Tendayi Darikwa's first goal for the club put Chesterfield ahead but Torquay replied through Rene Howe three minutes later to take a deserved point.
Both teams had created chances in an open first half with Torquay's Lloyd Macklin having a shot charged down in the sixth minute before Drew Talbot saw a drive touched over by Michael Poke soon after.
Chesterfield came close five minutes before half-time when a corner to the back post fell to Jack Lester, who headed just wide but the home side opened the scoring in the 48th minute.
Craig Westcarr put Darikwa in on the right and he steered a shot across Poke and inside the far post. But Torquay responded three minutes later when a slip by Neal Trotman allowed Howe to beat Richard O'Donnell from 12 yards.
Chesterfield put Torquay under pressure but the visitors defended well to gain a hard-earned away point.