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Torque wrenches - how much to spend?

londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550
edited March 2013 in Road buying advice
Has anyone spotted any decent tests or reliable evidence for how good various torque wrenches are? I’m after one for small parts (2Nm – 20Nm?) but can’t get past the marketing or rubbish reviews to work out which one to go for. You seem to be able to pay whatever you like, from £30 to £200, for a ratchet style one with bits, all claiming to be insanely accurate.

I don’t want to skimp on this as I guess you’re better off not using one at all rather than relying on an incorrect one but at the same time don’t want to pay four times as much for branding and still not get a reliable one.

To illustrate this, I was looking at these from £30 to £100:


3 pretty similar looking kits from bike discount for around £30:

http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/misear ... l.+7+bits+


Shimano branded (also seen this one badged as 3T) one for around £65:

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... ench-27926


Syntace (rebadged Norbar) for around £100 with bits:

http://www.syntace.com/index.cfm?pid=3&pk=377


Huge price difference there. Everyone rates the one they bought but what is it worth paying and is there any evidence out there…..

Posts

  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    if you don't want to spend a ton on one of these, why not go the mid way point and plump for BBB? mine was around 50 quid and very nice it is too. 2Nm - 24Nm.

    http://www.mailordercycles.com/products ... 72p647&tbv
  • jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    I have one of these, bought from a local tool mart:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sealey-STW1012- ... 717&sr=8-1

    You'll need to get some of these too:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Laser-0593-Hex- ... _sim_diy_2

    I've been using them regularly for over a year now. No problems whatsoever and perfect for the DIY mechanic IMO.
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • ajb72ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    giant man wrote:
    if you don't want to spend a ton on one of these, why not go the mid way point and plump for BBB? mine was around 50 quid and very nice it is too. 2Nm - 24Nm.

    http://www.mailordercycles.com/products ... 72p647&tbv

    +1. I have the same wrench form the same vendor, as they are quite close to me. I cannot vouch for the 100% accuracy of the torque guide, but then again spending £300 won't give you that either! However, it works very well and I have trusted it for half a dozen bike builds without issue.

    If you want something even simpler, Ritchey do an interchangeable torque key for around £15, preset to 5nm I believe which covers most applications.
  • pkripperpkripper Posts: 652
    I have the pro one and its been good to me. Have used it for about 4 years and had no issues with quality so its become the most used tool in my toolbox.
  • BigbudBigbud Posts: 39
    jordan_217 wrote:
    I have one of these, bought from a local tool mart:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sealey-STW1012- ... 717&sr=8-1

    I've got the sealey as well and its great :)

    IMO if a torque wrench doesn't come with a certificate of accuracy you may as well not bother.
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    I've got one of these from WIggle: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/bbb-btl-73-torqueset-torque-spanner-set/

    £52, with a cal certificate, case and seven bits. It's a good tool, can't go wrong really !
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    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Waste of money IME, use something like a Ritchey torque key for carbon stems etc. if you really must otherwise go by feel. Bike stuff generally needs very low torque values and that means if you want accuracy you need to spend a lot on a torque wrench and get it recalibrated often. Deflection ones can be more accurate but can also be more of a hassle to use. I have a couple of torque wrenches but haven't used them in over a year, I've not stripped any bolts either...
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Agree on the Torqkey - the only critical component are carbon bars, stems, seatposts etc which are all 4-5Nm. I've got three regular torque wrenches but rarely use them for bike maintenance. I spent years doing engineering design and assembly in safety critical environments and the only threads I've stripped are those plastiscene screws they put on cheapo Shimano brake pad holders!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Gary DGary D Posts: 431
    I have used the Sealey one referenced above for about 3 years and it appears to work well and is really good value for money.
    The only recommendation I would make though is to get the extension bits rather than the ones shown.
    Gary.
    Oh and I feel like I've been raped by an Orangutan :shock: And I've got legs like Girders :lol:
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Torque wrenches are useful but not essential except on carbon bits.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,694
    I bought the sealey above after a recommendation on here, and the quality is self evident.

    The chap that suggested it also suggested this: [/http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0001K9R6W/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1363993365&sr=1-3-catcorr&pi=SL75 which seems to be equally good quality.
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  • Mrs_FeltMrs_Felt Posts: 32
    I just ordered this one

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeline-profes ... ue-wrench/

    Seems to be the same wrench as the pro & pedro Demi one.

    Not arrived yet, so I can't give you a review I am afraid.
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