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1/4" Drive Torque Wrench

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Kyle Boatright

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Can someone recommend an accurate 1/4" drive click type torque wrench that isn't a budget buster? I know Harbor Freight is crap and Snap-On is the gold standard, but I'm looking for something priced in-between that remains accurate.
 

TFF

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What range? Used Snapon would be my first pick, but I had a 3/8 drive Craftsman that would pass yearly calabration. Add adapter. Proto is not bad but not much cheaper than the Snapon/Mac end.
 

ekimneirbo

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Low end (20-50 in lbs, or thereabouts), primarily for AN3 and AN4 stuff.
Actually Snap On buys from another company and just has their brand name put on it. My son used to order tools
for the Air Guard and he told me the companies name but I would have to ask him again. Same thing for their welders.
Last time I looked, Century was making them.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Actually Snap On buys from another company and just has their brand name put on it. My son used to order tools
for the Air Guard and he told me the companies name but I would have to ask him again.
For years there were 2 companies in the US that made tools for all the brand names. I thought Snap On was made in China now.
 

Marc Zeitlin

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Can someone recommend an accurate 1/4" drive click type torque wrench that isn't a budget buster? I know Harbor Freight is crap and Snap-On is the gold standard, but I'm looking for something priced in-between that remains accurate.
Why do you want a clicker? I'm not a fan except in a production environment, where they excel. For homebuilder use, where you're changing torque values constantly and not using the thing 8 hours/day, I like a beam wrench. As long as they read zero when there's no load on them, you don't have to calibrate them - the modulus of steel doesn't change. Clickers need to be calibrated, and you don't know any intermediate torque values as you approach your target - you only know when you get there.

Personally, I'd recommend a beam wrench unless you're working a production line.

My $0.02.
 

Midniteoyl

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For years there were 2 companies in the US that made tools for all the brand names. I thought Snap On was made in China now.
Yep.. been that way for 5yrs or so now.. maybe longer, but I definitely remember asking 5yrs ago. Of course, that doesnt mean its all China stuff. I have seen S. Korea and Japanese mixed in there too.
 

Matt G.

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For years there were 2 companies in the US that made tools for all the brand names. I thought Snap On was made in China now.
The vast majority (wrenches, sockets, etc) of the fairly new Snap-On tools I have are made in the USA. The one thing I can remember that isn't is my contact point files, which are made somewhere in Europe.

Their Blue Point brand, on the other hand...
 

TFF

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The old simple style beam actually requires technique to be accurate. They are accurate only when you are in motion. There is no way to check as you end up making it tighter. Nothing wrong with them as long as you know that. The fancy beam precision wrenches are too delicate unless you are working for NASA. They all have their uses.
 

ekimneirbo

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The truth is that most all torq wrenches are just fine as long as no one has abused them. The ones used by professionals require calibration every so often, but usually
they are just fine. I'd hate to say it but I seriously doubt that all the A&P mechanics send thier torq wrenches out for calibration every year. While calibration may be fine
for big companies, the average guy isn't going to ever have it done. Then the actual torqing process has varibles caused by the different friction co-efficients of manufactured
threads and the lubricant or lack of lubricant being used. Truth is, its just a tool that will get you in the right neighborhood and close to the correct address....repeatedly.
Ask yourself when was the last time you had your micrometers calibrated? You can check them at zero or sometimes sets have standards included. The thing is though...
if a micrometer is used to check a certain size part that might be in the middle range of the micrometer, then it could develop wear at that point but be fine at other points
in its range of movement. This would only happen in a production environment. The average person will never wear out a micrometer or a torq wrench.


But if you just gotta be sure.....http://www.teamtorque.com/documents/torquepricing.pdf

Note that the calibration price quoted does NOT include adjustment.
 
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Dan Thomas

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We have Snap-Ons here. Calibrate them every two years. The scale numbers one them are really hard to read.

I bought Husky torque wrenches in the '90s from Home Depot. They were US made then and were good, accurate, and had easy-to-read scales. Probably Chinese now.
 

Matt G.

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The old simple style beam actually requires technique to be accurate. They are accurate only when you are in motion. There is no way to check as you end up making it tighter. Nothing wrong with them as long as you know that. The fancy beam precision wrenches are too delicate unless you are working for NASA. They all have their uses.
The click-type are the same way, as you are measuring running torque, so the fastener has to be moving for either type of torque wrench for accuracy.
 

mcrae0104

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The old simple style beam actually requires technique to be accurate. They are accurate only when you are in motion.
I don't know why you would say that. Force is unaware of motion.

The "technique" of using a deflecting beam torque wrench can be taught to an eight year old in less than 90 seconds.
 

cvairwerks

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We use dial, clicker and electronic torque wrenches at work. Each has it's place. Dial gets used for torques under 1 ft/lb and for movement loads. Clickers for everything else up to 1800 ft/lb. Over the 1800 threshold, it's electronic.

We have some torques that are large enough and so out of position that a few guys at work have to have others make the final torque because they don't have the strength or size to do it.
 

mcrae0104

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We use dial, clicker and electronic torque wrenches at work. Each has it's place. Dial gets used for torques under 1 ft/lb and for movement loads. Clickers for everything else up to 1800 ft/lb. Over the 1800 threshold, it's electronic.

We have some torques that are large enough and so out of position that a few guys at work have to have others make the final torque because they don't have the strength or size to do it.
Don't mean to be rude, but what is your work, and how does it relate to homebuilding? I'm having trouble imagining how +/- 1 ft-lb matters in EAB. Also, I only weigh 200 lb and I do not own a 9' cheater bar. What the #€%£ are you working on!? Swiss watches or Caterpillar lug nuts?
 

TFF

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Force is. Unluckily the thread drag comes into play along with the bolt stretch. The oldish British and Itialian sports cars I drove required 6 month head torques and I did them before and after every autocrosses. Lots of zen practice.
 
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