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What size torque wrench in ft lbs. should I get inorder to do most of the DIY projects?

Any recommendations on make etc?

I just purchased a craftsman 3/8 but upon closer reading it only goes up to 250 in lbs which is about 20 ft lbs. Probably not right size.

rbc

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What size torque wrench in ft lbs. should I get inorder to do most of the DIY projects?

Any recommendations on make etc?

I just purchased a craftsman 3/8 but upon closer reading it only goes up to 250 in lbs which is about 20 ft lbs. Probably not right size.

rbc

A 1/2 drive 30-150 to 200 ft. lb. adjustable click style is probably the most useful, followed by the 3/8 drive 0-250 in lb. you already have. Do not scrimp on quality, these tools are a "lifetime" purchase, so get good ones. My personal preference is for Snap-On units, of which I own several ranging from a 2.5-50 inch pound click style driver (looks like a screw driver), up to a 3/4 drive 200-600 ft. lb. unit for axel nuts and the like. All are Snap-On, all have years of use, and still pass annual calibration testing without ever needing any adjustments. They have proven to be worth every penny paid for them.

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I have a 1/2" drive Craftsman. I only use it a couple times per year for "wheels-off" car detailing. Works great. I always store it properly in its case, without any tension on the mechanism (O). Never leaves my garage area. I paid about $120 for it 3 years ago.

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I basically have the same as JFP in PA except that I also have a 1/2 drive 30 to 200 ftlb Craftsman torque wrench that I use exclusively for wheels.

I do that because I do not want my good engine/transmission/suspension torque wrenches to get dropped - which in my experience is inevitable when working on wheels. So a less expensive (and less precise) torque wrench for wheels makes sense to me. Plus or minus 10% is fine for wheels.

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Believe it or not, I use a Harbor Freight 20-200 Ft/LB click torque wrench, and have done so for a few years with no problems. I used to have a craftsman wrench, but the adjustment click stop ring broke. Just for kicks, I had the HF wrench tested for accuracy, and it was spot on. Plus their pricing was very reasonable. As you know most of their tools are Chinese made, but that does not mean it is junk. I find these days it is more reliable than my old standby Craftsman.

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That might be fine for wheel bolts but I would not use it on much of anything else.

If you are planning on engine work or work where the torque needs to be precise - I would go with Snap-On or Proto.

I have had my Proto for over 30 years and like JFP I get the calibration checked yearly and it is always dead on, A good torque wrench is a lifetime purchase - that could also save your life (and your wallet) in the long run.

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Craftsman had their 3/8 and 1/2 clickers on sale right before christmas. They are great for the shade-tree mechanic.

Keep in mind that they are cheaper and should be calibrated once purchased. The high accuracy torque wrenches cost way more than most "recreational" mechanics are willing to pay.

Avoid the really cheap quality ones that you can buy at Harbor Freight or similar. They have *****-poor precision AND accuracy.

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Craftsman had their 3/8 and 1/2 clickers on sale right before christmas. They are great for the shade-tree mechanic.

Keep in mind that they are cheaper and should be calibrated once purchased. The high accuracy torque wrenches cost way more than most "recreational" mechanics are willing to pay.

Avoid the really cheap quality ones that you can buy at Harbor Freight or similar. They have *****-poor precision AND accuracy.

Unfortunately, with Sears slowly "circling the drain", both the quality of their tools and their once ironclad warranty have started to suffer. I would be very cautious about buying tools for the long term from them as they may not be long for this world.

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Unfortunately, with Sears slowly "circling the drain", both the quality of their tools and their once ironclad warranty have started to suffer. I would be very cautious about buying tools for the long term from them as they may not be long for this world.

True about Craftsman/sears quality, but just the same: They are still better than the crap I see a lot of people trying to use from Northern and other "discount" tool outlets.

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Unfortunately, with Sears slowly "circling the drain", both the quality of their tools and their once ironclad warranty have started to suffer. I would be very cautious about buying tools for the long term from them as they may not be long for this world.

True about Craftsman/sears quality, but just the same: They are still better than the crap I see a lot of people trying to use from Northern and other "discount" tool outlets.

Recently, I received a Sears gift card, and having no other real use for it, I ordered some tools for the shop (sockets, extensions, etc., nothing complicated or unusual). My first surprise was to receive a confirmation email from some third party fulfillment house rather than from Sears, and the second surprise was what was eventually shipped out to me. Instead of getting all Craftsman sockets and tools as I had ordered, some of them were from other suppliers (SK, Gearwrench) even though the entire order I placed was for Craftsman. Third surprise was that the tools that were Craftsman had very poor finishes on them, some even had peeling chrome. When I called the "customer service" phone number, I found myself speaking to someone who obviously was not a native English speaker and had no basic tool knowledge, which made the conversation awkward to say the least. Eventually, they did send out replacements for the tools with issues, which again were an odd mix of some Craftsman and other brands, and which again came from a non Sears location. In their world, apparently all 5MM 1/4 drive deep sockets are interchangeable.

Sorry, but I cannot recommend buying anything important or expensive from a business that is run that poorly..........

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+1 for Snapon but they are not cheap for general diy'ers. CDI and precision instruments are good alternatives. Similar quality at significantly lower prices.

A few more points to add: I like the flex head version and found A few degrees helps a lot in some situations. Also I prefer a shorter one with narrower range, especially if you use it under the car with limited space when you use jack stands. 5-75 ftlb works great for me. 100-150 ftlb ones are much longer.

For wheels and suspension, I love the split beam type 1/2" 50-250 ftlb (flex head), which is rugged and doesn't need reset. Std issue in most tire shops.

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Snap On. If you can't afford the right tools, don't do the job. DIY is a wonderful thing, but there comes a time when you have to pass it off to your local independent. Spending $500 for a tool to do one job does not make sense. All Porsche DIY folks need to have good torque wrenches. A small 3/8 and a medium 1/2 are a must. Not only does Snap On make the best tool but they stand behind their products better than any company I have ever dealt with.

Now those of us with center lock wheels need a large wrench capable of 400 ft lb. Oh well, there goes another $600.

If you want to do it cheap, why on earth would you buy a Porsche??

By the way, we just had a Harbor Freight store open locally. I have never seen such a large collection of crap under one roof in my life. It reminds me of the old Five and Dime stores we use to have.

Edited by Mijostyn
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