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Old March 20, 2017, 08:49 PM   #1
Venom1956
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Good torque wrench? Suggestions welcome

Is there any torque wrench I should look at before just getting one from my local hardware store? They've got a 5 to 80 pound that looks like it will do the job.
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Old March 20, 2017, 10:58 PM   #2
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https://www.unclesamsretailoutlet.co...orq-p/5839.htm
https://www.unclesamsretailoutlet.co...nch-p/5895.htm

I bought a CDI from Uncle Sam's Retail Outlet. Overkill? Maybe, but it's my understanding CDI makes the torque wrenches for Snap-On. The one I received had some dirt and stuff on the case, but the wrench still had the factory paper thing over the head.
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Old March 20, 2017, 11:52 PM   #3
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For firearms applications, you are dealing with torques in inch-pounds, not foot pounds. A torque meter is a little bit overkill, just buy one of the FAT Wrencehs from Midway, quick, easy, neat.
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Old March 21, 2017, 02:11 AM   #4
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Good point Scorch, I was assuming he was wanting to put on AR barrel nuts.
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Old March 21, 2017, 10:17 AM   #5
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Just as a side note, both Proto and Snapon, along with Mack, make superior tools.
My torque wrenches of those brands, acquired nearly 50 years ago, are still going strong and accurate whatever size and use is needed.
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Old March 21, 2017, 02:36 PM   #6
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Venom1956,

As you might guess from the responses, what you want to do with the wrench matters. Barrels? Then you want something with a maximum capable of 50 ft-lbs. If you want this for scope rings and action screws, something with 50 or 60 inch-lbs maximum range is appropriate.

The FAT wrench comes with a calibration paper to show actual error at time of calibration. If you are making a career of this work, Start looking at Grainger or some other vendor of higher end tools as suggested above. For most applications in Gunsmithing the absolute accuracy isn't a stiff requirement and something that is good to within ±10% accuracy will generally do just fine.
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Old March 21, 2017, 04:51 PM   #7
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Yeah ar barrels. For what i am asking. Im not sure if there is a benefit using a specific ar torque wrench or just any one will do.

I hadnt considered for scope mounting thats a good idea
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Old March 21, 2017, 07:07 PM   #8
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Intended use is important.

A 6-40 screw needs 12 in. lbs. steel on steel but 6.6 going into 2024 Aluminum.


Also, you never use the bottom 20% of range as accuracy suffers too much. That's why some tools range from 20 - 100 and not 0 - 100. Your higher quality tools will exclude the bottom 20% from their range.

To help keep your adjustable tool in tolerance, set it to the lowest setting before putting it away.
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Old April 25, 2017, 03:28 AM   #9
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I'm not a gusmithhing expert. But as a certified technician, just my empty tool boxes worth $10,000.

Snap on has best torque wrench on the market. Digital settings, digital read out as you turn it. Inch or foot lbs with same tool.
Dam things even vibrate like a video game controller when you reaching set torque.
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Old April 25, 2017, 06:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers View Post
Just as a side note, both Proto and Snapon, along with Mack, make superior tools.

My torque wrenches of those brands, acquired nearly 50 years ago, are still going strong and accurate whatever size and use is needed.


Ever have them checked by a cal shop?
Probably alot "less accurate" than you think if they have never seen a cal shop.

Dont double click on the set value
Set to 0 or lowest setting for storage.
Upper and lower 20% shouldnt be used get a larger or smaller Torque wrench.

And like every other tool we buy
You get what you pay for as far as quality/accuracy.


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Old April 25, 2017, 12:16 PM   #11
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Snap-On wrenches are good, but overpriced and unnecessary for the intended use.

For AR barrel nuts, Harbor Freight should be good enough.
Yea, they're cheap. But they've also been tested by quite a few different organizations and people, and been shown to be as accurate and repeatable as Craftsman and 'basic' Snap-On torque wrenches.
They do get impacted more by the spring relaxing if left set at a high torque setting for storage, but if you don't store at a high torque setting, it doesn't really matter (and it shouldn't be done with any torque wrench).



Texas45 makes a good point, too. If a torque wrench isn't recalibrated periodically, it doesn't matter how good it was to start with.
When I was still working on the flightline, we went through torque wrenches like candy -- nearly all Snap-On. One drop, even inside the plastic case, and a torque wrench has to be considered bad (legitimately -- I saw them off by as much as 20% from a 4 foot drop). Even just normal use - four to twelve bolts, one or two times a day, at 30-70% of rated value - usually had them off by 3-5% at our mandated yearly recalibration, sometimes they were off by 10-15% or had big problems with repeatability.
If you need accuracy, you need regular calibration.
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Old April 30, 2017, 11:06 PM   #12
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Harbor freight, lmao.

Have fun busting knuckles with that junk.
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Old May 1, 2017, 12:03 PM   #13
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I suppose a "$10,000 tool box" is also necessary for a simple barrel nut that has a maximum torque more than 100% greater than the minimum torque?...
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Old May 1, 2017, 01:32 PM   #14
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FWIW I have a 3/8 and a 1/2 in Snap-on.And,when I was still working in an environment where tools were calibrated regularly,I had my torque wrenches calibrated with the rest of my precision tools.
That's all well and good,
But for some jobs we use a stack of Jo blocks ,and a comparator when the tolerance range is .0002 in.
Or if we are working on aircraft that may fall from the sky.

Cutting cordwood for the stove with a chainsaw is done with less sophisticated tools.

An AR barrel nut ? I don't recall the exact spec,but its something like "Grease with moly,torque to 20 or 25 or? 28 ? ft lbs,then increase torque to align the gas tube hole...up to a max of 60 ft lbs?

That's probably a bit wrong,its been awhile.

Point being,from 25? ft lbs,there is a+35 ft lb tolerance range.

It could be done with the "calibrated white knuckle scale"

Or "Start with sparkplug tight and stop before lug nut tight."

No,thats not my recommendation.

But for the intended purpose, a pawn shop used beam type Craftsman 3/8 torque wrench with a 1/2 in adapter will keep the "white knuckle" calibration honest.Or a Harbor Freight.

That said,if I am going to buy a torque wrench(I could use a 1/4") I'll get a reasonable quality brand,likely a used Snap-On with a recent cal sticker.Whatever E-bay has to offer.


This from a guy who has to evaluate a builder 22R Toyota motor...so I bought a 2 in to 6 in Peacock bore gage that measures .0001 and a ring gauge I found that is at the spec'd max to the .0001 for standard size bore!
But now I can measure I.D's better than I could with a telescope gage and a mic.

A person might choose to buy a $300 + torque wrench when its time to buy a torque wrench,but a $30 torque wrench is adequate for an AR barrel nut.
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Old May 1, 2017, 01:47 PM   #15
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HiBC, standard torque spec, using the G.I. adapter and a standard barrel nut, is 35-80 ft-lb.

Some aftermarket manufacturers recommend other torque specs, and some tools (like mine) require recalculating the torque setting, due to different length and orientation.

A few manufacturers actually use the "beyond spark plug tight, but shy of lug nut tight" concept you mentioned.
Something like:
"Thread nut on until it stops sharply. Tighten until gas tube will pass without interference. If alignment can't be achieved without substantial force, shims or receiver facing may be required..."
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Old May 1, 2017, 05:49 PM   #16
g.willikers
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Torque wrench?
Don't need no danged torque wrench.
Butt pucker technique all the way.
But seriously,
The choice of bolts, nuts, washers, and lube can be as important as calibration.
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Old May 3, 2017, 06:38 PM   #17
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Torque "accuracy" here isn't critical...a HF wrench will get you close enough.

35 ft/lbs. to start- then the next notch to line up the gas tube. Should still be below 80 ft/lbs or so. Tighten/loosen with a breaker bar a few times to eliminate any irregularities. Finally check alignment with the gas tube tool (bought or made), be sure there's no contact with the tube and the scallop. If needed, no harm is some careful dremel work on the edge of a scallop to relieve contact.
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Old May 4, 2017, 09:26 AM   #18
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I just use my hand, stop just before it breaks or strips
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