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Old 01-02-2006, 01:13 PM   #1
spazegun2213
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Default good torque wrench?

Alright, here is the deal I figured with all the work I'm doing on my car and with the track days and autoX's comming fast, that I should invest in a nice torque wrench. I would really like one of the adjustable ones so i dont need to look at the reading (its a PITA under the car). So today i went to Sears with every intention of buying a craftsman one. When i get there there is a notice for the "micro adjustable" torque wrenches that says they have a 90day warranty!! ***! I want my lifetime warranty if I'm paying ~$70-100 for a tool. There was even a guy there that said his went bad on him.

So my question is who makes a good adjustable one with a nice warranty?

thanks
(Mods, if this is in the wrong forum sorry)
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:29 PM   #2
Mulder
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I had an old Craftsman Microtork that finally crapped out on me after 20+ years. I dug out the original instructions and it had the same warranty as the one you looked at. But, I took it into the store anyway thinking maybe it could be repaired for cheaper than a new one. Turns out that was a good move, because the guy in the hardware dept. just gave me a new one, no questions asked. Either he didn't know, or that's their policy despite the written warranty. As you might imagine, I did not point out the actual warranty details to him, just said thank you, took my new $75 wrench and left.
Now, of course YMMV.
You can check out the ones that Harbor Freight sells, they are supposed to be decent although I don't know offhand what the warranty is on those.
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:53 PM   #3
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craftsman has a lifetime warranty. sears is usually no questions asked.
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkam030
craftsman has a lifetime warranty. sears is usually no questions asked.
Craftsman has lifetime on all tools BUT their micro or digi torque wrenches. Here is a link Linky
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:42 PM   #5
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I thought the no life time waraanty refered to holding calibration but, the tool was waraantied against breakage. yes or no?
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:52 PM   #6
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Nope just checked the warranty that came with my new one, it's 90 days on the calibration, and 1 year on defects. No lifetime warranty.
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Old 01-02-2006, 04:43 PM   #7
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I'm not sure if there are any torque wrenches with a lifetime warranty. You may want to check ebay for a new Snap-On torque wrench. Maybe even their digital torque wrench. Snap-On quality is unbeatable. Plus if it ever does break, a Snap-On dealer should be able to rebuild it on the spot.
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Old 01-02-2006, 05:09 PM   #8
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Torque wrenches do go out of calibration. Especially if you don't set them to 0 ft/lbs for storage. But, you can get them recalibrated. It was a while ago, I was at the track and there was a vendor there that would recalibrate them. And as far as I can remember, all torque wrenches had a 90 warrenty at Sears.

Bill
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Old 01-02-2006, 05:18 PM   #9
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yea, i might just check ebay, but again, I like the warranty because after my install day i needed a new 3/8 ratchet and i just walked in and asked for a new one.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solbey11
Snap-On quality is unbeatable. Plus if it ever does break, a Snap-On dealer should be able to rebuild it on the spot.
I have an old Snap-On 1/2" drive torque wrench that I bought used. The ratchet mechanism broke, so I brought it to my local Snap-On dealer. Turns out that it has a lifetime warranty ; they rebuilt it but I had to pay for calibration. However, I was told that the new Snap-On torque wrenches do not have a lifetime warranty.
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Old 01-03-2006, 05:02 AM   #11
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+1 for Craftsman. Considered one from Griots Garage because they include lifetime calibrating.
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:16 AM   #12
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Here's a nice article/review:
http://www.webbikeworld.com/r3/torque-wrench/

I bought the Precision C2FR100F and love it. Previously I had a Craftsman and was distinctly unimpressed with its build quality.
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Old 01-03-2006, 04:11 PM   #13
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Craftsman microtorque.
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:10 PM   #14
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Just got a Harbor Freight catalog and they have a Pittsburgh 1/2" torque wrench for $9.99 with a lifetime warranty. Now you're not going to get Snap-On or even Sears quality for $9.99, and who knows what you have to do to collect on that warranty (can't walk into the store), but it does meet your criteria of an adjustable one with a good warranty-
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:52 PM   #15
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i have a 30+ yr old craftsman deflection wrench(100 '#) that still works fine and 2 years ago i bought an adjustable craftsman breakaway wrench(150'#) because some of teh torque settings on our cars are in excess of the older wrench.
yes teh torque wrench warranties from craftsman are not lifetime like the rest of their tools.

which ever wrench u get, make sure the u don't need an adapter for ur sockets. those will throw off ur torque values slightly.
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Old 01-03-2006, 09:02 PM   #16
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NEVER EVER buy a "Craftsman Digitork"
The plastic end cap is permanently affixed.
The rubber handle IS part of the calibration.
The spinny numbers (dial) in the wrench can come loose.

If you need to ever recaliberate or something comes loose you need to break off the end & pay hell playing with the internals.

I didn't buy one, but was given one that was borked... It works now, but I wouldn't recommend one of these cheezy things to any one...

My personal favorite is an inexpensive $35-$45 junker.
It has been "checked" & is considered close within a pound or so at 70#.
I wouldn't build a motor with it though.

Looks just like this $12
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...itemnumber=239
At 4% 150# is +/- 6#...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxologist
which ever wrench u get, make sure the u don't need an adapter for ur sockets. those will throw off ur torque values slightly.
How so?
torque is torque.
As long as you don't change the center point the torque multiplication does not change.
If you use a crows foot socket then it changes.

Last edited by GLwagon; 01-03-2006 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 01-03-2006, 09:27 PM   #17
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Yep that's the Harbor Freight one that's on sale for $9.99.
An inline adapter won't affect torque readings, an offset one will.
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Old 01-03-2006, 09:32 PM   #18
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Rule of thumb I go by is "you get what you pay for" . Like GLwagon said, If your not going to build an engine with it, and just use if for lug nuts and your oil plug, don't go broke buying one. If you want critical, buy one that is in inch pounds and a larger one in foot pounds. My .02
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:49 PM   #19
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snap-on techwrench fr2-100. 5-100ft lb range. digital. $230 or so on e-bay.
da s***!
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:14 PM   #20
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Home Depot sells a nice 1/2" Husky torque wrench and it even comes with a case. It's reasonably-priced and good quality unlike those POS Craftsman ones. The Digitork is a joke as GLwagon and others have mentioned. Also, as you go up in torque the resistance increases and eventually the end piece breaks away and "freewheels." And the other microtork one isn't too bad, but who the hell uses a plastic locking ring!?

I think I'm going to try the MSM (Mulder Switcharoo Method) myself.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:49 PM   #21
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I'm a Snap-on whore so I would say Snap-on. I never used to dislike Craftsman until about 5-6 years ago they started really going downhill, it was somewhere around the time the fwd/rev lever on the rachets starting being plastic. After that things really went to hell, now there is no lifetime warranty on any tool that is the "professional" brand. I've always thought the Snap-on slogan of "quality isn't expensive, it's priceless" was fitting. I've never had any major problem with any of the thousands of Snap-on tools I have, there's just no better option. However, the torque of wheels isn't exactly a science, more or less good enough is fine. Subaru wants 84 ft/lbs, I usually go to 90 with a torque stick (gold in the snap-on world).

Cheers,
Joel
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:00 AM   #22
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I just splurged and bought my first Snap-on torque wrench not too long ago. It's the QD3R250. 50-250lbs. It's a work of art, and every time I get to use it I get kinda excited.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:55 PM   #23
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Looks like you all have almost the same thing to say, either buy a cheap-o wrench, or buy a snap-on wrench.

Thanks for the advice guys!
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:29 PM   #24
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UPDATE:

So I needed a torque wrench for my work van & figured hey why not buy the Harbor freight cheepy, right?
Well for $12 you get what you pay for.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...Itemnumber=239

I have checked my "good" wrenches against some very high end Snap-On stuff at a local motor builders shop
I was with in a couple pounds or so at 70'#.

To test we did two things:
1st - tighten down a rod cap bolt & noted position loosten & re check (this was the motor builders trick & he does motors every day & can also feel & see this stuff)
2nd - I brought along a couple of sockets & a 3/4" bolt 1" long jammed full of nuts to make a solid peice of allen stock & coupled the wrenches together, set them at the same torque & noted which one "clicked" first after a couple adjustments of my wrench they were clicking at the same time & I was within a couple of pounds @ 70... still with in the 3%

Any way:
I was playing with my $12 torque wrench & 10'# felt way too heavy.
so I started checking my wrench against the new one.

With my wrench set at 70'# the $12 Harbor Freight wrench would match @ aproximately 55'# !
No where even close to the 4% listed (of course the sheet has a disclamer on it too... of course.)

So lets say I set the wrench at 66'# for subaru lugnuts... I would actually be stoping at 81'#.

On a positive, the wrench is easy to adjust for recalibrating.
The black steel nut on the bottom of the handle is a jam nut for holding the chrome number dial.
I got the wrench set so they were both clicking at the same time.
Locked the handle with the plastic setting lock screw in the tip.
Then I loosened the black jam nut by putting a channel lock on the dial handle to hold & a socket large enough to go over the end. (32mm)
Once I got the jam nut loose I could then turn the dial on its own & the guts remain stationary.
Snug up the jam nut & test.
It took 3 or 4 adjusts to get it perfect in my mind.

For what I am doing with this wrench this is great.
Just realize it is NOT for very torque sensitive situations.
It seems like a decent wrench just that the one I got was way off...
Still for a n00b putting on lug nuts this is still better than not using any wrench at all.



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Old 04-22-2006, 12:45 PM   #25
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Never ever buy crapsman tools, there quality is really down in the dumps and I had a horrifying experience trying to get a tool replaced under the lifetime warranty.

If you have the money to spend Snap on and MAC tools are nice. But ive been converted to buying Husky tools.
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