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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Griot's Garage has a 1/2" Torque Wrench
(30-150 FT. LBS.) for $185. (Item 11902).
They state that the back of the ratchet is
smooth so you can apply in-line pressure
and keep the wrench perpendicular to
the fastener- the most important aspect when measuring torque. With other designs the directional switch gets in the way. Each one has its own serial number to discourage pilfering. Includes storage case, certificate of accuracy, and free Lifetime Testing service. Its made in England. (Note: I believe the lug nuts on our Elise are supposed to be set at 77 FT. LBS, hence the need for the more expensive, by $25, one they offer.)
 

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A lot of their items are not at all exclusive to their store. There's nothing wrong with that, but they should have more competitive prices for those items. I think some people just buy everything from Griots because they present a lot of good products in one convenient place and customer satisfaction is pretty high (until they realize the prices are a bit high). But hey, smoke 'em if you got 'em.

- J
 

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Griot's has very high prices but everything I have seen from them or bought myself is terrific quality and the customer service is as good as it gets. They definately have a particular clientele in mind. I did buy an oil filter wrench from them and love it, it's the best I have found. It's the strap wrench and one of the only ones I can get on the oil filter on my Caterham.
 

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While Griot's is a bit pricey, I do buy a lot from them. Most of my tool are craftsman but I did buy the facom socket drivers. The real great thing about Griots is that you can return anything at anytime for any reason. I burnt the vinyl on a creeper and they sent me a new one. I know that if my wind up hose fails in 10 years, they will replace it.
 

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The big advantage to buying a torque wrench from them is their test/repair policy. Torque wrenches should be calibrated periodically, and it's not inexpensive. Being able to have your wrench tested for free is a pretty nice perk.

Jim
 

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If you are worried about accuracy and don't have to bang out a gazillion proper torquings per hour, why not get the cheap & simple old style torque wrench? The kind with the direct reading scale and no clicks? They don't wear out, don't need to be calibrated and are definitely more accurate than the clickers. Some have been in continuous daily use since before World War II. (The Big One) The clickers were designed to speed things up in factories and shops where they need to really bang things out to make a buck. They are less accurate, need to be calibrated, drift and are sensitive to shock. The non-click beam style units also make it very easy to approach the final torque in stages (say 30/50/77 lb-ft for wheel bolts) and are fine to use to remove items as long as you stay on scale. Clickers are not supposed to be used for removing things so you should also buy a breaker bar too for loosening.

 

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So can anyone speak to the relative strengths of the "split beam" style clickers vs the traditional clickers? The former you're supposed to be able to leave at a setting rather than the latter that you're supposed to set to 0 after use. I have an old style beam one, but frankly I'm lazy, and would like to just have a clicker set up to the right setting so I can get the bolts on right each time.
 

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Well, for what it's worth, my 30+ year old Craftsman "clicker" still works fine and is dead accurate after all these years - never been re-calibrated or adjusted. I have several clicker torque wrenches with different ranges, and an old fashioned beam type that can be used to compare the clickers measurements - hook them together and make sure that the beam type indicates the same torque that the clicker is set to when it clicks. I also have a recently calibrated fairly new clicker. All are pretty accurate.

If you are a "weekend mechanic", have a reasonably good clicker torque wrench, and take good car of it, it should last essentially forever and still be accurate. If you are a pro, and use the wrench pretty constantly, then you should have it calibrated periodically.

By the way, don't set the clickers to "zero" when you store them, set them to the lowest range that they are marked - setting them below this setting can cause things to "fall apart" inside...
 

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TimMullen said:
I have several clicker torque wrenches with different ranges, and an old fashioned beam type that can be used to compare the clickers measurements - hook them together and make sure that the beam type indicates the same torque that the clicker is set to when it clicks. I also have a recently calibrated fairly new clicker. All are pretty accurate.
oooo, clever idea... what do you use to couple them?
 

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Evl said:
oooo, clever idea... what do you use to couple them?
I actually have a "special socket" that connects two half inch sockets together (female to female connector), from some tool I bought 30 years ago. But you can always get a strong bolt and a couple of nuts to jam together - install the proper socket on each wrench, then slip them onto the nut/bolt.

A proper sized eight point socket on one wrench would work also...
 

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Good point, Stan. I bought a clicker instead of one of those because I was worried about using it in constrained spaces. I don't understand why they never need to be calibrated, though. I would have guessed that eventually the metal would fatigue and the wrench would go out of calibration.

I sent my Craftsman Digitorque to be calibrated a year and a half ago after several years of light DIY service. It was significantly out of spec. Apparently, I was in a hurry when I was putting my wheels on and had forgotten to set it back to zero before putting it away. :no:

Jim
 

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jtanner said:
I don't understand why they never need to be calibrated, though. I would have guessed that eventually the metal would fatigue and the wrench would go out of calibration.
As long as you don't "bend" it too far (go off the scale), the metal will never exceed it's elastic range (or even come close to it). Unless it's in constant use (i.e. millions of cycles to near it's limits) the metal properties will not change - for normal use, a beam type wrench is calibrated for life.

But I tend to use my clickers, as they can be used at awkward angles, upside down under a car where you are reaching over your head, etc. You can use a clicker without being able to see the wrench, whereas with a beam type, you have to look at the scale essentially straight on (or parallax will distort the reading).
 

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Hmm...as affordable as beam-type torque wrenches are, I think I'll steal a trick from you, and get one to periodically check my click-type wrench with.

Thanks, Tim.

Jim
 
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