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Old 03-04-2010, 07:16 AM   #1
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Precision Instruments split-beam torque wrench

My Craftsman torque wrench went kaput on Monday night after almost four years of service. I needed a new one immediately and after much reading purchased a Precision Instruments C2FR100F split-beam torque wrench. The split-beam is designed to be more rugged than the usual micrometer torque wrench with internal springs, and it does not need to be zeroed for storage -- something I always had trouble remembering.

It arrived this morning and wow I am impressed. Precision Instruments build quality makes the Craftsman with its plastic handle look like a toy. Adjusting the torque setting is effortless throughout the range. The true test will be tomorrow night when swapping brake pads for the track. Until then I am extremely pleased.

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Old 03-04-2010, 07:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy
My Craftsman torque wrench went kaput on Monday night after almost four years of service. I needed a new one immediately and after much reading purchased a Precision Instruments C2FR100F split-beam torque wrench. The split-beam is designed to be more rugged than the usual micrometer torque wrench with internal springs, and it does not need to be zeroed for storage -- something I always had trouble remembering.

It arrived this morning and wow I am impressed. Precision Instruments build quality makes the Craftsman with its plastic handle look like a toy. Adjusting the torque setting is effortless throughout the range. The true test will be tomorrow night when swapping brake pads for the track. Until then I am extremely pleased.
Sears would replace the broken one for free. Craftsman hand tools are guaranteed for life.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:36 AM   #3
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Sears would replace the broken one for free. Craftsman hand tools are guaranteed for life.
I don't believe Craftsman torque wrenches are covered by the lifetime guarantee.

From the definitive guide on everything: Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craftsman_(tools)
The lifetime warranty does not include Craftsman power tools and precision hand tools. Craftsman portable power tools, bench power tools, air compressors, powered lawn & garden products and other powered items carry various warranties while many specialty hand tools such as torque wrenches, except beam-type torque wrenches which carry a Lifetime Warranty, and work lights carry a one year warranty.
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Last edited by timothy; 03-04-2010 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Added details from Wikipedia
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by timothy
I don't believe Craftsman torque wrenches are covered by the lifetime guarantee.

From the definitive guide on everything: Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craftsman_(tools)
The lifetime warranty does not include Craftsman power tools and precision hand tools. Craftsman portable power tools, bench power tools, air compressors, powered lawn & garden products and other powered items carry various warranties while many specialty hand tools such as torque wrenches, except beam-type torque wrenches which carry a Lifetime Warranty, and work lights carry a one year warranty.
They replaced mine when the lock ring broke. It was about 10 years old. Might just take it in to see if they'll swap it for you.

Last edited by blue2000s; 03-04-2010 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:50 AM   #5
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They replaced mine when the lock ring broke. It was about 10 years old.
In that case I will take it back to Sears and see what they say. Would be great if they replaced it because that wrench is rated to 150ft-lb and my new one only to 100ft-lb. Plus then I can keep my nice one at home and use the Craftsman on track days. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:39 AM   #6
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Why not just get a cheap beam type - they're much more accurate, rugged and do not ever need to be calibrated - you calibrate it by bending the pointer til it aligns with the zero on the scale.

Granted, the click-type are argueably more convenient and possibly more sexy.

I own both. The click-type is used in non-critical areas such as lugs and suspension, but any engine work that I do is always done with the beam-type for accuracy.

Cheers!
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:25 PM   #7
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Accurate? Calibrated?
My question would be "Did it come with a calibration certficate?"
If not, then any torque wrench is no better than a Harbor Freight version.
Precison tools need to be repeatable and traceable (to the NIST standards). Sound like overkill, but if you do any professional work and something "fails", who knows what could come up in court.

My $0.02 worth.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vath2001
Accurate? Calibrated?
My question would be "Did it come with a calibration certficate?"
If not, then any torque wrench is no better than a Harbor Freight version.
Precison tools need to be repeatable and traceable (to the NIST standards). Sound like overkill, but if you do any professional work and something "fails", who knows what could come up in court.

My $0.02 worth.
I've been expecting somone to quote the movie scene from My Cousin Vinnie when the chic gives him the run down about torquing the faucet handle that is dripping. Hilarious!! Almost as good as the "deer scene".

On the more serious side, make sure you buy Craftsman and NOT Sears brand. Sears does NOT have the Craftsman warranty.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vath2001
Accurate? Calibrated?
My question would be "Did it come with a calibration certficate?"
Tough audience today. Yes it did come with a calibration certificate. From 1938 - 2003 they supplied exactly one customer, Snap On. Accuracy is 4% from 20% to full scale. Sure a beam type is more accurate but I am not building engines. Just working on my car and tired of crappy tools.

References:
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/torquewrenchFAQ.htm
http://europeancar.automotive.com/16823/0403ec-tool/index.html
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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Just for full disclosure: Mine is a Husky (I think from Grainger), no calibration certs, clicker style. But for all of my car work, it serves its purpose and I feel better knowing I am using something probably more accurate than my breaker bar, pipe and right leg.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:33 PM   #11
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I'll probably get jumped for this, but on most general items, such as wheels and calipers, the bolts all tightened the same amount is more important than all being tightened to a specific tightness, plus or minus 5%. 25 or 30% is a different story, but I doubt even cheaper torque wrenches are that far off.
Bolts that require a certain stretch amount, such as spindles, rod bolts, main bearing bolts, etc. are a completely different animal.
There was a rash of prematurely warped front brake rotors at the RX8 forum, several years ago. Turned out most were guys who changed/rotated their wheels without torque wrenches and the way the RX8 front spindle/rotor/wheel assembly was made, uneven tightening of the wheels would warp the brake rotors and distort the wheels. It was a case of uneven tightening, not a case of evenly over or under tightening.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:40 AM   #12
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Same warp rotor issue was common in the mid 90's Chevy's for the same problem. Dealers mechanics would use the impact wrench to install lug nuts and torque the nuts down all the way before even adding the next nut.

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