Whether you do it for a living or just work on your own vehicles, you’re going to need some tools, especially if you have to deal with any stuck-on bolts or nuts.
So, what do you do if your car has a bolt rusted closed?
Breaker bars are a fairly simple tool, and yet they can help you with the most difficult jobs. When it comes to loosening rusted bolts, there simply is no better tool.
But how do you pick out the best breaker bars from the seemingly countless options available? Well, that’s where we come in. Below you’ll find our 10 best breaker bar reviews, as well as a useful buying guide.
So, let’s go through them and find the right tool for the job…
- 1 Top 10 Best Breaker Bars For Your Consideration In 2021 Review
- 1.1 1 Craftsman Model #47017 Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set – 3 Piece Set – Best Breaker Bar Set
- 1.2 2 MAXPOWER 1/2-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Dual-Drive 24-Inch Breaker Bar Flex Handle – Best Breaker Bar Combo
- 1.3 3 Keyfit Tools Big Bertha BREACHER Super Leverage Breaker Bar – 2 Piece Set – Most Durable Breaker Bar
- 1.4 4 Olsa Tools Extendable Breaker Bar 1/2-Inch Drive 16-Inch to 24-Inch Length – Best Non Slip Breaker Bar
- 1.5 5 Capri Tools 1/2-Inch Drive 30-Inch Extended Leverage Breaker Bar – Best Affordable Breaker Bar
- 1.6 6 Neiko Model #00206A 1/2-Inch Drive Premium Breaker Bar 24-Inch Length – Best Budget Breaker Bar
- 1.7 7 EPAuto 1/2-Inch Drive by 24-Inch Length Breaker Bar – Best Corrosion Resistant Breaker Bar
- 1.8 8 GreatNeck BB18 1/2-Inch Drive 18-Inch Breaker Bar – Best Heavy Duty Breaker Bar
- 1.9 9 Neiko Model #00211A 1/2-Inch Drive Premium Breaker Bar 18-Inch Length – Best Tight Space Breaker Bar
- 1.10 10 TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive x 18-Inch Breaker Bar Model #SBH00118 – Best 3/8” Breaker Bar
- 2 Best Breaker Bars Buying Guide
- 3 Often tinker in your garage?
- 4 So, what are the Best Breaker Bars?
Top 10 Best Breaker Bars For Your Consideration In 2021 Review
1 Craftsman Model #47017 Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set – 3 Piece Set – Best Breaker Bar Set
No matter what you’re working on, there’s a chance you’ll need to tighten or loosen a nut. That’s why Craftsman has produced a 3 piece Flex Handle Breaker Bar Set. It comes with breaker bars in multiple sizes, allowing you to always have the tool you need on-hand.
Have you ever had to loosen a seized lug?
It can be a real pain in the backside if you don’t have the right tools. So can tightening an engine mount to the correct torque. That’s where these flex handle breaker bars come in…
The handle features a positive stop at 45° (each side) to help prevent over-tightening. The bars come with a longer handle as you size up (see below). This means you also get increased torque to help loosen those larger nuts and bolts.
What size bars come in this set?
The Craftsman #47017 comes equipped with a 1/4” drive with a 6” flex T handle. There is also a 3/8” drive with a 10” flex T handle and a 1/2” drive with a 15” flex T handle. This means you’ll have a breaker bar for the most common sizes required in the garage.
Plus, the flexible design is made from tough alloyed steel. This makes it extremely robust and enables it to work at a 180° range of motion.
The flexibility also allows the bar to deliver torque at multiple angles. This means you’ll get the maximum reach and maximum efficiency possible. Or you would if the handles were just a bit longer.
- 3-Piece breaker bar set.
- Positive stops at 45° either side.
- Durable alloy-steel construction.
- 180° Range of motion.
- The handles could be longer.
2 MAXPOWER 1/2-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Dual-Drive 24-Inch Breaker Bar Flex Handle – Best Breaker Bar Combo
There is a different style of option that allows you to be fully prepared and yet also provides you with fewer tools to lose. It’s made by MAXPOWER, which we just love saying in a horrible European accent for some reason.
This breaker bar really does give you max power…
The first thing we noticed about this option is the length of the handle. You have the option of an 18” or 24” handle, and we looked at the longer of the two.
This long reach means you’ll have more torque behind you whilst expending less effort. This is a huge plus when you have a lug nut that just won’t move.
But wait, there’s more that sets this breaker bar apart…
We found the dual drive to be an outstanding feature. This supplies you with a 1/2” and a 3/8” drive, all built into a single handle. We think it’s a brilliant design, and it certainly saves on space in the toolbox, as well as on lost tools.
This is accomplished thanks to a 360° rotating flex head. It has one size drive on either side, and it allows you to work from any angle.
How tough is it?
This unit is composed of hardened chrome vanadium steel, with spring-loaded ball bearing retention sockets. The smaller 3/8” drive can provide up to 149 pounds per foot of torque. That’s 202N.m if you prefer.
The larger 1/2” drive is better for heavy-duty applications. It can deliver up to 378lb/ft, or 512N.m of torque. We think this makes it one of the best breaker bar combos for the price.
- Extra-long handle.
- 360° rotating flex head.
- Dual ⅜” & ½” drives.
- Hardened chrome vanadium steel.
- Not recommended for use with a force-adding bar.
3 Keyfit Tools Big Bertha BREACHER Super Leverage Breaker Bar – 2 Piece Set – Most Durable Breaker Bar
Sometimes you need the ultimate breaker bar to get the job done. We don’t mean to be disparaging to the other options, but then again, this is called the Big Bertha Breacher. It’s made by Keyfit, and it has a few solid design features going for it.
Is this the best breaker bar for the price?
Well, if you really have something stuck, this is a great tool to have around. In its compact configuration, you’ll have a 12” long breaker bar. You’ll also have access to the ratchet end.
This can then be extended for up to a whopping four feet! Not only that, it comes in a two piece set, so you have both 1/2” and 1” inner diameters on-hand. This is perfect for both large and small tools.
Let us explain…
This unit has been designed with a slot to accommodate most open-end wrenches. Plus, you’ll no longer need cheaper bars nor worry about double wrenching. This tool will do it all.
It also works with an impact socket as a tire iron or lug nut wrench. Plus, it’s composed of professional Cr-V steel, which makes it highly durable.
In fact, it’s so tough it’s Guaranteed For Life. There aren’t many other options that can make that claim.
- Two Piece 1/2” & 1” driver set.
- Professional Cr-V Steel.
- Slotted for most wrenches.
- Provides up to four foot of leverage.
- Guaranteed for Life.
- On the expensive side.
4 Olsa Tools Extendable Breaker Bar 1/2-Inch Drive 16-Inch to 24-Inch Length – Best Non Slip Breaker Bar
One of the best breaker bars for your toolbox is probably the Extendable Breaker Bar from Olsa Tools. While it won’t stretch out as long as the Big Bertha Breacher we just reviewed, it does have its own advantages.
Do you ever need just a bit more leverage?
This breaker bar comes with a 1/2” drive and a handle that can extend from 16” to 24” in length. This is achieved by way of a telescoping bar, so it’s always ready for use.
The handle is also knurled in such a way to provide a better non-slip grip. We find this feature rather convenient as it really does keep your hand from slipping. This will certainly save your knuckles a time or two.
What is it made from?
This breaker bar is composed of industrial-grade Chrome Vanadium (Cr-V) steel. This makes it nearly unbreakable, so it will last the test of time.
In fact, this option is such high quality that a Limited Lifetime Warranty backs it. This means you can purchase with confidence.
- Telescoping 16” – 24” handle.
- Industrial-grade Cr-V steel.
- Non-slip knurled handle.
- 220° flex head.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty.
- Only 1/2” driver.
5 Capri Tools 1/2-Inch Drive 30-Inch Extended Leverage Breaker Bar – Best Affordable Breaker Bar
No matter what you’re working on, one of the most affordable breaker bars is made by Capri Tools. They make an Extended Leverage Breaker Bar in a range of sizes to cover any job. We looked at the 1/2” drive option, which has a couple of good selling points.
What is the head made from?
This breaker bar is composed of Chrome Vanadium, but the head is Chrome Molybdenum. It provides a powerful piece of garage equipment that is the epitome of durability.
It will hold the socket wrench style sockets in place securely. This means you’ll have no problem breaking loose frozen nuts and bolts, especially with the extra leverage provided by this long handle.
This one is 30” long, which we bet beats yours. Plus, ours comes with a 230° rotating head. So, no matter the job, this breaker bar will be perfect.
Now, having said all that, you should also note there are some complaints of quality consistency. We’ve not had any issues, but others have had the head snap. Considering the price, it’s not too surprising, really.
- Long 30” handle.
- 230° rotating head.
- Available in multiple sizes.
- Priced aggressively.
- Not the most reliable option we reviewed.
6 Neiko Model #00206A 1/2-Inch Drive Premium Breaker Bar 24-Inch Length – Best Budget Breaker Bar
Another option for your toolbox is the model #00206A from Neiko. This is a Premium Breaker Bar that can help you deliver increased torque. And although it has ‘premium’ in the name, it’s easily one of the greatest breaker bars for those on a strict budget.
How strong is it?
This breaker bar is made from Cr-V steel like many other options on our list. However, this is a Premium Breaker Bar because it’ has a Chrome Moly head. This has been forged and heat-treated for extra strength. It also helps increase the durability. This is important, as breaker bars are put through extreme tests every time they’re used.
The 24” handle on this bar provides considerable torque. There is also a 180° flexible head that has been designed to work at any angle.
What does this mean?
Well, you’ll be able to reach into tight spaces and around obstacles. This means you’ll be better able to generate optimized leverage.
Plus, the spring-loaded ball bearing works to keep the socket securely in place. Considering the price, we think this all adds up to one of the best budget breaker bars.
- Long 24” handle.
- 180° flexible head.
- Cr-V steel construction.
- Chrome Moly head.
- The head is known to snap.
7 EPAuto 1/2-Inch Drive by 24-Inch Length Breaker Bar – Best Corrosion Resistant Breaker Bar
If you don’t already have a breaker bar in your garage, then you should consider this one from EPAuto. It’s a great option if you’re looking for durability balanced with leverage at a reasonable price.
Just how durable is it?
This breaker bar is made from the good stuff. High quality hardened Chrome Vanadium steel alloy, which we’ve mentioned previously as Cr-V. This stuff is highly durable and unlikely to break before the nut or bolt you’re working on.
It’s also 24 inches long and corrosion-resistant, thanks to the mirror-polished chrome-plated finish. This adds to the durability of the bar and makes it look nice as well.
What about the head?
The breaker bar from EPAuto is fitted with a heat-treated Chrome Moly Flex head. While this might sound like a punk band that never made it, it actually provides 180° flex.
You’ll be able to torque easily at any angle. It’s also fitted with a spring-loaded ball bearing to keep your sockets in place. All in all, it’s another great breaker bar for the price.
- Composed of Cr-V steel.
- Long 24” handle.
- Chrome Moly flex head.
- Corrosion-resistant finish.
- Not the most flexible head.
8 GreatNeck BB18 1/2-Inch Drive 18-Inch Breaker Bar – Best Heavy Duty Breaker Bar
When it comes to tools for your garage, there are some manufacturers who have been around longer than others. This is usually a testament to the quality of their products.
This brings us to GreatNeck Tools…
They’ve been independently owned and operated for more than 100 years. They make dependable tools that have built up a legacy of quality. And somehow, they manage to keep costs down at the same time.
This is evident when you look at the price. It’s one of the cheapest options on our list, and yet it has all the same features as the others.
The GreatNeck BB18 is made from Chrome Vanadium steel, which is some of the toughest there is. The handle is 18-inches long and features a knurled grip for better performance under pressure.
We think it’s one of the best heavy-duty breaker bars for the cost. The flex drive head and ball retainer to keep your socket secure round out the features. In the end, there really isn’t anything missing.
- 18” long handle.
- Knurled grip.
- Chrome Vanadium steel.
- Priced aggressively.
- Not everyone will like the grip.
9 Neiko Model #00211A 1/2-Inch Drive Premium Breaker Bar 18-Inch Length – Best Tight Space Breaker Bar
Another option for your toolbox from Neiko is the model #00211A. This is another Premium Breaker Bar that can help you deliver increased torque. It’s easily one of the best breaker bars for tighter spaces.
How strong is it?
This breaker bar is made from Cr-V steel, like many others. However, this is a Premium Breaker Bar because it has a Chrome Moly head. This has been forged and heat-treated for extra strength.
The 18” handle on this bar provides considerable torque. There is also a 180° flexible head that has been designed to work at any angle.
Work in tight spaces a lot?
Well, you’ll be able to reach into tight spaces and around obstacles with this. And you’ll be better able to generate optimized leverage. Plus, you’ll be able to reach those spaces where longer handles can’t turn.
Plus, the spring-loaded ball bearing works to keep the socket securely in place. Considering the price, we think this all adds up to a great breaker bar.
- Long 18” handle.
- 180° flexible head.
- Cr-V steel construction.
- Chrome Moly heady.
- The head is known to snap.
10 TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive x 18-Inch Breaker Bar Model #SBH00118 – Best 3/8” Breaker Bar
The final entry on our list comes from Tekton. This is a smaller breaker bar for those occasions where a 1/2” just isn’t what you need. In fact, we think it’s the best small breaker bar for the price.
What’s your head position?
One nice feature about this breaker bar is the fluid movement head. It does not have a preset head position allowing it to move around obstructions that might be in the swing path.
The head pintos 230° as well, so you can approach the job from whatever angle is required. We think this is another smart design feature, as bolts and nuts are often in hard to reach places.
How long is it?
The handle is 18 inches long. It’s been designed for use with either a single hand or two-handed grip.
Now once again, we should mention the quality. While Tekton is generally known for good tools, the head on this is known to snap. Sometimes almost immediately. It’s unlikely, as the vast majority work as intended, but it is a known issue to be aware of.
- Long 18” handle.
- 230° pivoting head.
- No preset head positions.
- Comfortable one or two handed use.
- Durable chrome-plated finish.
- Not the most reliable breaker bar.
Best Breaker Bars Buying Guide
Breaker bars are an essential tool for any garage. They are especially important if you care for your own vehicle, but they can be used for much more. So, it’s wise to have one on hand for when you need it.
Have you ever had a bolt that just wouldn’t budge?
When a standard ratcheting wrench just isn’t cutting it, then you’ll need something more robust. Or rather, you’ll need something that allows you to provide more torque. This is often an issue with lug nuts on your vehicle’s wheel.
These can be such a hassle to remove with a ratcheting wrench that many professionals go right for the breaker bar.
However, breaker bars are not for universal use…
We would not suggest using a breaker bar to tighten a bolt or nut. Even if you want a tight connection, this isn’t the best option.
Instead, we’d recommend using a torque wrench for tightening. These are built to help you to ensure you don’t over tighten the nut/bolt. Doing so can cause damage or make it nearly impossible to ever remove the nut/bolt later.
How long of a breaker bar do you need?
The longer the breaker bar, the more torque it will provide. If you have a frozen, rusted, or otherwise immovable nut, you’ll need more leverage. This will allow you to provide more torque.
On the other hand, longer breaker bars can be inoperable in tight spaces. If you’re working around the engine, you may need a shorter breaker bar handle. This is why the options above come in such a wide range of lengths.
If you have a truly stuck bolt/nut, then an extremely long breaker bar might be required. However, this may not work so well if space to maneuver is limited.
The head is the most important part of a breaker bar…
This is true for a few reasons. First off, the head should have a spring-loaded ball bearing to keep the sockets securely attached. There’s nothing worse than searching for a dropped socket.
Similarly, it will save you time and frustration if you don’t have to worry about the socket falling off easily. Swiveling heads are another critical design feature. These allow you to work around obstructions.
Now, not all heads provide the same flex…
Most of the options above come with a flex head of some degree. However, that degree can range from 180° up to 360°. This is a rather significant difference, and it can really affect how long it takes to complete a job.
Then there’s the material used for the head’s construction…
Most breaker bars are made from Chrome Vanadium steel, better known as Cr-V steel. This is because it is incredibly strong, which you’ll need to apply top-level torque.
However, many options above have a head constructed from another material. This is often something like Chrome Moly steel.
We highly recommend choosing the most robust materials available for both the handle and the head. We also highly advise ensuring your tools have a corrosion-resistant finish. This will help to increase its durability, which means it will last you longer.
Often tinker in your garage?
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Back to breaker bars…
So, what are the Best Breaker Bars?
With so many breaker bars to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down the options. Hopefully, our list above has left you feeling fully informed. There are a bunch of great options, but which is the best breaker bar for your specific toolbox?
If nothing jumped out, you shouldn’t worry. We know they can all seem very similar, but we all have to pick a single favorite; for us, that is the…
It provides you with the two most common sized drives and a long handle for heavy torque. Plus, it’s available at a steal of a price point.