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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a torque wrench, and I know that park tool is a good company but one of their torque wrenches that is what I need costs $108 freakin dollars. And that's without the bits, which are another 50 bucks. I'm looking at other companies like bike hand and pro bike tool. Their reviews are great and all, but when I look at the bad reviews, it's some pretty worrying stuff. Anybody know what I should do or any recommendations of a quality torque wrench that won't break the bank. Maybe some torque wrenches that you guys use and have had good experience with.
 

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I have the Park, but you can get a Craftsman (formerly Sears Craftsman) on sale at Lowe's for $50:


Note that 30 ft x lbs is about 40 N x m (which is what you need for most cranks). This one goes well beyond that, probably because it is used for bolts on autos and heavy equipment. So you do run the risk that it might not be as accurate. Also, the Park tool is bi-directional, which can be handy for left-handed threads.
 

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I have used the bike hand torque wrench for quite a few years before upgrading to a "better one". Its actually quite nice and the wrench itself is fully rebuildable. The reviews probably talk about the wrench not clicking and ruining whatever they were working on. This is why its always a good idea to click the wrench once by hand to verify that the release mechanism works before setting the torque. But their was never an instance were mine malfunctioned.
 

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I've been using tekton that is supposed to be accurate within 4% out of the box. 4% of 30 ft lbs is 1.2 pounds. i can't imagine a crank being sensitive enough that things will break even if it was 2-3 ft lbs over.

most non-mechanics (and even some mechanics) don't even bother getting their torque wrenches recalibrated, but that's a whole different discussion.
 

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The LifeLine (CRC in-house brand thingy) Essential Torque Wrench is quite OK, comes with the most used bits.. and is definitely cheap right now: LifeLine Essential Torque Wrench Set | Chain Reaction

(btw. neither Park Tool, Shimano Pro Tools, Pedro's, LifeLine or any other of the "bike tool" brands do their own torque wrenches.. they are all (quite OK) OEM Taiwanese ones.. often they even rebrand the same models.. but their prices differs widely.. LifeLine is usually cheapest... )

If not, the Ritchey Torqkey (and other similar) fixed/preset torque wrenches are the way to go if you want it cheap and they are actually quite precise too..

If you're willing to invest 100 bucks.. I prefer a plain torque wrench from a "proper" tool company, not some "bike tool" rebranded stuff.. iow. I would pick something like a Norbar TTi20 over a park tool wrench..
 

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I've been using tekton that is supposed to be accurate within 4% out of the box. 4% of 30 ft lbs is 1.2 pounds. i can't imagine a crank being sensitive enough that things will break even if it was 2-3 ft lbs over
Torqueing fasteners is an inexact science to begin with, a couple pounds off isn't going to hurt anything. If people are breaking things because the torque wrench "doesn't work", they're most likely inexperienced. If a person has some intuition for how tight fasteners should be, they're not going to keep hanging on the wrench till something breaks.
 

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Torqueing fasteners is an inexact science to begin with, a couple pounds off isn't going to hurt anything. If people are breaking things because the torque wrench "doesn't work", they're most likely inexperienced. If a person has some intuition for how tight fasteners should be, they're not going to keep hanging on the wrench till something breaks.
This. I use an inexpensive wrench for carbon parts but most times experience tells you when it's about "tight enough".

I've also got the Bontrager preset 5nm wrench. It's a one-trick-pony but for stem bolts and front plates it's dead handy because it's so compact.
 

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Torqueing fasteners is an inexact science to begin with, a couple pounds off isn't going to hurt anything. If people are breaking things because the torque wrench "doesn't work", they're most likely inexperienced. If a person has some intuition for how tight fasteners should be, they're not going to keep hanging on the wrench till something breaks.
It's worth building a test piece with a lag bolt and wood to get the feel for where the torque wrench reaches the desired setting before attempting to tighten something on your bike. Some wrenches have a sudle point where the desired torque is reached and it's easy to miss and over do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Park TW-1.2. Beam type torque wrench $38.95.
I haven't really seen any beam type torque wrenches that use the bending of steel to reveal the torque currently being applied. Is there a reason that not that many people have them or haven't seen much people using them online. They seem pretty good but I'm hesitant for the reason that I haven't seen much of them. Anybody here used one? And if you did how was it?
 

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I have used Tekton for a number of years - 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive like https://www.tekton.com/micrometer-torque-wrench-set-trq99901 - and they work really well.

I'm not a fan of beam type mostly because it is easy for me to eyeball the wrong measurement on the dial when using it where a non-beam you have to stop, set, and then use it.

I'm of the mind that you are better off going with something made by a tool company vs something badged by a bike tool company as they will be similar/same tools but one will be more $$$ because bicycle.
 

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If money is tight you can go with 1/4 or 3/8 and an adapter to fit bits for the size you don't have. I rarely use my 1/2 inch drive, mostly for some cranks which require high torque (over 50 nM, Hope at one point).

Some people will argue, rightfully probably, that the adapter changes the torque measurement but we aren't talking a moon launch here and I don't think the change is going to matter as there is some amount of inaccuracy at various phases of tightening with a torque wrench.

Basically torque wrench is safety net to prevent over torque and breaking stuff so if you are a couple of percent off one way or the other that won't matter versus accidentally going to 25 nM on something that was supposed to be 25 in/lb by misreading a beam style gauge or just going by feel and no torque wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the advice and recommendations. I'll definitely be taking what you guys told me into consideration when I go back to find a torque wrench.🤙
 

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Said it before and I’ll say it again, start with a beam style. $20, indestructible and accurate forever. Later you can upgrade to a breakaway style and use the beam wrench to validate it.

I’ve got the neiko beam style 0-9nm unit and it’s fine. Still using my grandfathers larger craftsman and it’s fine too. Can’t count how many breakaway style I’ve tossed. Even with breakaway styleavailable in hard to reach places I’ll calibrate my hand with beam style.

No moving parts, omnidirectional, relies on the Young’s modulus and dimensions of a metal rod. I love the simplicity of the design that takes you straight to the physics.


only downside is inconvenient and you need a socket set and extensions.

real world uses: very common to use beam style for setting differential pinions, critical low torque stuff like assembling car/motorcycle brakes. Aviation is in another league and get breakaway certified… with beam style!
 
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I haven't really seen any beam type torque wrenches that use the bending of steel to reveal the torque currently being applied. Is there a reason that not that many people have them or haven't seen much people using them online. They seem pretty good but I'm hesitant for the reason that I haven't seen much of them. Anybody here used one? And if you did how was it?
"Beam"-type torque wrenches are a little "harder" to use compared to "click" type.. So they are a bit out of fashion. Park Tool actually discontinued to have beam-type wrenches in their catalogue for a couple of years. They just been reintroduced lately.
Using a beam-type you need to keep an active eye on how much torque you apply and stop in time.. and the scale is often a bit more coarse... not just adjust for a certain torque value, slowly apply force & wait for a 'click'. On the other hand there are lots of advantages to beam-type wrenches: no need for calibration, most have scale to apply torque in both direction, they are cheaper.. etc etc.

For stuff that I'm not doing too much.. say high torque crank bolts and the like where you don't need to be to precise with the application of torque I've got a really old Park TW-2 I got super cheap.. it's perfect for for crank bolts and the like .. Recommended.
 

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Said it before and I’ll say it again, start with a beam style. $20, indestructible and accurate forever. Later you can upgrade to a breakaway style and use the beam wrench to validate it.

I’ve got the neiko beam style 0-9nm unit and it’s fine. Still using my grandfathers larger craftsman and it’s fine too. Can’t count how many breakaway style I’ve tossed. Even with breakaway styleavailable in hard to reach places I’ll calibrate my hand with beam style.

No moving parts, omnidirectional, relies on the Young’s modulus and dimensions of a metal rod. I love the simplicity of the design that takes you straight to the physics.


only downside is inconvenient and you need a socket set and extensions.

real world uses: very common to use beam style for setting differential pinions, critical low torque stuff like assembling car/motorcycle brakes. Aviation is in another league and get breakaway certified… with beam style!



Using a beam wrench to set a crank bolt @50nm while trying to position your eye in the correct place to get an accurate reading is a pita, for me anyway.

I do appreciate the simplicity and accuracy of them but prefer using the click style ones for that and other reasons.
 

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Torqueing fasteners is an inexact science to begin with, a couple pounds off isn't going to hurt anything. If people are breaking things because the torque wrench "doesn't work", they're most likely inexperienced. If a person has some intuition for how tight fasteners should be, they're not going to keep hanging on the wrench till something breaks.
On some things and especially for initial settings, that can be a problem. I can think of several examples where what feels right is actually not enough. The recommended torque on the 5mm hex bolt for the rear thru-axle on my Surly is 141.6 in-lbs. The first couple times I tightened it down, I double checked the setting on my torque wrench before hitting that, because it sure felt like way more than what I would have done if going only by feel. Whenever I hear someone complain that their axle slips in the dropouts, I'll ask how much torque they used. Never had anyone with this problem, actually check it.

The cog lock ring on my Chris King SS hub is a very light weight piece of aluminum with fine threads and does not have serrations to engage on the cassette like the steel lock ring on my geared bikes. I had it come loose on me a couple times until I torqued it to the recommended 20 ft-lbs and the first time doing that, gritted my teeth and kept waiting to hear that ring break. It does not come lose now.

Of course now, I can get pretty close by feel with both of these. However if I had not checked initially, I would not have kept hanging on the wrench to get them where they are supposed to be.

Oh yeah, one more thing I recently found that falls under this. I bought a RaceFace Aeffect R crankset last month and getting the recommended torque on the chainring cinch lock ring is a real PIA. I made sure to check that, because a friend of mine told me he had to use loct-tite on his to keep it from coming loose. If someone tells me they went by feel, I bet is is not what RF recommends.
 

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Spin Doctor makes a click type one that comes with 6 or 7 bits. Been happy with it, and it works for probably 80% of bike stuff. Believe it's a 1/4" drive.

For heavier bike stuff, I have a cheap Amazon click torque wrench. Probably not the most accurate thing in the world, but so far so good. I also have an even larger cheap Amazon click one for car and trailer lug nuts that require 90+ ft lb.

The one bike specific feature that I've seen that would be cool to have is torque measurement for reverse threaded bolts like pedals or bottom brackets. I think the Spin Doctor one does this maybe? But doesn't measure high enough for pedals or BB.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 
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