Split beam vs click torque wrench: Here’s what you need to know

When it comes to mechanical work, precision is key. One tool that can make or break the accuracy of your work is the torque wrench. But with so many different types of torque wrenches on the market, it can be challenging to know which one to choose.

In this post, we’ll dive into the world of torque wrenches and compare two of the most popular types: the split beam and the click torque wrench. We’ll be exploring the unique features of each, comparing their pros and cons, and ultimately helping you determine which is the best fit for your specific needs.

So, whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a DIY enthusiast, grab your toolbox, and let’s get started on the ultimate torque wrench showdown.

split beam vs click torque wrench

Split beam torque wrench

A split beam torque wrench is a type of mechanical torque wrench that uses a simple and intuitive design to measure the torque applied to a fastener. It consists of a handle, a beam, and a pointer. The handle is used to apply torque to the fastener, and the beam is used to measure the amount of torque applied. The pointer, which is attached to the beam, indicates the torque reading on a scale.

When the handle is turned to apply torque, the beam is bent. The amount of bend in the beam is directly proportional to the amount of torque applied. The pointer, which is attached to the beam, moves along the scale and indicates the torque reading.

Split beam torque wrenches are considered more accurate than other mechanical torque wrenches because the measurement is taken directly from the beam. Additionally, the scale is easy to read, allowing for accurate and precise torque measurements.


Split beam torque wrenches offer several benefits, including:

  • High accuracy
  • Easy-to-read measurements
  • Durable and reliable
  • Versatile for various applications
  • Easy to calibrate
  • Affordable

These features make them an excellent choice for mechanics and technicians who need to apply specific torque values to fasteners.


Here are some drawbacks of using a split beam torque wrench:

  • Not the best option for tight spaces
  • Manual effort required
  • Limited availability of parts and accessories
  • Not as comfortable to use for extended periods
  • Less efficient for high-volume work
  • Not as precise as electronic torque wrenches

When selecting the correct tool for the job, consider the specific needs of the task and whether a split beam torque wrench is the best fit.

Click torque wrench

A click torque wrench is a mechanical torque wrench that utilizes a ratcheting (cam and pawl) mechanism to apply torque to a fastener. The wrench is designed to emit an audible “click” when a preset torque value is reached, alerting the user that the desired torque has been reached.

The torque applied to the fastener is transmitted through the wrench handle to the cam. As the torque increases, the cam begins to rotate, and the pawl rides along the teeth of the cam. When the torque reaches the preset value, the pawl will slip into the next tooth on the cam, causing an audible “click” to be heard. This alerts the user that the desired torque has been reached, and the fastener can be tightened no further.


Here are some advantages of using a click torque wrench:

  • Accurate: Click when desired torque is reached
  • Easy to use: Popular among mechanics and technicians
  • Affordable and easy to maintain
  • Widely used in automotive, industrial, aerospace
  • Ergonomic design for long-term use
  • It can be used in tight spaces with different sizes and styles
  • Versatile for various applications.


  • Less accurate than other types of torque wrenches
  • Not suitable for high-precision applications
  • Click torque wrenches are not designed to handle highly high torque values
  • Audible clicks can be challenging to hear in noisy environments

Split beam vs click torque wrench: Comparison


Split beam torque wrenches are considered to be more accurate than click torque wrenches. They have a lower tolerance for error and are more precise in measuring torque. Click torque wrenches, on the other hand, have a certain level of tolerance, which can affect their precision. However, they are still considered accurate for most general-use applications.

Ease of use

Both torque wrenches are relatively easy to use, but click torque wrenches are often considered more user-friendly. They have an audible “click” when the desired torque is reached, which makes them easy to use and understand.

On the other hand, split beam torque wrenches have a more complex mechanism that may take some time to get used to.


Due to their construction, split beam torque wrenches are more durable than click torque wrenches. They are designed to handle high torque values and can withstand heavy use.

Click torque wrenches, on the other hand, may not be as durable as other types of torque wrenches due to their mechanical design. They require regular calibration and are not able to handle heavy use.


Split beam torque wrenches are typically used in industrial and automotive settings where torque values need to be exact. They are ideal for tasks such as assembling machinery, tightening bolts on aircraft, and other high-stress applications.

Click torque wrenches are commonly used in automotive and home repair settings where the desired torque value is not as critical. They are perfect for tasks such as changing oil, rotating tires, and other routine maintenance tasks.


Click torque wrenches tend to be more affordable than split beam torque wrenches. They are more readily available and can be found at a lower cost.

Split beam torque wrenches are more expensive due to their higher accuracy and durability.

See Also: Split beam vs micrometer torque wrench: Key differences

Split beam vs click torque wrench: which is better?

The choice between a split beam torque wrench and a click torque wrench will depend on the user’s specific needs. A click torque wrench is a more affordable and user-friendly option for general-use applications. However, a split beam torque wrench is a better option for high-precision applications or for professionals who want to ensure the best quality of their work.

Do split beam torque wrenches need to be calibrated?

Yes, split beam torque wrenches do need to be calibrated. It is important to periodically calibrate your split beam torque wrench to ensure that it is providing accurate measurements. Calibration should be performed by a professional or with torque calibration equipment.

If you are using your split beam torque wrench for critical applications, it’s a good idea to calibrate it before each use. It’s also important to note that if a split beam torque wrench is dropped or subjected to extreme temperatures, it should be recalibrated as soon as possible.

Regular calibration is vital to keep your split beam torque wrench working correctly and maintain the accuracy of your measurements.


Finally, split beam vs click torque wrench – both split beam and click torque wrenches have their own perks. Split beam wrenches offer precision, while click wrenches offer convenience. It ultimately comes down to what you prioritize. Remember that accuracy should always be the top priority in mechanical work. Don’t forget, if you want the best of both worlds, go for an electronic torque wrench for ultimate precision and versatility.

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