Torque wrenches are the backbone of aviation maintenance. For tooling managers or technicians that buy their own tools, it can be hard to select a torque wrench among all of the options available. Are expensive torque wrenches worth the money? When you are trying to decide how to pick a torque wrench, it can be difficult to figure out what are the most important considerations. Keep these tips in mind when you are ready to select a torque wrench.
Have you ever bought a wrench without looking at the socket size? This is one of the most overlooked features during purchase. Does the wrench fit the sockets that you use? Is the wrench capable of using multiple socket sizes, such as ½” and 3/8” sockets?
How much torque do you need? The amount of torque that a wrench provides must meet the demands of the task at hand. To ensure accuracy, choose a wrench that fits within 25% – 85% of the scale indicated. Accuracy can deteriorate at the low end of the scale. There’s no need to purchase a tool with greater torque if jobs don’t require it.
Will the features of the torque wrench be convenient in the work environment? How does the wrench indicate that the desired torque has been reached? If the wrench has a digital display, is there a backlight? Is a manual, click-based wrench loud enough in the environment you are working in? Make sure that you choose a wrench that alerts you to proper torque in a way that is adequate.
What is the difference between a cheap wrench and an expensive wrench? Many AMTs say that you get what you pay for, especially when looking at precision tools. High end brands, like Snap-On, consistently get good reviews. A core difference is that cheap torque wrenches may not be able to be adjusted if they fail calibration. Higher end wrenches tend to provide higher accuracy. The peace of mind can be worth the large price tag in regard to quality.
Are any additional items included with the torque wrench? Some manufacturers offer high impact cases with their wrenches. If you work in an environment where tools are dropped frequently, the case could be the extra protection needed to extend tooling life. Other manufacturers offer adapters and/or extension bars. Will you use the additional items offered? If so, this could be a potential savings. Does the torque wrench come with a certificate of calibration?
Guarantees can come on many forms. One of the most common is a money-back guarantee that promises a full refund if the wrench breaks or doesn’t match expectations. As long as there isn’t a ludicrous amount of fine-print, these deals are great. They to select a torque wrench that comes with a guarantee if you are having a hard time deciding or need time to try before committing. Other variations encompass easy return or effectiveness for a specific time period. Note any time sensitive guarantees to ensure that you don’t miss the time limit.