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Old 11-12-2000, 10:56 AM   #1
HomerJay
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Question Sorta OT: Need to buy torque wrench, recomendations?

Hey, I want to buy a good solid torque wrench with the widest possible uses. I don't want to buy one, to find out later that I should bought the other one. Should I buy a 1/4", 3/8", or 1/2". Anyone recommend a brand and where to get one(or are they all pretty much the same)? Also, what torque range should I be getting? 10-150ft-lbs, 30-200ft-lbs, etc. Thanks for all your help guys.
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Old 11-12-2000, 11:31 AM   #2
WRXwannbe
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Goto harbor freight and get a torque wrench with a 1/2" driver (goes up to 500+ lbs). It's about 20 bucks, I got mine on sale for 12. They are good tools for the money and they are lifetime warranty. If you get a torque wrench, remember to adjust it back to zero everytime you put it away. If you leave the torque wrench at a adjusted value, the wrench will become noncalibrated, and you'll have to send it in to the company or buy a new one.
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Old 11-12-2000, 11:42 AM   #3
HomerJay
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Wink

That's a great idea, thanks! I have a harbor freights right around the corner from my house. I guess I can use that to open the rear diff on my car and check the levels also!
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Old 11-12-2000, 05:54 PM   #4
DonA
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With tools you get what you pay for with torque wrenches it doesn't pay to go cheap.

Get Snap-On a 3/8 drive w/15 - 150# should get most jobs done expect to pay around $250
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Old 11-12-2000, 06:44 PM   #5
philrb
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My neighbor has a Snap-On....I've got a $59.00 no-name. We checked them against each other....both were the same at 20-40-60-80....above that they differed with his being somewhat higher at 100 and above.
This was done on a torque wrench calibrator.

We couldn't believe the results would be so close. His looks nicer.
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Old 11-12-2000, 09:26 PM   #6
BG5
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any new calibrated torque wrench should be good -- as they age is when to watch out. At $20 for the Pittsburg/Harbor Freight wrench you can almost afford to buy a new one every year instead of paying the 25-60 bux to re-calibrate an old one.

BTW, I wouldn't use a torque wrench to open the diff plugs or do anything but torque down a fastener.

[This message has been edited by BG5 (edited November 12, 2000).]
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Old 11-13-2000, 10:34 AM   #7
AWDrivin
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Question

I've been looking into torque wrenches myself. I checked Snap-On's site and was discouraged by the big price tags, but I know you get what you pay for. I've mostly gone with Craftsman because of their quality for the price and lifetime replacement on the spot. I'll probably go with Craftsman 3/8" for $69.99. Most likely I'll get a Sears gift card for xmas that will help even more.

My question is concerning 3/8" vs. 1/2" - wouldn't the 3/8" be more versitile or would it be more of a limitation in the long run? Does anyone have pros/cons on this?

CDB
cbalazs@res.kent.edu
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Old 11-13-2000, 10:50 AM   #8
BG5
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The last time I looked, Sears doesn't give you a lifetime warranty on their clicker style torque wrenches, only 90 days. No one does lifetime warranties on clicker wrenches. The beam style torque wrench is probably lifetime though.
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Old 11-13-2000, 01:38 PM   #9
Rajah
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Thumbs up

Head out to Sears and pick up one of their digital torque wrenches @$90. It sucks trying to read a dial when torquing down things in a tight spot (i.e. spark plugs). Money well spent!
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Old 11-13-2000, 02:34 PM   #10
Big Tee
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The problem Rajah relates is why the clicker style is my fave.
You dont have to see anything, just listen and feel.
About 3/8" or 1/2" drive. Depends on the size of the fastener you're torquing. Head bolts and the like, 1/2" might be preferable. I've heard that the use of adapters (3/8" to 1/2") can affect the accuracy of the wrench if there's slop in the connection, but I've never seen that tested.
FWIW
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Old 11-13-2000, 07:47 PM   #11
WRXwannbe
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As for the versatility and accuracy.

I've used haror frieght torque wrenches for a couple of years. I've built and rebuilt motorcycle engines with them. They are not bad for the money. Especially if you work on motors occasionally.

As for the 3/8" or 1/2". Get the 1/2". You can get a craftsman adapter to convert to 3/8". Flex will be minimal and shouldn't reduce the accurace when using the adapter. Also the 1/2" is much cheaper. But at the same time it's a lot larger than the 3/8". so it's your call.
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