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What's the best cheapest torque wrench?
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I've been looking at buying at a torque wrench but they're all over the price in terms of price. Could you school me on pros and cons and some recommendations?

Thanks!
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Chan] [ In reply to ]
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I don't use a torque wrench.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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Good to know! (No sarcasm)
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Chan] [ In reply to ]
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I have several torque wrenches, and a digital, high accuracy one (for working on engines and car repairs). Also have a bunch of low cost ones from Harbor Freight, and am amazed at how good the cheap harbor freight ones are. No where near the precision of my digital wrench, but consistent enough for use most of the time. I ran checks against the HF vs the digital, for several torque ranges, and the results for HF were fine (again, the tolerance range is not as tight as the digital, but for the tolerance of automotive it was fine, even on my BMW engine). Follow the instructions on how to adjust them, and make sure you loosen the adjustment back to zero before storing the wrench away, otherwise you may get a spring set and throw off the accuracy.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Chan] [ In reply to ]
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I have used for several years a Nashbar branded (meaning it is good enough for a major brand to carry without worrying about problems/returns) wrench that is available on eBay as "VENZO Bicycle Bike Torque wrench". Same tool - works great - easy to use and small enough to be convenient. Costs about $45. Available from US sellers.

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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Chan] [ In reply to ]
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icetoolz ocarina (the new black one) is ~$20 and is adjustable. Passed the accuracy test vs. my Snap-on (which I keep calibrated)

My Blog - http://leegoocrap.blogspot.com
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [trimule] [ In reply to ]
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trimule wrote:
I have used for several years a Nashbar branded (meaning it is good enough for a major brand to carry without worrying about problems/returns) wrench that is available on eBay as "VENZO Bicycle Bike Torque wrench". Same tool - works great - easy to use and small enough to be convenient. Costs about $45. Available from US sellers.

I’ll second this recommendation.

Not everything is as it seems -Mr. Miyagi
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [chxddstri] [ In reply to ]
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Such good choices! Thanks so much I'll definitely take a look. Some i had seen and some i had not.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Chan] [ In reply to ]
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Cheap can be expensive.

I bought a few cheapies off amazon and was snapping bolt all over the place.

I now have a Shimano one (looks very similar to the nashbar one). But even now I hand tighten before using the wrench and then start well below and work my way up the torque settings to be safe.

Long story short: don’t blindly use the torque wrench, if you feel you are over tightening, then you probably are.
Last edited by: SBRinSD: Jan 12, 19 11:32
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Morelock] [ In reply to ]
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x2 for the icetoolz wrench. works great.

Next races on the schedule: Oceanside 2022, IMStG 2022, some local races tbd, IM Florida 2022
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [chxddstri] [ In reply to ]
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+3 On the Nashbar set.

I'm closer to the feathered end of the spear than the point.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [SBRinSD] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the tip!
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [trimule] [ In reply to ]
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Forgot to mention - now that Nashbar/Performance is going down the drain, these are no longer available from Nashbar. However I have seen them sold under several names in the past (obviously the same product). At present the VENZO name is being used on the eBay products. It is also available on Amazon for the same price.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Morelock] [ In reply to ]
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Morelock wrote:
icetoolz ocarina (the new black one) is ~$20 and is adjustable. Passed the accuracy test vs. my Snap-on (which I keep calibrated)

Do you find that it's a PIA to look at the needle VS hearing a click? (I need the click personally, as it's hard for me to see a small needle).

I've been using the Park ATD 1.2 adjustable torque driver and a similar one to the Nashbar one shown. Both click, both easy and reliable.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Chan] [ In reply to ]
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I went with a Shimano Pro torque (3-15nm) wrench for the tricky and critical low torque use when working with carbon bars and a cheap Craftsman beam torque wrench for high torque use like cranks and bottom brackets.

Basically, I just didn't trust the reliability of any of the cheaper torque wrenches for the critical low torque applications. But for most high torque stuff, the range required is pretty broad and it's usually fine with going over a little bit to make sure you hit the minimum torque number (would take a ton more torque than recommended to strip a crank or bottom bracket)

-Bryan Journey
Travel Blog | Training Blog | Facebook Page
Last edited by: JourneyToGoPro: Jan 12, 19 13:58
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Super D] [ In reply to ]
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I've got a fair number of torque wrenches (10 I think) and the icetoolz isn't my "perfect" wrench. It's the best $20 wrench though. It's the one that stays in my "go pack" (well, it and the silca ti)
the new (black) ocarina is a fair bit easier to read than the old orange ones, but there are of course sacrifices with a budget wrench.

The CDI torquecontrol is probably my favorite "bang for buck" wrench for bike parts. But it's 3x the price of the Icetoolz.

The ATD 1.2 is a fine wrench, my complaint with it is it's limited range (4-6nm) for that price point.

My Blog - http://leegoocrap.blogspot.com
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [SBRinSD] [ In reply to ]
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I second this point. We tighten a lot of expensive parts with cheap torque wrenches. It is madness!!!

I had a pretty new pro wrench, but eventually snapped a bolt in a stem, and crushed a carbon post in short order. I immediatly ordered a pretty good park tool wrench. I verified torque on the pro and at 4nm, it was torquing more like 6nm!!! I threw it in the garbage.

I always did proper tightening protocols, and always zeroed the wrench at the end of use. The mistake I think I made was using it to loosen the same bolts i tightened now and then. I got lazy. Apparently this is a no-no, even though the wrench works in both directions. And when the wrench clicks... stop!!!!

So don’t loosen bolts with your torque wrench, and verify the accuracy. Also stay clear of max torque specs for a part if you can, as a margin of safety is ideal.

My next torque wrench will be a 300-500$ professional quality one like snap-on. No more kids toys.

SBRinSD wrote:
Cheap can be expensive.

I bought a few cheapies off amazon and was snapping bolt all over the place.

I now have a Shimano one (looks very similar to the nashbar one). But even now I hand tighten before using the wrench and then start well below and work my way up the torque settings to be safe.

Long story short: don’t blindly use the torque wrench, if you feel you are over tightening, then you probably are.
Last edited by: Rocket_racing: Jan 12, 19 14:56
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Morelock] [ In reply to ]
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Morelock wrote:
The CDI torquecontrol is probably my favorite "bang for buck" wrench for bike parts. But it's 3x the price of the Icetoolz.


+1 on the CDI.
Last edited by: Arch Stanton: Jan 12, 19 15:39
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Chan] [ In reply to ]
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I use the Silca T-Ratchet + TI - Torque Kit for everything up to 8 nm on all my bikes. Works well and I got it for a reasonable price as part of the funding drive for it. For everything over that I have a Park Tool beam style wrench which wasn't very expensive.

"It's good enough for who it's for" - Grandpa Wayne
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [flynnzu] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the addition to my list. I'll check it out as well. Don't have any silca products but they're usually synonym with quality.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Rocket_racing] [ In reply to ]
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Rocket_racing wrote:

My next torque wrench will be a 300-500$ professional quality one like snap-on. No more kids toys.

I've heard that snap-on makes tools for a number of other brands, often at a lower price. In particular, CDI torque wrenches which can be had for ~$100
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [Morelock] [ In reply to ]
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I use this one too - CDI torquecontrol.

It's nice.
Morelock wrote:
I've got a fair number of torque wrenches (10 I think) and the icetoolz isn't my "perfect" wrench. It's the best $20 wrench though. It's the one that stays in my "go pack" (well, it and the silca ti)
the new (black) ocarina is a fair bit easier to read than the old orange ones, but there are of course sacrifices with a budget wrench.

The CDI torquecontrol is probably my favorite "bang for buck" wrench for bike parts. But it's 3x the price of the Icetoolz.

The ATD 1.2 is a fine wrench, my complaint with it is it's limited range (4-6nm) for that price point.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [SBRinSD] [ In reply to ]
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SBRinSD wrote:
Cheap can be expensive.

I bought a few cheapies off amazon and was snapping bolt all over the place.

I now have a Shimano one (looks very similar to the nashbar one). But even now I hand tighten before using the wrench and then start well below and work my way up the torque settings to be safe.

Long story short: don’t blindly use the torque wrench, if you feel you are over tightening, then you probably are.

Same here. The labeling & trim color are different, but whoever manufactures them the packaging case & accessory bits appear identical. Can't remember what I spent, but I'm sure it was under $100 ~ although no doubt more than you could get it for on eBay now w/o the Shimano & Excel mark-ups in between.
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [trimule] [ In reply to ]
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trimule wrote:
I have used for several years a Nashbar branded (meaning it is good enough for a major brand to carry without worrying about problems/returns) wrench that is available on eBay as "VENZO Bicycle Bike Torque wrench". Same tool - works great - easy to use and small enough to be convenient. Costs about $45. Available from US sellers.

I use this torque wrench.

I have no idea if it's totally accurate, but I can say for sure that for the one application I've found the torque wrench to be absolutely critical (meaning high likelihood of either breaking the part from overtightening or critical loosening = big crash if you undertighten), it's been perfect.

For me, the only thing that needs the torque wrench for sure is tightening the 4 bolts of the stem plate to the handlebars. If you do it right with the torque wrench AND apply carbon paste to the stem plate, the torque wrench gets it just right. (Was wayyy lower than when I was using no torque wrench on an alloy handlebar, which I was probably damaging in the process.)
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Re: What's the best cheapest torque wrench? [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Why no love for the 1/4" beam automotive style?

I thought they're pretty accurate for the price. If not as friendly as a clicker.

I swore I thought I used my large automotive style beam one to rebuild a cylinder head one time. Thing ran the song till the next owner wrecked the car. OEM new spec compression and equal and better than OEM fuel mileage/power on a 10+ year old car.
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