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Affordable Torque Wrench?

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
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May 23, 2002
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I need to buy a torque wrench. I've been putting it off for too long. MTB carbon shizz is probably the most common use for it, but it would be nice to be able to use it for other things (car related) as well.

What's good? Something from planet X just popped up for like $25, but shipping is $25 so fuck them. Any good options that are well calibrated and will last?
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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torque wrenches aren't a place where you want to cheap out.

also, regarding calibration, buying a wrench that's calibrated is one thing. keeping it in calibration over it's lifetime is another.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
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May 23, 2002
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I'm not terribly concerned about calibration services or falling out of calibration over time. The wrench will get minimal use and will live in my basement, not in a bike shop or on the trail. The odds of it getting overused are zero while the odds of it getting dropped are still pretty low.

I don't want to cheap out, but I also don't need 5.000001 +/- 0.0000005 nM of accuracy. I assure you, 4-6nM with a target of 5nM is a lot better than "yeah that's tight"
 

jonKranked

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What's available to ordinary Joe Blow for calibration services? I have something like half a dozen torque wrenches...
just google around. i did a quick search and there's lots of services out there. personally i've never done it, but in my google search there are ways to check to see how accurate your wrench is.

 

jonKranked

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I'm not terribly concerned about calibration services or falling out of calibration over time. The wrench will get minimal use and will live in my basement, not in a bike shop or on the trail. The odds of it getting overused are zero while the odds of it getting dropped are still pretty low.

I don't want to cheap out, but I also don't need 5.000001 +/- 0.0000005 nM of accuracy. I assure you, 4-6nM with a target of 5nM is a lot better than "yeah that's tight"
the accuracy of a given wrench is dependent on its range. wrenches with a lower range will have a smaller tolerance.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
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I bought a digital one with torque turn and I have decided that digital ones are shit unless you really need to torque turn things, doubt I'll ever do that with a 1.5-30Nm wrench......
Clicky ones are fast and you are less likely to over tighten and they are a bunch cheaper, you just have to back the tension off when you store them to keep them consistent.
Most of the wrenches won't say up front that their accuracy isn't full scale and will usually only meet the advertised specs from 20-100% of max torque.

Syntace ones pop up at tolerable prices from time to time and I think they were made by Wera. I have used a few brands for work(1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4") and they all seemed to be fine except Norbar, they'd snap the handle off after about a year. Guess I should have talked to the calibrator to see which ones stayed within spec.
 
I bought a digital one with torque turn and I have decided that digital ones are shit unless you really need to torque turn things, doubt I'll ever do that with a 1.5-30Nm wrench......
Clicky ones are fast and you are less likely to over tighten and they are a bunch cheaper, you just have to back the tension off when you store them to keep them consistent.
Most of the wrenches won't say up front that their accuracy isn't full scale and will usually only meet the advertised specs from 20-100% of max torque.

Syntace ones pop up at tolerable prices from time to time and I think they were made by Wera. I have used a few brands for work(1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4") and they all seemed to be fine except Norbar, they'd snap the handle off after about a year. Guess I should have talked to the calibrator to see which ones stayed within spec.
20 to 80% is the religion in which I was indoctrinated...
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
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In the bathroom, fighting a battle

Saw this- seems to be rebranded at several places.

I do like that Torqcontrol one...less flexible but should do what I need.

Those are decent wrenches for the price, but if you go that route, I'd be very careful with the drivers it comes with. Those come out of the same factories that make Harbor Freight and they're not particularly accurate. No point in using a torque wrench if your 5mm hex key is really 4.6mm and rounds out the fastener.

Same issue with the Torqcontrol, cheap hex drive bits generally suck. If you go that route, buy some good hex bits to go with it.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
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don't be pedantic. My point is that some control is better than "by feel".
if the tolerance range on the wrench is 25% of nominal torque value you need to apply, you're really no better off than doing it by feel.
I'd like to see a study on this. How close people get by feel, and whether 5 +/- 1 is actually better. My guess is that most "by feel" people apply way too much torque, but it's just a guess.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
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It's easy, just tighten until your handlebar no longer rotates and ejects you on a 5 foot drop.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
27,262
2,118
CDI is my go-to for torquing shit,
I got this just now


to go with my Topeak Nano 5 Nm mini one for handlebar stuff. My Pivot's pivots require 35 Nm so needed something a bit beefier.

In the past I've had a Craftsman bendy bar type one and a Harbor Freight clicker. I hope this one holds up nicely--US made! I shall store it as the instructions state, which I imagine will be at the lowest torque setting.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
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I'd like to see a study on this. How close people get by feel, and whether 5 +/- 1 is actually better. My guess is that most "by feel" people apply way too much torque, but it's just a guess.
It would be quite difficult to be accurate as people swap between a multi tool, a regular L type Allen wrench or a T handle. After getting a torque wrench I realised I was under torquing things quite an amount, I'm a regular mech if tat counts for anything...?
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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It would be quite difficult to be accurate as people swap between a multi tool, a regular L type Allen wrench or a T handle. After getting a torque wrench I realised I was under torquing things quite an amount, I'm a regular mech if tat counts for anything...?
you should eat more ham.
 

roflbox

roflborx
Jan 23, 2017
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Saw this- seems to be rebranded at several places.

I do like that Torqcontrol one...less flexible but should do what I need.
thats what I have, it is nice, makes clicking noise

also, tighten it until it becomes loose, and then back 1/4 turn
 

Leafy

Chimp
Sep 13, 2019
3
4
How do you not have a plethora of torque wrenches? I have a couple 1/2" drive harbor freight clicker ones for lug nuts and other stuff in the 40-150ft range. A crappy 3/8" drive craftsman clicker that I've used once when I needed to torque something I didnt much care about (tankless coil for hot water on my boiler) but was below the minimum a 1/2" torque wrench could go. A craftsman 3/8" drive bending beam for stuff in ft-lbs that have critical torque specs, and a cheapo 1/4" bending beam for stuff in the in-lb range. If its worth using a torque wrench on its worth using a bending beam. Clickers are good for two things, real heavy stuff to make sure its tight enough, pretty hard to feel the difference between 120ft-lbs and 150ft-lbs, and apes who have no feel.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
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Has anyone had a crap one or a well used one tested for accuracy?

The one I bought came with a birth sheet showing the inaccuracy at various torques. At some point in the distant future I will have it tested just for curiosity's sake.
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
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In the bathroom, fighting a battle
Has anyone had a crap one or a well used one tested for accuracy?

The one I bought came with a birth sheet showing the inaccuracy at various torques. At some point in the distant future I will have it tested just for curiosity's sake.
My 1/2" and 3/8" Snap-Ons used to go out for certification every year, and I used the ever living shit out of them, thousands upon thousands of fasteners every year, I never had them come back more than a percent or so either way from their previous year's cert. Good torque wrenches, when cared for, last damn near forever.