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Who Sells A Good Torque Wrench?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by enjoythemusic, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    Steven
    Looking for one for about 40 lbs. to 200 lbs.

    Price: around $200 with case but price is flexible IF quality AND WARRANTY is reasonable. So who makes a good one accurate to 2% or so and adjustable to within 2 lbs or less?
     
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  3. marco246

    marco246 Formula Junior

    Mar 25, 2004
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    Mark
    Steve,

    I have a couple of torque wrenches made by the SK Hand Tool Corp. in Chicago. They are high quality and have a one-year warranty. The smaller is a 3/8-inch drive and is incremented in inch-pounds and is not what you're looking for. The larger is a 1/2-inch drive and is good for 20-150 foot-pounds, scalable in increments of one. SK also makes a 3/4-inch drive but I don't have any more info on it; presumably it would do the job. The tools are certified to be calibrated to plus/minus 4%accuracy. (That may not be good enough for your purposes).

    Your post has reminded me I "need" the bigger wrench myself.

    Cheers, Mark
     
  4. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    Mark,

    MANY thanks. Have been looking at various ones including Craftsman and of course Snap On. Yes, looking for the 1/2-inch, but may also get a smaller 3/8 as well.

    Suprisingly, Sears has one for only $100 at their store (plus $8 for hard case only available via online) that seems good, but only has a 90 day warranty http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&fromAuto=YES&bidsite=CRAFT&pid=00944597000

    The market is WILDLY filled at the $200 level. Will check out the ones you mentioned as the head on the El Cheapo $99 Sears looks shabby when i was at the store today.

    PS: i presume the one you are referring to is http://www.toolsource.com/ost/product.asp?sourceid=overturesk&dept%5Fid=500&pf%5Fid=92533&mscssid=43T5KCCMJXQ59M5LVW5TSLEA6S4D5F1F


    PPS: i prefer it to have BOTH US/Metric scales. Yes, i KNOW i am asking A LOT, but am willing to spend for something that will last a LONG time and offer what i desire.
     
  5. tifosi

    tifosi F1 Veteran
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    Sep 5, 2001
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    i could be wrong but don't most need to be recalibrated periodically. I think in the past people have mentioned snap-on but I think they are also expensive

    enjoying the drive

    Tom
     
  6. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Yes they need to be recalibrated from time to time and yes, Snap On tools are $$$ :( The more i look, the more Snap On ***seems*** over priced UNLESS they swap out tools yearly :) This is why i like Sears. Will be at Home Depot to see their Husky line as Home Depot also swaps out tools and all i see online are their 3/8 unit with little specs.


    PS: best website so far seems to be http://www.toolsource.com/ost/Results.asp?brand_id=&mscssid=43T5KCCMJXQ59M5LVW5TSLEA6S4D5F1F&SourceID=overturesk&qu=torque+wrench
     
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  8. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    Good point, I have had mine for 15 years, and never had it calibrated... as I am to lazy to pack it up and send it out. I am very careful in it's use though, and never drop it, and always return the settings to zero before storing.

    The one I bought was a Utica, recommended by several friends. Here is a link to the company:http://www.coopertools.com/brands/utica/index.cfm BTW, they make a LOT of various types of torque sensing wrenches, and they have both english/metric scales.

    They are warranted for one year, parts and labor, and have a full calibration and testing service and will provide a testing certificate for $25.

    Dave
     
  9. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran
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    May 14, 2002
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    Steven, I have one of those Sears torque wrenches like the one in your link. I bought it about 15 years ago when I was replacing a head gasket on my old '79 Pontiac. The wrench cost about $89 back then. Of course one can NOT say that just because it is a Craftsman wrench that it is made in America like they use to be. I believe my wrench was made in USA, but I would read the fine print to make sure. No need to pay higher Craftsman prices if the wrench is actually made in Taiwan these days. I haven't checked out one of these in their stores lately, so read the fine print to make sure you know what you're getting. I only used my wrench that one time to torque down some head bolts.

    And always remember: NEVER loan out your torque wrench, because some IDIOT will try to use it to loosen some stubborn rusty bolts and ruin it.
     
  10. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    AMEN! And the $99 Sears looks like it is built like, well... crap.


    DAVE -- Thanks for the heads up.


    PS: Found a good DISCOUNT website at http://store.autotoolexpress.com/torquewrench1.html
     
  11. bill308

    bill308 Formula 3
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    May 13, 2001
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    Torque wrenches should be periodicly calibreated. I believe the the metrology department, at my aerospace company, calibrates them every 90 days. They also tell me, the beam types are more accurate and hold their calibration better. Click types are easier to use.
     
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  13. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
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    Sep 18, 2002
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    Snap-on are a lot of money but worth it. I have 4 Snap-on torque wrenches of various types and sizes. Espeacialy in the enviroment I use them in. If you want a reliable and accuate troque wrench that you will only have to buy once in your life.. then spend the extra dough and grab a good one. One thing is for sure...when working on anything that requires a torque spec the wrench you use is the last thing you want to go cheap on.( and you guys wonder why mechanice charge so much...look at the prices of the tools we need to buy in order to do our jobs!!:))
     
  14. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    Once you figure out the brand and model you want, don't forget to try Ebay first.

    Dave
     
  15. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Good call but... As this is a more "precision" tool, i do not mind buying new from a **reputable source**. Am not overly enamored with Ebay (at times) and prefer to pay a bit extra for a sense of security. This is also why i like Sears/Snap On/Home Depot/etc. i have a place to go just in case...
     
  16. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    Understand, but you can CHOOSE whom you buy the wrench from on Ebay too. Many of the vendors (for any product) have store fronts and websites, they just choose to sell stuff via Ebay for the additional volume/revenue. Some are just running an internet business out of their home or apt., and that may be a bit risky. I have bought tools, electronics, and what have you; never had a problem. But you must be a careful shopper. If it is not for you, I understand.

    Dave
     
  17. kverges

    kverges F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
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    What are you using it for? If you are using it for engine assembly, get the best and be sure you trust the calibration. And for rod bolts, my understanding is that you want to torque to a specified stretch, not torque setting.

    If it's just lug nuts and bolts, My handy Harbor Freight unit has served me well for years.

    Calibration is important, but who here really sends theirs out for regular calibration. I've never done it, to be honest.
     
  18. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
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    Verell Boaen
    I use my son's click type Snap-On wrenches, since he's been kind enough to store them in my rollaway for the last several years(Heheh).

    However, I hold onto my old trusty beam type wrench as I periodicly(1x-2x/year) use it to spot check their calibration. So far I haven't been able to detect any need for them to be recalibrated.

    The 1/2" gets the most use, torqueing lug bolts of course.

    One thing we do religiously is back off the torque setting to zero before putting the wrench away. Snap-On makes a strong point about this being necessary to preserve accuracy. Otherwise the force sensing element takes a set over time. I have no reason to believe that this precaution wouldn't apply to all the click type torque wrenches.

    Steven, if it's just for your lug bolts, I'd buy the Craftsman one. It's plenty accurate for that & you would never use it enough to have to worry about calibration being an issue.

    IMHO It's wrenches in heavy daily service with mechanics in a hurry that quickly go out of calibration.

    BTW, search the archives, I remember at least a couple of long torque wrench threads. One about a year ago, made some interesting points about calibration & torque wrench specs. There was one several years ago, but I don't remember much about it.
     
  19. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Verell and All,

    MANY thanks. The first job will be lug bolts, yet i have other tasks and as i said, i want to buy a very good one so i never need to buy another one. Actually may get two, one 1/4 and other 3/8 for smaller jobs.

    FULLY agree you need to turn it back to zero (the spring ones) to keep the accurate.

    Verell, am really starting to set up a shop here and if things work out with my new lady friend, she will have a proper garage built to spec nest to her mountain home. For now i want to get very good tools for the 2005 season (and Brembo brakes for the front...).
     
  20. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Rob,

    Usually Groits is over priced... but their FREE lifetime calibration makes it WELL worth it! MANY thanks!!! Will buy one of each to be safe and to cover ALL Pound Feet or Newton Meters :)

    DAMNNNNNNNNN, now why did i not think to try Groits. Oh yeah, because usually they are over priced. In this case they seem like a good deal and the tools are made in Jolly Ol' England too... Home of the cool dudes Ferrari UK :)

    MANY thanks!!!!


    ------- ANYONE HAVE A GROITS COUPON CODE??? -------
     
  21. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
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    Nov 20, 2003
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    Matt F
    I love my Sears Craftsman torque wrenches.

    Sears Craftsman quality seems to polarize into two camps: poor quality and quite good quality.

    The poor quality can be seen in the drill presses and many bench grinders.

    Most hand tools are still quite good.

    Plus, they are all guaranteed forever. (And, if Sears ever does go out of business, I think that they can successfully sell off the Craftsman line, which would continue the lifetime guarantee.)

    --Matt
     
  22. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Not torque wrenches. 1 year MAX on their "best" $200 jobbie. The $99 unit has a mere 90 day warranty. The days of "lifetime warranty" for those things are long gone :(

    In fact i bought their "best" drill bit set and upon first use one of the bits just broke off at the bottom (these are their hex end brill bits and the hex end separated from the drill bit body). What did Sears do?

    "Um, sorry sir, no warranty on drill bits" ARGH!!!!

    So i bought a replacement bit to keep the set complete... and i was out $6!
     
  23. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 28, 2003
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    Exactly!! You have to be careful and notice which tools have the lifetime warranty and which don't! I bought a Crafstman torque wrench several years ago and I think it's actually put together pretty well (may not be the same model available now though). Same comment as others, always Zero it for storage and it should be fine for the limited amount I actually use it.

    John
     
  24. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2003
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    Steven D
    Steven

    For what my opinion is worth, the Snap-On is superior if you use it often. As as professional technician, I use my assortment of torgue wrenches constantly. As such, the Snap-On is a better tool for professional end use. If you are just using it for lug nuts or other limited use, don't waste the cash. The truth is most technicians are lazy, so we buy Snap-On tools because the tools come to us, and the tool dealers offer interest free payment plans. Plus, with all the special tools required every year, we just get into the habit of buying off of the truck. I have Mac tools and Snap-On tools because they are the tool companies that call on my shop. If Sears came by, I would probably buy from them.

    As far as calibration, my click-type torque wrenches are calibrated once a year. I have some special inch/lb torque wrenches for trans work that I calibrate more often. Honestly, for torqueing lug nuts, calibration would be overkill unless you torque your wheels every week.

    Snap-On makes beam style, click style, and now electronic style torque wrenches. I have all three for different situations. For ease of use, the click style is idiot proof and worth the small additional cost.

    That said, don't spend a wad of cash on something you will rarely use. Here in Texas, Auto Zone rents torque wrenches for a few bucks a day.

    my .02.

    Your results may vary.
     
  25. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior

    Nov 27, 2003
    434
    SK Torque wrenches:

    http://www.drivewerks.com/catalog/shopcart/TOOL/POR_TOOL_CAT198_pg2.htm

    -Wayne
     
  26. matkat

    matkat Formula 3

    Mar 18, 2003
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    Dave McGuire
    As an aircraft engineer and also British I always use(and all my personal tools)either Snap-on or Craftsman,if You are on a smaller budget Facom is also excellent quality.Remember You can never have a "to much quality tool" and as we all know quality costs.
    Dave Mc
     
  27. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    WOW those are some GREAT prices! Decided to get their 3/8 and 1/2 wrenches to cover most bases. Am not a "hard core" user yet want to be prepared for the 2005 race season and these should be ok all in all. And good to support another Fchat member... so if i have ANY problems i KNOW ehere to find you ;-)


    Dave Mc, agreed QUALITY costs and willing to pay. i HATE rebuying tools!!! Dad always said get the best you can. Of course Dad has Leica cameras (plural) and i got the Hasselblad :)
     

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