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Old 05-31-2005, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Torque Wrenches?

I'm in the market for a 1/2" drive torque wrench, i have to put my motor together and will use it for other things besides that. I did some searching and didn't get a whole lot. It seemed like SK torque wrenches were decent for the money and had a better warnty then craftsman torque wrenches. What do you have and what do you like? I'd like to spend around $100 on it, i'm not really in the market for a snapon or other high dollar tool truck torque wrench.
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Old 05-31-2005, 11:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a Craftsman that is over 6 years old and is still going. About a year ago I had is checked and it was off a little but it was not more than a few pounds. I also have a Napa modle and it has lasted for years both were around $100 when I bought them
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelRoll
It seemed like SK torque wrenches were decent for the money and had a better warnty then craftsman torque wrenches. What do you have and what do you like? I'd like to spend around $100 on it, i'm not really in the market for a snapon or other high dollar tool truck torque wrench.
Same as you. I've got the $85 SK from HF, very happy w it. Used it just this weekend. It seems smooth to me and long enough to provide adequate leverage until you get into the 200ft lbs + range.

Someone will inevitably spout off "buy Snap-On." No problem, send me $300
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i like the craftsman Digitork - it doesnt lose its calibration if you set it high and leave it - plus its nice and beefy
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My experience w my Craftsman Digitork was terrible. Maybe they've changed the design, but on mine the plastic handle spun like it lost it's adhesion or attachment to the metal. This allowed the the little window thru which you read the setting (VERY important) to spin. You could spin the window and see all the various numbers underneath, but you never knew where the wrench was REALLY set.

I've sworn off stupid stuff like this, it's only numbers etched into the metal for me from now on.
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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craftsman. just remember to undo the tension when storing it.
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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for the price the craftsman gets the job done, but on both of mine the lock collar has broken and will spin past where it stops and locks.
its annoying but i guess they replace for nothing when it pisses me off enough.

i will step up to a crap on one day.
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Old 05-31-2005, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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got around 8 snappy ones. Just picked up one that goes to up to 600ftlbs.

id rather spend my money on something that I need to be percise that buying something cheap and wondering..
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The Craftsman ones have a one-year warranty. The plastic lock collar broke on mine almost immediately. The plastic handle is held in place on a threaded shaft by two nuts, one of which worked loose on mine, allowing the handle to come off and the calibration to go to hell. I always just borrow my brother-in-law's Snap-On ones when I need one now; I'm not wasting money on another Craftsman. I never imagined that a torque wrench would be made useless by a stupid nut backing off.

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Old 06-01-2005, 02:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't really have a brand preference, just a design preference. I'm a calibrator and have found that the click type torque wrenches aren't nearly as accurate as the dial indicating type. Just my $.02
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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ditto on the Crapsman locking collar breaking. Sears wouldn't do anything about it for me either. Had a Digitork 1/2" go bad too with same handle problems as previously mentioned. No more Craftsman torque wrenches for me. In fact, I now am very careful about all Craftsman stuff I buy. I make sure they have lifetime warranty or just plain won't buy it. Ridiculous that they promote their brand with "guaranteed for life" type statements so much but when you buy a high $$ tool like a $100+ torque wrench they only give 1 yr warranty. AND, they sure don't tell you that when you're buying them to make you aware it isn't the same warranty as most of the other hand tools.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntOrange
ditto on the Crapsman locking collar breaking. Sears wouldn't do anything about it for me either. Had a Digitork 1/2" go bad too with same handle problems as previously mentioned. No more Craftsman torque wrenches for me. In fact, I now am very careful about all Craftsman stuff I buy. I make sure they have lifetime warranty or just plain won't buy it. Ridiculous that they promote their brand with "guaranteed for life" type statements so much but when you buy a high $$ tool like a $100+ torque wrench they only give 1 yr warranty. AND, they sure don't tell you that when you're buying them to make you aware it isn't the same warranty as most of the other hand tools.

Torque wrenches at sears aren't 100. Arent close, they are cheap. They are fragile. If you want to keep it in good shape keep it in a case and be aware of where you put your hands when you are torquing things down. It sucks I know my Mac inch pound is much nicer and built tougher without a doubt but I am not a pro wrench.
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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A quick search for "torque wrench" at Craftsman.com comes up with lots of choices. If we're talking 1/2" drive (I assumed we were, for the most part), I see clicker options from $75 to $230. I'd say the average is $140-ish (but I didn't run the actual math for the average). The cheapest model only goes to 150 ft lbs.

EDIT: here's the SK I currently have and for a shadetree shop I like it a lot:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=46691
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Old 06-01-2005, 09:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Go search some pawn shops 1st, you might get lucky and find a quality Snap-On unit. I found a newer, very lightly used one for $75 in it's case, took it to my friend's dealer for a factory re-calibration, $35 for that. Setting the torque is so nice compared to the cheapo's I've had.
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmigoTJ44
Torque wrenches at sears aren't 100. Arent close, they are cheap. They are fragile. If you want to keep it in good shape keep it in a case and be aware of where you put your hands when you are torquing things down. It sucks I know my Mac inch pound is much nicer and built tougher without a doubt but I am not a pro wrench.
Huh?? Ummm, yes they are.

Craftsman Torque Wrench, 1/2 in. Drive
Sears item #00944597000 Mfr. model #44597
$109.99

And that's not even the Craftsman Professional series, which starts at $150.

I know how to set, use, & store my torque wrenches.
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i've got a sears meter torque wrench. it's a piece of crap. i'm not sure it's accurate but i think the one from the flea market i have is more heavy duty.
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have the Craftsman Digitork (sp?) in 1/2 and 3/8. They were $109 and $99 respectively. I haven't had any problems with them, but I also treat them with kid gloves.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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90 Days. That is the warranty on torque wrenchs at Sears, not a year. I don't really like the digitork, first time you bump it too hard it's over. Go with the microtorque. Cheaper and better. Save your recipt, if you have a problem with the wrench you are going to have to prove how old it is. No one in so far as I know offers more than a year on a torque wrench, and most leave it at 90 days.

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Old 06-02-2005, 09:56 AM   #20 (permalink)
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i can understand a short warranty because of the torque wrench stuff inside, but when the plastic crap breaks on the outside that just sucks. i tried taking back a couple to sears and got the same "90 days" only.
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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no complaints with my $15 HF special. I just got a Home Depot special because I needed something to go a bit higher in torque - it doesn't release like the HF special but oh well.
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:10 AM   #22 (permalink)
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no complaints with my $15 HF special. I just got a Home Depot special because I needed something to go a bit higher in torque - it doesn't release like the HF special but oh well.
I've never had much confidence in the calibration of the HF stuff. Anyone ever had one calibrated or used a torque meter to verify one?
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BurntOrange
I've never had much confidence in the calibration of the HF stuff. Anyone ever had one calibrated or used a torque meter to verify one?
I've got some friends in PHX who claim they've had them calibrated and they were very close to start with.

My complaint w the cheap HF unit (I got mine on sale for $9.99, I believe regular price at the time was $19.99) in the red case is that it only goes to 150 ft lbs, isnt' very long (I tend to use my torque wrenches largely for torquing 5/8" u-bolts to around 140 ft lbs), and seems to freeze up the longer it sits. With this design (I think it uses sliding bars internally?) you definitely want to free it up in a vice by clicking it several times before use. Forget to do this and you'll over-torque something, BTDT. Also the HF unit seems less and less willing to click at lower settings, making it inappropriate for smaller fasteners that might only require 30 or 40 ft lbs - altho arguably a 3/8" torque wrench might be more appropriate in such situations anyhow.

I suspect experiences will vary widely, HF's QC for something they can sell for $9.99 just can't be that high.

I will say that the "feel" of the click is remarkably different from my HF to SK. The SK releases smoothly and predictably while the HF unit seems more like it's finally willing to cry uncle and give up.
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:58 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Tried the HF one and it was way off compared to my other torque wrenches. Therefore, I have no confidence in them whatsoever. I've been happy with my Craftsman wrench and Home Depot Torque wrench. I need one more that is smaller for some of the lighter duty stuff.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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just bought the 1/2 craftsman clicker and the guy at sears told me that they aren't lifetime. I bought it anyway. I figure I'll just take good care of it and hope for the best.
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