The well-built Sonic Tools Two-Way torque wrench makes a satisfyingly loud click when it overcomes the torque setting. It also has some great features that help it sail past the “average” click torque wrench. At $210, it falls well below Snap-on pricing but runs higher than comparable budget models. Several factors make the case for why you might consider dropping more money on this automotive staple.
Two-Way Torque Wrench Features
Most torque wrenches come in a myriad of sizes, and Sonic Tools offers the same. You can get the new 730-Series torque wrenches in 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, or even 3/4-inch drive. Each drive size gives you several options:
- 3/8-inch Drive: 10-50 Nm (7-37 ft-lbs), 20-100 Nm (15-74 ft-lbs)
- 1/2-inch Drive: 20-100 Nm (15-74 ft-lbs), 40-200 Nm (30-148 ft-lbs), 60-300 Nm (44-221 ft-lbs), 80-400 Nm (59-295 ft-lbs)
- 3/4-inch Drive: 110-550 Nm (81-406 ft-lbs), 150-750 Nm (110-553 ft-lbs)
Like most click torque wrenches, Sonic Tools uses a basic micrometer design. It features a spring inside the handle that creates tension to the central shaft or post. When enough torque causes that post to overcome the pivot point, it makes a satisfying double click as it strikes the inside of the wrench handle. The loudness of the click varies with torque, but we measured a very satisfying 87 dB(A) at our ear when breaking a nut at 100 ft-lbs. That’s plenty loud enough to hear—even in a noisy shop.
Editorial Note: Turn Down That Wrench!
Remember that when using a click-style torque wrench you must turn down the wrench all the way before putting it away. This protects the spring mechanism over time. If you don’t, the spring will wear prematurely, drifting out of calibration much earlier than it otherwise would.
This Sonic torque wrench adjusts easily. First, I like the smooth feel of the handle. I found it easy to grip and twist.
To adjust, you simply pull out the plastic push lock system at the very end of the handle. That allows the handle to spin, setting the desired target torque. There are no nuts to loosen or tighten—it just works.
I found the scale difficult to read, however. You really need to get in close—and my vision has only recently started drifting due to age. Partially, this has to do with the dual ft-lbs/Nm markings. They ride the top and bottom, making everything smaller and less centered. You get used to it, but this could be improved.
Nuts & Bolts
Sockets go on and off this torque wrench quite easily. It has a nice fit and worked well with the 1/2-inch drive sockets in our Sonic S9 tool box. Sonic Tools also did something unusual with this torque wrench. They made the ratchet so that it pushes through to either side. Since the ratchet also has a directional switch, you may not immediately understand the purpose of the push-through. Honestly, we’re still not sure it’s necessary either.
Without it, you can both ratchet and measure torque in both directions. However, since the torque window only exists on one side of the handle, flipping the ratchet lets you see it regardless of how you use the tool. If you find yourself having to fine-tune the torque wrench with the ratchet facing you, you can still see the torque window and make micro adjustments. This feature would make even more sense with a digital torque display.
Under the Hood
Sonic packs a 45-tooth ratchet in their Two-Way torque wrenches. That may not be as fancy as newer 72- or 90-tooth ratchets. It does pack an advantage, however. For one, the teeth make solid contact with the twin pawls present within the tool head. They also utilize more surface area—at least partially connecting with four teeth. Many cheaper torque wrenches using a rectangular bar that catches between two teeth with just a corner. With a torque wrench, clearance doesn’t seem to be an issue—so having more confidence in the larger tooth size seems like a win. I’ll save the higher tooth count for my normal ratchets.
In the Field
We used this on our in-house rig used for testing the best impact driver. We also checked and set the lug nuts on our 2015 Ford F150 to 150 foot-pounds. Even with the Blue Angels flying overhead (we’re right near an airport during an annual fly-in), we heard the click clearly. The action on the arm is perfect, and the tool just works as you’d expect.
Without dragging it out, we really like the Sonic Tools Two-Way Torque Wrench. The tool feels well-built. It handles a lot of torque—plus you can spec it any of several ranges and drive sizes. The price is right for a good quality tool like this. Get one in your hands and give it a whirl. Visit the product page on the Sonic Tools website to buy it or get more info.