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The LifeLine Essential Mini Torque Wrench houses 3, 4 and 5mm Allen keys, as well as a T25 Torx key in its T-shape handle – and those will fit most common bolts on a bike. It is limited to just the single, 5Nm torque setting, but it's cheaper than its rivals.
A torque wrench should be a staple in any home mechanic's toolbox, to avoid overtightening bolts and damaging things – especially carbon things.
The included 3, 4 and 5mm Allen keys and T25 Torx will fit the vast majority of bike bolts, including most stem bolts and seat post clamps. All four bits can stash safely in the handle too, making this ideal for chucking in a race kit or touring bag.
The standard 1/4in driver will take any common screwdriver bits, and a spring retainer means they won't fall out in use, whatever the angle. The robust T-shape handle is easy to hold securely too.
If you've never used a torque wrench, they're simple – you just tighten until there's a solid 'snap' from the handle, indicating that 5Nm has been. Some torque wrenches are far more subtle with barely audible clicks, so I'm thankful the Lifeline is more definitive.
At £19.99 the Lifeline wrench is one of the cheapest torque wrenches on the market, but the main drawback is its 5Nm limitation. Similar wrenches, such as the Pro Bike Tool Adjustable Torque Wrench or the Park Tool ATD-1, adjust from 4-6Nm – although both are more expensive at £36.49 and £85 (2021 price) respectively. That said, the Merida Adjustable Torque Wrench also covers 4-6Nm and is just £26.99.
For some it won't be a problem – 5Nm is a very common torque setting for bike bolts – but for others it may just be too limiting.
This tool works well and is easy to use. For anyone with solely 5Nm bolts to tighten I can't recommend it enough, but if – like mine - your bike has a multitude of torque settings, then it's hard to overlook spending a little bit extra on something with a little adjustment.
Useful and well-made tool for safe bike fettling with a handy selection of bits
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road.cc test report
Make and model: LifeLine Essential Mini Torque Wrench
Size tested: 5Nm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Lifeline says, "The Essential Mini Torque Wrench allows you to apply a calibrated tension of 5Nm to your component clamps; a common recommendation amount stem, seatpost and groupset manufacturers. This helps prevent excessive clamping which can damage both components and tools."
I found it quick and easy to use with a confident click when the torque has been met.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
5Nm Torque setting
3,4,5mm Allen heads
Simple and robust; bit quality seems good.
The loud snap means it's very difficult to overtighten bolts.
Has survived the odd floor-drop in the garage with no adverse affects. It's still measuring accurately after six weeks of solid use.
A bit too heavy and chunky for a pocket, but fine for the garage or kit bag.
Good grip on the handle.
If you only require one torque setting this is very good value, though tools with multiple torque settings are only a little more expensive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works as it should and thanks to the storage in the handle, no bits were lost in the making of this review.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Storage for bits in handle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As mentioned in the review this is one of the cheapest torque wrenches out there.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a solid bit of kit that does what should, is well thought out, and is cheaper than most of its kind. It's a very useful thing to have in your toolbox.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...