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Thread: Best torque wrench?

  1. #1
    DonFlow337 donflow337's Avatar
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    Best torque wrench?

    If you had to limit yourself to one torque wrench to service your 2007 R1200RT which tool brand and model/size would it be? My daughter gave me a "promise to purchase" card for Christmas and this is the one tool I have never moved to obtain on my own. I realize having two wrenches of different sizes would be best. This is just to start somewhere and then build as I gain proficiency on things I can learn to do myself.

    Don
    Auburn, AL
    2007 R1200RT - My first and only motorcyle ever owned. Purchased second-hand with 3,223 miles in December 2007 (and I was 60 yrs. old). The clock now shows 37,894. We have become good friends and we've leaned on each other many times. We ride almost every day it's not icy or snowing.


  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowejd View Post
    If you had to limit yourself to one torque wrench to service your 2007 R1200RT which tool brand and model/size would it be? My daughter gave me a "promise to purchase" card for Christmas and this is the one tool I have never moved to obtain on my own. I realize having two wrenches of different sizes would be best. This is just to start somewhere and then build as I gain proficiency on things I can learn to do myself.

    Don
    Auburn, AL
    2007 R1200RT - My first and only motorcyle ever owned. Purchased second-hand with 3,223 miles in December 2007 (and I was 60 yrs. old). The clock now shows 37,894. We have become good friends and we've leaned on each other many times. We ride almost every day it's not icy or snowing.

    Welcome to the forum Don. From my experience any of the major brands will be a good quality-Sears, Snap-on, Matco etc. I have different brands from 1/4" drive inch pounds to 3/4" 600 ft pounds. For you I would guess something in the 3/8 or 1/2 inch drive would do it. It would be good for you to get an idea on the range of fastener torque you need then adapt your sockets and drivers to the task. Most will come with a conversion table in case you want to go from ft lbs to inch lbs or even Nm. HTH Gary..And I'm going to move this to gear so you will have some more input.
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  3. #3
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Don,

    I have 2. One is a Snap On 1/2" drive that my wife got me for a Christmas present & one is a Craftsman 3/8" unit I inherited when my dad passed away. I have to say, the Snap-On unit has this very nice "feel" when using it that the Craftsman unit doesn't have. Since a Craftsman Torque wrench is about $80 & a Snap-On is about $200+, you have to decide which is worth it. If I were buying a new 3/8" wrench, I would pick Snap-On, bu this Craftsman unit will probably last forever.

    As for 3/8" vs. 1/2", you will need both to work on your bike. You need an in-lb wrench for many fasteners & a ft-lb wrench for others. I know the bike specs are in Newton-Meters, but I don't think you can buy any one wrench to span both ranges. You have the valve cover bolts at 8N-M at one end of the spectrum & the wheel bolts at the other end.

    Actually, I think the Craftsman wrench is calibrated in both inch-lbs & Newton-Meters & the Snap-On is not... I recall having to get out the conversion table when using the Snap-On... There is a good vote for the Craftsman...

    Either way, you won't go wrong.

  4. #4
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    I have one like this, and it displays in ft-lbs and Nm:

    digital torque wrench
    My bike shown here
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  5. #5
    dhgeyer
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    There are three types of torque wrench: twin beam, click type, and electronic.

    Twin beam type is cheapest, generally as accurate, but often less convenient to use, as you must be in a position to see the scale. If you're tightening the oil drain bolt, for example, the wrench will be upside down and, unless the bike is on a lift, you will probably need a mirror to see the scale. They are a lot cheaper, though.

    The click type is what most people use, and is in the middle price wise. You set it to the torque you want, and the neck flexes just a little with an audible click when you hit the specified torque.

    The electronic type is like the click type except a bit pricier, and it emits a sound when you approach the torque it's set for, and another tone when you reach it. Batteries required.

    Any of these will work, and work well. The most important consideration is the accurate range of the tool. There is a very wide variety of specified torques on a bike, and no one torque wrench will do it all. Eventually you will need three if you want to do all of your scheduled maintenance.

    Your best plan of attack might be to decide which jobs you want to tackle first with the benefit of this tool, find out what the torque specs are for that job, and get something with the range to cover as many fasteners as possible for that job. For a simple oil change, something in the 10 ft/lb to 100 ft/lb range will work. If you want to check/adjust valves, you need something in the in/lb range to set the locknuts on the adjusters.

    Some people do part of the job by feel, and use the torque wrench for what it will do. Another approach might be to start with twin beam types, as they are enough cheaper that you could probably get two of them.

  6. #6
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowejd View Post
    If you had to limit yourself to one torque wrench...
    With only one I wouldn't be able to use a torque wrench everywhere I could (and should). One wrench doesn't cover the needed range. I have 3 torque wrenches, but could admittedly get by with two. That said, I'd start with something like this.

    http://www.sears.com:80/shc/s/p_1015...5&blockType=G5

    That is a Sears clicker that handles 10-75 ft-lbf (about 14 - 101 Nm) which will handle your basic service needs for about $80.
    Last edited by marchyman; 12-27-2010 at 05:56 AM. Reason: does -> doesn't

  7. #7
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    This is the one I have (or it's cousin) and it has ft-lb and Nm readings which is very nice. Found it on the Crafstman site. Available shipped from USA only.
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
    [2007 R1200RT (Sand Biege) - Hers]

  8. #8
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The most common ranges I find myself using are the teens/twenties (foot pounds) and then a higher number for wheel bolts. 77 ft.lb. on a number of 4 and 5 big hex bolt models and 45 ft.lb. or so (60nm) on the later torx bolted wheels.

    Since the OP bike has the 60nm (44 something ft.lb) wheel bolts a 3/8 drive clicker with a range from about 10 to 70 ft.lb. would do almost everything except Paralever locknuts and deep engine stuff.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  9. #9
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    The best torque wrench?

    One that is accurate, repeatable and dependable...one you can trust as the years go by.

    I personally have 3 Snap-On torque wrenches, one as old as a 1975 model and they are all meet/beat specifications.

    A 3/8" click-type, 5 to 75 lbf.ft. torque wrench is what I started with for its useful range. Note: lower 20% of range is not certified.

    For less money, you should look at those made by Precision Instruments who I believe make the Snap-On units...they look identical.

    Here is a nice unit.

  10. #10
    dstuckmann
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    Checking accuracy

    How do you folks check your wrenches for accuracy?
    How often do you check them?

  11. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstuckmann View Post
    How do you folks check your wrenches for accuracy?
    By having them calibrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by dstuckmann View Post
    How often do you check them?
    Normally every year, and if you have the on-site facilities, checks are performed sooner. It also depends on use. The torque wrench I bought in 1975 didn't get calibrated till 1992, 17 years later. It was used infrequently, stored properly and not misused. When I calibrated it in our labs, it was well within specifications, even in the lower 20% of the range. Its worth buying quality!

  12. #12
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Almost any torque wrench is better than no torque wrench. Having said that I think a 3/8 craftsman click style from Sears would likely fit your needs. Moderately priced and decent quality for the hobbyist user.

    Calibration labs are usually in each state. Check in the state listings for a department of weights and values. You might be able to get a line on a lab from them. Aircraft mechanics have a requirement to calibrate annually. The occasional user can probably get by with every 5 years or so unless it's really off the first time it's checked.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    The most common ranges I find myself using are the teens/twenties (foot pounds) and then a higher number for wheel bolts. 77 ft.lb. on a number of 4 and 5 big hex bolt models and 45 ft.lb. or so (60nm) on the later torx bolted wheels.

    Since the OP bike has the 60nm (44 something ft.lb) wheel bolts a 3/8 drive clicker with a range from about 10 to 70 ft.lb. would do almost everything except Paralever locknuts and deep engine stuff.
    I have a 3/8" clicker craftsman (about 30 years old) and it has done every thing I have needed on my R1100rt and my R1200rt so far.
    With that said, I don't have the faith in Craftsman that I did 30 years ago.
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  14. #14
    Yarddog
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    To me, the evenness of the torque values is more important than the torque itself. I'm not one of those guys who's gonna torque my drain plug...but I'm gonna want to know that all of my head bolts are evenly torqued, so, I'm not gonna worry at all if the torque on my clicker is really 44 ft-lbs instead of an indicated 45 ft-lbs...as long as all of the torqued fasteners are 44 ft-lbs at the end of the day, I'm happy...

  15. #15
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    To the extent that a fastener isn't either under or over torqued, I'm with yarddog

    the evenness of the torque values is more important than the torque itself.
    That said, unless you're assembling aircraft components, or exoticar engines, why not just "calibrate" it yourself ?
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