A torque wrench is one of the most important tools for mechanics, installers, and anyone else performing assembly or maintenance. Without a torque wrench, it’s impossible to correctly tighten fasteners, creating the real possibility of stripped or broken bolts, damaged mating surfaces, or loose components.
Incorrectly torqued fasteners can lead to expensive repairs or, worse yet, complete mechanical failures that could endanger life and property. Having an accurate and reliable torque wrench is critical for anyone performing repairs, installing components, or upgrading equipment. When looking for a torque wrench, , especially an automotive torque wrench, there are four key features to keep in mind.
1. Quality Construction
A well-made torque wrench should be made out of heavy duty, corrosion resistant steel. It should provide a solid feeling in the hand. There should be minimal plastic components, and those should be made from a solid, impact resistant plastic. The ratchet component should move smoothly in both directions, with clear, audible “clicks” on the backswing. The adjustment rings should turn smoothly throughout their full range of motion, and lock solidly at the desired setting. If the tool feels cheap or poorly constructed, it probably is.
2. Accurate Measurements
If it’s not accurate, a torque wrench is better used as a paperweight. A main reason for buying a torque wrench is to provide accurate torque readings. Improper tightening can damage fasteners and lead to assembly failures. Reputable manufacturers supply an accuracy rating with their wrenches. Look for wrenches with a +/- 5% accuracy rating, or better. For critical assemblies, like those on aircraft or high performance autos, 4% or better is recommended. The closer to zero, the more accurate the tool is promised to be.
3. Promises vs. Certification
Of course, a promise doesn’t guarantee anything when referring to torque wrenches. For extra certainty, look for wrench manufacturers that provide independent, third party certifications with their tools. These certifications mean that the individual tool has been tested in a real world setting, using objective measuring and calibration equipment. When the wrench arrives, it will have a certification sheet showing when it was tested, who tested it, and how accurate it was. With this kind of certification, a mechanic knows exactly how accurate the tool is, and doesn’t have to take the manufacturer’s word for it.
4. Usability and Comfort
A tool that is hard to set up, or uncomfortable to use is not worthwhile. When purchasing a torque wrench, make sure that it’s simple and comfortable to use. The adjustments should be easy to read, easy to set, and should lock in place to avoid unintentional changes. The handle should be comfortable to hold, with a rubberized grip to prevent slipping. The handle should also be long enough to provide the necessary leverage for tightening. If the wrench goes up to 100 foot-pounds, but only has a twelve inch handle, it will be hard to use at the higher settings and could lead to difficulty operating and aggravated mechanics.
Quality vs. Cost
There are a lot of cheap torque wrenches available on the market. For the most part, they perform like other cheap tools. They may work well out of the box, but quickly fall out of calibration or fail altogether.
Most of them are unreliable, and come with no guarantees. Considering the expense of a single broken bolt or cracked flange, it just doesn’t make sense to buy a cheaply made torque wrench. It’s not difficult to find an affordable torque wrench that meets all of the requirements listed above. Having an accurate, high quality wrench makes installations faster and more reliable, with less chance of expensive assembly issues.
For more information on choosing torque wrenches call MountzPro at 1-888-925-2763 or contact us today and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you in picking a torque wrench right for you and your individual needs.
0 Vote For Me