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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    Kubota L5740, Case IH 255, Gravely 8199G

    Default torque wrench recommendations please

    I've got a torque wrench and hardly ever use it. My bad. It's a no name manual and i just don't trust it. Why I don't know...
    Would an inexpensive HF digital gauge be more accurate than a more expensive manual "clicker"?
    is a clicker style adequately accurate?

    Say for a hundred bucks, which I don't think is unreasonable for a precision tool, that would go up to say 200 pounds,
    what do you all recommend? I know the pro models are way more expensive than this, but can one get good precision for installing
    car/truck wheel lugs, mower blade nuts, etc.? Not little stuff but not working on a nuclear plant either.
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long grapple, 1986 Case IH 255, Land Pride PD10 PHD, Land Pride RCR60 & RCF2084 mowers, Land Pride 4' box blade and rear rake, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mower, Gravely snowblower, Swisher 44 rough cut mower,Ariens snowblower, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2006 JD LX280, , 1968 Cub Cadet 125, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2011
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    North East PA
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    Kubota BX2230 & B2320

    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    I have several torque wrenches from quarter inch to three quarter inch and torque screwdrivers. Depending on the accuracy needed that dictates which one gets used. The HF 1/2" gets used the most. Tightening lug nuts is more about tightening them evenly within a range, for example if the torque calls for 55-60 and your HF wrench torqued them all to an even 57 that would be accurate enough. However, if I was assembling a new engine I would dig out one of my more accurate torque wrenches. Using a HF torque wrench is a lot more accurate that an air impact gun. It is important to note that dry vs lubed threads will affect the stretch of the bolt or stud that is being tightened to the same torque spec. Some manuals will indicated either dry or lubed.

  3. #3
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    I've got a torque wrench and hardly ever use it. My bad. It's a no name manual and i just don't trust it. Why I don't know...
    Would an inexpensive HF digital gauge be more accurate than a more expensive manual "clicker"?
    is a clicker style adequately accurate?

    Say for a hundred bucks, which I don't think is unreasonable for a precision tool, that would go up to say 200 pounds,
    what do you all recommend? I know the pro models are way more expensive than this, but can one get good precision for installing
    car/truck wheel lugs, mower blade nuts, etc.? Not little stuff but not working on a nuclear plant either.
    Even a $1000 torque wrench is of no value if you don't know if it is accurate. They all have to be checked for accurate calibration at set intervals or if they are dropped, damaged etc. For cheap (less than $100) torque wrenches, the calibration might cost more than the wrench. Is an unknown accuracy wrench better than an impact gun, most likely yes. I would say that the type that bends the bar will likely stay within tolerances better than digital/clicker type as there isn't much to go wrong with them and while they aren't as accurate, they will always show the same values. Any thing that requires setting a spring tension like the variable setting clicker type will eventually need recalibration. The spring gets weaker over time and what starts as 100 might not be but 80 or even less as the spring weakens over time.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    I prefer the micrometer setting torque wrenches...these are commonly refered to as "clicker" torque wrenches.
    One thing about the micrometer setting wrenches is that they should be backed off to "zero" when not in use. The torsion bar inside the wrench can take a "set" after being adjusted to a torque for an extended time.
    That said, the deflecting beam type that Gary describes (above) and is quoted below:
    I would say that the type that bends the bar will likely stay within tolerances better than digital/clicker type as there isn't much to go wrong with them and while they aren't as accurate, they will always show the same values
    are more robust, but harder to read due to the position one may have to hold them while torquing.

    Personally, I have an old Craftsman micrometer setting I've owned for 15-20 years. It's been professionally calibrated a few times and is always backed off to zero after use. To me, the micrometer setting type is the easiest to use.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Kubota BX2230D

    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    If your always in a position to read the scale, then a deflecting beam would work fine and are very economical. I have two of those 3/8 & 1/2" but always reach for one of my 3 "clickers" when torquing anymore. The price & quality will depend on how much you'll use it and what your torquing. Like the difference between lug nuts and head bolts.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Ford 3930

    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    Getting back on a motorcycle in '08, I wanted to pick up a decent 3/8" torque wrench.

    Ended up getting a Precision Instruments split-beam one. It clicks at the desired torque level, which is set by turning a small knob that rotates a numbered disc in a small window. Ackward description from me, but easy to use in practice.

    http://torqwrench.com/home.php

    One advantage of a split-beam design is that you do not have to reset the dial to zero for storage. I do reset it, out of habit from using my old Craftsman spring based clicker, but it is nice to know that if I forget it does not create a Cal problem.

    I really like this Precision Instruments 3/8" a lot. Once I can scrape together enough funds in my Future Tool budget, I plan on getting a 1/2" split-beam from them.

    I'm not a rich guy (understatement !), but I look at that tool as being paid for, the first engine related use it got. Price wise, up here, it wasn't crazy money over what a basic Craftsman goes for. (Something like $140 vs. $100).

    In the 3/8" market, there is a lot of off-shore junk coming in.

    Prec. Instr. used to supply Snap On from something like 1938 up until just a few years ago. Guessing there was some MBA tap/slam dance done on that deal ending.

    In '08, Prec. Instr. would direct ship to USA customers; in Canada, my local Mac Tools guy brought it in for me.

    Rgds, D.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member jimmysisson's Avatar
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    Default

    I have an ancient Craftsman beam type in great shape I never use. And a more (name?) clicker I much prefer. Anyone know if I can check the clicker against the beam type? Sorry about butting into the thread.
    Him
    "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly" Mae West

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    no butting at all Jimmy, I'm here to learn all I can about torque wrenches and that sure qualifies.

    what happens if two wrongs don't make a right?... this is the same thing I go through with air pressure gauges...I need two to agree.
    OK, and where does one take a torque wrench for calibration. Just google torque wrench calibration? Somebody good nationally that's reasonable; not hard to ship these things to?.
    Drew
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long grapple, 1986 Case IH 255, Land Pride PD10 PHD, Land Pride RCR60 & RCF2084 mowers, Land Pride 4' box blade and rear rake, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mower, Gravely snowblower, Swisher 44 rough cut mower,Ariens snowblower, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2006 JD LX280, , 1968 Cub Cadet 125, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter

  9. #9
    Platinum Member sparc's Avatar
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    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJackson View Post
    I prefer the micrometer setting torque wrenches...these are commonly refered to as "clicker" torque wrenches.
    One thing about the micrometer setting wrenches is that they should be backed off to "zero" when not in use. The torsion bar inside the wrench can take a "set" after being adjusted to a torque for an extended time.
    That said, the deflecting beam type that Gary describes (above) and is quoted below:
    are more robust, but harder to read due to the position one may have to hold them while torquing.

    Personally, I have an old Craftsman micrometer setting I've owned for 15-20 years. It's been professionally calibrated a few times and is always backed off to zero after use. To me, the micrometer setting type is the easiest to use.
    I disagree with your comment about backing off your wrench to zero when not in use. Places I have worked with procedures on torque wrench use say when the wrench will not be used for more than a half hour to set it to the specified setting on the calibration sticker or to 20% of its range above the lowest usable setting. So if you had a wrench with a usable range of 0-100 it would be reset to 20 when not in use and a 20-100 range wrench would be set to 36 (20 + 16) when not in use. Most of the wrenches in use there you could not use the bottom 20% of the range. Note that this differs from Snap-ons recommendation of setting to the lowest setting. We also had to check each wrench on a torque checker machine each time it is used (once per shift as a minimum) AND check it again when done using it before turning in to the cal lab. Their wrenches were only calibrated for use in one direction.

    Now I'm not saying I go to those extremes at home and don't expect anyone else to, but I do follow the practice of resetting my click type wrenches to 20% when I'm done with them. None of my personal wrenches are calibrated (since they were set at the factory) but I treat them as if they were calibrated tools and don't abuse them (i'm not saying you do don't misunderstand please). Their reasoning for not using zero was that the spring is fully relaxed and that is is better to maintain a slight tension on it.

    I agree that wrench that has not been calibrated is probably more accurate than anyones best guess with a manual wrench as far as being consistant from one bolt to the next. As long as the wrench is not broken it should give reasonable accuracy during a tightening sequence of a series of bolts.

    SnapOn_Torque_Wrench_care_and_use_2008.pdf

  10. #10
    Gold Member mvwicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: torque wrench recommendations please

    I have both types, and can test my clickers against my split beam torque wrench pretty easily. I just find the right socket to join the two and then check a few settings on the clicker against the value indicated on the split beam. Split beams are simpler, as has been pointed out, and retain their calibration essentially indefinitely.

    Convenience is the main advantages of the clicker type. The convenient tool is the one you will use. Sometimes the torque setting is really important, and the bolt or nut is in a hard-to-access spot, like the drain bolt in an oil pan. Who wants to read a scale 2" from one's nose while laying under a tractor? Before I got the clicker I would mark the a spot on the back side of the split beam's scale so I could read it upside down, but that didn't always make it visible.

    As for digital torque wrenches, unless they beep they have the same problem as the much cheaper split beam wrenches. Plus, their batteries might fail, and just because they show lots of significant digits doesn't mean they are accurate.

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