Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

LifeLine Essential Mini Torque Wrench

8
£19.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Useful and well-made tool for safe bike fettling with a handy selection of bits
All bits housed in body
Good grip
Good selection of bits
Attractive price
Only suitable for 5Nm bolts
Weight: 
134g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the road.cc scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

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.

> Buy this online here

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.

2021 LifeLine Essential Mini Torque Wrench 3.jpg

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.

> Beginner's guide to bike tools – get all the vital gear for basic bike maintenance

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.

Overall

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.

Verdict

Useful and well-made tool for safe bike fettling with a handy selection of bits

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

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

T25 Torx

1/4" driver

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Simple and robust; bit quality seems good.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

The loud snap means it's very difficult to overtighten bolts.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Has survived the odd floor-drop in the garage with no adverse affects. It's still measuring accurately after six weeks of solid use.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10

A bit too heavy and chunky for a pocket, but fine for the garage or kit bag.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Good grip on the handle.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

Nothing much.

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.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

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,

Latest Comments