Spark plugs are a key component to your engine. They are devised with various gaps. Hence, you have to know the ideal gap for your vehicle and adjust the same correctly in order for them to match. And this is necessary if you want your engine to function properly.
Yes, these may be small, but these mighty plugs that form part of your ignition system play a vital role in how your car functions. Consequently, each engine will need different gaps. This blog will talk about some of the best spark plug gap tools that will guide you in deciding the appropriate tool for your gapping needs.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Spark Plug Gap Tool
Things to Consider Before Buying
Of course, you want to avoid weak or bad spark plugs that may lead to trouble starting or engine misfires during acceleration. You also don’t want your vehicle to not sustain its maximum power. That is why there are a few things you have to consider before purchasing your spark plug tool.
Kinds of Materials
The first thing you that you should do is to figure out what kind of spark plug your vehicle has. Knowing the exact model of the plug and the material used therein is very significant. Here are the types of spark plugs you’ll find on the market:
Copper and Nickel Spark Plug
This is the regular spark plug. It has a nickel-coated copper core. This is inexpensive but not long-lasting either. Luckily for this one, any gaping device would work.
Platinum Spark Plug
The benefit of using platinum is it won’t hamper or blur away your element structure in case you want to use it. Platinum is exceptionally durable and long-lasting.
Iridium Spark Plug
This plug is very robust as it is made of iridium, which is harder. It can split quickly, so you should use the gauge on them with caution.
Silver Spark Plug
Silver is certainly a better conductor than the others. It is more robust, too. Be vigilant when making changes. It’s one of the rarest kinds and mostly found in old model cars.
You don’t want to overpay for this device. So, against the price tag, you have to weigh the features of the spark plug gap tool. If the price tag for the features looks too costly, don’t buy it.
Pick a measuring gauge set in the measurement device, which is most convenient to use. When you don’t want to mess with the conversion, you can get one that has both millimeter and inch markings. For utmost precision, choose one that provides a size range closer to the gap size of your spark plug.
Ease of Use
Choose a measuring instrument without a complex design. A simple tool can allow you to make measurements with ease and comfort. It is one that doesn’t require any complicated steps. Perhaps, wire-type gauges are simplest tool to use because you just have to rotate the gauge when measuring.
5 Best Spark Plug Gap Tool Reviews
The original spark plug is usually pre-gapped by manufacturers. However, if you want to attain a better spark plug performance, buying the best tool for the spark plug gap is essential. One of these may be an appropriate tool to correctly gap your new spark plug:
1. Hotop Stainless Steel Feeler Gauge
- Feeler gauge set: made of 65 manganese steel,...
- Easy identification: dual marked metric and...
- Metric sizes (mm): 0.04, 0.05, 0.06, 0.08,...
- Inch sizes: 0.0015, 0.002, 0.0025, 0.003,...
- Warm notice: there is some anti-rust oil on...
This tool is made of tempered and hardened steel with a lube oil outer protection to avoid corrosion and pitting. It may be suitable for engineers, designers, and mechanics.
With this gauge, you can measure the thickness of spark plugs gaps, piston ring gaps, bearing clearances, tappet clearances, and other hard to reach places. It comes with 32 blades, so it works with things requiring gauges with different thicknesses. It’s cheap, easy to use, and of great quality.
However, some users don’t like how the individual blades are numbered because they are difficult to read. Anyway, it is equipped with an anti-rust oil on the stainless steel feeler gauge to ensure that it will not rust even when used frequently.
Looks like this is oriented towards both metric and imperial measurements and appears to be very precise. Each paddle matches a particular measure in millimeters so you can easily convert it to inches.
Much more, leveling a 3D printer’s build is one of its notable uses as it has several sizes that work great for measuring distance between the nozzle and bed
- Comes with 32 blades with different thickness
- Convenient and easy to use and store
- Every blade requires a good wipe down due to the amount of oil-based lubricant
- Some gauges have small dings on the edges
2. CTA Tools 3235 Spark Plug Gapper
- Range: 0.02 to 0.1-Inches (0.50 -...
- Utilizes Die-Cast Construction for Accuracy
- Featuring an Easy-to-Read Scale
- Built to be Resilient and Flexible
- Heavy-Duty Construction Allows for Strength...
Boasting the ability to measure the clearance of spark plug gap size, it has a range between 0.02 and 0.1-inches.
This spark plug gapper is made from sturdy all-steel materials. The heavy-duty structure allows for durability and strength. This is a simple and very basic tool for changing spark plugs. It gives accurate gap readings when used correctly without the need for any advanced technology.
It is a useful and handy device for measuring and setting the spark plug gap, and it comes on a budget. You can get constant readings, not just .032 inch, but also .035 inch, and so on. The gap opener hole also feels in control and makes it easier to judge from the distance.
However, it could be a bit smaller than anticipated as the diameter of the coin is barely 1.5 inches. This might make it difficult for an accurate read. Some users have found out that there is a slight difference in measurement when using a very accurate digital caliper.
This tool is imprecise for measuring spark plug tolerances when small differences matter. Maybe not the most accurate, but it’s a lot more durable, and if you pay attention, it can get the job done.
- Durable construction
- Made of steel
- Portable and handy
- May not be precise
3. A & E Hand Tools 4450A Spark Plug Gap Gauge
This affordable and ergonomic device is capable of adjusting and measuring spark plugs with varying designs.
Since it comes with a graded edge that can measure up to .08 inches, it is ideal not just for new but for old vehicles as well. This functions like coin-style gap tools, but it is way better. On the other side of the tool are metric measurements, so it is easier for you to know the appropriate measurement.
Its handle is made with comfort in mind so it won’t bother or hurt when gapping or measuring. Most users suggest a foldable feature, so it is compact enough to store and keep it handy. Anyway, it is lightweight and comes with an attached clip.
With this, you can make gap adjustments without the risk of touching the surrounding porcelain or central electrode.
- Comes with a built-in recess to adjust electrode
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Good for both old and new vehicles
- Provides accurate measurements
- Gives clear markings
- Not compact
4. Lisle 67870 Spark Plug Gap Tool
This item by Lisle is made in the USA. It gauges and gaps all types of Spark Plugs from .020 inch to .100 inch.
Weighing 0.08 ounces, it has tapered edge on which to gage spark plugs. Since the hole comes with a flange, it can change the side plug wire without giving off pressure to the central electrode. This tool is reasonably priced, durable, reliable, and easy to use once you understand it.
You can employ feeler gauges if you will be gapping an F1 engine plug. Just be careful when measuring, so the electrode doesn’t get damaged. There are, of course, other more advanced gap tools out there, but they come at an increased price than this little tool.
One problem you might encounter is that it’s not really heavy metal stuff. If not properly used, the plug might chip off a metal piece. Also, it may not be so good at closing the gap.
It’s better to use this product if you have a caliper to check the true values at a given position.
This is intended for crude uses, such as testing to see whether the spark plugs in your car are roughly in alignment. Except if you have poor eyesight, this tool is easy to read. You can use it as a key chain or put it in a small tool kit in your car.
With this device, inserting the gauge into the spark plug’s opening and moving it to the place where it tightens up is simple.
- Portable and compact
- Comes with built-in adjustment tool
- Has a wide range of measurements
- Uneven adjustments if not used carefully
5. Performance Tool W163C Wide Spark Plug Gauge and Gap Tool
- For use with newer autos with high energy...
- Accurately set spark plugs with electrode...
- 8 durable round wire blades in decimal and...
- SAE Sizes: .025, .030, .035, .040, .044,...
- Metric Sizes: .635, .762, .889, 1.01, 1.11,...
This can accurately set spark plugs with an electrode tool. With a dimension of 3 x 1 x 1 inches, this tool works with newer, high-energy electric vehicles.
Weighing 0.96 ounces, its heavy-duty construction makes it durable enough to withstand various conditions. This item is a must-have inexpensive device to check the gap of your spark plug before installing it in your vehicle.
It is also easy to use with wires that are accurately sized with a solid electrode adjuster. If you want to get the job done at a low price, this may be a good idea. The item looks like it was soaked in oil, so you have to give it a good wipe first before using it.
Yes, you might prefer the standard wire gapper, but they often collapse after some use, whereas this one is more likely to stay intact.
- Ease of use
- Ensures accuracy
- Heavy-duty construction
- Appropriate for newer autos
- Rough edges
- Gap adjusting tab may not have a good fit
Frequently Asked Questions
- What spark plug gap do I need?
It depends. The type of tool that you may need depends upon your purpose. This is because the spark plug type makes a difference in the gapping process.
Numerous electrode plugs such as the E3 are unique to the vehicles and are gapped at the factory. Since, the standard key ring style tools will damage the Iridium electrode plugs, you have to use a proper gapping tool.
- How do you wire a spark plug gap tool?
Choose the right wire based on the gap size. Race the wire in between the two spark plug electrodes. The wire will catch on them as they pass. Widen the distance by hooking the gauge on the ground electrode and tugging gently when necessary.
Where possible, narrow the distance by gently pushing or tapping the ground electrode against a clean, soft surface. Check the distance and change it according to need.
- What happens if the spark plug gap is wrong?
Incorrect gapping of spark plugs will adversely affect engine efficiency. It may cause an engine to run unevenly, and this occurs, especially during idle. This may also result in poor engine output, engine hesitation, and engine knocking.
- What happens if the point gap is too small?
The size of the gap between the electrodes is one of the key factors which make a spark plug work well or bad. If the gap is too small, the spark is likely to be too low and cause the engine to run badly or with poor efficiency.
- Is a bigger spark plug gap better?
Not necessarily. If the spark plug gap is too wide, it is unlikely that the spark will reliably “strike” over the long distance between electrodes, resulting in a rough-running engine or one that does not run at all.
Gapping your spark plugs is a delicate process and is always required. If you want to do it correctly and avoid engine damage, it is imperative that you get the best spark plug gap tool for the job. Searching such a tool depends on the kind of spark plugs your car uses.