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Torque Wrench Should it Be Calibrated

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Torque Wrench Should it Be Calibrated

Old 04-04-19, 05:33 PM
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FordTrax
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Torque Wrench Should it Be Calibrated

I ordered a ProBike Torque Wrench from Amazon - it had a ton of good reviews and was less than 60 bucks. It is a 2-20 Newton Meter range. It is supposed to be calibrated to 4-6% variance from the factory. I know you can can torque wrenches calibrated and certified for around $50. But that seems like a lot to spend on a new tool. Have you guys had your torque wrenches calibrated or did you just trust the factory setting? I want something to use on my carbon forks and such.
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Old 04-04-19, 05:35 PM
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rhenning
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Trust the factory and find something else to worry about. Roger
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Old 04-04-19, 05:39 PM
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I have several and if they're all in the same proximity when torquing something I call it good. If you don't leave tension on it when stored, (IE: set it to zero when not in use) it probably won't go out of calibration unless you abuse it or drop it or something along those lines. More than likely you should be good to go from the factory. If you're concerned, see if you can compare the setting to a friend's or the LBS might be able to help. I would go with it as is, but that's just me.
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Old 04-04-19, 05:50 PM
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Or spend $20 on a beam torque wrench which tend not to go out of calibration and compare them every once in awhile.
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Old 04-04-19, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Or spend $20 on a beam torque wrench which tend not to go out of calibration and compare them every once in awhile.
And which you can calibrate yourself.
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Old 04-05-19, 02:00 PM
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It is a good idea to periodically check a torque wrench. Even for bicycle use cheap wrenches like Harbour Freight must be calibrated, just ask a neighbor who gouged a seat tube tightening a FD. Calibration services are expensive as they check the intervals where values can vary and give you the error curve for the upper and lower extremes where all torque wrenches I have used vary. You can DIY calibrate your wrench pretty easily for a quick check if you have a bench vise, You Tube videos show examples.
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Old 04-05-19, 02:35 PM
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1/4" or 3/8" ?


If you bought Snap On or others that Pro mechanics use and pay extra for (and sponsor NASCAR)

they have a recalibration service .






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-05-19 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 04-05-19, 02:52 PM
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I made a calibration bar pretty much for the fun of it.
But actually using it has gotten pretty darn boring.
Iím sure itís possible misuse a torque wrench until it goes way off, but mine seems to stay true enough.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:32 PM
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Keep in mind that calibration does not change how the device measures or make it more accurate. Calibration only tells you about the device's accuracy and precision (repeatability). It is then up to you to determine if the device is suitable for the job or not. Some devices are adjustable or can be repaired so that they are more accurate and repeatable but that's not what calibration is.


Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
And which you can calibrate yourself.
What most people consider calibration of a beam type torque wrench is actually re-zeroing. It does not tell you how accurate the device is at any point other than zero.


-Tim-
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Old 04-05-19, 03:49 PM
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Over tightening nuts and bolts is probably the biggest mistake most people make. So if you aren't ham handed with a regular wrench then you really don't even need a torque wrench on a bike. I've rarely ever used one on my bike, the few times I did proved that I was pretty good at sensing the right amount intuitively.

The one exception I might give for that is for carbon seat tubes. Though I don't have any experience with them, it seems from reading posts and articles that they have a narrow margin from being tight enough to not slip and being too tight and destroyed.
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Old 04-06-19, 04:33 AM
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Tbh, i dont think its necessary. No matter how bad it it, its still vastly better than no torque wrench (guessing). If you insist you can DIY calibrate. Youtube is you friend, but it not that hard once you figure out what "torque" is. Then you can also improvise you own ect.
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Old 04-06-19, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by FordTrax View Post
I ordered a ProBike Torque Wrench from Amazon - it had a ton of good reviews and was less than 60 bucks. It is a 2-20 Newton Meter range. It is supposed to be calibrated to 4-6% variance from the factory. I know you can can torque wrenches calibrated and certified for around $50. But that seems like a lot to spend on a new tool. Have you guys had your torque wrenches calibrated or did you just trust the factory setting? I want something to use on my carbon forks and such.
The only bike component that I am careful with re: torque is the expanding plug for a carbon steerer tube. I did use my cheap torque wrench for this job but the prescribed torque value is pretty low and can be eyeballed.

Just remember to exercise the wrench (from low to high) prior to each use and turn it back to zero before storing. (at least that's what the instructions on my Harbor Freight wrenches indicate). Also, I wouldn't use the wrench for a job that requires it to be near its maximum or minimum value - get the next size wrench up or down. A 1/4" wrench and a 3/8" wrench should give you the range you need for bike work.
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Old 04-06-19, 07:49 AM
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With most bottom brackets now being press-in, the only item I use a torque wrench on is the cassette lock ring.

I don't use expanding plugs in my carbon steering tubes. I take a 1" star nut and grind a very small amount off the diameter, so it slips into a 1-1/8" steering tube and fill the whole top portion of the tube, where the stem clamps, with epoxy. It will never slip and the tube won't be crushed by the stem clamp.

I've used carbon forks, frames and bars since they first came out and never damaged anything by over tightening.
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