Which torque wrench do you use/recommend?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by esshup, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    In the quest for accuracy, I realize that I no longer can do without a click pound/inch wrench. Which brand/model do you prefer? I'm guessing 70-75 pounds/inch at the upper limit.

    Thanks!
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Midway has a handy one made by Wheeler Engineering
    called the FAT Torque wrench in inch/lbs that goes to about
    70 inch/lbs

    I have the beam type and the FAT clicker type and I use the FAT
    most of the time.

    I think the FAT torque wrench is about $40.00.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    Low tech. . .

    I have always used a ultra low tech beam style torque wrench for gun work.

    Clickers and dials are cool, make no mistake, but the simplicity of something with no moving parts can't be overstated in my opinion. Detents wear, springs lose their tension over time, and its too easy to accidentally dial in the wrong setting or forget to back off the tension on the wrench when your done with it.

    The first three years of my gunmaking career centered around international smallbore rifles. Rimfire is a bit more sensitive to the guard screw tension than highpower is. This procedure has never failed me once.

    That all being said, I'm sure there are lots of very fine and accurate rifles assembled with the alternatives too. I'm just stuck in my ways on certain things.

    Cheers.
     
  4. jonoMT

    jonoMT Well-Known Member

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    After doing some research, I bought a Seekonk T-handled 65 in-lb. wrench for the express purpose of torquing the action screws on my LTR. Liberty Optics was the least expensive. (Leupold and Nightforce rebrand these and sell them for much more and Seekonk won't give you a deal either).

    Like I said, it's just for one purpose - although an important one. Something I learned after I got it was that I needed to buy a 4mm hex bit mounted to a 3/8" socket. Putting an ordinary bit in a socket was too sloppy and the bit would slip out or felt like it was about to strip the screw head. I'd already done that with the bit in a regular driver and it was a pain to find the replacement (finally got one free from H-S). With the dedicated bit it breaks just right.

    From what I've learned, the variable wrenches may not be as reliable. Even the Seekonk is supposed to be periodically re-calibrated.
     
  5. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far. I have a beam type inch wrench, and a click pound/foot torque wrench, both from Sears. The pound/foot wrench is going on 30 years old, and I need to calibrate it every 6 months at work. So far it hasn't been more than 2# difference from what the handle says vs. the calibration device. My concern with the beam type is that I won't be as accurate with it, and the rifle needs to be held in a more stable platform than with a click type wrench. I have heard that the FAT Wrench is not as accurate (repeatability wise) as some of the other more expensive ones, i.e. Snap-on, etc.

    Keep 'em coming!
     
  6. mudstud

    mudstud Active Member

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    Brownell's has a new "Torque Handle" out now, which is an adjustable click type driver designed to run with their bit kits. I just got one, but haven't used it yet, but I still think I need to get a Snap-On torque screwdriver, and to heck with the cost!
     
  7. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    esshup - I also have an older Sears Craftsman inch pound torque wrench. It has served me well for about 10 years. But I do not know how to calibrate it. Please explain. Thanks
     
  8. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    Funny you should ask. The QC labrat will be swinging by the shop tomorrow to return the calipers they picked up for calibration today. I'll ask!
     
  9. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    Here's the process. They have a sensor that is fixed into a block. This is connected to a data acquisition device, which in turn sends the data to a computer. The sensor has adapters to fit 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" square drives. They put the torque wrench in the adapter, adjust it to the lowest setting and apply torque until it clicks. They do this a few times, move to the middle setting, repeat the process and then move to the highest setting and repeat the process. If the torque wrench is more than "X" percent away from the actual torque that it took to make it click, it is either sent out for repair (back to the mfg.) or scrapped and replaced, depending on the value of the wrench vs. a new price. They couldn't set a number on the percentage, because it will vary depending on the application. But, with some arm twisting, he said within 2% to 3% is what they commonly looked for.

    Hope this is what you were looking for.
     
  10. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Well, its not exactly what I need for a do-it-yerself project. But now I know. Guess I will have to rely on what the Sears shows me. Actually, with action and scope screws the important thing is to have torque on both sides consistent. Having it to .001 inch isn't too imnportant.
     
  11. Dan Conzo

    Dan Conzo Well-Known Member

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    Torque Wrench

    Snap-On has an excellent one (1/4 or 3/8" drive) from 30 to 200 in lbs.

    Dan