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Torque Wrench recommendations

4312 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  divotandtralee
I am wanting to buy a torque wrench and while I have certainly learnt some useful things on the AlfaBB forum I am after some recommendations about torque wrenches available in Australia. I don't wish to spend more than $400-500 for a wrench as I will likely need two ratchet sizes 3/8 and 1/2.

I was thinking of Sidchrome Torque wrench 1/2” Drive, 40-200Nm (30-150 ft/lb) (Part No. 26915). They also sell a cheaper beam deflecting brand but this only has increments of 5LB ft.

Looking at my Alfa 1045 GTV manual I notice that the LB ft (Foot pounds) range on these cars goes from 1-5 or 2.5 to 101.2. I'm not a mechanic and will use the wrench once a month or so.

Thoughts/recommendations people?
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I have a kincrome one that works well and seems to be of half decent quality.
Important settings aside ie: engine bearings ect don't get to hung up on setting every nut and bolt.
Yes I agree with alfettaparts. We use a Kincrome digital torque wrench, they are supplied with an independant test lab certificate of compliance for the individual wrench. Gavin
Thanks for your input guys. I hadn't considered Kincrome I go have a look at one. I wondered if either of you had any thoughts about the merits of the classic dial type of wrench versus the deflecting beam type.
The deflecting beam tension wrench has been around for at least 60 years that I know of and the best of these is probably the Warren and Brown Dual Signal (I still have one from 1950 though we use the digital mostly) and the dial type actually incorporates the same torsion flex principal with the dial to make it possibly slightly more accurate particularly for DIY or casual users. Gavin
Can't go wrong with a Norbar unit... very high quality and very accurate.

In my opinion, you can get over wrapped into this question without actually improving your results.

First, get only beam-deflection wrenches. Click type wrenches are for limiting the torque value during initial installation, and should not be used for setting the final torque. As you will not be trying to achieve production-line speeds, skip the click wrench and get two beam types for setting the final torque.

I have used Sears "Craftsman" wrenches for years, and they consistently register within limits during periodic calibration checks. Buy two of them, one in 1/2' drive and one in 3/8" drive. I don't recall the ranges, but these will cover everything you will face. I also have a 1/4" drive unit, but I never use it.

You can spend a lot of money without improving your results. Have the calibration checked after you buy them, and about every 2 to3 years thereafter.
Craftman click type is fine for everything but the Space Shuttle. Takes a little patience, a steady even pull and practice on low settings like cam cap nuts. Most every torque spec has a range so there is a built in fudge factor. I always move it up in steps like 30 ft-lbs then 37 then maybe 42 as final if that is low end of the range.
There's another thread where I've shared this comment, but in case some of the followers of this thread missed those notes, here's a brief summary.

We are taught in aviation maintenance to only use beam type wrenches, so that one can pull up to the designated torque and keep holding that value while the bolt creeps to its final and full tightness. A click type wrench will simply release when the targeted value is reached, and this is not the true full torque value that is intended for that fastener. Even using new fasteners with perfectly lubricated threads, there is quite a degree of "creep" after reaching the targeted value. Worn threads, or incorrectly lubricated threads are another case entirely, and a click type can release a LONG time before the targeted value is reached. Some "art" is involved in maintaining an engine that has well-used fasteners, but the problems are made much worse by simply assuming that the release of a click type wrench assures that one is at the necessary torque to make it all a happy sandwich.
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Don, really good stuff you say...BUT as I said our machines are earth bound and they almost always have fasteners that are re-used and in some cases stretched...It's great to have a wall full of precision tools in velvet lined maple boxes but most of us have to go with what we brought and if given one choice the Craftsman works for me.
What Don is saying is interesting . However the W & B Dual Signal tension wrench, which incorporates 'click' as well as being of the deflecting beam type is definitely not only "for limiting the torque value during initial installation". As with any precision tool, the tension wrench must be used as intended and it will be the operator that causes any problem, not the instrument, unless it is cheap and inferior . With the W & B Dual Signal, its name tells you exactly how it provides the operator with the information (signal) required; Visual deflection and audible click. In fact a good mechanic can also feel the release of the click mechanism. The same technique is required whether an audible click wrench, dial type or deflecting beam type is used. The operator must be competant and understand torque values. Always oil threads and tighten nuts/bolts progressively, in the case of heads, working in a spiral from the centre studs first. Gavin


Gavin, very cool but the trip to borrow and the training period would not be cost effective.
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