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Torque Wrenches

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by CDN_Cruiser, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    What are your thoughts on the type of torque wrench to buy. I've heard varied opinions from 'buy a really really good one' (e.g., Snap On version is C$280) to make sure settings are correct, it will last a lifetime, etc to 'buy a good one (e.g., Craftsman version is C$90) because you're just a shade tree mechanic'.

    My intended uses would be for relatively basic maintenance - plugs, lug nuts, brakes, working on my motorcycle - max complexity something like doing a birf job on an 80, not replacing the head.

    What are your thoughts? What brands? And, what is a good standard range that will handle most jobs on my truck (5-75?), 3/8"?, click-type?, metric or imperial?, worth paying for flexible ratchet?

    Any pointers would be most appreciated.

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  2. hj60

    hj60

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    For a shadetree mechanic, the Craftsman should suffice. Depending on how much use it gets, you may need to get it recalibrated every year or decade. A big help is to return it to its "0" setting after each job. Tends to stay calibrated longer that way.
     
  3. Junk

    Junk

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    CDN, I have the craftsman job that goes to around 125 or 150 (something like that). It's the click type that is 1/2" drive and was on sale for like $50. It's more than sufficient for anything I'll ever need and yet not so expensive that I'll cry if I leave it somewhere or loan it out and it disapears. No need to get a flexible one and to be candid, using a flex rachet sometimes sucks when you don't need it.

    Just my view though.
     
  4. TLCObsession

    TLCObsession

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    For the motorcycle, you will likely need a second torque wrench that gives you a lower setting range like 25 - 150 inch pounds. I know I need one all the time when I work on my BMW and other aluminum type engines.

    The craftsman should be fine.

    Jim
     
  5. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    I've got the cheapo Northern Tool. Works great.
     
  6. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    [quote author=TLCObsession link=board=14;threadid=13181;start=msg122168#msg122168 date=1079464514]
    For the motorcycle, you will likely need a second torque wrench that gives you a lower setting range like 25 - 150 inch pounds. I know I need one all the time when I work on my BMW and other aluminum type engines.

    The craftsman should be fine.

    Jim
    [/quote]

    Thanks for the input so far guys. Anyone argue for 'buy the best'? Good point on the 2nd one for the bike.

    Cheers, Hugh (BMW K75S)
     
  7. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Just a thought, get a snapon off ebay and have it calibrated. Seen them go for less than a $100.
     
  8. Safado

    Safado

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    How do you get them "calibrated?" I've got one I picked up from HF for 11.99 on sale. Seems to do the job well enough, but knowing HF sometimes has me wondering about just how accurate this thing really is
     
  9. hoser

    hoser SILVER Star

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  10. Scamper

    Scamper

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    [quote author=hoser link=board=14;threadid=13181;start=msg122546#msg122546 date=1079503624]
    Anybody ever use one of those Craftsman Digital Torque Meters?

    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid=00944598000
    [/quote]

    I'm a bit old fashioned and use the craftsman digitorques (have a couple of them in the 3/8 and 1/2 inch sizes spanning 25-200 ft-lbs I think--not sure about the high end). The digi-thing is not bad for $150 considering it would replace both my wrenches and give me lower ranges. You could even do the preload on the front axle without the fish scale if you had faith in it's accuracy down there. But with a 1/2 inch drive, it would seem kinda boxy on small stuff. Still, something to consider...
     
  11. Benji

    Benji

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    I like Craftsman torque wrenches. They are cheaper than Snapon and probably just fine for you. If you don't use it every day, return it to zero after each use, store it out of the tool box where it won't get banged up (prefrably in a soft bag, I made a denim bag to store mine in) then why spend $280 or even $100 on one. The quality is there at the lower priced Craftsman. The only thing bad is that they do not come with the lifetime warranty. Good tool to have. Almost a must.
    :cheers:
     
  12. Overlord

    Overlord

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    [quote author=Safado link=board=14;threadid=13181;start=msg122539#msg122539 date=1079502041]
    How do you get them "calibrated?" I've got one I picked up from HF for 11.99 on sale. Seems to do the job well enough, but knowing HF sometimes has me wondering about just how accurate this thing really is
    [/quote]

    You need to take it to a place that does this sort of thing. Maybe ask a local mechanic were they get theirs calibrated. Or you could use these guys:

    http://www.teamtorque.com/

    Not affiliated or never used them, but might in the future. :)
     
  13. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    I bought one for $20 at pep Boys and it works great. Even to the chagrin of some of the other users, I have used it to help break bolts free. If it ends up breaking, for $20 I'll buy another.
     
  14. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Just out of interest, how do you guys know that your wrenches 'work great'? Is there any way to know they are working well aside from having the torque calibration tested (ie the wrench could be out by 15-20% - how would you know)?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  15. Junk

    Junk

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    I know my tool works great by the smile on yo mommas face that's how I know. :flipoff2:

    Oh, you meant wrench..... uh, hmm, you just know :D
     
  16. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Well I don't think being off 10-15% would have mattered. I was using it to do 80lbs on the bolts when I installed my lift. I rechecked it several weeks later and it had not changed. I certainaly wasn't much less than 80lbs.

    Guess you don't know for sure
     
  17. hj60

    hj60

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    [quote author=CDN_Cruiser link=board=14;threadid=13181;start=msg122979#msg122979 date=1079578054]
    Just out of interest, how do you guys know that your wrenches 'work great'? Is there any way to know they are working well aside from having the torque calibration tested (ie the wrench could be out by 15-20% - how would you know)?[/quote]

    If you want to test your torque wrench without sending it off or buying a
    torque wrench tester, measure the length of a wrench in inches. Multiply your
    weight by the length. Divide that number by 12. This is roughly how many
    ft-lbs you can apply to a bolt with that size head. Now torque a bolt w/all your
    weight on the wrench. Set your torque wrench for about 5 ft-lbs more and
    torque the bolt again. It should move ever so slightly and then click.
     
  18. IDave

    IDave

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    [quote author=Junk link=board=14;threadid=13181;start=msg122988#msg122988 date=1079578591]
    I know my tool works great by the smile on yo mommas face that's how I know. :flipoff2:

    Oh, you meant wrench..... uh, hmm, you just know :D

    [/quote]

    Yep, that's "wrench," not "wench." :banana:
     
  19. wesintl

    wesintl

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    If you get a used snap on from ebay, pawn shop, etc. you can send it to a snap on repair center to get it calibrated. I would hope the local truck would know about the process as well. I actually called the snap on service center and got the scoop.
     
  20. Overlord

    Overlord

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    [quote author=wesintl link=board=14;threadid=13181;start=msg123223#msg123223 date=1079627231]
    If you get a used snap on from ebay, pawn shop, etc. you can send it to a snap on repair center to get it calibrated. I would hope the local truck would know about the process as well. I actually called the snap on service center and got the scoop.
    [/quote]

    Did they say how much it'll cost?