Torque control of small-scale robotic devices such as hand exoskeletons is challenging due to the unavailability of miniature and compact bidirectional torque actuators. In this work, we present a miniature Bowden-cable-based series elastic actuator (SEA) using helical torsion springs. The three-dimensional (3D) printed SEA is 38 mm × 38 mm × 24 mm in dimension and weighs 30 g, excluding motor which is located remotely. We carry out a thorough experimental testing of our previously presented linear compression spring SEA (LC-SEA) (Agarwal et al. 2015, “An Index Finger Exoskeleton With Series Elastic Actuation for Rehabilitation: Design, Control and Performance Characterization,” Int. J. Rob. Res., 34(14), pp. 1747–1772) and helical torsion spring SEA (HT-SEA) and compare the performance of the two designs. Performance characterization on a test rig shows that the two SEAs have adequate torque source quality (RMSE < 12% of peak torque) with high torque fidelities (>97% at 0.5 Hz torque sinusoid) and force tracking bandwidths of 2.5 Hz and 4.5 Hz (0.2 N·m), respectively, which make these SEAs suitable for our application of a hand exoskeleton.