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recommendations for a torque wrench(11 posts)

recommendations for a torque wrenchbianchi boy
Jun 12, 2003 8:00 PM
I've decided to get a torque wrench after breaking off one too many seat post binder bolts. I just installed a new stem with specific torque recommendations and would feel much more comfortable if I had a torque wrench. I mainly want the wrench for small items -- like seat post bolts, stems, etc. I don't envision torquing any bottom brackets or cranks. Would a Sears/Craftsman suit me fine, or should I spring for a Park? Most seem to be 3/8 drive -- is that fine for smaller applications. Also, I assume I would need to buy a set of Allen bolt fittings, right? Metric/English combined?
re: recommendations for a torque wrenchsilverboard
Jun 12, 2003 10:30 PM
spring for the nicer torque wrench if you will be using it often. I know park has a spendy wrench, but you can get good ones that "click" once you hit a specific torque. Don't get the wrenches that have a bending bar, they just plain suck. You'll be glad that you did.
Mild disagreement--my Sears beam wrench works fineretro
Jun 13, 2003 7:53 AM
It's always good (or tempting, anyway) to buy the best tools you can get, but in this case I dunno. I've had a $19.95 Sears beam-type (with the bendy arm) torque wrench for years, and it's worked fine. Don't know the price of a Park, but Sears' expensive model is about 80 bucks. Considering that I worked on bikes for 20 years without any torque wrench at all, that seems like overkill.
Either way, though, be sure to find one that has the settings you use most often in about the middle of its capacity range. They're more accurate there than at either extreme.
Mild disagreement--my Sears beam wrench works finetorquecal
Jun 14, 2003 6:22 PM
I'll go with mild disagreement as well. The beam type torque wrenches keep their calibration very well as long as they're not overtorqued, dropped, or used to loosen things. At the higher price range beam deflectors are actually more accurate (+/-2% while the 'click' types are usually +/-4% clockwise and +/-6% counterclockwise). As an added benefit they NEVER suffer the thing that kills the click type wrenches fastest: leaving them set to a high value for long periods (if you don't leave the click type stored at it lowest setting it tends to wear out the spring).

Having said that remember two things; no torque wrench is going to retain it's accuracy over an extended period of time and no torque wrench is going to be accurate at a value less than 20% of it's maximum torque setting.

Ooops almost forgot - if you really want accuracy then exercize the wrench several times at or near it's max value prior to use. In the click type this frees up the spring and the internal slide plate lubrication. In a beam type it helps remove some of the metal memory the beam had from sitting unused.
Where did you get your information from? nmthe bull
Jun 15, 2003 7:14 AM
Mostly ANSI and ASME Specifications...torquecal
Jun 15, 2003 7:28 AM
but some of its from experience. I've been calibrating and adjusting torque wrenches of all types for about 16 years. I work in USAF calibration lab.
Thinking about it.the bull
Jun 15, 2003 10:54 AM
I thought it would be better to use a click type(this is what I use).It seems for things like heads when it clicks it is going to be the same on all bolts unlike a pointer that can be off on less you are looking at it from a "birds eye view".Also it seems that all the top companys sell the click type(Snap-on,Haze-it,etc.).Who makes the best torque wrenches? Just curious-The ones I use are more than fine for what I use them for.
Jun 15, 2003 1:04 PM
You're right about the click types being more consistent. There is that operator error variable between the pointer and the user's eyeball, but with some practice they can be just as consistent as the click type.

Personally, I think Stanley-Proto makes the best torque wrenches. At least they require less adjustment than just about any other manufacturer. They tend to be on the pricey side though. I use a fairly cheap craftsman beam type at home (but I only use it once or twice a month).
re: recommendations for a torque wrenchmaximum15
Jun 13, 2003 8:28 AM
The most important thing about a torque wrench is getting one where the typical torque you will be using is midscale of the torque wrench capability. Also, don't buy a torque wrench with too much range as you will lose accuracy. I personally don't like the beam type, but if all I ever used it on was a bike, I would consider one. Since you are applying low torque, a 1/4 inch drive would be fine. You do need metric hex head sockets. I'm not sure if they come in 1/4 drive.
BTW, what's the proper torque for seat post binder bolts?tarwheel
Jun 13, 2003 9:37 AM
Since I seem to have a real knack for snapping binder bolts, does anyone know the proper torque for these? There seems to be a fine line between tightening so loose that the seat post slips and tightening so hard that the bolt snaps.
BTW, what's the proper torque for seat post binder bolts?kokaku
Jun 13, 2003 10:40 AM
I just bought the Park torque wrench (I know Sears is cheaper, but I couldn't find an inch-pound wrench locally). However, I bought bits at Sears because they are cheaper than Park's and you can just get the one's you need (instead of the $100+ Park bit set).

Here's the link to Park's torque recommendations