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I need to torque stuff

Bluedog225

Texas
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Nov 18, 2019
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Nab
Mostly for a Victron-based system. I’m not going to be building a battery soon.

I see the dial Snap on tool. It’s both spendy and unavailable for a while. And there are digital adapters on Amazon. Unknown quality.

Will’s rec page doesn’t include a rec for torque tools (any more?).

Does anyone have a brand name I should be looking at? I’m looking for something quality but not snap on priced. I could spend a couple of hundred if needed.

Thanks
 
Any of the low priced but known brands are pretty good. I have a Husky from Home Depot that is very good. I tested it against a Mac Tools torque wrench but had it calibrated anyway. It was the same before and after.
 
You bring up a good point. It’s essential to have a brand that can be calibrated every once in a while.
 
Here’s a torque wrench thread with three recomendations for lighter torque wrenches:



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The torque hits a chord with me, so here’s my rant:

IMO you need a reliable torque wrench when working with things in inch pounds, like the studs on a lithium battery pack that could snap if torqued to hard. Those have no leeway. I have a couple of click torque wrenches that have 30 inch pounds for those batttery studs which I do not trust to torque with. The clicking is just not as pronounced at that low level as it is when torquing to a 150 foot LBS. I bought a snap on dial torque wrench used online and got A good deal, but was still two or three times the price of a ”click” torque wrench, but not ten times the new price. My wrench was in good condition.

On the other hand, there are well built busbars where you are torquing studs that have some leeway so if your torque wrench goes 30% over spec, the studs won’t snap. I will note, the type of torque I’m talking about, in excess of 15 ft LBS, I have used an inaccurate wrench in an aluminum block and stripped a hole. For my Blue Sea 100 amp, 250 amp, and 1000 amp busbars, I don’t hesitate to use the click torque wrench on those to torque to spec. Those have that leeway so if the wrench goes 30% over, the stud won’t snap.

Yes, you can calibrate a torque wrench, but short of a proffesional, on a job at a company, how do you do this? I don’t think any of us do, unless there is a way to zero a dial. Someone suggested putting the wrench in a vice and tying and hanging weights off the end until it clicks. That just doesn’t sound right
 
Here’s a torque wrench thread with three recomendations for lighter torque wrenches:



=====================================

The torque hits a chord with me, so here’s my rant:

IMO you need a reliable torque wrench when working with things in inch pounds, like the studs on a lithium battery pack that could snap if torqued to hard. Those have no leeway. I have a couple of click torque wrenches that have 30 inch pounds for those batttery studs which I do not trust to torque with. The clicking is just not as pronounced at that low level as it is when torquing to a 150 foot LBS. I bought a snap on dial torque wrench used online and got A good deal, but was still two or three times the price of a ”click” torque wrench, but not ten times the new price. My wrench was in good condition.

On the other hand, there are well built busbars where you are torquing studs that have some leeway so if your torque wrench goes 30% over spec, the studs won’t snap. I will note, the type of torque I’m talking about, in excess of 15 ft LBS, I have used an inaccurate wrench in an aluminum block and stripped a hole. For my Blue Sea 100 amp, 250 amp, and 1000 amp busbars, I don’t hesitate to use the click torque wrench on those to torque to spec. Those have that leeway so if the wrench goes 30% over, the stud won’t snap.

Yes, you can calibrate a torque wrench, but short of a proffesional, on a job at a company, how do you do this? I don’t think any of us do, unless there is a way to zero a dial. Someone suggested putting the wrench in a vice and tying and hanging weights off the end until it clicks. That just doesn’t sound right
You send it to a company to have it calibrated. But honestly, I've done electrical work so long, I know what is "good enough". I don't break the torque wrench out very often.
 
, I've done electrical work so long, I know what is "good enough"
I thought the same thing about engine work, and I stripped an aluminum block.

Honestly, I doubt most people torque studs on busbars or batteries, or circuit breakers, and maybe one in 10,000 things that are tightened have problems. It’s just a risk you accept.
 
I used this one for my cell studs and Tamarack rails / panel mounts, I'm happy with it.
LEXIVON Inch Pound Torque Wrench 1/4-Inch Drive | 20~200 in-lb/2.26~22.6 Nm (LX-181) https://a.co/d/bxondzB
I don't use a torque wrench for most things, you get a feel for it over the years.
I did / do use a torque wrench for lug nuts, ARP head studs, valve covers, buss bars (on cells only)... most things that have a torque spec that are related to safety and/or involve soft metals.
Just remember, torque it until it breaks and back off 1/4 turn.
 
I bought a Tekton on Amazon and it was so far off I just sent it back. Then I realized I already had something for this and it seems to work really well. It's a firearms torque screwdriver I use for scope mounts. 10 to 65 in/lbs. Affordable and seems to be pretty accurate. If it works on scope mount screws it should be solid for battery connections etc. Being a screwdriver it might not fit in tight spots but otherwise I'm happy with it.

 
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I was very fortunate in that I could borrow an amazing torque wrench from my mechanic. Lucked out on this.
 
My first Snap-On torque wrench came from a pawn shop. It was a good buy and I REALLY needed an inch pounds torque wrench. Plus, I had a conversation with the 6'4" employee about martial arts and demonstrated (on him) how Hapkido works.

My next two Snap-On wrench came from my brother. The 3/8" dial was a gift. The 1/2" digital was purchased new. If you have a Snap-On torque wrench, any Snap-On guy can send it in for recalibration. I believe it comes back with a certificate of accuracy. Any Snap-On guy should have a torque wrench tester on-board their tool truck that you can check your torque wrench with. I suspect that it's not as accurate as sending it back to the factory, but it'll give you an idea if you're in range.
 

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