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torque wrench recommendations

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cub1961

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 5, 2022
Messages
199
has anyone bought a new torque wrench recently and can recommend it? not sure if i want a beam or click.not looking to spend a ton of money. hoping for something around 100 bucks but could stretch that a bit if needed. and i am not interested in hearing about old ones that are no longer available.
 
One nice thing about a beam wrench is as long as the pointer is on zero at rest, you're good to go. No calibration needed or clicker over center parts wearing. The 1st I would ask is what range will most of your work be in? Torque wrenches are most accurate at 20% to 85% of scale; for example a 150# wrench is best used between 30-35 to 125-130 ft lbs. I've had good use from Proto, CDI, Seekonk, and SK Tools. If it's mostly Cub work, I would say 75-80 Ft lb wrench and nothing less than $100 unless it's used and in known good condition.
 
In my opinion, a beam is more accurate.
If a click were chosen, I would advise buying a new one. If the click type is used and left at the set poundage, it could weaken the inside spring, causing it to not be accurate. Always return it to zero after using.
I am sure there are other opinions, which is fine, but this happens to be mine. :bluethumbsup:
 
i will be using it for cub work so 20- whatever would be the range. i was leaning towards beam but it seems like everybody is selling mostly click
 
Try FB marketplace. Type in beam torque wrench. Hope this helps.
Where are you located?
 
western PA. the only reason i was thinking about buying new vs used was i wasn't sure how to tell if a used one was worn out or out of calibration.
 
has anyone bought a new torque wrench recently and can recommend it? not sure if i want a beam or click.not looking to spend a ton of money. hoping for something around 100 bucks but could stretch that a bit if needed. and i am not interested in hearing about old ones that are no longer available.
I use the click type from Harbor Freight. Cheap and effective. I’m only wrenching on the weekends. If I were a pro mechanic, I would invest in digital.
 
I own and use Harbor Freight click type torque wrenches (1/4, 3/8, and 1/2). They are reasonably priced (can find them on sale) and are accurate. I would buy new since one doesn't know how the previous owner took care of the wrench. As mentioned, always return the setting to zero when done using the wrench.
 
How would you calibrate a torque wrench in your home shop? I like the click type cause you can't always see the reading on the beam type due to position. The only problem I see with the clicker type is people always want to do a little extra pull after the "click". Just my experience supervising 45 mechanics, in my other life as a maintenance supervisor.
 
I have both bending beam and click-type and will use both for different things. Click-type gets used the most. 40-200 in-lb, 200-1000 in-lb, (Both Snap-On) and 20-150 ft-lb (Harbor Freight- Pittsburgh). I think both of my bending beam ones are fairly old Craftsman.

If you want the click-type and don't want to spend tons of money, I'd recommend this one. Should cover all the torque ranges for a Cub Cadet. Haven't personally used it, but it is highly rated and a brand that is halfway decent for other things I've bought.

I would avoid the Pittsburgh one from Harbor Freight...you do really get what you pay for at the low end of the scale. It feels like the mechanism is full of sand, the English units scale is clearly an afterthought to the Metric one, so the English scale is a bit difficult to interpret. I was torquing a wheel lug with mine once, and something bound up internally and it failed to click. Thankfully I was not at the final torque value yet when I discovered this or I'd have probably twisted off the wheel stud.
 
I own both. The thing to know about torquing. You need to pull slow and even with with style wrench. Stopping and restarting or a shakey pull, when getting close to tight will leave you with an incorrect torque. Stickshun. People seem to have problems pulling evenly when staring at the beam needle.
If you are playing with 20 ft-lb range, I'd consider the smaller 3/8 drive tools.
 
If you have 20 minutes to spare, get on YouTube and watch the torque wrenches test that project farm did. He tested torque wrenches from lowes, harbor frieght, and all the way up to snap on and matco. He gives the accuracy data. He doesn't do the the "I prefer this over that" he just tests them and gives the results of his tests.
 
As far as my personal opinion, I prefer a click type that ratchets. For about all engine work and hydraulic pump/ hydrostatic motor applications, the spec has a built in tolerance. So if the book says the bolt should be tightened to 60 ftlbs, they know anything from roughly 50-70 is sufficient. I like the ratcheting types for limited access applications, I just find them faster and easier to use than trying read read a beam scale when the wrench is turned sideways inside an engine compartment.
 
I can't answer the question where to get a wrench calibrated. Where I used to work had an instrument shop. They checked all three (3) of my HF wrenches and they were in spec. That was several years ago. Are they still in calibration? Good question.
 
I have both types. I have a clicker that was bought new for around $100. It is either a craftsman, or a napa wrench. I use it for lug nuts.
The beam is an older craftsman that I bought used for around $25. I use it for Kohler head bolts. :)
I checked mine by tightening around three different lb. settings with one, and checking to see if the other read the same. Then checked the other way. Both were pretty much dead on.
What would be the odds of different age and type torque wrenches being off calibration in the exact same way? Kinda slim, I would think. :bluethumbsup:
 
Quick look on FB Marketplace shows a real nice Proto dial torque wrench for $60 in Allison Park, PA. A nice Craftsman beam TW in Irwin PA for $15. Also saw a (all craftsman) beam TW, clicker TW, metric and standard wrenches, all for $40 in Barnesville, Ohio !!!!!
 
I’ve got a Craftsman clicker that I’ve had for around 20 years. 99% of its duty is automotive lug nuts, but for that it seems to serve its purpose well.

ALWAYS zero it when done, to avoid rest under tension and prematurely aging it outta kilter.

Digital is appealing, but i’m more confident in aging mechanicals than i am in aging electronics (and modern small-cell battery quality)!!!
Especially if there is any regular ambient humidity.
 
Maybe that's what is wrong with me, I don't zero and avoid rest under tension! :roflol:
And talking about regular ambient humidity, I think we are already two feet above normal for rainfall already this year! We have probably only had 4 or 5 dry days this whole year. :yikes:
 
Calibrating torque wrenches. There are a few different ways to check the accuracy. I watched a few different Y__tube videos on the subject and this guy seems to have a reasonably good way to check and adjust torque wrenches.
Of course you may have to do some math to convert. I have a few torque wrenches. Some are inch/ounces, most are foot/pounds and usually all have the Newton/meter scales.


There are also tools that you can buy, (a bit pricey @ $74, but maybe worth it?) such as the one here. I'm not recommending this particular unit, I'm just providing a link to show other ways to check / adjust torque wrenches.
https://www.powerbuilt.com/products/3-8-drive-digital-torque-socket-adapter
 
I think Matt G and all the others echoing his advice are correct.
I have a Craftsman 3/8" bending beam wrench for small engine assembly, and a Craftsman 1/2" Digitork 0 to 250 foot pound wrench for big bolts the most important things on the click stop are to reset to zero when done, and don't use that nice long handled wrench to loosen stubborn nuts & bolts.
SON is the Quality Mgr at his work, the torque wrench checking lab is under his approval.
He's kinda a "tool Nazi", and Snap -On is his favorite brand. They do probably make the best torque wrench.
 
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