Having access to the best professional style tools can make a world of difference when it comes to performing the highest quality work, especially when precision and accuracy are called for. For jobs which require screws or fasteners to be tightened using torque power, no matter how delicate and detailed that job might be, then a torque screwdriver should be in your tool kit. Designed to function as a regular screwdriver but with one very special added extra. A torque screwdriver can tighten and fasten up to a specific pre-set torque without causing any damage. They’re an essential power tool for both home DIY enthusiasts and professional tradesmen alike so we’re taking a look today and some of the best in class when it comes to torque screwdrivers. For every job, there’s the correct tool so read on to find out which is the right one for you.
The Best Torque Screwdriver
From Wheeler, our first product recommendation is their Digital Firearms Accurizing Torque Wrench or F.A.T for short. It features a large, highly visible LCD display and comes with an ergonomic molded handle design. This fantastic digital handheld torque wrench has plenty of power as well as precision and features both audible as well as visual indicators to denote the torque setting. With an impressive range from 15-100 inch-pounds, it delivers accurate and reliable results. This Wheeler torque wrench features soft touch operating buttons and even comes with a low battery indicator. Presented in an injection molded storage case, it has been built to last with the wrench bits constructed from S2 hardened tool steel. Make sure you also check our guide to the best reciprocating saws.
Ergonomic over-molded design
Features large highly visible LCD digital display screen
Audible and visual torque setting indicators
Guaranteed accurate +/- 2%
- Weight1 pounds
You really do get a lot of quality for your money from this Neiko 10573B Torque Screwdriver Set which is why we’ve awarded it our Best Value award today. It features a long shank that is great for allowing access to those hard to reach places plus it has a rubberized comfort grip handle. The quarter-inch head is designed to be compatible with all quarter-inch sockets providing the end user with total flexibility to work across a diverse range of projects. This Neiko screwdriver set also comes with 20 assorted bits and is all presented in its own convenient storage case.
It’s a high-quality torque screwdriver that is of a professional standard and is strong and durable with the ability to be used at torque settings of anywhere from 10 to 50-inch pound increments. An easy to read window display conveniently shows the exact configuration. This is a versatile and cost-effective choice which is easy to operate and delivers professional style results.
Versatile drive head compatible with any quarter-inch socket
Easy to operate pull-turn-lock design
Features 20 assorted bit pieces and a convenient storage case
Easy to read meter window display
- Weight1.6 pounds
Another great option if you are looking to invest in a torque powered tool, this Vortex Optic Wrench is easy to operate, simple to set up and delivers fast and accurate tension every time. It can be adjusted in easy to read inch-pound increments and has an impressive range from 10-50-inch pounds. It comes with a wide selection of useful bits, designed to help you tackle a whole host of common DIY jobs and it’s comfortable and steady to hold and grip. The handle and bits are all conveniently housed in their own storage case, and it delivers consistent and accurate results. Overall, it’s a cost-effective and user-friendly option. Our handy guide to the best angle grinders features more great products like this.
Easy to operate an simple to set
Assorted bits included along with handy storage case
Torque range from 10-50-inch pounds
Adjustable in easy to read inch-pound increments
- BrandVortex Optics
- Weight4 ounces
Our Premium Choice recommendation in today’s best torque screwdriver review is reserved for the CDI Torque 401SM Micro adjustable screwdriver which has been designed for those jobs where a delicate touch is required. This unit is all about precision, control and the ability to accurately adjust. It’s a great option for anyone working in the electronics or automotive industries where small parts need to be handled. Feature a simple cam design, it prevents over-tightening and causing of potential damage to delicate parts. It features a torque range of 5 to 40-inch pounds and is compatible with all quarter-inch bits.
This CDI Torque micro adjustable screwdriver also has an additional advantage of coming with a fully adjustable knob that allows the end user to accurately and precisely change those torque settings and has a highly visible and easy to read settings window. It also features a 1/4 inch hex bit holder which features strong earth magnets which hold those bits securely when in use. With the ability to adjust in i-inch-pound increments, this is the perfect torque screwdriver for working in tight spots and on detailed close-up precision jobs. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best torque wrenches.
Universal quarter inch bit holder
Features strong and secure earth magnets
Easy to read window scale
Specially designed and precise adjustable knob
- Weight7.2 ounces
Up next from Capri Tools we have their high-quality precision torque screwdriver set which looks and performs like a dream. It’s the ultimate tool for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike and delivers superb accuracy and precision control. This Capri Tools CP21075 Screwdriver set is certified, meaning it comes with a calibration certificate, and internationally recognized assurance of its quality and almost perfect torque setting.
If you are a professional and precision is of paramount importance then this is the tool for you. You can adjust this torque screwdriver in 1-inch pound increments, and it automatically locks in place with each adjustment. This means that you have ultimate control and precision over the jobs you’re working on as opposed to with traditional screwdrivers that can only be adjusted in 5-inch pound increments. It comes with a whole range of useful bits for every job and is combined with an ergonomic grip soft textured handle for comfort and control. Not only that, but it’s also been designed to deliver power and leverage when you need it most thanks to a T-bar slot. It’s a precise, safe and easy to use tool and comes presented in its own storage case along with those 20 bits. This makes a perfect DIY gift for a handyman in your life.
Ergonomic soft grip handle
Positive self-locking ring for fast adjustments
T Bar slot for additional leverage and power
Torque increments of 1-inch-pound
- BrandCapri Tools
- Weight1.4 pounds
If you’re looking for an easy to use and comfortable to hold torque screwdriver, then the Wera Kraftform could be a good choice for you. With its specially designed handle, it features a quick release chuck that allows the operator to change bits literally with just one hand. You don’t need any special tool to adjust the torque plus it comes with ultimate assurance of its proficiency and precision, a calibration certificate meaning that it’s +/- accurate to 6 percent.
It’s suitable for a wide range of applications and that unique Kraftform handle really helps to reduce stress and fatigue which is excellent if you are working on long projects. It’s a fantastic choice for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike and is also offered at a relatively affordable price point. It’s built to deliver consistent and durable high-speed torque-transfer and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. If you love DIY projects, check out our cordless impact wrenches review.
Specially designed quick release handle
Easy to change bits with just one hand
Manufactured above and beyond acceptable safety standards
Easy torque adjustment without the need for special tools
- Weight4 ounces
Torque Screwdriver Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Torque Screwdrivers
In order to narrow down our extensive selection of product recommendations into one definitive and comprehensive list, we spend hours sifting through online reviews and research to uncover the critical facts and figures that otherwise might get overlooked. Our product selections must offer quality and great value for money as well as delivering a user experience that we think is befitting and representative of the category of product we’re reviewing. We always aim to bring a broad cross-section of brands at an attractive and appealing range of price point for your evaluation. You could say that we do all the hard work so that you don’t have to!
Features To Look For In Torque Screwdrivers
Besides deciding which type of torque screwdriver to go for, either manual, electric or pneumatic, there are a couple of other relevant criteria to consider before you go ahead and make your investment decision. Below we’ve listed out some of the features that you might want to assess.
Durability - A good torque screwdriver isn’t exactly an inexpensive purchase, so it stands to reason that you want that investment to last you for as long as possible. All tools are prone to breakage and corrosion over time, so when it comes to screwdrivers, it’s sensible to buy as a high a quality as you can afford and to consider going for reputable brands that will come with a decent manufacturers warranty.
Range - Range is one of the critical factors to consider when deciding upon your next torque screwdriver as some jobs require much higher torque than others in order to successfully complete them which will require a more comprehensive range as well as durability to both carry out the task and last for years to come without needing to be replaced. Generally speaking the range of torque, you can expect to find in a screwdriver will vary from 0.01 Nm (1.4-inch ounce) all the way up to 30 Nm (265-inch pounds). Unfortunately, we’ve yet to discover one tool that can do the full range so decide what types of jobs you’re most typically going to be performing and decide upon the range from there.
Calibration Certificate - Purchasing a torque screwdriver that comes with a calibration certificate is like taking out an insurance policy to provide yourself with protection and safeguard against damage. To ensure that your torque screwdriver is going to deliver accurate and reliable results, it pays to ensure that it has been correctly calibrated in the first instance and a certificate is your assurance that’s the case. Having a calibration certificate means that your screwdriver has been tested and approved by either the National Institute of Standards Technology or the National Measurement Institute. It’s not a pre-requisite, but it does provide valuable assurance that your tool is compliant before you begin any important DIY or professional project.
Limiting clutch - This is the central component part of the torque screwdriver, and as the name suggests, it limited how much physical torque can be applied to a screw. The amount will, of course, vary according to the model and manufacturer of screwdriver that you have, but the clutch settings themselves are generally denoted by numbers marked on the clutch in what is knowns as Nm or a Newton-meter. Clutches come in three main types, a cushion clutch, a cam over and an auto shutoff clutch. Generally speaking cushion or slip clutches as they are also known can be commonly found on pneumatic or electronic screwdrivers, cam over on manual ones and anti shutoff on electric torque screwdrivers. This type is the best suited for high precision jobs which require lots of control.
Chuck size - The size of the chuck is inherently relative to the size of the screwdriver and is the part where the various bits are attached to perform those jobs. If you want a versatile screwdriver that you can achieve lots of different jobs with, utilizing different bit sizes, then you need to select a clutch that’s a commonly used size. Going for something like a 1/4 inch hex will mean that you can use any 1/4 inch bits for example.
Grip and Ergonomics - Working with any type of tools, especially for prolonged periods, can cause fatigue, so it’s essential that you select a tool that delivers a good and steady but comfortable grip. When tiredness sets in, accidents can happen and that can be especially dangerous when dealing with power tools. Go for a torque screwdriver that feels nicely weighted yet comfortable in your hand and preferably one with a soft-textured handle that you can hold securely and steadily. Consider the weight, balance and also the shape as well as the material your screwdriver is made from. If you know that you’re going to be working with your screwdriver for several hours, it pays to ensure that the ergonomics work for you.
Torque Screwdriver FAQ
Q: What are torque screwdrivers used for?
A: First, let’s take a look at the different types of torque screwdrivers and then discuss their various applications as some are better suited to a multitude of tasks from light duty applications to suitability for manufacturing environments.
Manual Torque Screwdriver - This is made up of two popular designs; the inline and the pistol grip. Modern-day manual torque screwdrivers feature ergonomic designs with comfort grip rubberized handles designed to minimize hand fatigue with prolonged use. Application wise, they make excellent light duty screwdrivers where a basic amount of torque control only is required. They’re not therefore recommended for scenarios and jobs where high volume screwing is required.
Electric Torque Screwdriver - These are commonly found in three mains designs; pistol grip, angle and inline. They can feature both brushed and brushless motors and may operate at speeds up to 2000 RPM. Electric torque screwdrivers are arguably the most popular and are great for light assembly work as well as high volume manufacturing environments. They’re an excellent tool for increasing productivity and efficiency, ensuring fast assembly and disassembly of products.
Cordless Torque Screwdriver - Similar to the electric screwdriver but with the added convenience of being cordless which provide a higher degree of flexibility to use in a variety of working environments. Powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, they’re an excellent option for jobs where mobility is required, and they can also reduce hazards in the workplace too. These are by far the most versatile screwdrivers and frequently also come with LED lights on the front to provide even greater visibility in hard to reach areas. They also tend to be lightweight, ergonomically designed and comfortable to use. You will frequently find these types of torque screwdrivers in automotive and general manufacturing environments as well as electronic assembly lines.
Pneumatic Torque Screwdriver - These types of screwdrivers are commonly used for assembly lines that require a high level of torque and fast, repetitive cycle times. They’re often associated with the automotive, aerospace as well as marine industries. They are super reliable tools and deliver the broadest range of high torque models and settings. You can find pneumatic torque screwdrivers in pretty much most manufacturing environments.
Q: What is the difference between a screwdriver and torque screwdrivers?
A: A regular screwdriver is composed of a handle, a shaft, and tip that will come in a variety of different styles and sizes according to the job you require it for. Screwdrivers are operated by your own force alone and so are limited in that respect. On the other hand, a torque screwdriver can be manual but it can also be pneumatic or electric too and will additionally feature a clutch mechanism that can be set to deliver a certain amount of force. Depending upon the model of torque screwdriver that you’ve invested in, the screwdriver itself will either click, just continue to spin in place or switch itself off, when it has reached its pre-set torque. The benefit of this being that you should never be able to over-tighten or cause any damage to something that you are trying to tighten.
Q: When do I need to calibrate my screwdriver?
A: Let’s just talk about calibration for a second first. If you are looking for a precise and accurate tool, then it’s a good idea to purchase one which comes with a calibration certificate, as issued by the National Measurement Institute or the National Institute of Standards and Technology. When it comes to knowing if it’s time to calibrate your screwdriver, that will be when it no longer meets those standards. It should be noticeable because you will find that the screws are either too loose or too tight and that your screwdriver head is beginning to operate abnormally. As a rough rule of thumb, most manufacturers will recommend that you either calibrate your screwdriver every 12 months or every 5000 cycles, depending upon the frequency with which you use it.