Tags Posts tagged with "Torque Wrench"

Torque Wrench

In this post I just wanted to let you know about the Tohnichi torque wrenches and why I have found that having one in your tool box just makes good common sense.

Tohnichi Torque Wrenches
Tohnichi Torque Wrenches

Now granted, this isn’t the only manufacturer who makes this type of tool, heck no! But let me tell you, since 1949 this company has downright been the one of the best kept secrets in the tool business.

One thing that sets them apart, is the quality. Sure, you can buy torque wrenches for the price of a large pizza at your local big box store, but when you need accuracy, you better have a tool that can deliver. And Tohnichi torque wrenches do that in boatloads.

If you’ve ever repaired a piece of equipment, and you had to have each fastener torqued just right, then you’ll know why having a tool that you can depend on is of the utmost importance.

One of the very first lessons I learned as a kid in watching a master mechanic rebuild an engine was the care he took in tightening each nut “just so” with a funny looking wrench. When I finally asked him why he was doing that, he just smiled and said, “Boy. If these aren’t torqued right, and that engine doesn’t run like it should, that’s my reputation on the line.”

Nowadays with machinery getting even more sophisticated and being built to very close tolerances, using Tohnichi torque wrenches just seems like a darn good idea when you have to take on repairs.

By now you might be asking, “But why Tohnichi?”

And the answer to that is actually quite simple. As I stated above, quality. And when you buy good quality hand tools, they last. Another important aspect to consider is accuracy. When your torquing a fastener, it has to be right! And each model of Tohnichi wrenches are made to deliver almost pinpoint accuracy.

In other words, there is no guessing. Another factor to consider is that Tohnichi literally dominates the world of torque products in Japan, and you well know what kind of sticklers they are for quality. They just aren’t as well known world wide because unlike many companies, they kind of just do their job quietly. And that job is to make excellent products.

Now, am I telling you to rush out and find where you can find Tohnichi torque wrenches? Heck no! But I am telling you that if you want a torque wrench that you’ll probably only buy once, then Tohnichi should really deserve a bit of consideration. And if you’ve already got one then by all means let us know what you think of it.

Tohnichi was originally founded in 1949 in Osaki as a subcontractor for Hitachi. They were successful in manufacturing click-type torque wrenches in 1951 and started selling them to Toyota and other customers. It wasn’t long before the torque wrench became known as a superior automobile tool and Tohnichi got their first patent on their equipment. Their company has grown tremendously right along with their reputation as a superior torque wrench supplier. In 2008 they opened their first US plant in Atlanta and their dynamic business and incredible wrenches thrive throughout the world.

A torque wrench set is used to control torque, or circular force, when you’re tightening or removing nuts and bolts. There are actually many styles of torque wrenches available, from very simple types that don’t offer much precision to digital torque wrenches. These types of wrenches are mostly used on bicycles and by mechanics to loosen wheel lugs, although they have many other applications. So, how do you buy the kind of torque wrench set you need for the job? Here’s a look at the types of torque wrenches out there and what you need to look for.

Why Torque Wrenches are Important in Auto Applications?

All car manufacturers include a specific torque value in foot-pounds for just about every nut and bolt on a vehicle. It’s very important for all of these parts to be tightened within this range because they may spontaneously come loose while you’re driving if they aren’t tightened enough. If fasteners are put on too loose, gaskets can also begin to leak. A whole new set of problems occurs if fasteners are over tightened. This could cause parts to compress or become damaged. Threads may also strip so there is no clamping force left.

The right amount of torque is determined by many factors, including the metal alloy of the bolt, whether a gasket is in place, the length of the bolt and what the other parts are made from. The torque value listed in an owner’s manual will also account for friction between bolt threads.

Beam Torque Wrench

Beam Torque WrenchBeam style torque wrench have an attached scale that lets you view the amount of torque you’re applying. Beam torque wrenches are the most affordable of these hand tools, although they aren’t necessarily the most accurate. Beam type torque wrench only used as all-purpose torque wrenches and never when a very specific torque measurement is necessary. They’re also impossible to use in low-light or cramped conditions.

Click Torque Wrench

Click Torque WrenchA click torque wrench, also known as a micrometer clicker, allows you to pre-set the right torque level. These hand tools will then make an audible clicking noise when the desired torque is reached. They’ll also automatically slip so you can’t accidentally over-tighten a nut. They’re most commonly used by mechanics, but they may also be used to tighten roof bolts or bicycle bolts. These wrenches are accurate, although you’ll need to take care of them by calibrating them annually. You should also take the time to set it to “0” before you put it away. As the most precise option, it’s not uncommon to find click torque wrench sets in a wide variety of sizes to handle any task.

Digital Torque Wrench

Torque Wrench Set
Torque Wrench Set

Digital torque wrenches are battery-operated and let you pre-set a level of torque and then regulate the amount of force you’re applying as you work. You can think of them as an advanced type of the regular beam torque wrenchSnap on digital torque wrench is one of the best options to go with if you are looking for a quick fix!

How to Choose a Torque Wrench:

Now that you understand the 3 types of torque wrenches are out there it’s time to choose the torque wrench that’s best for your intended use. Here are the 5 things to look for to narrow down your choices.

Consider your typical torque setting. Think about the scale of the jobs you’re usually performing and select a wrench that covers the usual specifications you’ll be dealing with. If you normally perform tasks that need 35 foot pounds of torque, you won’t be able to use a wrench that goes from 50 to 300 foot pounds.

Choose a wrench that works with your existing socket sets. If, for example, you typically use 1/2 inch drive sockets, you won’t want a torque wrench set that requires a 3/8 inch drive head.

Think about the conditions in which you work. If you’re going to be working in a garage or a cramped, dark environment, a click torque wrench will serve you better because it provides an audible tone when you reach the desired torque level.

Ideally, you want a torque wrench set that offers a dual scale with metric and SAE readings, although you’ll do fine if you at least select a wrench that offers a scale using the system you use most often at work.

Now, consider your budget to narrow down the list of torque wrenches available to you. Remember, these hand tools will last your whole life if you care for them properly so it can pay off to invest in a good set of torque wrenches, particularly if you use them for your job. On the other hand, you won’t need to spend a whole lot of money if you only expect to use these tools once or twice for a specific task.


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