The Best Breaker Bar – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

When you’re working on any kind of, machine it’s important to have tools that can take it apart. For that, you’ll need the best breaker bar you can get. Counting on your own strength to be able to pry apart rusted nuts and bolts will definitely get you off on the wrong start, no matter how tough you think you are. That’s because those bolts need to be as tight as possible to ensure the upkeep and efficiency of your machinery.

You’ll need the best breaker bar you can find in order to get everything apart, but finding one isn’t always as easy as you might think for how simple the tool is. Let’s take a look at some of the best options.

The Best Breaker Bars – Reviewed

EPAuto ½” Breaker Bar

Made with a hardened chrome vanadium steel alloy, this breaker bar has a mirror polish to keep it from corroding. It’s also 180-degree heat treated for added durability and has a moly flex head that gives you torque no matter what the angle. The spring loaded ball bearing means that the sockets are secured and the 24″ length alongside a ½” drive gives you a good amount of versatility when it comes to the use of the bar itself.

Strong enough to take on just about any project, this breaker bar has excellent leverage and gives you plenty of leeways around to increase strength as well. The pivoting head is around the bar instead of inside the bar like most standard breakers and while it doesn’t fit under the hood of a car it is large enough to get the bigger jobs done and is capable of supporting a great deal of weight.

Things we like:

  • Chrome vanadium steel alloy
  • Withstands the heat, 180-degree heat treated
  • Spring loaded ball bearing
  • Pivoting head around the bar vs. inside

Things we don’t like:

  • Locked ball-bearing makes it difficult to loosen

Neiko 00206A Breaker Bar

At 24″ in length and ½” drive, this bar is made with chrome vanadium steel to increase the durability and the maximum level of torque it’s able to provide. It’s forged and heat treated and has a moly drive head that even increases the durability and strength further.

The 180-degree head is flexible enough to reach just about any angle and any space, including tight spaces. Plus there’s a spring load ball bearing that can keep sockets secure no matter what you need to go. Great even for rusted nuts and bolts, this tool meets or exceeds ANSI standards.

The mirror chrome finish not only makes this bar look great but also makes sure that it’s corrosion resistant and helps it get really stuck pieces. It’s a little heavier than some version but it’s able to withstand a great deal of weight at the same time, which gives you even more leverage while you’re working. The extra-long handle even has a contoured grip to make it easier to hold onto.

Things we like:

  • Chrome vanadium steel
  • Heat and forge treated
  • Spring loaded ball bearing
  • Meets or exceeds ANSI standards

Things we don’t like:

  • Tolerance not as tight as others of it’s kind
  • Not desirable for high-torque needs

Tekton 15356 Breaker Bar

Moderately priced, this breaker bar is actually available in several different sizes as well as different drive options so you can get just what you need for the project at hand. It has a 180-degree chrome moly head that’s flexible enough to work at any angle and it uses spring loaded ball bearings to keep the sockets secure.

The 24″ length and ½” drive size means that it’s a good all-aroundbreaker bar and it’s designed to meet or exceed all ANSI standards. There’s a lifetime guarantee from the company, which means you know you’re getting something high quality and there’s a polished finish that makes it look great but also keeps it from corroding over time.

This system is ready for just about anything and gives you the right amount of tightness with plenty of adjustment capabilities as well.

Things we like:

  • Different drive sizes and lengths available for versatility
  • Spring loaded ball bearing
  • Meets or Exceeds ANSI standards
  • Lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer

Things we don’t like:

  • Less ideal for high-volume professional use
  • Thinner handle

Capri Tools Breaker Bar

This inexpensive option gives you a ½” drive and a 24″ breaker bar that has plenty of leverage to get the job done. It can handle 377 ft-lb and comes in three additional drive sizes to get you just the versatility that you really need. It’s made of chrome vanadium steel and a chrome moly head that give you strength, durability, and versatility all at the same time. There are spring loaded ball bearings to keep the sockets held in place and the head can rotate 180 degrees to give you more compatibility to the tool.

You get a lifetime warranty and it’s compliant with DIN standards so you know you’re getting something durable and long lasting that the company is going to stand behind. This slightly heavier tool is chrome coated so you know that it looks great but it’s also not going to corrode during normal use. There is some ability to tighten down the tool to get less play around sockets.

Things we like:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • 377 ft-lb. capability
  • Meets DIN standards
  • Relatively inexpensive in comparison

Things we don’t like:

  • Heavier bar than others, may cause discomfort
  • Bar head less durable

Performance Tool W32126 Breaker Bar

This is a slightly larger option that’s going to give you a bit more capability and a little more leverage at the same time. It’s a ½” drive, which means that it’s the standard for most purposes but it actually has a 30” extension rod, which will allow you to get even more power behind your current strength.

There are other drive sizes as well as lengths available for the same system and the entire thing is polished with a nickel chrome finish. That means it’s resistant to corrosion and designed to withstand more abuse.

The rod itself is made of chrome vanadium alloy steel that increases overall strength and durability as well. You’ll have a 180-degree flexible head that can get into any angle and also gets you into tighter spaces, plus you have spring loaded ball bearings that will hold the sockets as securely as you need for continued use. It’s designed for even rusted and stuck nuts and bolts so you can feel confident with the support level you have.

Things we like:

  • 30” total length
  • Chrome vanadium alloy steel construction
  • 180-degree flexible head
  • Spring loaded ball bearings

Things we don’t like:

  • Longer design makes the tool heavier
  • More expensive than other models

Features that Matter

A breaker bar is just a large piece of metal that can attach to nuts and bolts and provide you with the leverage that you need to turn them and break them off. You need a tool that is going to give you leverage and torque, that is made with a high-quality material that’s durable enough to withstand a great deal of force and that’s long enough to give you the added leverage that you need. A short bar can only do so much, after all and a ratchet set may not be necessary. 


You need a good amount of leverage when it comes to picking out a breaker bar because that’s how it’s going to get the job done. If it was just a matter of normal force you could do it with a wrench, but there’s not enough added leverage from the tool itself that way, which is why a breaker bar is needed.

The longer the bar the more leverage you’re going to have, but don’t go off buying the longest bar you can find and thinking it’s going to take care of everything. In general, something between 15 and 24 inches will be enough for general use.


The material that the bar is made out of is just as important (if not more so) than anything else. If it’s not made with high-quality steel you’re not going to be getting your money’s worth out of it. Anything less is generally not going to have the durability that you need in order to put all of your weight on that bar (and there will be times you need to do just that). Forged steel, alloy steel, chrome steel, they’re all going to give you the quality that you’re looking for.

The coating is another aspect of the overall durability of the tool. You want something that is chrome coated or plated because this is actually going to resist corrosion even more. It’s going to look nice, which is an added bonus, but the fact that it protects the steel itself against corrosion (one of the biggest problems and counterpoints to the strength of steel) is the biggest benefit.

Make sure whatever you choose has at least some type of coating on it to keep you ready for anything, even rough weather, sweat or other water damage.

Head Rotation

The head of the breaker bar is the part that attaches to the bolt you’re trying to remove. If it has a full rotation that means it can actually spin all the way around in a circle, which is an added bonus. At least 180 degrees rotation is going to be a great way to improve your abilities with the bar and it’s going to make sure you get a good level of movement out of the bolt each time you push the bar all the way down and then back again with more versatility and more ability to get into tight spaces.

Metal vs. Comfort Grip

This is going to be one area where you’ll have a personal preference, gauged to your own comfort. Do you want a metal construction bar that’s going to give you a little more durability or are you looking for something that’s going to be comfortable for you to hold onto for an extended period?

A metal grip could get slippery if you get warm or it could be difficult to use if wet. The comfort grip, on the other hand, doesn’t give you quite the same feel while you’re holding the tools, which could reduce your actual capabilities with it.

You can read a little more about the differences here.

Total Size

We’re not talking about the length of the handle here. Now we’re talking about the size of the head, which is going to change the type of bolts and other items that your bar can attach to. A ½” or ¾” is generally going to be a good place to start, but you may want to pick up others as you go too.

Wrap Up

For those who work with machines a lot, having the right tool, and especially the right breaker bar, is essential in preparation for the toughest nuts and bolts. You need something that can really get the job done for you, without causing you a whole lot of fatigue at the same time, which is why any of these will be a great addition to your toolbox. Just pay attention to the budget and your specific needs when making your decision.Our number one pick for the best breaker bar for all purpose needs is the EPAuto 1/2″.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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