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View Full Version : Looking for GOOD Torque wrench



Basil
12-15-2002, 11:49 PM
I would like to replace the piece-of-doodoo Craftsman torque wrench I currently have with a good one. This is the second Craftsman I have bought (its the one with the rubberized handle that you "dial in " the torque setting and it clicks when it reaches the desired torque. Problem is (an dthis has happene don BOTH of them), the rubber handle (with the indicator window in it) comes loose and then you can't tell if the reading in the little window is accurate.

Anyone have any recommendtaions for a quality torque wrench? (I will not buy another Craftsman).

Basil graemlins/hammer.gif

Dale
12-16-2002, 02:36 PM
I used the beam type torque wrenches in my business several times a week for 20 plus years. One was calibrated in foot pounds and two for inch pounds. None were the expensive dial type. Has it ever been demonstrated that the dial or preset type were any more accurate than a properly used beam type? The foot pound unit was a Craftsman that is over 30 years old and still in regular use. The biggest problem we had with torque wrenches was compelling ourselves to use them rather than relying on our "calibrated elbows". That's my tuppence on that issue and I promise it's worth what it's cost you. images/icons/smile.gif

[ 12-16-2002: Message edited by: Dale ]</p>

Steve
12-16-2002, 05:03 PM
Torque wrenches are the same as everything else...you get what you pay for. A couple of options. You could, of course, go with a Snap-on, Mac or Matco product, excellent quality, but more expensive than your E-type. Facom produce wonderful quality items, not quite as expensive as the above, but the very best in terms of quality. Ferrari F-1 team uses Facom tools exclusively. Armstrong make a good wrench, you can buy it through an industrial distributor. Finally, there is Griots Garage.

https://www.griotsgarage.com/search.jsp?searchtext=torque+wrench

Lifetime calibration service and warranty. I have bought things from these guys, not cheap but good quality products.

John Loftus
12-16-2002, 07:31 PM
Hi Basil,

I have a Snap On click type torque wrench which I've owned for 28 years (I bought an entire Snap On tool chest full of tools from a auto mechanic who was joining a band ... it was a sweet deal). It's a great tool but the last time I wanted to get it calibrated they wanted to send it back to Colorado and charge me an arm and leg to do it. I have been keeping my eye out for a good beam type torque wrench because they never need to be calibrated. They are harder to use in situations where it is difficult to see the face but that doesn't happen often. Also want to get a small torque wrench for the lower torque settings needed on small bolts. I'll let you know if I find something acceptable.

Cheers, John

aeronca65t
12-16-2002, 07:47 PM
https://www.encotools.com/

Go to the link above and type "torque wrench" into the keyword search box. There are two "K-D" beam type wrenches for about $40 (1/2" and 3/8"). We have these at work....pretty much bulletproof.

ENCO is a decent place to buy reasonable quality industrial tools at competitive prices.

Duane
12-16-2002, 10:51 PM
I would like to replace the piece-of-doodoo Craftsman torque wrench I currently have with a good one.

This is one of those items where you get what you pay for. One of the few Snap On tools I own is a torque wrench.
YMMV

Duane

Basil
12-16-2002, 11:06 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Steve:
Torque wrenches are the same as everything else...you get what you pay for. <hr></blockquote>

Except I paid almost $100 (twice) for Craftsman wrenches and got garbage.

images/icons/mad.gif

Dale
12-16-2002, 11:25 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by aeronca65t:
https://www.encotools.com/

Go to the link above and type "torque wrench" into the keyword search box. There are two "K-D" beam type wrenches for about $40 (1/2" and 3/8"). We have these at work....pretty much bulletproof.

ENCO is a decent place to buy reasonable quality industrial tools at competitive prices.<hr></blockquote>

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> <hr></blockquote> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> <hr></blockquote>
Now that you mention it I believe the 2 inch pound beam type that I've had for a couple decades are the K-D units. I bought them from Briggs and Stratton with their part # stickers on them.

aerog
12-16-2002, 11:43 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Basil:


Except I paid almost $100 (twice) for Craftsman wrenches and got garbage.

images/icons/mad.gif <hr></blockquote>

Did they not replace them when the rubber came apart?

Basil
12-16-2002, 11:55 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by aerog:


Did they not replace them when the rubber came apart?<hr></blockquote>

Nope! Torque wrenches are conveniently excluded from the Craftsman lifetime warrenty policy.

images/icons/mad.gif images/icons/mad.gif

graemlins/cryin.gif graemlins/cryin.gif

aerog
12-17-2002, 12:19 AM
HAH! That's good to know!

thegoodbeamer
12-17-2002, 10:37 AM
I have had a Canadian tire torque wrench so long that I can't remember when I bought it. It is the click type and is set by rotating the handle.When mine didn't work properly I took it back and it was replaced with no questions asked other than why am I returning it. Said it doesn't work and I was given a brand new one. They are guaranteed forever.I also have one from a local Princess auto store that I bought on sale. Same type of guarantee.
images/icons/cool.gif It finally is cloudy and they are calling for some snow Wednesday.Gee it would be nice to take a day off and finally go skiing.

kindofblue
12-17-2002, 05:17 PM
Click Types are easier, as they are no brainers to use as well looking nicer and being easier to use. However I will be gettin a beam tyoe soon though. As my engine repair instructor pointed out they have three real advantages

1. They are less expensive
2. It is easier to see the fastener "take torque", and if it isn't you know it is stripped or very close to it.
3. ANd most importantanly, beam types make it easy to tighten or loosen thing in multiple steps of torque, and know exactly how much to apply without resetting the wrench each time. (i.e. using three torque steps to tighten a cylinder head)

They seem to be more durable as well. Here may be a case where the shiny product may not be the best the best choice.

gene johnston
12-18-2002, 04:52 AM
Basil,
They got you. My 1st Craftsman went south just as yours did. I went in and acted innocent and the guy exchanged but your right, it ain't covered. I'd like to find a good reasonable priced replacement and would prefer to stay with a click type.

aerog
12-28-2002, 12:09 AM
Question is though - have you settled on a wrench yet Bas?

coldplugs
12-28-2002, 01:22 AM
I have both click & beam wrenches. I like the click type better unless you're using it in an awkward place where it isn't easy to read. I haven't bought one in a while but usually go for the best I can afford.

I like to use 1/2 inch drive torque wrenches, rather than 3/8 inch, and if I could only have one, it would be a beam type, 1/2 inch drive, calibrated in foot-lbs.

Basil
12-28-2002, 01:38 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by aerog:
Question is though - have you settled on a wrench yet Bas?<hr></blockquote>

I am leaning towards Snap-on images/icons/grin.gif

MattP
12-28-2002, 02:40 AM
I have been drooling on the digital one in the Facom Catalog. Not only digital, but it will uplink to a computer. Why is that an important feature to me? Because it sounds cool and isn't the most important feature of any tool/car/toy? graemlins/thumbsup.gif

I am glad for this thread, my Dad and Grandad have always been Craftsman fans, I had my doubts, and now have more.

MattP

aerog
12-29-2002, 12:10 AM
Personally I think all of Basil's tools should be internet-ready so we can review his work on-line.

MattP
12-29-2002, 12:34 AM
I dunno 'bout that. From the look of his IRS in the Jag forum, I might get a bit embarrased about the bodging I get away with on the Escort.

Hmmm, is there a coincidence that a Jaguar has a part that first makes you think of the Internal Revenue Service? images/icons/shocked.gif

MattP

Basil
12-29-2002, 01:18 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>
I am glad for this thread, my Dad and Grandad have always been Craftsman fans, I had my doubts, and now have more.

MattP[/QB]<hr></blockquote>

I have always been happy with the Craftsman tools I've owned. In fact, over the years (25 or more), I have only had one Craftsman tool break and it was a itsy bitsy little wrench and it broke. I got a free replacement. Unfortunately, their lifetime free replacement doesn't apply to torque wrenches.

Speaking of tools, I bought by oldest son a Husky Tool set from Home Depot (for Christmas) and I must say, they seem like very nice tools!

Basil

youngsmith
12-29-2002, 01:58 AM
I've broken my share of tools, and my prefered tool to break is a craftsman (the guy at the service desk recognizes me. images/icons/rolleyes.gif I've never owned a craftsman torque wrench, but conveniently, I've never broken one either.

My understanding from all the "experts" that I've talked to, is that the click type wrenches are more acurate. However, considering the condition of most of the bolts and threaded orifices that I force them into, a beam type would most likely do me just as well. I use click types, because that is what I've found.

Tony

Basil
12-29-2002, 02:07 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by youngsmith:
I've broken my share of tools, and my prefered tool to break is a craftsman (the guy at the service desk recognizes me. images/icons/rolleyes.gif I've never owned a craftsman torque wrench, but conveniently, I've never broken one either.

My understanding from all the "experts" that I've talked to, is that the click type wrenches are more acurate. However, considering the condition of most of the bolts and threaded orifices that I force them into, a beam type would most likely do me just as well. I use click types, because that is what I've found.

Tony<hr></blockquote>

I like to have both on hand. I prefer the click type for head bolts, for example. If they just would have put a decent handle on the thing, my Craftsman would have been fine, but on both of them, the rubber handle with the little window for the readings just broke loose very soon after buying it and after that, you could not be sure the window was lined up properly, hence you could not trust the readings.

XJRpilot
12-30-2002, 10:40 PM
i would definitely complain to sears. ask to speak to the store manager. i can understand if the calibration was not guaranteed
for life but it was workmanship/cosmetics that was faulty. its not like you were using it as a hammer. the torque wrench has a specific job.
to determine the amount of torque/foot lbs/inch lbs applied to the fastener. once that is determined it is put away. how many times can you possibly use it? less than 500 i'm guessing.
it should be guaranteed simply because of faulty cosmetics, not function. i have an S&K torque wrench. 10-150 ft. lbs. + or - 1/2lb. error. cost me 160bucks. guaranteed for life.
i do own alot of craftsman tools though. some snap-on wrenches. i love the design of the snap-on wrenchs. i like snap-on. expensive though.
proto is another excellent brand. i own some of them. got them at a garage sale for a song.

12-30-2002, 10:44 PM
I use Proto stuff at work and have found it well made and reliable.

80spitlizzy
12-30-2002, 11:25 PM
I received a Husky 1/2" click type torque wrench from my brother-in-law for Christmas. I have yet to use it (other than to torque some bolts on my mom's washing machine to try it out images/icons/smile.gif ) He has had one for a while and it comes with a lifetime guarantee (on workmansheip not calibration) We'll see how it works out.

Basil
12-30-2002, 11:51 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by 80spitlizzy:
I received a Husky 1/2" click type torque wrench from my brother-in-law for Christmas. I have yet to use it (other than to torque some bolts on my mom's washing machine to try it out images/icons/smile.gif ) He has had one for a while and it comes with a lifetime guarantee (on workmansheip not calibration) We'll see how it works out.<hr></blockquote>

I just bought my oldest son a 100 piece Husky tool set and I must say they seem like very well made tools!

66 fhc
12-31-2002, 01:38 AM
AS I understand it, Husky, which is sold through Home Depot, is actually made by the company that used to make Craftsman for Sears . I have a husky 1/2 drive click type and it works great though it's sometimes hard to read the engraved numbers to set the torque amounts. I guess as it gets greaser it will be easier to read.

youngsmith
12-31-2002, 06:10 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by XJRpilot:
...... how many times can you possibly use it? less than 500 i'm guessing.
.....<hr></blockquote>

Man, I wish... I've used mine at least 1,000 times in the last 4 years!

Tony

jha2297255
01-14-2003, 10:13 AM
whatever brand you buy, get a beam type. The problem with click types is no one unloads the spring while in storage. MM has stories about click type wrenches that were off by over 40%. Wreck an engine fast like that. -Josh

sail
03-03-2008, 02:06 PM
Since the bulk of my tools would fit in a lunch box its time for a torque wrench. I dug up this old thread which was helpful but still have questions. Attached are K-D beam options. Seems like the 0-150# would be the better option however all my sockets are 3/8". If an extension is used on a 1/2" to 3/8" I would think the addition would skew the measurment? If I go to snap on or other clicker what would my ideal range and size be ? Any thoughts appreciated

TR3driver
03-03-2008, 02:14 PM
The extension won't upset the measurements, but can be awkward in some cases as you'll need to support the head of the torque wrench while pulling the handle and watching the pointer all at once. My suggestion would be to pick up a set of 1/2" sockets to match.

Used a beam type for many years; but having tried a clicker, I like it much better for most things. Not as accurate perhaps (especially since I don't calibrate it) but lots more convenient and accurate enough IMO.

sail
03-03-2008, 02:32 PM
thanks, I am not opposed to spending the money on a clicker and would like to have a nice tool. If a clicker only one good one. New sockets not a show stopper so what pound range, I'm thinking 30-150 or so since most of the stuff is in the smaller range. Lots of ranges available. If the top end is larger wouldn't I expect the small range to be less accurate? If neccessary I could then get a beam for big measurments.

DrEntropy
03-03-2008, 04:51 PM
If you can hunt down a Snappy truck, that'd be my first choice. Proto second. 30~150 ft/lb.

TR3driver
03-03-2008, 05:31 PM
If the top end is larger wouldn't I expect the small range to be less accurate?Yup, works that way for both beam and clicker types. Which is why I've got 4 or 5 of them <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif But the baby is only good for adjusting automatic transmissions &amp; such; while the 200 ftlb wrench is only used for the rear axle nuts on a TR (tho it had lots of applications on the motor home). ISTR the one I use most is 20-120 ftlb.

jessebogan
03-16-2008, 09:11 PM
I know that I am late to this party, but here is my 7 cents(2cents won't get much anymore). I bought a Snap on digital 3/8 drive torque wrench in the last year or so. It is great, and extremely accurate. I also have an older 1/2 inch Snap on click type for torques that exceed the range of the 3/8 drive unit. The digital one does inch pounds, foot pounds and kPA. I use it all the time, and have only replaced the batteries once. I am sold on the concept, and if I ever wear out the other one, I will replace it with another digital unit. It was not cheap, but..... not having it might be more expensive yet.

DrEntropy
03-17-2008, 06:04 AM
Interesting, Jesse. I'm still not excited over the digital read-out tools thing. Digital mic's scare the heck outta me and a torque wrench would too.

I know, iknow... "super accurate" an' all that. I just have a phobia about trusting mechanical devices controlled with solid-state circuitry. "Fly-by-wire" aircraft fall into the same category, IMO. And banking on-line. And electronic slot machines...

...I'll just go back to the corner an' try 'n choke down th' Kool-Aide now. :smirk:

zblu
03-17-2008, 06:31 AM
Just dont lend it to a mental midget who might use it as a long handled means to remove stubborn nuts!

DrEntropy
03-17-2008, 07:50 AM
Amen.

My tools do NOT get "loaned". Especially protective of the precision ones.

jessebogan
03-17-2008, 08:16 PM
Yeah, I am not wild about lendin any tools, but never ever the good ones!!. I bought the digi wrench when I needed to accurately torque some lo torque fasteners. I was not wild about buying it, but after using it a while, I find, much to my surprise, I really like it. It beeps and makes a weird little vibration when the torque is reached, but the digital readout gives "right now" readings as you tighten it up.It sounds stupid, but it works nicely. I did an Alfa engine last fall, (great fun) , and I know that every fastener is just right. Just satisfying to me. Mind you, I still keep my "dial gauge "inch pound wrench, my big Snap on, and a beam type, just in case. I am most assuredly an analog person in an increasingly digital world, so I was surprised that some new fangled tool like that would fit in so well.

DrEntropy
03-18-2008, 09:47 AM
I've a 2L Alfa mill on a trolley here wot needs goin' thru. They are fun. I did up this 1750 with all the street reliable tricks back in 2000. Would like to do the bigger one the same way but the rest of the car may not be worth the effort.

Now if I could find a GTV in need of an engine... :laugh:

I s'pose I'd try a digi-read tool if I were still wrenchin' for beans, but at this point it'd be "excess to requirement", so-to-speak (left side of that drawer has three "clickers" in it):

RonMacPherson
03-19-2008, 12:07 AM
For the layman wrench. Sears Roebuck sells a good line of torque wrenches. Not that expensive and darn reliable.

GregW
03-19-2008, 01:05 AM
I think the original post was trying to steer away from Sears. Mine are starting to show their age.

weewillie
03-19-2008, 09:56 PM
problem is if you use an inch/lbs one and the specs of what you are working on are in ft/lbs. I get confused easily

GregW
03-20-2008, 08:55 AM
:lol: I know what you mean. All the Healey settings were listed in In/lbs. All my wrenches were footers.

DrEntropy
03-20-2008, 02:24 PM
I have a Snappy 0~48 inch/OUNCES dial type one as well. Not really an automotive tool, more for assembly of instrumentation.

RonMacPherson
03-21-2008, 12:51 PM
Didn't see that, my bad. My craftsman is the metal handled one. Think it's still available from the catalog.

Also, have Snap-on in inch pounds with the dial face and it's good. Several others large Matco(tool truck) 500 pounder..

For midrange I use my Craftsman, but sorry if you're having problems acquiring a good one. I know Sears has been undergoing some changes lately. I too have encountered difficulties in trying to get filters for their aircleaners.

The corporation is looking more toward "bottom line" rather than customer satisfaction.

sail
03-21-2008, 02:57 PM
Reading the bad Sears reviews on their own site is what started me looking here. Just bought a new Snap-on
20-100# on ebay. Thanks all for the input. When it arrives there won't be a nut untouched, although I doubt it will help the owner much.

PC
03-22-2008, 07:36 PM
Let's not forget about the guys who started out in life making torque wrenches for Rolls Royce Merlins in WWII:

https://www.norbar.com/


:hammer:
PC.

PAUL161
04-23-2008, 07:36 AM
Norbar has been manufacturing torque wrenches for over 65 years and to me, theirs is the best made anywhere. Of course, not very cheap! JMHO. PJ

DrEntropy
04-23-2008, 06:19 PM
:iagree:

If I'd been smarter and trained on aircraft it'd be Norbar. Since I'm a mook and took to wrenchin' on EuroTrash CARS instead, the Snap-On and Proto ones serve just fine. :smirk:

PAUL161
04-24-2008, 04:39 AM
Doc, I didn't mean to put down Proto or Snap-On. I have some. They make real fine tools along with some other manufactures. I personally wouldn't pay for a Norbar just to work on cars for fun. I have quite a variety of tools and a lot of them are the older Craftsman. I even have some 1 inch drive stuff for working on heavy equipment. I don't even look at those anymore. I hear guys say, I wouldn't own a Craftsman tool! Why? For normal wrenching by the average guy, there's nothing wrong with a Craftsman tool. A tool is only as good as it's guarantee and so far Sears has backed that tradition fully. Last year I broke a breaker bar by using a cheater pipe. This breaker bar was over 30 years old and it was very obvious of how it got broke. I took it to Sears and they gave me a new one at no charge no hassle. Can't beat that with a stick! Psychology is great though, while there and I got the tool replaced for FREE, I spent about a 100 bucks for some oddball stuff. Go figure. Of course, the wife was over in the ladies dept. trashing my savings! Normal! In reality, the free tool didn't turn out to be so free afterall. https://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g273/PJ161/A-Icons/confused0009.gif

DrEntropy
04-25-2008, 07:59 AM
I didn't interpret your comment as put down, Paul. I'm not really a "tool snob" and have my share of Craftsman tools. Twistin' wrenches for dollars was why I have the Snappy &amp; Proto torque wrenches: Both the warranty and the calibration service would be in the driveway once a week if I needed 'em. :wink:

And yeah, getting out of that place without parting with more money is a real tug-o-war. Always something PrettyShiny attracting me. :smirk: