Torque Wrench

sonny73
sonny73 Posts: 2,203
edited December 2010 in Road buying advice
Can anyone recommend a decent torque wrench, I have been looking on the web and I am at a loss for what to go with as the prices vary so much for what seem like similar products.
I have a budget up to £100 I would say, but would obviously like to only spend £50 or so if I can :wink:
Cheers

Comments

  • The Hafords one seems a pretty decent tool, of course you want the 3/8 head and not the 1/2 inch, calibrated for low torque (6-60 I think, or similar)... I think together with a decent set of hexagonal bits, it'll be within your budget.
    left the forum March 2023
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    FWIW I think you'll find more than a few people(myself being one) that question whether
    you actually need one of these things. I've never used one and can't recall any problems
    because I didn't. I simply don't follow the reasoning behind all these years without one and all of a sudden todays bikes and parts need one. If I owned a tool company, then sure, you've got to have one, but I don't so....... I sort of get the impression that people think they need them because they believe their bike parts are high tech and therefore must require something high tech to bolt them together. Also there seems to be a belief
    among some people that carbon parts are "fragile", therefore needing utmost care when installing. I have seen advertisements for torque wrenches that mention "fragile" carbon
    parts. Don't get me wrong, buying one won't hurt anything, except maybe your wallet.
    It's just that no one has given me a good enough reason to spend the money on one and I don't believe carbon parts are that fragile, with the possible exception of seatposts, and there you can make mine metal.
  • try the teng tool, i ordered one from a uk site. http://www.teng.co.uk/

    Nm 5 - 25 3/8
  • Andy!
    Andy! Posts: 433
    what range would you like?

    this is the lowest I can find: http://www.ccw-tools.com/product.asp?st ... rtRecord=1

    2-24 N.m

    Or 5-25 N.m http://www.screwfix.com/prods/29953/Han ... que-Wrench

    I have a big one for the car (240Nm) and am thinking about getting a lower one for the car and a very light one like the above for other jobs.

    £30 a pop is not exactly expensive. I don't know what the typical min and max values for a bike are though.

    This one has a nice range: http://www.ccw-tools.com/product.asp?st ... rtRecord=1
  • plowmar
    plowmar Posts: 1,032
    With dennisn on this one but I suppose it may depend upon where you start.

    If just adjusting a part - raising lowering saddle, for example - then all I do is to loosen by one turn then tighten by one turn , no probs.

    If however you are putting a new part on with different metal/carbon type then perhaps a torque wrench is applicable.

    I used to have one in the good old days when you could service and mend cars by DIY but I think I only used it once or twice. Usage will reduce the unit cost.

    So getting one won't harm but with a bit of care you shouldn't need one.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,521
    get a sealey stw1012

    30-35 quid, includes storage box and calibration certificate

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=sealey+stw1012

    draper expert bits, about 20 quid, includes adaptor to fit the sealey

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-Expert-2 ... B0001K9R6W
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  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I have the BBB one. Gets a good write up for quality/price balance.
    dennisn wrote:
    FWIW I think you'll find more than a few people(myself being one) that question whether you actually need one of these things. I've never used one and can't recall any problems
    because I didn't.

    I read somewhere (on the net so it must be true) that when un torqued bolts are tested (ie ones done up by good old fashioned feel) the smaller bolts are almost always grossly over-tightened and the large ones very much under-tightened. Whether that bothers you or your £2000 carbon frame is up to you :lol:
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  • Try screwfix (online), they do a micrometre wrench for about 20 quid.
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  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    Rolf F wrote:
    I have the BBB one. Gets a good write up for quality/price balance.
    dennisn wrote:
    FWIW I think you'll find more than a few people(myself being one) that question whether you actually need one of these things. I've never used one and can't recall any problems
    because I didn't.

    I read somewhere (on the net so it must be true) that when un torqued bolts are tested (ie ones done up by good old fashioned feel) the smaller bolts are almost always grossly over-tightened and the large ones very much under-tightened. Whether that bothers you or your £2000 carbon frame is up to you :lol:

    To be honest it doesn't bother me, and if my expensive carbon frame fails because I've tightened up a bolt a bit too much, I doubt I would ever buy one again. I like bikes I can have a little faith in. I have never ruined a frame tightening up a bolt. What would bother me is putting my faith in a frame that needs tender loving care to even put together. You seem to have a bit of reluctance in wrenching on your frame. Why is that? I have no problem with carbon fiber but if I thought it wouldn't take some abuse I would steer clear of it. FWIW I like a bike that I can thrash down the roads, not one to pimp around town in. :wink::wink:
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    edited November 2010
    Having managed to crack a carbon steerer before, I wouldn't tighten a stem on full carbon forks without a torque wrench. I'd also be nervous with carbon steatposts and bars, although you have more leeway for keeping below potentially damaging torques there. With most other things it doesn't matter so much.

    Actually now I think about it, it's a real weight off the mind for tightening cable bolts too without risking thread stripping or slippage....

    Maybe it's one of those acquired necessities - I'd find it hard to do without a torque wrench these days. :wink:

    Mine's a norbar - has worked flawlessly for a few years now.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    dennisn wrote:
    To be honest it doesn't bother me, and if my expensive carbon frame fails because I've tightened up a bolt a bit too much, I doubt I would ever buy one again. I like bikes I can have a little faith in. I have never ruined a frame tightening up a bolt. What would bother me is putting my faith in a frame that needs tender loving care to even put together. You seem to have a bit of reluctance in wrenching on your frame. Why is that? I have no problem with carbon fiber but if I thought it wouldn't take some abuse I would steer clear of it. FWIW I like a bike that I can thrash down the roads, not one to pimp around town in. :wink::wink:

    Oh, go on then. Tell me where I have implied a reluctance to 'wrench on my frame'! I think all I have implied is that people who think they know how much to tighten a bolt up are usually completely wrong.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    neeb wrote:
    Having managed to crack a carbon steerer before, I wouldn't tighten a stem on full carbon forks without a torque wrench. I'd also be nervous with carbon steatposts and bars, .....

    Serious questions. How is it that you can have confidence in a seatpost or fork that you have broken simply by overtighting? How does that make you feel when riding on a poor roads or really riding hard? Wouldn't simply tightening something and it broke make you leery of using it again? Or do you just ride very easy and on good roads? :? :?
  • Sonny73 wrote:
    Can anyone recommend a decent torque wrench, I have been looking on the web and I am at a loss for what to go with as the prices vary so much for what seem like similar products.
    I have a budget up to £100 I would say, but would obviously like to only spend £50 or so if I can :wink:
    Cheers

    As everybody else is now arguing amongst themselves :D, I will go back to the original ops question.

    I bought the BBB wrench off ebay for well within your budget (think it may have cost me less than £50} and would recommend it strongly. I have been using it to build up my new carbon frame for next year and it is nice to know that stuff is not overtighted but to the recommended specs.

    And yes, most of the parts going on are carbon and yes, if you over-tighten, it can end in tears.

    link attached to the seller I used

    Check out this item I found on eBay:

    BBB TORQUE CYCLE/BIKE WRENCH SET BTL52 Torquefix £64.95

    Link: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BBB-TORQUE-CYCLE- ... dZViewItem

    (Sent from eBay Mobile for Android)
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  • Not cheap but excellent quality and covers most items on a bike at 1-20nm and you can choose either 1/4 or 3/8 drive version.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Norbar-TruTorqu ... 680&sr=8-1
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    dennisn wrote:
    Serious questions. How is it that you can have confidence in a seatpost or fork that you have broken simply by overtighting? How does that make you feel when riding on a poor roads or really riding hard? Wouldn't simply tightening something and it broke make you leery of using it again? Or do you just ride very easy and on good roads? :? :?
    Any equipment is designed to be used in certain ways, to be strong in the ways it needs to be. I have complete confidence in my forks IF they have been installed to spec. and are being used in the way they were designed for.

    When you are tightening stem bolts, you are potentially placing very localised force on a small area. That's a very different thing from riding on poor surfaces when the whole fork is flexing in response to more general forces.

    There were other factors involved in addition to excessive torque when I cracked this steerer - the expander bung was of the type that has a rim so that it has to sit in the stop section of the steerer tube and I had a few spacers above the stem. This meant that the top stem clamp bolt was sitting over a part of the steerer that was braced against compression by the expander bung while the lower one wasn't, leading to very unequal torque between the two stem bolts. Still, there is just too much to potentially for things go wrong when fitting a stem to a carbon steerer not to be able to control the torque.

    The fact is that carbon steerers are more prone to crack when installing stems, but as fas as I know there is no evidence that they are more prone to fail in use than alu ones. When they DO fail, it's almost always because they haven't been installed correctly.
  • :oops: I bought the CRC.wrench at £30 - good low range for a bike forks-saddle etc. I use my car wrench for the cassette . The point is you are tightening to a standard which is repeatable & is thus a reference for any future work, for instance, my seat post was slipping over a period of time, it was tightened to 5nm. nipped it up at 6nm. end of slippage.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    pabosotf wrote:
    Not cheap but excellent quality and covers most items on a bike at 1-20nm and you can choose either 1/4 or 3/8 drive version.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Norbar-TruTorqu ... 680&sr=8-1
    I think that's the latest version of the one I've got, which has been excellent.

    Norbar seem to be a good old-fashioned company specialising in quality and service. I was thinking recently I might get the wrench re-calibrated sometime, but was worried that because I'm living in Finland it would involve sending it off somewhere abroad. I was pleasantly surprised to find on their website that they have a service centre in Helsinki just a local bus journey away from where I am. You wouldn't have these sorts of service options with many other brands.
  • I went with the teng, going to use it today for checking stem and going to get a carbon seatpost so don`t want to over tighten it.
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  • dmch2
    dmch2 Posts: 731
    Of course you'll be putting oil or grease or threadlock or something on the bolt to lubricate it so you measure the tightening torque rather than the stiction. Otherwise it's completely pointless using a torque wrench...
    2010 Trek 1.5 Road - swissstop green, conti GP4000S
    2004 Marin Muirwoods Hybrid
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    +1 for the BBB one, great little wrench and comes with bits.

    And just to add to the 'use a torque wrench or not' argument, I wouldn't tighten anything on my bikes without one.
  • rozzer32
    rozzer32 Posts: 3,827
    + Loads for the Teng Torque Wrench.

    I'm an engineer in the motorsport world and all my tools are Teng. Come with a lifetime warranty so if it ever breaks just take it into a Teng dealer and they will swap it for a new one.

    So £35 for a torque wrench for life is a total bargin!!
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  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I have various torque wrenches - a 1/2" drive one to 60Nm and a 3/8" 5-20Nm, however, the thing that gets most use is a Ritchey Torqkey calibrated to 5Nm and cost £12 - good enough for seatposts and stems.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • JAGGY
    JAGGY Posts: 167
    +1 for BBB

    Great bit of kit for 50quid.
  • sonny73
    sonny73 Posts: 2,203
    Smashing, cheers for all the input chaps and I will check out those recommended for sure.
    :wink:
  • chrisw12
    chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    dmch2 wrote:
    Of course you'll be putting oil or grease or threadlock or something on the bolt to lubricate it so you measure the tightening torque rather than the stiction. Otherwise it's completely pointless using a torque wrench...

    At last someone points out the flaw with using a torque wrench when used for cycles.

    How many of you people recommending a torque wrench actually take into account the type and amount of grease you've used when setting the torque?

    How many of you regularly calibrate your torque wrenches?

    How many of you have researched how the manufacturer came up with the recommended figure?

    If you take the potential error in all three above you could be doing more harm by using a torque wrench.
  • dmch2
    dmch2 Posts: 731
    chrisw12 wrote:
    How many of you have researched how the manufacturer came up with the recommended figure?

    I hadn't thought of that. I think the tightening torque is written on my seatpost clamp not on the seatpost itself. Yet the clamp has no idea if my seatpost is made of a solid lump of steel or the thinest lightest most brittle composite known to man...
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  • lef
    lef Posts: 728
    the bbb one has been great. good vfm was about £50 from CRC if I remember correctly.
  • I have the BBB one which works fine. There's a Park Tools one available for reasonable money which looks good too, a deflecting beam type one.

    Another tip when using carbon parts in particular is to use "torque paste" for assembly. Helps things grip with lighter torque, and resists corrosion. This one is good.

    T4763_T4765_Carbon_Assembly_450x338.jpg
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  • richa
    richa Posts: 1,631
    I am thinking about getting a Norbar T50. I like the fact that it goes from 8Nm (stems, etc) to 50Nm (cranks).

    They are quite pricey (£70ish). Are these good?

    Alternative would be both a 2-20Nm & a 20-50Nm from Ice Toolz

    Also, which is preferable? 3/8" or 1/2" drive?

    Thanks.
    Rich
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,521
    RichA wrote:
    I am thinking about getting a Norbar T50. I like the fact that it goes from 8Nm (stems, etc) to 50Nm (cranks).

    They are quite pricey (£70ish). Are these good?

    Alternative would be both a 2-20Nm & a 20-50Nm from Ice Toolz

    Also, which is preferable? 3/8" or 1/2" drive?

    Thanks.


    there are quite a few things that are < 8nm, at the high end just go with subjectiive oomph, most things need much less than max torque to give secure operation

    go for 3/8"

    my personal favourite is the sealey stw112...

    http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=seal ... &scoring=p
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny