If you fancy yourself a bit of a home mechanic, whether you just like to tinker or whether you dive elbows-deep into restoration projects, the right tools can make a big difference. A digital torque wrench is a versatile tool that can be used for virtually any job you may need to do on your vehicle.
Digital torque wrenches work on much the same principles as traditional versions, but instead of having an analog gauge, they feature a digital display. Why is this advantageous? Not only is a digital gauge easier to read (as the values are shown in numbers) they are better in low light as the screen lights up. This can be very useful in situations where you are working in tight areas that may be difficult to light.
An additional advantage of digital torque wrenches is that they can be set to achieve a certain level of torque. Once that level is reached, the force with stop, and no more tightening will occur. This will help to avoid over-tightening and eliminate the nee to keep such a close eye on the gauge while tightening. With this type of torque wrench, you can “set it and forget it,” as the old infomercial adage goes.
Like other kinds of torque wrenches, digital versions can be used to removed virtually any part that is held on by a nut or bolt. With a torque wrench, you can remove all of the vehicle’s parts in just a few minutes. When you consider that increase in efficiency, a shop can achieve the same job with much less labour than in the past. Before you run out and buy one, however, it’s important to understand what to look for.
One feature you should always look for is the ability to be protected from oil and grease. Let’s face it: Torque wrenches are typically used in very dirty conditions. The ability to keep the wrench as clean as possible is important because it will ensure the wrench continues to work properly for years to come, thereby protecting your investment.
Another important consideration when purchasing a torque wrench is the accompanying warranty. Because these types of wrenches are quite technologically advanced, there is a possibility for improper use on the learning curve, which can lead to breakdowns. Digital torque wrenches are not inexpensive to replace, so be sure there is a good warranty with the one you are considering purchasing, so you have some recourse should anything go wrong. Similarly, be sure you are purchasing your torque wrench from a reputable source so you know you are getting a good-quality wrench.
Whether you own a garage or are simply a weekend warrior, a digital torque wrench can be a huge asset to your tool kit. When searching for one, just be sure to shop at a reliable source, buy a good-quality wrench, and look for the kinds of added features that will streamline your workflow and make your life easier. You’ll be glad you did.