MarkinKY
MarkinKY None
1/1/10 5:59 p.m.

Before I go any further, I've tried the forum search feature and it provided no -- nada -- results for my question, and I'm sure it's been covered, so sorry for the repetition.

My wife wants to give me a torque wrench for my birthday and I want to make sure I give her good guidance. I have three cars I fiddle with, in order: BMW e36, 1968 Triumph GT6, 2006 Honda Pilot. I've heard to avoid those from Harbor Freight (duh) and Sears. In today's economy price does matter, so I am looking for mix of quality and value. What would you recommend?

Thanks!

mel_horn
mel_horn Dork
1/1/10 6:21 p.m.

If you're close to a NAPA they sell KD-branded torque wrenches. IIRC they have one with a rubber cushioned handle specially for tire shops, etc.

Toyman01
Toyman01 Dork
1/1/10 6:53 p.m.

I use one from Northern Tools. Seem to work just fine.

pigeon
pigeon HalfDork
1/1/10 6:54 p.m.

The Harbor Freight wrenches are actually pretty good. I've read that they test out within spec as long as you're within 85-90% of the operating range, which is pretty standard for any torque wrench. I've used the 1/2" and 3/8" for several years with no issues or problems.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
1/1/10 7:29 p.m.

I have the HF 1/2" one...works fine for what I need.

Think I paid $14.99

xci_ed6
xci_ed6 HalfDork
1/1/10 7:31 p.m.

I really like my snap-on's, they've stayed calibrated without adjustments for 3 years. They cost a bit more, but they'll last forever, and more importantly, I can trust them. I can't trust the $15 H-F special.

wbjones
wbjones HalfDork
1/1/10 7:36 p.m.
Grtechguy wrote: I have the HF 1/2" one...works fine for what I need. Think I paid $14.99

+1

drmike
drmike New Reader
1/1/10 8:01 p.m.
xci_ed6 wrote: I really like my snap-on's, they've stayed calibrated without adjustments for 3 years. They cost a bit more, but they'll last forever, and more importantly, I can trust them. I can't trust the $15 H-F special.

I have a couple of Blue Point (sold by Snap On for those who don't know) that are upwards of 25 years old. They spent at least ten years as the primary torque wrenches of an engine builder. I use them often, and they still perform well. I had them calibrated a few years ago, and they were spot on and needed no adjustment.

f86sabjf
f86sabjf Reader
1/1/10 8:26 p.m.

if new isn't necassary hit ebay and buy a blue point or snap on. That what I did and saved hundreds and now I have a high quality set of torque wrenches

TJ
TJ Dork
1/1/10 8:53 p.m.

Previous issue had an article about torque wrenches that concluded that the HF ones are good for the price. That is what I have because I am cheap.

Pawn shops might be a good place to find one of the more pricey brands without paying for a brand new one.

skruffy
skruffy Dork
1/1/10 11:34 p.m.

The HF one is fine for wheels and stuff like that, I wouldn't trust one for engine assembly. I've got one at home and use it ALOT.

1slowcrx
1slowcrx Reader
1/2/10 12:22 a.m.

I built a stock honda F22 rebuild with a HF $14.99 special and that motor had 30k trouble free miles on it when I sold the car..

I'm in the HF camp but when I land that dream job and have the money I'll go Snap On every single time

mndsm
mndsm Reader
1/2/10 12:31 a.m.

Price no object- Snap on.

Living in the real world- HF

MarkinKY
MarkinKY New Reader
1/2/10 9:31 p.m.

Thank you all, just the input I needed!

jrw1621
jrw1621 Dork
1/2/10 10:25 p.m.

Just so it is clearly written here, the Sear's Craftsman torque wrench is not longer a "lifetime guaranteed" item.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
1/2/10 10:33 p.m.

I have a GreatNeck 1/2" and a 3/8" drive. Both work great.

Josh
Josh Dork
1/2/10 10:36 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote: Just so it is clearly written here, the Sear's Craftsman torque wrench is not longer a "lifetime guaranteed" item.

IIRC, the beam type ones are, but the cickers are not.

Personally, I have a beam-type craftsman (that I never use) and a HF clicker and check them against each other every so often when I think of it. The HF clicker hasn't caused me any problems in the 4 or 5 years I've been using it.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
1/3/10 10:00 a.m.

The article basically showed that if the Craftsman torque wrench was good enough, so was the HF. If you need something better than that, you're looking at Mac/SnapOn/&c.

wbjones
wbjones HalfDork
1/3/10 10:05 a.m.

I've been using a HF clicker for ~ 7 yrs now... the only problem, the screws holding the head together came apart and it all fell apart... they replaced it no problem, even though it was out of warranty and I had lost the receipt

Twin_Cam
Twin_Cam Dork
1/3/10 6:14 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote: Just so it is clearly written here, the Sear's Craftsman torque wrench is not longer a "lifetime guaranteed" item.

Probably because I broke two of them under normal use within the span of three months.

The third one has lasted four years, though...

fornetti14
fornetti14 Reader
1/3/10 7:10 p.m.
xci_ed6 wrote: I really like my snap-on's, they've stayed calibrated without adjustments for 3 years. They cost a bit more, but they'll last forever, and more importantly, I can trust them. I can't trust the $15 H-F special.

+1 Same here. I've had mine for over 12 years now.

SupraWes
SupraWes Dork
1/4/10 5:28 p.m.

If you get a clicker make sure you set it to "0" every time after you use it. That is more important than what brand you buy. The Chinese ones are good for a home mechanic. If you are building some serious stuff a beam type, or even better, angle gauge and bolt stretch measurements are the way to go.

xci_ed6
xci_ed6 HalfDork
1/4/10 7:14 p.m.
SupraWes wrote: or even better, angle gauge and bolt stretch measurements are the way to go.

my Snap-On has the angle gauge built in. It's really nifty, but I've only used the feature a couple times.

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