the only bit included is a ¼ to 3/8 square drive adaptor, the price on this one is quite high.

  • Price: $116 / £100 / AU$180
  • Torque range: 3-15Nm
  • Bits included: ¼ to 3/8 square adaptor only
  • Weight: 224g
  • Length: 198mm
  • Clearance: 44mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3.03/4.76/7.43Nm

Birzman Torque Wrench 3-15Nm

If there was an award of being shiny, this would win it. the birzman torque wrench does little wrong:
If there was an award of being shiny, this would win it. the birzman torque wrench does little wrong:

BikeRadar score3.5/5
  • Good: Metal construction, pretty, ratcheting
  • Bad: A bit fiddly to adjust, vague click at torque

This shiny 3-15Nm torque wrench does everything it needs to. Pulling down on the central collar and turning the handle adjusts the torque setting. Without doing this, the torque is locked and there’s little risk in accidently changing it.

It’s fiddlier than others, but the geek in me likes that it’s less generic than many on the market. A full metal construction provides a quality feel, but just beware that the click at torque is subtle and it’s easy to push past it if you’re not paying attention.

It comes in a foam-lined hard plastic case, something I found tough to actually get the tool out of. However, it does keep it safe and all the bits together.

  • Price: $TBC / £TBC / AU$139
  • Torque range: 3-15Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8mm hex, Torx 25
  • Weight: 294g
  • Length: 211mm
  • Clearance: 48mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 2.99/5.46/7.7Nm

PRO Torque Wrench

Effectively the same as the lifeline professional but at a higher price, the pro torque wrench is a fuss-free option if found at a good price:
Effectively the same as the lifeline professional but at a higher price, the pro torque wrench is a fuss-free option if found at a good price:

BikeRadar score3.5/5
  • Good: Proven design, bits included, accurate, ease of use
  • Bad: High price for a generic tool

"Hey, that looks just like the LifeLine Professional or the Pedro’s Demi," I hear you say. Yep, there’s a good reason for that – it’s the same. Sourced from Taiwan, this Shimano/PRO item is a rebadged tool, but there’s a good reason so many brands put their label on it – it does exactly what it should.

The included bits will see you through most repairs, and the case keeps it all together. However, it’s penalised for its price given that some online places sell effectively the same thing under a different name for less money.

  • Price: $139 / £TBC / AU$155
  • Torque range: 3-15Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4, 5 & 6mm hex, Torx 25 & 30, extension
  • Weight: 214g
  • Length: 195mm
  • Clearance: 45mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3.13/4.6/7.85Nm

Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II 2-16

Italian made, this effetto mariposa giustaforza ii 2-16 was not as accurate as hoped. it's strange as it shares the same internals as our test winner, but is priced cheaper without a ratchet head:
Italian made, this effetto mariposa giustaforza ii 2-16 was not as accurate as hoped. it's strange as it shares the same internals as our test winner, but is priced cheaper without a ratchet head:

BikeRadar score3/5
  • Good: Easy to use, amazing head clearance, compact size
  • Bad: Price, our sample was less accurate than expected

The little sibling to the test-winning Pro version, this models shares the same design but without the ratcheting head. With this, it offers the best head clearance money can buy and ultra compact dimensions. This undoubtedly sets the benchmark for access in tight spots (such as seen in some seatpost heads).

Strangely, despite the shared internals, the accuracy of our sample wasn’t as good as the Pro version. While I suspect this is out of the norm, it was scored accordingly.

  • Price: $185 (without bits) / £135 (without bits) / AU$285 (Deluxe version)
  • Torque range: 2-16Nm
  • Bits included: No (included with ‘Deluxe’ version)
  • Weight: 162g
  • Length: 158mm
  • Clearance: 26mm
  • Ratchet function: No
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3.66/5.15/8.41Nm

Park Tool TW-1 (discontinued)

Now discontinued, the park tool tw-1 was included in the test out of interest. it actually performs well beyond its price:
Now discontinued, the park tool tw-1 was included in the test out of interest. it actually performs well beyond its price:

BikeRadar score3/5
  • Good: Simple in design, accurate, calibration is clear
  • Bad: Small useable range, slow to use

Park Tool’s now discontinued (though still easy enough to track down) beam-style torque wrench was once a cost-effective option. We’ve included this as an example of this cheaper, yet less common style of torque wrench.

Calibration is clear when the beam tip sits on zero. The needle can go in either direction and testing showed it to be rather accurate. Its design can be slow to use, but the bigger issue is in its useable range – here this model tops out at only 6.8Nm.  

  • Price: $45 / £N/A / AU$N/A
  • Torque range: 0-6.8Nm
  • Bits included: ¼ to 3/8 square adaptor only
  • Weight: 192g
  • Length: 285mm
  • Clearance: 59mm
  • Ratchet function: No
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 2.98/5.1Nm/N/A

LifeLine Essential Torque Wrench MK2

Another generic offering from wiggle's lifeline tool brand. the essential torque wrench mk2 proves that you do in fact get what you pay for - spend a little more:
Another generic offering from wiggle's lifeline tool brand. the essential torque wrench mk2 proves that you do in fact get what you pay for - spend a little more:

BikeRadar score2.5/5
  • Good: Price, wide range of bits included, great case
  • Bad: Generic, build quality, vague gauge setting, can accidently change torque setting during use

This generic wrench is typically low in cost, and Wiggle sells it under its LifeLine label for an absolute steal. It’s suitable for the occasional user, but does lack the build quality and feature set experienced with more expensive options. Heck, my sample even rattles, hardly what you want in a precision instrument.

The handle doubles as the torque adjust, something that can accidently rotate during use (this is bad). Its torque gauge is also a little vague, and was the cause for the largest torque discrepancies seen.

The plastic case and wide selection of included bits are commendable for the price, but it’s certainly an example of ‘you get what you pay for’.

  • Price:$40 / £25 / AU$80
  • Torque range: 2-24Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 & 10mm hex, Torx 25 & 30, long 5mm hex
  • Weight: 358g
  • Length: 205mm
  • Clearance: 47mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3.61/5.8/7.92Nm

BikeHand Adjustable (generic, same as Harbour Freight)

One bought straight from ebay, this bikehand 1/4in torque wrench is about as generic as they come. it's not ideal at low torques, but quite a nice cheap option for those seeking a torque wrench for 8-20nm tightening:
One bought straight from ebay, this bikehand 1/4in torque wrench is about as generic as they come. it's not ideal at low torques, but quite a nice cheap option for those seeking a torque wrench for 8-20nm tightening:

BikeRadar score2/5
  • Good: Price, can lock in torque setting
  • Bad: As generic as it gets, cheap construction, hard to read torque

This one was bought off eBay – it’s as generic as they come and is commonly sold by low-cost automotive companies, including the ultra-budget Harbour Freight stores in the USA.

It offers the widest range of torque on test, but also lacks accuracy at lower, more common levels (ie: 5Nm). It can be hard to read the desired setting, but once set can be locked in place to prevent accidental adjustment.

It’s surprisingly accurate in its upper ranges though, so if you want something for tightening at 8-20Nm, then this could be a suitable option.

  • Price: $30 / £22 / AU$35
  • Torque range: 2-24Nm
  • Bits included: No
  • Weight: 562g
  • Length: 264mm
  • Clearance: 46mm
  • Ratchet function: Yes
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 3.82/5.58/8.17Nm

Topeak ComboTorq Wrench and Bit Set

And the biggest let down of the test was this topeak combotorq wrench and bit set. a lack of accuracy makes this little more than a cheap toy:
And the biggest let down of the test was this topeak combotorq wrench and bit set. a lack of accuracy makes this little more than a cheap toy:

BikeRadar score2/5
  • Good: Cheapest adjustable on test, lots of bits included, simple design
  • Bad: Not accurate, cheap construction, awkward shape to store

Sharing a similar concept, but simpler execution as the IceToolz, this Topeak unit just left me wanting more. If the awkward shape and potentially fragile design wasn’t enough, my sample was rather inaccurate too.

This is much like the tool included with Canyon bikes. The German brand’s Ultimate CF SLX frames have some of the worst torque wrench clearance issues going, yet the brand overcomes those by including a 90-degree angle bit with its version of this tool.

Regardless, I can’t help but feel the torque under-reading makes this more a toy, rather than a precision tool. That's a shame as I really wanted to like this one, as the price, simplistic usage and included bits are great.

  • Price: $27 / £15 / AU$30
  • Torque range: 3-12Nm
  • Bits included: 3, 4, 5 & 6mm hex, Torx 25
  • Weight: 134g
  • Length: 165mm
  • Clearance: 174mm
  • Ratchet function: No
  • Average torque reading at 3/5/8Nm: 2.39/3.9/6.54Nm

Conclusion

So after all that, which one should you buy? Frankly, there are very few bad options here and even those that scored a three are something I’d happily use in a shop environment.

If all you're doing is adjusting your handlebar or stem, then a preset version is likely the best purchase. Here, the Park Tool PTD is by far and away the best, but also the most expensive. For a lower price, just about all the options available will work as intended.

For best value in adjustable models, it’s hard to look past the ‘Professional’ generic options sold by LifeLine and others. They do exactly as needed and come at a fair price.

A serious contender for best value is the new IceToolz Ocarina. It’s accurate, silly light and impressively low cost. If you’re one to travel with a bike and need something to reinstall your seat post and handlebar, then without question buy this.

If you’re just seeking the best and price is no concern, then the Effetto Mariposa Pro II is really nice to use. The digital Topeak D-Torq is also fantastic, but the electronics are likely to be a weak point long term. And although limited in its range, the Park Tool ATD is a quality bit of kit assuming you can own a secondary torque wrench with a wider range.

For me, my absolute ideal (and no budget) setup would be a combination of two. The first is a set of three Park Tool PTD (4, 5 and 6Nm), to cover most repetitive and regular tasks. As a secondary tool for when better clearance or an outlying torque is required, then I’d be reaching for the Effetto Mariposa Pro II.

Glossary

  • Beam type torque wrench: Simply uses the flex of materials to provide a torque reading. This is quite simple to manufacture and should prove durable with minimal moving parts. Accuracy is typically good, with calibration being a matter of ensuring the dial sits at 0 before use.
  • Cam-over: This is where the torque wrench will continue to click out once torque is reached. It ensures a bolt cannot accidently be over torqued. Of the wrenches tested, pre-set models (excluding Ritchey Torqkey) and Park Tool’s ATD offer this feature.
  • Preset torque: This type of torque wrench is not adjustable and has been factory set at a pre-determined torque. This type of torque wrench is typically low cost and highly accurate.
  • Ratchet: Just like a ratchet as part of a socket set, some torque wrenches feature  a ratchet mechanism to help speed up use. Here, the tool can drive in one direction, and freewheel in the other to save you from having to reposition the tool for better clearance.
  • Square drive: Many cycling torque wrenches feature a 1/4in square drive attachment. This is how sockets and bit sockets connect to the tool.

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