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  1. #1
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    Harbor Freight 1/4" torque wrench $9.99

    Found this deal on another website. I have seen this torque wrench recommended as a cheap alternative on this website several times so thought I would post it. Here's the link.

    3/8" and 1/2" are also priced at $9.99 with coupon. Shipping is $6.99 if you don't have a B&M by your house. There is also a coupon code for a free 25' measuring tape with purchase.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  2. #2
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    I would be curious how accurate those are.

  3. #3
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    If you go to the HF site, there are reviews for it. Looks like mostly positive.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I would be curious how accurate those are.
    This is what it gives in the description: The click-stop torque wrench design provides a torque range from 20 to 200 in. lbs. and is accurate to within +/- 4% .
    Killing it with close inspection.

  5. #5
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    I have one of these for the tighter bolts and also a Park Tool TW-1 for all else. They are very close if not the same as far as torque measurements/settings. I suppose for the price I can't complain. I'm sure its much more accurate than nothing, at least for me. I give my recommendation, but I guess I feel better because I have the Park Tool for comparison, fwiw.

  6. #6
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    I bought one of those a few years ago for light to moderate use on the bike. After a couple years, the click disappeared. Also, the click at lower settings was difficult to detect. You get what you pay for.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheatgerm View Post
    I bought one of those a few years ago for light to moderate use on the bike. After a couple years, the click disappeared. Also, the click at lower settings was difficult to detect. You get what you pay for.
    Good point about quality in the long run, but looks like it has a lifetime warranty, assuming it wasn't abused. Maybe there's a grey area as it says limitations apply.

    From the product page:

    Manufacturer Warranty Detail Lifetime Warranty. We guarantee this Tool to be free from defects in material and workmanship for the life of the product. Limitations apply.

  8. #8
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    I have one and it's okay, if it breaks I'll just buy another one for $10

  9. #9
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    It's weird the 1/4 has a higher range than the 3/8.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    It's weird the 1/4 has a higher range than the 3/8.
    The 1/4" is in inch-pounds and the 3/8" is in foot-pounds.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  11. #11
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    Good Deal

    Each full turn of handle appears to adjust 20in/lb instead of 30 like it's marked, but if you don't have a in/lb torque wrench you can't go wrong for $10.
    SPD pedals are an absolute menace to the well-being of the world, and ought be banned immediately.

  12. #12
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    Thanks to all, as you can see I know nothing about these. So, do you count clicks to get to the desired number?

  13. #13
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    There's a collar you turn at the top of the handle with numbers/lines for torque. Set your torque value, tighten the bolt/screw and when you get to the desired torque, the wrench will click, telling you to stop tightening it.
    Now with eggs.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bordershy View Post
    Each full turn of handle appears to adjust 20in/lb instead of 30 like it's marked, but if you don't have a in/lb torque wrench you can't go wrong for $10.
    Until it doesn't click and you strip the bolt or snap the bolt head off. Than you kick yourself in the a$$ for buying junk tools.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheatgerm View Post
    Until it doesn't click and you strip the bolt or snap the bolt head off. Than you kick yourself in the a$$ for buying junk tools.
    Well that doesn't sound good; I'm pretty sure my "by feel" method won't cause that. What would you recommend as a bare minimum?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Well that doesn't sound good; I'm pretty sure my "by feel" method won't cause that. What would you recommend as a bare minimum?
    Personally, I would get a good old fashion beam style torque wrench... preferrably a USA made one. I think the range on this one is a little high and clicker type torque wrenches can be a little finicky at the end of their range (especially cheap ones). If you don't want to drop $35+ dollars on one then I would recommend at least this.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  17. #17
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    No good

    I would say pass on it. Mine cost me a stem bolt and almost a weekend ride. I don't feel mine is even close to accurate. Get what you pay for I guess.
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  18. #18
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    Thanks, I think I'll spend real money and get a real tool that'll last. I might be old fashioned, but was raised to buy American when it comes to tools.

  19. #19
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    i've been using mine for about a year and it seems to work well

  20. #20
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    I would pass on that. When I was younger and really into cars and racing. I had a 1/2" drive harbor freight torque wrench. The clicker failed and I snapped a stud off the wheel hub. Bad part is that it was the rear wheel, and to replace the stud you had to take the rear hub off on a rx7. Which meant you had to also replace the wheel bearing which is a big PITA.

    I tossed that torque wrench into the garbage immediately.

    crap tools = broken parts. If you are going to start wrenching on your own, get some real tools.

    Even the park tools torque wrenches (new clicker ones) are no good. Doesn't come with a calibration certificate. Go to amazon.com and look for SK or mac torque wrenches. Cheaper than park tools and better.

  21. #21
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    carefull with harbor freight

    I love there prices and most of there stuff but sometimes it is to good to be true and u get what u pay for.

  22. #22
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    Yah, that's what I was getting at. You guys are trusting a $10 tool to ensure you don't over-torque some stem bolts, resulting in a possible failure, crash, & alot of dental work!

    I've seen the larger HF torque wrench, and I wouldn't use it, the quality is garbage. (this is for work)...I use a snap-on. yes they are expensive, but it is accurate & can be rebuilt. not throw-away like this stuff.

  23. #23
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    I have a HF torque wrench in 3/8" and I've never liked it. The clicking mechanism never worked well/the click itself was never pronounced. It made it hard to be confident of the first tightening of anything, so I'd have to do it at least twice.

  24. #24
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    If you want a torque wrench for occasional use, this is a great deal - thanks for posting.

    If you're going to use it a lot (because you do a lot of wrenching or really don't know your own strength), spend the extra dough on something better.

    JMJ

  25. #25
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    don't forget about the 20% off coupons on car mags and i assume other ones too.

    for less then $10 you have nothing to lose, but don't expect it to perform like a snap-on either.

  26. #26
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    The 3/8" and 1/2" were absolutely accurate when I tested them with a digital tester. They did have a "crunchy" feel though, and I'd give them one or two test tightenings on a bolt that won't mind before trying to tighten something accurately.

    For the price, I think they're a fantastic value ... and like someone said, at $10/each they aren't worth worrying about a long term warranty, though it is lifetime anyways (Snap On and other tool truck torque wrenches don't have more than a 1 year warranty, and they're apparently not very accurate over the long term either and need to be recalibrated [see Garage Journal forums]).

    Do un-tension them after use. Leaving them tensioned will ruin any torque wrench of that style quickly.

  27. #27
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    Maybe I'm missing the point, but the link leads me to a $19.99 on sale? Where is $10 version?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostRing View Post
    Maybe I'm missing the point, but the link leads me to a $19.99 on sale? Where is $10 version?


    HF usually requires a coupon. If you check the link again there is another link for the coupon code.

  29. #29
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    lol at snapping a bolt if the clicker fails. I've been doing it the old fashioned way (by feel) all my life and never snapped a bolt. If you don't hear a click, it doesn't mean keep turning as hard as you can until the bolt snaps!
    All tools work better when combined with common sense. I might get one of those 10 buck bad boys.

  30. #30
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    I haven't really wrenched on a car in about 10 years but back then I used to borrow torque wrenches all the time, mostly snap ons, craftsmans, and harborfrieghts. Yes the Snap-ons were a cut above. I found the Craftsman and HF ones to be equals but I preferred the HF because the plastic handles on the craftmans seemed to crack all the time. I recently bought one of the $9.99 1/4" HF torque wrench and its amazed me how their quality have fallen off compared to the ones i used in the past (craftsman is not immune to this either there is another thread here on the subject). The rachet head was very loose and the forward/reverse clicker was made out of stamped steel, the thing felt like a $9.99 rachet. Accuracy felt close but i haven't done a weighted test on it yet.

  31. #31
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    lol at snapping a bolt if the clicker fails. I've been doing it the old fashioned way (by feel) all my life and never snapped a bolt. If you don't hear a click, it doesn't mean keep turning as hard as you can until the bolt snaps!
    All tools work better when combined with common sense. I might get one of those 10 buck bad boys.
    +1.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I would be curious how accurate those are.<iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noResize scrolling=no src="http://tinyurl.com/27shlk6" vspale=0></iframe>
    <iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noResize scrolling=no src="http://tinyurl.com/yz4gjyd" vspale=0></iframe>
    SO would I

  33. #33
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    HF tools are good when you don't require precision, like for screwdrivers and files. But if I need precision, like for a torque wrench I'd go with something not China-made. China-produced goods just aren't quality. YMMV on any product though, so there's no guarantees that USA-made is quality either.
    We Ride In God's Country!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch View Post
    HF tools are good when you don't require precision, like for screwdrivers and files. But if I need precision, like for a torque wrench I'd go with something not China-made. China-produced goods just aren't quality. YMMV on any product though, so there's no guarantees that USA-made is quality either.
    I'm surprised how many Park Tools are also made in China (not all) and although the quality is decent, they don't seem as good as USA big name regular non bike tools.

  35. #35
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    been using mine for the last 3 months. works totally fine.
    usually bolts need to be tightened in conjunction, so i start torquing to half spec any way, then switching to another bolt. if the clicker ever fails, you'll know it since you'll have enough experience to know if you're way further than half spec.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I'm surprised how many Park Tools are also made in China (not all) and although the quality is decent...
    Really?? That sucks. All of the Park Tools I have purchased in the past have been made in the USA. They are definitely a step above others.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt View Post
    I haven't really wrenched on a car in about 10 years but back then I used to borrow torque wrenches all the time, mostly snap ons, craftsmans, and harborfrieghts. Yes the Snap-ons were a cut above. I found the Craftsman and HF ones to be equals but I preferred the HF because the plastic handles on the craftmans seemed to crack all the time. I recently bought one of the $9.99 1/4" HF torque wrench and its amazed me how their quality have fallen off compared to the ones i used in the past (craftsman is not immune to this either there is another thread here on the subject). The rachet head was very loose and the forward/reverse clicker was made out of stamped steel, the thing felt like a $9.99 rachet. Accuracy felt close but i haven't done a weighted test on it yet.
    I've compared my Craftsman to Harbor Freight and at the lower or higher end of the range the HF would sometimes not click and if it did click it was barely noticeable. My Craftsman always makes a noticeable click anywhere within its range. After Kmart purchased Sears they have slowly started to shift Craftsman tool production overseas so their torque wrenches may not be the same quality.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  38. #38
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    I have an old Craftsman beam type torque wrench that was made in USA, it's served me well for almost 20 years.
    Although I've bought alot of crappy tools from Harbor Freight, I wouldn't recommend a torque wrench from them to someone who doesn't already have an idea what 150 in-lbs of torque feels like. Better to get a reliable tool than risk breaking something...

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    Really?? That sucks. All of the Park Tools I have purchased in the past have been made in the USA. They are definitely a step above others.
    It's been a while since Park has made their stuff in the US. It doesn't stop them from charging made in the USA prices though. Although I have a lot of Park tools amassed over the years, I don't bother looking for them anymore. You can get the same for a lot cheaper.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ti-triodes View Post
    It's been a while since Park has made their stuff in the US. It doesn't stop them from charging made in the USA prices though. Although I have a lot of Park tools amassed over the years, I don't bother looking for them anymore. You can get the same for a lot cheaper.
    Any brands you recommend?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Any brands you recommend?


    Pedro's is usually very good. The Sette stuff from Price Point is first rate and cheap. I also have a couple of things from IceToolz that are good for stuff that I don't use a lot. I wouldn't consider them pro quality, but they get the job done.

    Nowadays, I just buy Park stuff for oddball things you can't get anywhere else.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by natzx7 View Post
    I would say pass on it. Mine cost me a stem bolt and almost a weekend ride. I don't feel mine is even close to accurate. Get what you pay for I guess.
    mine cost me a stem bolt as well. It's not very accurate.

  43. #43
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    If you're using a click style torque wrench don't forget to reset the adjustment back to zero before you store it. I have a HF torque wrench that I use occasionally and it works fine. Use some common sense and test that the click works every time. If you feel you are over torquing something stop and test the wrench. If you torque stuff all the time I would recommend getting a beam style torque wrench.

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