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Tool Time Discussions here pertain to the use of tools you use while fabbing and wrenching in the garage

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Old 12-05-2005, 08:21 PM   #1
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Torque Wrench Recommendation

With X-mas right around the corner, the suggestion of a torque wrench came up as I have been wanting one for quite some time.

Have at it, I know nothing about them...I don't need anything fancy, just something that would be able to torque down lug nuts, seat bolts, seat belt bolts just random stuff like that, trailer hitch bolts...maybe from like 5-150 ft. lb. or so?

As far as brands I have no idea who is good/bad, nothing more than like $100 or so I wouldn't think. I've seen a Kobalt wrench at Lowe's for like $85.99 but haven't done any research on it or anything.

Let me know what you guys would recommend.

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Old 12-05-2005, 08:29 PM   #2
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http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...-torque_wrench

^There's one, goes from 20-100 ft. lb.

http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...-torque_wrench

^This sucker is massive! Not sure I would need something like this.

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=00944562000

^This seems like a good option.

Sears has a bunch, here's a link to the search page:

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/searc...=searchresults

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Old 12-05-2005, 08:41 PM   #3
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look on ebay, find yourself an SK or proto model.

i got a proto wrench for about $60 last year, not bad for a brand new unit in the box that'd retail for about $150.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:57 PM   #4
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http://cgi.ebay.com/SK-Hand-Tools-1-...QQcmdZViewItem

How does that one look?

Looks like it retails for around $150

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Old 12-05-2005, 09:24 PM   #5
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one problem is cheap wrentchs are not always torqueing (i spelled that wrong) to what you want. i know discount tire tests theirs all the time. so i vote spend money and get a craftsman or snap-on.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:05 PM   #6
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I personally like SK tools, I just like the feel/look of em plus they have great service. There's always craftsman I'm not a big fan of theirs but they do have the lifetime warranty and is usually pretty good at replacing things. We've got 3 Craftsmans and they work fine, one is a warranty replacement for one that just didn't want to torque (couldn't increase the setting from 0)
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:20 PM   #7
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when you torque something its usually important thats why i suggest a good product or just wait till your ready to get the right tool.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:33 PM   #8
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Craftsman. Though I'm not certain their Lifetime Warranty extends to their torque wrenches IIRC.

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Old 12-06-2005, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Peanut
Craftsman. Though I'm not certain their Lifetime Warranty extends to their torque wrenches IIRC.

Brian
ya, I got the one that fink listed from craftsman, and your right peanut I think its only a yr warranty, but I think they will always calibrate it if needed.
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:04 AM   #10
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I had a Craftsman 1/2" torque wrench explode the ratchet mechanism (Note: don't use a torque wrench to undo very stuck bolts....even if it has a nice long handle)

It was not covered (it was about 2 years old, and a long time ago....policy may be different now)

I have Snap-on torque wrenches (I work with them all the time). Bought them all from EBAY

3/8" 15-200 inch lbs (proto....not snap-on)
3/8" 200-1000 inch lbs
3/8" 15-100 ft lbs
1/2" 50-250 ft lbs
3/4" 200(?)- 600 ft lbs (the lug nuts on the Oshkosh fire truck torque to 450 ft lbs!)
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Old 12-10-2005, 06:28 PM   #11
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I have 2 Craftsman Microtork wrenches:

1/2" drive - 20 to 150 ft lbs
3/8" drive - 25 to 250 in lbs

The warranty is in two parts:

90 day warranty:

If within 90 days from the date of purchase, this Craftsman Microtork torque wrench fails, due to a defect in material or workmanship, Sears will repair and/or recalibrate it free of charge.

Limited warranty:

After 90 days and until one year from the date of purchase, Sears will repair any defect in material or workmanship in the torque wrench free of charge. This warranty coverage does not include reclibration.

Warranty service is available by returning the torque wrench to the nearest Sears store throughout the United States

This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

[Copied from the owners brochure]


These are the only torque wrenches I've ever owned. I've been happy with them. My brother had a Snap On years ago that seemed nicer. I guess it's just a plastic versus a metal adjusting handle that I'm thinking of though.

[Edit] Typo.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:24 PM   #12
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I went with 2

a craftsman 5-80 ft microtech 3/8 (more accurate required for smaller numbers)
and a Home depot (husky) 50-250 1/2" thats like f'n 3' long (less acurate ok for larger numbers)
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:05 AM   #13
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Chris... I think all of the wrenches that you're looking at are 1/2" drive - do you have 1/2" drive sockets? If not then I STRONGLY suggest that you either look for a 3/8" torque wrench, or figure in the cost of a set of 1/2" drive sockets. You should NOT use any adapters with a torque wrench.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:10 AM   #14
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I thought about that the other day...but will 3/8" be strong enough to do lug nuts and stuff? I bet lug nuts would be the biggest thing I would be torqueing down.

Thanks for the suggestion man!

Fink
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4Fink
I thought about that the other day...but will 3/8" be strong enough to do lug nuts and stuff? I bet lug nuts would be the biggest thing I would be torqueing down.
Do you have the stock alloy wheels? If so, then a 3/8" drive will be fine - you don't want to crank on those too much anyway.

BUT - this could bring up another issue. I think the lug nut is 21mm (I'd have to check) and you may have to look a bit to find a 21mm socket in 3/8"s. That's kinda' the upper end for 3/8"s drive. Figure on spending about $10-12 for the socket itself.

And actually... Given what else you're planning to torque down, I'd kinda' even suggest giving the whole idea a second thought. It's one thing to be concerned about getting the torque to spec on, say, an intake manifold, the crank pulley or heads, but seat bolts, lug nuts, etc... I'm not a believer.

For the $70 it looks like you're willing to spend on a torque wrench, hit up Shucks/AutoZone and buy one of their 100 piece starter tool kits. Even if you have tools now, it'll fill in the gaps, and if you find one that comes with a case, you can just toss it in the back of the truck so you always have tools with you.
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:37 PM   #16
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Yeah...thats what I'm thinkin too.

Hey here's a really noob question...I haven't had to jack my 3rd gen up much, my 2nd gen it was easy but on my '99 I had a hard time finding a good place to jack it up...where do you all jack it up from?

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Old 12-11-2005, 06:04 PM   #17
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Crapsman is good for torquing lug nuts and that is about it. Yeah you can use them for head gasket jobs and it will work, but if you want a high quality tool that will last, be consistant and accurate, you want a Snap-On or a high quality torque wrench. Craftsman has a plastic handle which cracks and breaks over time. The locking mechanism to hold the torque spec in place breaks all the time. I own 1/2, 3/8 and 1/4" torque wrenches that are all Snap-On. The Lowe's Home Depot and other ones you buy at the store are all cheaply made. The difference is $100 to $250+ for a Snap-On vs the Crapsman. If you are going to use it mostly for torquing lugs and a couple of head gaskets then get the Crapsman. They key to a long life is always backing the torue wrench to zero every time you are done with it and not using it as a breaker bar which can ruin the torque wrench.

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Old 12-21-2005, 05:34 AM   #18
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I have a pair of Craftsman wrenches I use. No matter what kind you get it's probably more important to check the calibration yearly than what brand the wrench is. A $20 wrench that's properly calibrated will be better than a $200 one out of calibration.
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:28 AM   #19
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you cant beat Harbor Freights 1/2" drive impact sockets. Cheep and ive used mine weekly for years now.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34683

the only problem with that set is its missing the 12 mm?!?!
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:28 AM
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