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The Topeak Torq Stick 4-20Nm is a premium product, and thanks to its extensive torque range and a handy ratchet system makes torquing bike bolts easy and accurate. A good selection of bits are included, and these are also of high quality. There are cheaper ways of torquing bolts, but this is a product that's built to last and a worthy addition to a home mechanic's arsenal.
A good torque wrench can help prevent some expensive mistakes and is as important as ever with frames and components being pushed lighter and lighter. Carbon fibre, for example, is a wonderful material but has particularly small tolerances when it comes to tightening, and rather spectacular results when crushed.
Many mechanics, especially experienced ones, will have 'a feel' for just how tight 'tight' is, but this isn't a great way of retaining a warranty, and if you're regularly tightening bolts then a good torque wrench will give peace of mind and is a worthwhile investment.
Torque wrenches come in varying shapes and sizes, from cheaper beam-style ones and pre-set drivers such as the Topeak Nano Torqbar. More expensive adjustable ones such as the one on test allow for a greater range of torque settings to be achieved, and with the Torq Stick's 4-20Nm range I was able to take care of most bike components including stem bolts, crank bolts, seatpost and saddle bolts, and so on.
However, it should be noted that a torque wrench with a smaller range, such as the Lezyne Torque Drive (2-10Nm), could also achieve this, with the only additional bolts the Torq Stick capable of torquing on my bike being the crank pinch bolts (14Nm). Looking at the Park Tool torque specifications you'll see that the majority of bolts are under 10Nm, meaning that the upper limits of this torque wrench might not get much use.
To use the wrench, select the desired torque using the adjustment knob at the bottom of the handle. The wrench can be used in 0.1Nm increments so there's no chance of not being able to achieve the desired accuracy, although only whole and half Nms are marked.
The handle is easy to grip and use even with grease-covered fingers, and the scale is etched clearly alongside a physical indicator, so it's easy to read and should stay that way.
As the adjustment knob needs to be pulled out to change torque settings it's also nigh-on impossible to twist or accidentally change the torque during use.
The aluminium handle feels high quality and has a slightly satin anodised finish that's not only nice to look at but also comfy, even at maximum torque. The handle is 20cm (roughly 8in) long, so you get plenty of leverage.
As usual, you get some of the most common hex tools you're likely to need included with the wrench: 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and then T20, T25 and T30 Torx bits as well. Some wrenches only come with a T25 in addition to the hex bits, so these are a welcome addition and commonly found on chainring bolts amongst other things.
If you need anything else, it's a standard 1/4in drive so you can use normal sockets. Those included are contained within a '9 bit organiser'.
The bits themselves are made from S2 hardened steel, which is generally regarded as higher performing than chrome vanadium steel thanks to being tougher and more shock resistant. In use they've been perfect, as expected.
Unlike with the Pro 3-15Nm Torque wrench, there isn't an extender included but the 30mm-long bits are longer than some which is useful for getting into hard-to-reach places such as aero bar bolts on a TT bike. I also found that the small frame of the torque wrench, especially around the head, meant it could fit more places and travel through a greater rotation each turn.
The bits are held securely in the tool head magnetically, and are colour coded for ease. The knurling finishes them off nicely, making them easy to remove from the holder.
One small change that I would make to the Torq Stick is including a box like the one seen with the Syncros Wrench 2.0 that we reviewed recently. Although the bit organiser prevents them going haywire, it doesn't ensure they're in the same place as the wrench, and I've found myself repeatedly rummaging through kit bags and toolboxes at races trying to find them.
The tool is factory calibrated and has a claimed accuracy of +/-4%. At the maximum 20Nm this does begin to become significant (0.8Nm), but you'd find similar values for other torque wrenches.
When you reach the set torque, you're alerted to stop pushing by a click and movement of the handle. It is possible to continue tightening past this point, but you'd have to be pretty silly to do so.
The direction of the wrench can be reversed using the switch on the rear of the head, and there are lots of points of engagement, far more than on larger, non-cycling specific wrenches, which is welcome especially on smaller bolts.
There are lots of cheaper torque wrenches available than this £104.99 tool. Topeak's own smaller Torq Stick is £89.99 and loses minimal functionality by only going up to 10Nm; the bits are much nicer on this larger version, though.
Lezyne's Torque Drive I mentioned earlier is another 2-10Nm option and at £51 is a cheaper way of completing most jobs, though it does require assembly each use, and is easier to overtighten bolts with.
If you do need one that goes up to 20Nm then Pro Bike Tool's 2-20Nm wrench set includes more bits and is £67.99, but the larger body doesn't feel very bike-specific and I've found the Topeak wrench easier to use, especially when space is at a premium.
Overall, the Torq Stick is a premium product that tightens bolts accurately and efficiently. There are cheaper ways of completing the same job, but you can see where your money's gone, with quality finishes, materials and details on both the wrench and bits.
The small body and head of the wrench mean it fits into hard-to-reach areas better than other torque wrenches I've used.
If you only very rarely use a torque wrench then a cheaper option will complete the job. If, however, you're an avid home mechanic or just a fan of really nice tools then I don't think the Torq Stick will disappoint.
High-quality bike-specific torque wrench with a useful range of bits
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Torq Stick 4-20Nm
Size tested: 4-20Nm
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?
Topeak says: "Torque wrench with adjustable preset range of 4-20Nm features a standard hex drive reversible ratcheting head. Includes 9 tool bits with a generous 30mm length for reaching tough bolt locations. Knurling on the individual tool bits provides additional grip when changing or removing from the organizer."
It's nicely made and does exactly what it says it will, but does come at a premium price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
TOOLS: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 8 / 10 Allen bits, T20 / T25 / T30 Torx® bits
TORQ RANGE: 4 - 20 Nm (Accuracy: +/- 4%)
BIT MATERIAL: S2 hardened steel
RATCHET MATERIAL: Hardened steel
BODY MATERIAL: Aluminum / Engineering grade polymer
SIZE: 22.7 x 2.5 x 2.15 cm / 8.9 x 1 x 0.8in (Torque tool)
WEIGHT: 187 g / 6.60 oz (Torque tool only)
ADDED FEATURES: Ratchet tool and 9 bit organizer
The same task can be completed for far less.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to use, easy to set torque, use bits and tighten bolts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No box/case to keep the bits and wrench together.
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, it's at the premium end of the market so thankfully it has the design and materials to back this up. It might be overkill for irregular users, but for avid home mechanics it's a purchase that will last ages and function excellently.
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
It's a lovely bit of kit that functions excellently. But there are far cheaper ways of completing the job. The 4-20Nm range doesn't add a great deal of fucntion over a 4-10Nm wrench (two bolts on my bike) and I'd like a case/box to keep the wrench and high-quality bits together. It's built to last, the bike-specific design gives it one up on larger competition and it's easy and pleasing to use.
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...