This is an instrument used to provide a predetermined torque on a bolt or nut. Torque wrenches may be ratchet, clicker, or shockwave types. Ratchet and clicker type torque wrenches have a display that forces the operator to stop applying torque when reaching the desired value. A shockwave type torque wrench alerts the operator when it reaches the desired value by vibrating or making an audible noise.
Tips to buy the best torque wrench
1. Select an adjustable or fixed model
This is according to the range of the torque you will use. Though adjustable models are more expensive, they are more precise than fixed ones. It is also adjustable to different fastener sizes. A greater range indicates that the torque wrench has a higher degree of accuracy. This is because it is capable of applying more torque than a smaller range model.
2. Select the model based on its accuracy grade
The accuracy rating determines whether or not the wrench will meet the desired torque setting specified by its manufacturer. The higher the rating, the more accurate it is. When choosing among similar grades, select those with calibration certification to avoid any problems in your work.
3. Consider its price
The torque wrench with a price tag of or under $100 is affordable and may suit your needs. It should also last a long time despite heavy use. You can come across models priced at over $500, but this is not a good fit unless you have extra money to spare and use tools for long periods of time.
4. Buy a torque wrench that has the certification you need
Contact your manufacturer or distributor if you have any questions. If you have a specific certification requirement, make sure to specify it in your purchase.
5. Check the manufacturer’s warranty coverage
Check if 20 percent of the purchase cost will be covered by the warranty should something go wrong. Also, ask for assistance in repairs or replacement if possible and confirm that it is free of charge.
6. Check its material
A shaft made of steel is good as it can withstand the forces applied to it during use. A hardened and polished chrome alloy steel model is even better as it is hard and durable, but softer in nature than carbon steel. Plastic shaft models are convenient, but they are not as strong or durable. You may end up buying another model just a few months down the road.
7. Make sure the shaft is not loose
Many cheap models have loose shafts that can wobble around while they are in use and often it happens that they are cut off during use. This will cause the torque settings to be inaccurate. A high-end model, however, has a tight fit and this helps to avoid such problems.
8. Make sure the wrench is made of chrome-plated material
This protects against rust and other contaminants that could eventually cause rusting of the tool.
9. Make sure the wrench is not too heavy
Most torque wrenches are slightly heavy as they are made of metal and plastic. A lighter model may be more comfortable to use when in use, but it is not likely to provide a tighter fit. If you will be using the wrench for long periods of time, you can opt for a heavier model that you can lug around.