Digital Torque Wrench Recommendations

#17
Is there a missing part of that article? I don't see where they actually compare the different wrenches.
It does seem to be abbreviated. I read the article quite a while ago and I seem to remember it being much more complete. I just looked up the article, recognized it, and posted the link, but I didn't re-read it.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
#18
This will ruin a $500 tool just as quick as a $20 one. You need to always unload a clicker after you're done and certainly never leave it stored under tension. You're compressing a spring that will take a set if you leave it long enough. Eventually anything with a spring like that will stop being useful since the spring fatigues with cycles anyway.
You are absolutely correct about always returning any clicker style wrench to zero after you’re done. I didn’t mean to imply that this wasn’t the case. However, in my experience, the Harbor Freight cheapies were much more sensitive to this abuse than a better grade of wrench.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#19
Gotta love a thread that begins with asking for an equivalent to a $600 digital Snap On, and ends with 'Thanks all, but I got a sweet $9.95 deal in the parking lot of a Harbor Freight'.
Let’s try this again as you seem to have missed a few salient points:
1. Looking for an alternative to spending $600 on a Snap On, not an equivalent. I gave my price range.
2. The $10 Harbor Frieght unit is not digital, and while I did actually buy one out of shear curiosity, I would NEVER trust that for something as critical and sensitive as a head job on my engine. I posted that only as a cheeky counterpoint to the recommendations that were not digital torque wrenches.

I’m still looking
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#20
I might need to expand on my thoughts regarding digital verses clicker type of torque wrenches. My main issue is NOT the inherent accuracy of the wrench, it’s the ability to detect when the proper torque is reached. I’ve had so many clicker types simply not click when they should. Or click once, not twice, or make other sounds that might be clicks, maybe not? Am I going to slow to make the right clicking noise? Ugh! I hate feeling anxiety as you are torquing something, and clicker types just don’t work for me.

The digital units have lights that progressively illuminate as you approach the set torque value, and then beep when you hit it. You know precisely when to stop turning. No anxiety, no mystery, no missed clicks. Peace of mind and confidence in your work. This is valuable!
 
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nwoods

Expedition Leader
#21
A few thoughts on the Harbor Freight wrench.

For use in rougher environments such as track testing tires the company bought Harbor Freight torque wrenchs and considered them somewhat disposable. They were acutally very accurate out of the box and lasted very well except..... IMO just return the adjustment to zero like the directions say and you’ll be fine.
Jgaz, thanks for your post. I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek when I posted about the Harbor Frieght wrench. However, I did buy one (for $10, how could you not?). Good to hear about your experiences with them. Initial thoughts pulling it out of the box is wow, there’s way more than $10 worth of steel in this thing. Very solid feeling. I have nothing to compare it to yet, but once I get a proper torque wrench I will for sure check it out and compare.
 
#22
I might need to expand on my thoughts regarding digital verses clicker type of torque wrenches. My main issue is NOT the inherent accuracy of the wrench, it's the ability to detect when the proper torque is reached. I've had so many clicker types simply not click when they should. I hate feeling anxiety as you are torquing something, and clicker types just don't work for me.

The digital units have lights that progressively illuminate as you approach the set torque value, and then beep when you hit it. You know precisely when to stop turning. No anxiety, no mystery, no missed clicks. Peace of mind and confidence in your work. This is valuable!
The other problem I have with lights? You can't see them when you are upside down, at the wrong angle, etc. Sounds work well if you can hear it. If it's noisy, etc. that an issue. I'm not sure what the best solution really is but the clicker type gives you the feel. Maybe use all of those options.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#23
The other problem I have with lights? You can't see them when you are upside down, at the wrong angle, etc. Sounds work well if you can hear it. If it's noisy, etc. that an issue. I'm not sure what the best solution really is but the clicker type gives you the feel. Maybe use all of those options.
That’s a good point, and some of the digital units also buzz like a cellphone in silent mode specifically for that reason
 
#24
Let’s try this again as you seem to have missed a few salient points:
1. Looking for an alternative to spending $600 on a Snap On, not an equivalent. I gave my price range.
2. The $10 Harbor Frieght unit is not digital, and while I did actually buy one out of shear curiosity, I would NEVER trust that for something as critical and sensitive as a head job on my engine. I posted that only as a cheeky counterpoint to the recommendations that were not digital torque wrenches.

I’m still looking
Here's the salient point that you missed: you've been given good advice that you won't take.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#25
Here's the salient point that you missed: you've been given good advice that you won't take.
Did I? I'm not sure I see that. It's sort of like asking about ways to play Crazy 8's, and getting recommendations 5-card stud poker, because its better.

I'm asking about digital torque wrenches. If you prefer a beam type, or clicker type, and have comparisons and experience to a digital, then that may be relevant, but if you just prefer the analog types, and I have expressed that I clearly don't, then I have not received advice, I have received an opinion outside the parameters of the question. I'm grateful for those opinions, it does contribute to the dialogue and there is always something to learn from it, its just not actionable for my circumstances.
 
#26
Well, I don't think you know what you want. First you want the best digital you can find for your budget, then you buy a cheapy clicker, then you pretend you just bought that on a lark, and that you need something super accurate, then you say you don't care about accuracy and only care about the beeps.

People are telling you to get a good split beam wrench because that's the best you can get in your price range. Digital is only useful if it's paired with a quality wrench; i.e., there's zero point to knowing exactly when your wrench registers a certain torque if that torque isn't accurate to begin with. In other words, buy any one on your list because it doesn't matter. You'll get your beeps and be absolutely thrilled thinking about how perfectly torqued your bolts are, and you'll never know the difference because you're working on a friggin jeep, not a new McLaren.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#28
Well, I don't think you know what you want. First you want the best digital you can find for your budget, then you buy a cheapy clicker, then you pretend you just bought that on a lark, and that you need something super accurate, then you say you don't care about accuracy and only care about the beeps.

People are telling you to get a good split beam wrench because that's the best you can get in your price range. Digital is only useful if it's paired with a quality wrench; i.e., there's zero point to knowing exactly when your wrench registers a certain torque if that torque isn't accurate to begin with. In other words, buy any one on your list because it doesn't matter. You'll get your beeps and be absolutely thrilled thinking about how perfectly torqued your bolts are, and you'll never know the difference because you're working on a friggin jeep, not a new McLaren.
Despite the hyperbole, you make a good point. Maybe I don't know what I want. I do however, know what I don't want. I don't want a torque wrench like the one's i've been borrowing. The more I think about it, the one's i've used that cause anxiety are not the beam type, but are the micro torque spring type (if thats the right term). In my experience, those just don't consistently click when they should, the rotary handle thing seems fairly inaccurate to line up on the scale stamped on the side, and often the pull-up to lock handle or however it works seems to not work or engage they way they should. That's been my experience with maybe 8 or 10 wrenches borrowed over the past few years.

So I looked up the CDI Precision Instruments beam type torque wrench, and watched a bunch of videos on it. I like the dial-a-torque readout. Its an analog gauge, but very clear and easy to read and you can line it up very accurately and the locking mechanism is pretty fool proof (though perhaps prone to break?). They say it has an 80 decibel click, and of course all the videos has it clicking when it should. I really like the flex head option. So I bought one. About $150 on Amazon.

 
#29
Cool - hope you enjoy it. I have both the ½ and ⅜ and have never had any trouble on either recognizing the click. Super easy to set, reliable and sturdy. It's an especially good choice if you only use torque wrenches sporadically because you don't have to worry when you pull it out of a drawer after a few years if it's still to spec. I'm sure they'll change a little over time with wear and use, but nothing like the wind up wrenches.
 
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