Rant on Buying a Torque Wrench: How Frustrating!

PEI-Gladys

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There is simply too much information out there. All I wanted to do was buy a 20-250lbs. range, American-made, 1/2 drive torque wrench. Down....down....down the rabbit hole I went. YouTube, Amazon, Google, various forums. Hours of reading, getting to the point where one seemed like a great combination of accuracy, strength, and price only to find something else inherently flawed. OK, spend the big bucks - SnapOn? Sold out. Down the line a little, MAC? Sold out. FAWK! Now what? Fine, I'll look at a non-USA-made one. Nope, 20 great reviews, 20 s**t reviews. Back to the starting line.

I'm this age: when my dad or I needed a new tool over the last 30 years of working on cars in his garage, we would run to Sears, grab something that looked good, buy it, use it for 20 years, break it, buy a new one. Done. Simple, no online reviews, no BS, the tool just worked as it should and we were happy. Man, I do miss those days.

Dare I ask - any advice on where to get a middle-class torque wrench? I'm a weekend warrior, not a professional mechanic.
Matt,
Really getting a laugh out of your post, as the rabbit hole gets deeper with everyone else's comments. Good luck.. Cheers!





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whiteglad

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Not only do you have to find the factory torque spec, you have to determine what lubrication was used on the threads and shoulder of the bolt or nut. If you use something different, you have to adjust the spec. For example,, an M14 bolt on the Rams is factory torqued over 200 ft lb, if you can even call using an impact gun on the assembly line "torquing" it. I went to high pressure chassis grease and 150-160 ft lb was plenty. 180 with engine oil would have been about right.
 

dcmdon

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The problem is you and your OCD. You are doing this to yourself. But you already know that.

(Not meaning to insult. Just poking fun, we all get that way on certain things)

I used to own an airplane. I had several Harbor Freight torque wrenches in addition to one SnapOn . I did 99% of my own work on the plane. Because I didn't want to die, I used to have them calibrated every couple of years. Essentially I'd spend more to get them calibrated than I spent on the wrenches.

They were as good as my snap-on when it came to holding calibration and were never off by more than a couple of ft-lbs.

I was able to confirm this over the course of the year with my (also calibrated, but never goes out of calibration) old school bending bar type torque wrench.

Don't over think it. Just go buy a HF in 3/8 and 1/2 and move on.
 

Mkcagle

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My Harbor Freight torque wrenches have lasted over 20 years and still strong.
 

jbehrn

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There is simply too much information out there. All I wanted to do was buy a 20-250lbs. range, American-made, 1/2 drive torque wrench. Down....down....down the rabbit hole I went. YouTube, Amazon, Google, various forums. Hours of reading, getting to the point where one seemed like a great combination of accuracy, strength, and price only to find something else inherently flawed. OK, spend the big bucks - SnapOn? Sold out. Down the line a little, MAC? Sold out. FAWK! Now what? Fine, I'll look at a non-USA-made one. Nope, 20 great reviews, 20 s**t reviews. Back to the starting line.

I'm this age: when my dad or I needed a new tool over the last 30 years of working on cars in his garage, we would run to Sears, grab something that looked good, buy it, use it for 20 years, break it, buy a new one. Done. Simple, no online reviews, no BS, the tool just worked as it should and we were happy. Man, I do miss those days.

Dare I ask - any advice on where to get a middle-class torque wrench? I'm a weekend warrior, not a professional mechanic.
I had the same need as you (my thread is buried somewhere on here). I ultimately went with a Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F beam torque wrench. No need to detorque for storage and made in the US. I read great things about HF’s Icon line (see my thread for some insight), but it was only ~$50 cheaper than the Percision Instruments one. I valued supporting US manufacturing over Taiwan; but to each their own.
 

MoxiesDad

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I always bought Craftsman tools in the past. Had Craftsman torque wrenches in 3/8" and 1/2" drives for both inch pounds and foot pounds. When I needed a higher rated torque wrench for axle shaft nut at hub bearings I went with the Kobalt 1/2" drive from Lowes. It had good reviews at the time, had a lifetime warranty and was made in Taiwan. Now I noticed they cut the warranty down to 2 years I think on the new ones. Still the Kobalt has worked well, all metal construction, no plastic parts to break like the Craftsman locking ring.
 

Munkey Boy

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Chinese mechanics likely use torque wrenches made in China and their vehicles don't suddenly collapse on a regular basis. Any tool will be fine and no matter where it's from won't help or hinder our economy, only your wallet.
 

Mac Attack

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There is simply too much information out there. All I wanted to do was buy a 20-250lbs. range, American-made, 1/2 drive torque wrench. Down....down....down the rabbit hole I went. YouTube, Amazon, Google, various forums. Hours of reading, getting to the point where one seemed like a great combination of accuracy, strength, and price only to find something else inherently flawed. OK, spend the big bucks - SnapOn? Sold out. Down the line a little, MAC? Sold out. FAWK! Now what? Fine, I'll look at a non-USA-made one. Nope, 20 great reviews, 20 s**t reviews. Back to the starting line.

I'm this age: when my dad or I needed a new tool over the last 30 years of working on cars in his garage, we would run to Sears, grab something that looked good, buy it, use it for 20 years, break it, buy a new one. Done. Simple, no online reviews, no BS, the tool just worked as it should and we were happy. Man, I do miss those days.

Dare I ask - any advice on where to get a middle-class torque wrench? I'm a weekend warrior, not a professional mechanic.
Get it from your neighbor. Visit MrZappo and use his...good excuse for a road trip.
 

Garemlin

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I bought two from Harbor Freight years ago. They have lasted much longer than the Craftsman that they replaced.
 

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