Can anyone recommend a good torque wrench?
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This is a discussion on Can anyone recommend a good torque wrench? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I need to get a torque wrench, but I've never owned one (I always borrowed my dad's). Now that I ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Fixxxer's Avatar
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    Question Can anyone recommend a good torque wrench?

    I need to get a torque wrench, but I've never owned one (I always borrowed my dad's). Now that I live several hundred miles away from my parents, I figure it's time to get my own.

    My dad had two: one measured in lbs./in. and one in Nm. I recall having to use them both on several occasions, so I'd like to get a wrench with both measurements on it (if they make them). Can anyone recommend a good one and/or a good place to buy it? I know that I can go to Sears, etc., but before I do that, I'd just like to see if anyone has had any problems with certain brands.

    Thanks!
    -Lee

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    Registered User uncle lewie wrx's Avatar
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    Ive got a craftsman, had it for 2 years with no problems. If you go with a bigger name like Mac Tools, or Snap-On you cant go wrong (but will cost you much more).
    Uncle Lewie
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    Registered User tarbaj's Avatar
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    Go to Home Depot. They are superior to Craftsman in service. Fockers at Sears give me crap when I want to get stuff fixed under "lifetime warranty"!

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    Registered User uncle lewie wrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarbaj
    Go to Home Depot. They are superior to Craftsman in service. Fockers at Sears give me crap when I want to get stuff fixed under "lifetime warranty"!
    Really? Ive gone to sears with some of my pops old wrenches and screw drivers that have taken beatings and they have no problem taking them and giving me brand new ones, free of charge.
    Uncle Lewie
    06 Aspen White STi w/ Gold BBS's

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    Registered User trippy's Avatar
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    Snap-on are great, but expensive. Back in highschool the shop had 2 snap-on torque wrenches and both worked fine under the hands of hundreds of careless teenagers over the course of 4 years I was there.

    I guess if you do professional work go with Snap-on. Craftman's is probably better bang for the bucks.
    Last edited by trippy; 07-21-2005 at 12:07 AM.

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    I got a cheap Wilmar's 3/8" wrench from Amazon (19.99) and a larger 1/2" drive from WalMart for 19.99. OK, they are cheap and may not last very long but I started looking at how much I REALLY use them and it just wasnt worth spending $100/a piece for me. They work great for what I needed them to do.

    I use them for occasional service intervals like the 30k mile service, oil changes, trailer maintenance etc...not very much need.

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    tan
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    Thinking Man's Engine tan's Avatar
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    I have 2 Sears click types. One 3/8" drive and one 1/2" drive. But them when they were on sale 7 years ago

  9. #8
    SMR
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    Registered User SMR's Avatar
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    Go with the Snap-on. Last torque wrench you'll ever buy. Remember, you get what you pay for.
    Wow, just wow

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    Moderator GV27's Avatar
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    You do, but snap-on is overkill for most home mechanics.

    I'd recommend getting a good beam-type small one (3/8" drive) for accuracy. The beam-type never goes out of adjustment and a good one from sears is only like $30.

    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...te=CRAFT&cs=e1

    Then get yourself a (relatively) cheap 1/2" drive click-type for the bigger jobs where accuracy is less important. Click is good for those big jobs because sometimes it's hard to stand on the wrench and read it at the same time!
    "Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me." -Jesus

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  11. #10
    Registered User uncle lewie wrx's Avatar
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    I agree with Gv27, most professional mechanics buy snap-on and mac tools because they know they will last forever and also because their more comfortable to work with.
    My dad has a huge box full of snap on tools for bout the last 15 yrs. I could never imagine spending that much on a torque wrench, buy a craftsman and you prolly wont regret it.
    Uncle Lewie
    06 Aspen White STi w/ Gold BBS's

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    The Default One SeattleJeremy's Avatar
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    I've got a Craftsman about 2 years ago. Still works good and it was on sale, so it was perfict.

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    Registered User Rick Schu's Avatar
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    Remember that click-style torque wrenches can, in as little as a year, end up out of adjustment. Recalibrating them costs almost as much as a new one. That's why Sears doesn't offer a lifetime warranty on them - instead 90 days to 1 year depending on model.

    The beam-style ones are very accurate and usually don't lose their accuracy over time. But, they don't work well in tight spaces (pretty much the entire engine bay) and you have to watch the reading as your tightening.

  14. #13
    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Schu
    Remember that click-style torque wrenches can, in as little as a year, end up out of adjustment. Recalibrating them costs almost as much as a new one. That's why Sears doesn't offer a lifetime warranty on them - instead 90 days to 1 year depending on model.

    The beam-style ones are very accurate and usually don't lose their accuracy over time. But, they don't work well in tight spaces (pretty much the entire engine bay) and you have to watch the reading as your tightening.
    In as little as a year? The documentation that comes with them says 4000 (I think - working from memory) clicks. They also don't like being dropped or otherwise abused.

  15. #14
    Registered User Rick Schu's Avatar
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    4000 clicks in a controlled environment.

    And who hasn't dropped tools?

    My craftsman torque wrench lasted about 5 years before I noticed it was way off. Who knows how long it had been inaccurate. Could you really tell if it was off by 10 ft-lbs?

    My point is, don't spend a ton of money on it expecting it to have a lifetime of accuracy. Get a name brand, entry-level click-style.
    Last edited by Rick Schu; 07-25-2005 at 02:05 PM.

  16. #15
    Registered User Rick Schu's Avatar
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    Also with the click-style you have to return the setting back to its lowest setting after use or it can become inaccurate.

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