WORKZONE is the tool line from Aldi. (Yes, it’s in all caps on purpose.) WORKZONE products include hammers, measuring tape, drills, and other home improvement stuff. Most likely, if you’re considering buying Aldi home improvement products, you’re probably not a contractor or construction professional. You’re more likely a homeowner who needs some occasional things done around the house and you don’t want to pay a fortune for a tool you only use a few times a year, if that.
And cost does come into play when you only need a tool on rare occasions. Right now, I only need a torque wrench for one thing: reattaching the blade on my lawn mower about once a year after the blade has been sharpened. In the past I borrowed a torque wrench from a friend, but, as much as I appreciated the friend’s generosity, at some point I decided I just needed one of my own. At the same time, buying a torque wrench and the needed adapters can run a bit of money.
So when Aldi, of all places, stocked a torque wrench for substantially less than anywhere else I’d seen one ($19.99), I decided to take a risk on it.
The WORKZONE Torque Wrench is a pretty simple setup. It comes with a 1/2″ Drive (12.7mm) calibrated in foot/pounds from 20 to 150. (It has foot/pounds on one side and meter/kilograms on the other in case you need metric.) It comes with a 125 mm extension and four sockets (17 mm, 19 mm, 21 mm, and 22 mm). The wrench also comes in a compact storage case that boasts, in extremely tiny font, that the wrench has been “independently tested” by Intertek, whoever they are.
The wrench doesn’t come with any sort of manual (although, curiously, Aldi has one online), but using it isn’t too hard. Attaching sockets involves pressing a quick-release button on the back of the wrench while sliding the socket on. From there, you can set foot/pounds by unscrewing the knob at the bottom of the wrench, then turning the dial to the respective setting. (I needed 60 foot/pounds, so I turned it until the 0 on the dial was lined up with the 60 on the foot/pounds side.) Tighten the knob at the bottom, select the direction you need on the two-way dial on the back, and you’re good to go.
I put it to the only test I have: reattaching a lawn mower blade. The torque wrench did the job just like my friend’s torque wrench did; the socket slid over the nut easily and turned just as easily, making a familiar clicking sound when it reached the set torque.
I can’t speak to the durability of the wrench, but it seems to do what it needs to do for basic jobs, and it does come with a two-year warranty. I’ve read elsewhere that returning it to the lowest setting is good for a torque wrench’s life expectancy, so you might consider doing that after use.
The WORKZONE Torque Wrench is an inexpensive torque wrench and it appears to work. I’m guessing it’s not the ideal mechanic’s wrench, but for the homeowner or DIYer who only needs one occasionally, this is worth a look. The two-year warranty adds a little peace of mind to the deal.
(Now, if Aldi would only sell a breaker bar, too …)