Welcome back to my series on automotive tools for the person just beginning as a do it yourself automobile lover. Today I will talk a bit about torque wrenches, what they are, and how to look for one. Actually a torque wrench may seem like something pretty simple, and for the most part it is. However a torque wrench can be definitely critical if you are ever going to consider constructing an engine or doing any type of differential work. A torque wrenches precision may vary with age or abuse, so make certain not to purchase a used one unless it has been recently calibrated, or you understand where to get one calibrated.
Exactly what a torque wrench does is in fact really easy. It operates much like a routine cog in a lot of cases, but as the bolt get tighter the torque wrench will measure the quantity of torque that you are using to the fastener. This is crucial for fasteners that are protecting bearing surface areas, as the tighter the fastener is the smaller sized the bearing clearances might be best torque wrench for gunsmithing. Some torque wrenches simply make an audible sound when at the set torque limitation, while others use a needle and tip gauge to identify the quantity of torque being applied.
When searching for a torque wrench, please follow my basic standards for all plated tools. Make sure that the chrome of nickel plating is consistent and even in its thickness and look. Make certain that there are no sharp edges on the surface as these might suggest flaws in the plating or machining process, or even worse yet, that the tool was made out of inferior materials. I generally choose a slim design, audible style wrench. There is no reason to purchase a wrench with a digital readout unless you get really deeply involved with cars and truck work, however that’s for another post completely.