Value is a buzzword in today's economy, but in the world of tools, oftentimes "value" is seen as inferior. Not so with Eastwood's new digital electronic torque-angle wrenches. We used them side by side with other "top brand" units costing more than double and found the Eastwood wrenches to be easy to use, accurate, and solidly constructed. With measurements from 15-150 lb-ft, the ½-inch-drive unit (PN: 13622, $119.99) is extremely versatile and good for a variety of torque needs such as performance bolt-ons, suspension installs, and of course, lug nuts. Accurate to within +/- 2 degrees both clockwise and counterclockwise, the 72-tooth ratchet turns easily and is perfect for confined working areas. Once the preset torque figure is reached, a buzzer sounds and an LED glows letting you know the nut or bolt is good to go. If you've ever assembled a late-model engine, you know a torque wrench with low pounds-per-inch measurements is a must-have. For those applications and for smaller, more delicate installations, we also ordered a 3/8-inch digital electronic torque-angle wrench (PN: 13619, $119.99). With a spec range from 7-100 lb-ft, the smaller 3/8-inch torque-angle wrench may be better choice if you don't have an 8-lug truck requiring massive torque at each corner.
Using both wrenches around our shop, we found the buttons to be a little tricky at first, as we needed to acclimate ourselves with what each individual button did before the entire wrench could be used to its potential. Once familiar, we easily saved five preset torque figures, making quick work of different truck's lug nuts and engine fasteners. If you're not familiar with the terms "torque-angle," it's a commonly used practice on many late-model engines where a bolt may or may not be a torque-to-yield (one-time use) and is recommended to be torqued to a particular amount, and then torqued even more to a certain angle. This final bit of "angled torque" ensures the bolt is properly cinched and everything is held together according to manufacturer specifications. One push of the button easily allowed us to dial in the proper angle, and it also featured an automatic shutoff timer to prevent excessive battery usage. For the price, these units most certainly fit into the value category, but with a laundry list of features, you won't be disappointed with build quality and options.