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torque wrench suggestions wanted

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i need some opinions, im looking to get a properly functioning torque wrench. I initially bought a craftsmen one and got told all kinds of horrible things about them. What would you suggest i get and why, or what would you stay the hell away from and why. Ive got $200 - $300 budget in an ideal world but i might raise the budget for the right tool.

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I used nothing but Craftsman manual-type for 15 years and kept Datsuns going through all the that. Nothing wrong with them, just double-check the torque reading against a friend's torque wrench.


But one day I bought a snap-on ratcheting torque wrench at a garage sale for cheap ($45). Much easier to use, just dial-in the amount, then it will click when tightening. I always back it down to 0 before putting it away.

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Dial torques have to be re speced. Bar ones seem to last. I decided to pick up a Home depot one because the packaging says lifetime warranty though inside it says 90 day. But the girl at the returns counter will just see the lifetime on the back. I like it so far.

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I have two types, a clicker type "pittsburgh tools"(harbor freight), and a bar type from SK tools, both work fine.

I think that the clicker is the best for one reason, they are torqued evenly, I think that it is very important that they be even, you want them close to the proper torque setting also, but they should be even.

The bar type is cheaper, and will work good also, but it is harder to get them perfectly even with the bar type.

I inherited the clicker when my dad pasted away, he was an auto mechanic his whole life, he also bought me the SK torque wrench when I got my first car almost 40 years ago.

I also turn my wrench to "0" when I put it away, like ggzilla mentioned

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That it will still need to be recailibrated at some point in time. Fine if you are friends with the snap on truck driver. Its really just a matter of how long it will stay in calibration.


I have access to a snap on driver, which is why i was looking there.


I guess what i don't understand is the different styles of torque wrenches, anybody have a link to something i can read up on the different types



This is the one I have, now I am not saying it's a great torque wrench, but it's been in the family for several years now.

It also might not be what they are selling these days, but it looks like what I have.



ive wrecked so many harbor freight tools i cant even begin to remember them all, i dont mind them for a one use tool but i have a couple motor builds coming up and i just cant trust a HF tool on something that important.

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I was referring to Eagle_Adam saying "its within my budget and its snap on".


i dont care for cheap tools now that i can afford something better. I should also chime in that im not paying for this, i have a side job that mentioned how "old school" my current torque wrench is so i told him to pay for half of a new one if he wanted me to use something else and he said ok. Im only expecting to put in half so i might as well get the best i can for whats coming out of my pocket.

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i work with torque wrenches almost daily. inlb/ftlb, preset,t-handle,click type, and beam type.

ALL of which are in a calibration program, and must be recalibrated every few years.


before we use our click types, we have to accomplish 'prior to use' maintenance. this include exercising the wrench at 60% of it's maximum capacity a total of 6 times. this is to help get rid of the false readings that these wrenches can give.

when storing these wrenches, you store them at their minimum capacity, to decrease the tension put on the internal spring.


beam type torque wrenches are better than click types in the fact that they are more accurate and they dont have the fragile internal parts of a click type, so they take less damage when dropped (not that you should ever drop calibrated equipment.)


here are some passages from the Navy's "joint fleet maintenance manual"


Selection. Torque wrenches should be selected in such a manner that the required final torque falls within 20% to 90% of the torque wrench range. For example:

(1) A torque wrench with a scale range of 0-100 ft-lbs can be used for a maximum torque of 90 ft-lbs and a minimum torque of 20 ft-lbs.


Micrometer adjustable torque wrenches. To ensure acceptable performance of micrometer adjusted torque wrenches, users must adhere to the following requirements:

(1) Exercise the wrench (apply pressure until snap mechanism activates) six times at approximately 60 percent of the rated maximum value before each use. This procedure minimizes the erratic readings often experienced with this type of wrench during the first few activations.

(2) Micrometer-type wrenches to be used in counterclockwise applications should be calibrated in the counterclockwise direction and marked as such.




also, craftsman only offers a lifetime warranty for their beam type torque wrenches, and not their click types.

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also, craftsman only offers a lifetime warranty for their beam type torque wrenches, and not their click types.


which is why i took it back :D - i dont mind spending the $$ on good tools but cheap warranty's on expensive tools is bogus.

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I prefer a beam type. No mechanical parts to break, wear out, get dirt in or skip a tooth. But I am not trying to beat a flat rate.

I also have had to tighten "toque to yield" bolts with it. You can get a protractor, and figure out how far to turn a bolt. Or use a clock face. From 12:00 to 3:00 is 90 degrees, a right angle, so 1:00 is 30 degrees, 2:00 is 60 degrees. You should be able to split the difference between 0, and 90 degrees, and get 45 degrees.

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Even Snap-On doesn't have a lifetime warranty on the click-type torque wrench. I don't think anyone does.


At the museum, we use the click type but it's never been calibrated. Doesn't matter much- the specs are usually written as "80 ft/lbs + 90 degrees, +/- 15 degrees to line up the cotter pin holes". So the variance is as much as 30 degrees, and the torque # isn't that critical.


I use a beam type at home. Used it on my first Datsun rebuild in 1992, and every one since.


Click type are nice but I'm not spending that kind of money on something I might use once a year.

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I have the one NismoDr has, and love it!!!

Too much scratch to pay for those not pushing it professionally.

But worth it's weight in gold! Bar none!


If you want a quality clicker wrench, go talk to Dr's Snap-On dealer and ask for a cash price.

It's amazing how cheap Snap-On tools are when paying outright for it.


I have a set of the Husky clicker wrenches.

They're pretty nice.

Made by Stanley-same as MAC's torque wrenches.

I don't trust them to torque-to-yield, but I use them for lots of other things.


If your torque wrench is stored unwound, and not used daily-it should last you a long time without needing to be calibrated.

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