Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test

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Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test
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Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test

Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test
Nine inexpensive torque wrenches are being tested

When Scarlett in the little black dress reaches for the 1000 Nm torque wrench, the woman and the screw connection are well tightened. But the tool would be a bit oversized for a motorcycle. The conscientious screwdriver is much better served with 1/4 and / or 3/8 inch torque wrenches. Nine inexpensive representatives of these classes are taking part in the test.

Klaus Herder

11/08/2012


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


Herder

MOTORRAD determined the measuring accuracy with an electronic torque tester (from 1200 euros + software).

Since we know our readers and before we forget: Scarlett is unfortunately already taken; and the two-piece, bag-heavy Hazet torque wrench 6150-1 CT (400 to 1000 Nm) costs 1259.02 euros.

But now to the somewhat smaller calibers: The realization that it is too loose
Being able to say goodbye to sitting screws or nuts at the most inopportune moment is not really surprising. And the old screwdriver adage “After firm comes off” is wonderfully clear, the under- or over-motivated screwdriver realizes very quickly that he has done something wrong. But it gets sneaky when the vegetables do not have any directly visible, but all the more fatal consequences: Screw connections that are too tight can initially behave inconspicuously, but they are still irreversibly damaged. This is the case when the mating thread of the overloaded screw or nut has become “soft” and has not (yet) cracked or broken. The screw connection feels tight, but loosens with a delay and falls off. It therefore makes a lot of sense for vehicle and accessory manufacturers to specify a precisely defined tightening torque for practically every screw connection. And these values ​​should be adhered to as much as possible, especially with safety-relevant connections such as axle nuts, brake caliper fastenings, standpipe and handlebar clamps and strut fastenings.

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Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test

Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test
Nine inexpensive torque wrenches are being tested

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In this country, the unit of measurement newton meter (Nm) is used today; in the past, measurements in meter kilograms (mkg) were also common. One Nm is 0.102 mkg. In English-speaking countries, poundforce per foot (lbf.ft) can still be found today: One Nm is 0.738 lbf.ft, one lbf.ft corresponds to 1.356 Nm. We are interested in the Nm values, and these can now be looked up not only in workshop manuals, but in almost every repair manual. The Bucheli repair instructions for the BMW R 1200 GS, for example, deal with the subject on a full twelve pages. At the latest when reading the values ​​listed there, even the last hobby mechanic will discover that you will not get very far with the 1/2-inch motorcycle torque wrench, which can be found in practically every hardware store and is mostly used for changing car wheels. While car wheel nuts usually have values ​​between 80 and 110 Nm, there are plenty of screw connections on motorbikes that can only tolerate single-digit or low double-digit Nm values. Since these are often relatively small screws and nuts, a torque wrench with the smallest possible tool holder and compact dimensions is the first choice – which brings us to the 1/4-inch tool. With 5 to 25 or 6 to 30 Nm you are equipped for almost all eventualities in this class. But there is still a lot to screw on the motorcycle between 20 and 50 Nm – a clear case for the 3/8-inch torque wrench. A size that
is also very popular with motorcycle screwdrivers because of its ideal combination of compact dimensions and high power transmission capacity.

However, this story is not about the professional devices, which can easily cost 200 euros and more and have to endure hard use every day. MOTORRAD set itself 100 euros as a pain threshold and went on a shopping spree in the greater Stuttgart area at the relevant motorcycle accessory discounters, in the automotive parts trade and also in bicycle shops. The range is of course much larger – especially on the Internet – but in practice almost all models in the low-price range come from one and the same few sources, mostly from Taiwan or China. Identical designs are common, but this does not mean that the same measurement accuracy is also offered – see Fuxon / Louis. None of the discounters can offer a test certificate, as is required for professional devices. Apart from Proxxon, no permanent serial numbers that enable tracking are attached either. The providers have already heard of DIN EN ISO 6789, which regulates the test procedure for “hand-operated torque tools”, because in some advertising statements they refer to the specified tolerance of four percent, but definitely tested according to this (and with the aforementioned Certificate) is none of the test takers.


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


Gargolov

Our model Scarlett with the 1000 Nm torque wrench.

Nevertheless, MOTORRAD took the above-mentioned standard as a basis for its work and, after extensive “warm-drawing”, sent all test candidates to the electronic torque meter for 15 measurements. Since such a device also works with a (minimal) tolerance, MOTORRAD extended the tolerance range to five percent. The test was carried out with five measurements each at 20, 60 and 100 percent of the maximum adjustable value. For Mighty and BGS, the next higher value was used because the intermediate values ​​could not be set. The minimum and maximum values ​​of the five measurements per Nm value were included in the evaluation – these are the values ​​that can be found in the data boxes under “Measurement accuracy”.

In the case of professional devices, it is common for them to have to be serviced regularly, where the calibration is checked and, if necessary, readjusted. To do this, the tool must of course be able to be dismantled and the customer should also be given a contact person. In the models tested, only the test winner Proxxon offers such a service to some extent. Best purchase tip Rothewald has (as a 3/8 inch model) to offer the best measuring accuracy ex works. Well dressed? Certainly with the two very good models.

Fuxon torque wrench


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


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Fuxon torque wrench.

PROVIDERS: Comus International, 51149 Cologne, Tel. 0 22 03/89 84 80, www.comus.de

PRICE: 89.99 / 84.99 euros (RRP / paid at Zweirad-Center Urban, Backnang)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: ¼ inch, 3 to 15 Nm; Length 20 cm, weight 212 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm scale and rotary adjustment, 7 socket wrench inserts (hexagon socket 2 / 2.5 / 3/4/5/6 mm, Torx T25), plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: -13.0 to -14.7% deviation at 3 Nm; -7.4 to -8.9% at 9 Nm; -3.8 to -5.1% at 15 Nm

PLUS:

Easy to set, scale and vernier easy to read; Fuse very good; compact shape; acceptable workmanship

MINUS:

Serial number only glued on; Tool can only be opened to a limited extent; Switch lever sticks out a bit; only moderate measurement accuracy in the lower and middle Nm range; very expensive

CONCLUSION

Small tool for small Nm values? Can you at least forget with this copy, only in the higher Nm range is it acceptable. Which is astonishing, since the structurally identical Louis product, which is supplied with fewer accessories but is only half as expensive, performs much better.

MOTORRAD verdict: sufficient

Louis professional torque wrench


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


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Louis professional torque wrench.

PROVIDERS: Detlev Louis, 21035 Hamburg, Tel. 0 40/73 41 93 60, www.louis.de

PRICE: 42.95 / 42.95 euros (RRP / paid at Louis, Stuttgart)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: ¼ inch, 3 to 15 Nm; Length 20 cm, weight 212 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm scale and rotary adjustment, plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: 0 to -6.3% deviation at 3 Nm; 1.1 to 4.2% at 9 Nm; 3.6 to 6.7% at 15 Nm

PLUS:

Easy to set, scale and vernier easy to read; Fuse very good; compact shape; acceptable workmanship; good to very good measuring accuracy; acceptable price

MINUS:

Serial number only glued on; Tool can only be opened to a limited extent; The switch lever sticks out a bit

CONCLUSION

Coincidence or just better adjustment ex works? In any case, the fact is that this copy works much more precisely than the structurally identical Fuxon model. And it doesn’t even cost half that. The seven (mostly superfluous) socket wrenches can easily be dispensed with.

MOTORRAD verdict: Good

Mighty torque wrench


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


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Mighty torque wrench.

PROVIDERS: Messingschlager, 96148 Baunach, Tel. 0 95 44/94 44 45, www.messingschlager.com

PRICE: 54.90 / 59.90 euros (RRP / paid at Bikes’n’Boards, Stuttgart)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: ¼-inch, 2 to 24 Nm; Length 20.5 cm, weight 362 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm scale and rotary adjustment, 7 socket wrench inserts (hexagon socket 3/4/5/6/8/10 mm, Torx T25), plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: 1.7 to 10.3% deviation at 6 Nm; 21.5 to 22.4% at 14 Nm; 14.0 to 18.7% at 24 Nm

PLUS:

Adjustment easy; Tool can be opened completely; Switch lever mounted sunk; Attachment release

MINUS:

Nm setting cannot be secured; no fine adjustment possible (vernier missing); Scale glued on; no serial number; poor processing, unsatisfactory measurement accuracy

CONCLUSION

This is not a measuring instrument, but an estimation device. It is almost unbelievable that a “torque wrench” is being sold for not that little money, which cannot be fine-tuned and which cannot be secured. The measurement inaccuracy fits into the picture.

MOTORRAD verdict: inadequate

Proxxon Microclick MC 30


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


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Proxxon Microclick MC 30.

PROVIDERS: Proxxon, 54343 Fohren, Tel. 0 65 02/9 31 70, www.proxxon.com

PRICE: 57.50 / 53.99 euros (RRP / paid to Hein Gericke, Stuttgart)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: ¼ inch, 6 to 30 Nm; Length 33.5 cm, weight 804 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm scale and rotary adjustment, plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: 24.7 to 25.3% deviation at 6 Nm; 6.9 to 8.8% at 18 Nm; 4.7 to 6.0% at 30 Nm

PLUS:

Setting very easy, scale and vernier
easy to read; Fuse very good; Attachment release; Tool can be opened completely, service offer in very good operating instructions; Lasered serial number; good workmanship, ratchet head well sealed

MINUS:

Ratchet head relatively large (possibly space problems), switch lever sticks out a bit; in the lower Nm range only very moderate measurement accuracy

CONCLUSION

A well-made tool, which unfortunately clearly weakens in the specific case in the lower Nm range. What will not be a fundamental problem (and can probably be fixed by the service offer) – the sister model is the test winner.

MOTORRAD verdict: satisfying

Rothewald professional torque wrench


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


mps photo studio

Rothewald professional torque wrench.

PROVIDERS: Detlev Louis, 21035 Hamburg, Tel. 0 40/73 41 93 60, www.louis.de

PRICE: 39.95 / 39.95 euros (RRP / paid at Louis, Stuttgart)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: ¼ inch, 6 to 30 Nm; Length 29 cm, weight 704 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm / ft-lb scales and rotary adjustment, 3/8-inch adapter, plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: 11.3 to 16.2% deviation at 6 Nm; 6.4 to 7.8% at 18 Nm; 5.3 to 12.7% at 30 Nm

PLUS:

Easy to set, scale and vernier easy to read; Fuse very good; Tool can be opened completely, good workmanship; Adapter included

MINUS:

Ratchet head relatively large (possibly space problems), switch lever sticks out a bit and catches a bit; Serial number only glued on; Measurement accuracy unsatisfactory, no value in the green range of max. 5%

CONCLUSION

In principle, made quite valuable, but the actual measurement results are sobering. Here, too, it is astonishing that (as with the small Proxxon) the basically structurally identical 3/8-inch sister model works a lot better and is rated “very good”.

MOTORRAD verdict: sufficient

SW steel autom. Torque wrench


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


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SW steel automatic torque wrench.

PROVIDERS: SW-Stahl, 42897 Remscheid, Tel. 0 21 91/46 43 80, www.sw-stahl.com

PRICE: 63.31 / 53.20 euros (RRP / paid at Martika Autoteile, Backnang)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: ¼-inch, 5 to 25 Nm; Length 27.5 cm, weight 592 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm / cm-kgs scales and rotary adjustment, plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: 2.4 to 3.4% deviation at 5 Nm; 4.8 to 5.8% at 15 Nm; 10.1 to 13.7% at 25 Nm

PLUS:

Setting relatively easy; Tool can be opened completely; Switch lever sunk; satisfactory measurement accuracy

MINUS:

Nm scale and vernier cannot be read off optimally; Fuse easy to use, but can also be accidentally activated when adjusting the Nm; Ratchet head and main tube open and therefore sensitive to dirt; Serial no. glued; rustic processing

CONCLUSION

Does largely what a torque wrench should: measures (in the lower and middle) Nm range relatively accurately, but weakens a bit at the top. In terms of user-friendliness, feel and workmanship, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

MOTORRAD verdict: sufficient

BGS torque wrench


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


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BGS torque wrench.

PROVIDERS: BGS Technic, 42929 Wermelskirchen, Tel. 0 21 96/72 04 80, www.bgstechnic.com

PRICE: 41.36 / 26.95 euros (RRP / paid at Polo, Stuttgart)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: 3/8-inch, 13.6-108.5 Nm; Length 27.5 cm, weight 662 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm / mkg scales and rotary adjustment, ½ inch adapter, plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY:
26.4 to 29.6% deviation at 21.6 Nm; -2.0 to 1.1% at 65.8 Nm; 1.9 to 4.9% at 108.5 Nm

PLUS:

Tool can be largely opened; good measuring accuracy in the middle and upper Nm range; Adapter included

MINUS:

Difficult to adjust in the upper Nm range; Nm scale and vernier cannot be read off optimally; Safety can be accidentally activated when adjusting; Main pipe open and sensitive to dirt; no serial number.

CONCLUSION

Too imprecise for smaller Nm values ​​(which are often required for motorcycles), but measures precisely in the middle and upper range. Lever a little short for 108 Nm. Somewhat rustic feel, but an attractive (market) price. On the other hand: For only 20 euros more you get “very good”.

MOTORRAD verdict: satisfying

Proxxon Microclick MC 100


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


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Proxxon Microclick MC 100.

PROVIDERS: Proxxon, 54343 Fohren, Tel. 0 65 02/9 31 70, www.proxxon.com

PRICE: 75.90 / 71.99 euros (RRP / paid at Hein Gericke, Stuttgart)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: 3/8-inch, 20 to 100 Nm; Length 42.5 cm, weight 1030 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm scale and rotary adjustment, plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: -3.0 to -3.5% deviation at 20 Nm; -3.0 to -5.0% at 60 Nm; -2.0 to -2.7% at 100 Nm

PLUS:

Setting is very easy, scale and vernier are easy to read; Fuse very good; Attachment release; Tool can be opened completely, service offer in very good operating instructions; Lasered serial number; good workmanship, very clean running ratchet; Head sealed very well; very good measuring accuracy

MINUS:

Ratchet head quite large (possibly space problems), switch lever sticks out a bit

CONCLUSION

From 15 measured values ​​all in the green (5%) range – that is very good. The self-set 3% target is sometimes just missed, but this is not relevant for this test. In addition, a high-quality, very practical design – and thus a clear test winner.

MOTORRAD verdict: very good

Rothewald professional torque wrench


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


mps photo studio

Rothewald professional torque wrench.

PROVIDERS: Detlev Louis, 21035 Hamburg, Tel. 0 40/73 41 93 60, www.louis.de

PRICE: 49.95 / 49.95 euros (RRP / paid at Louis, Stuttgart)

DRIVE / MEASURING RANGE: 3/8-inch, 19 to 110 Nm; Length 37.5 cm, weight 906 g

SCOPE OF DELIVERY: Tool with Nm / ft-lb scales and rotary adjustment, ¼ and ½ inch adapter, plastic cassette

MEASURING ACCURACY: 0.5 to 1.8% deviation at 22 Nm; 1.2 to 4.2% at 66 Nm; -0.2 to 0.6% at 110 Nm

PLUS:

Easy to set, scale and vernier easy to read; Fuse very good; Tool can be opened completely, good workmanship; two adapters included; Head well sealed and relatively slim for 3/8-inch proportions; excellent measurement accuracy; very attractive price

MINUS:

Switch lever sticks out a bit; Serial number just glued on

CONCLUSION

In terms of measurement accuracy, it is slightly better than the test winner, also noticeably cheaper and equipped with a slightly larger Nm range. Not that easy and convenient (but still easy) to use – this is what a “very good” tip looks like.

MOTORRAD verdict: very good

The final score


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


archive

Final score of the torque wrench test.

Conclusion

A rather mixed result in the 1/4-inch range, but with Proxxon and Rothewald two “very good” 3/8-inch tools at the same time – it’s a bit surprising that these two providers are not as good with their smaller sister models cut off. Or it confirms the assumption that it is naturally more complicated in the lower Nm range – if only because of the significantly smaller tolerance range – to offer very precise torque wrenches for relatively little money. And what is the tip for the ambitious hobby mechanic who wants to cover the entire Nm range that occurs on the motorcycle? Take it easy for the inexpensive 3/8 inch tools and rely on professional tools with a certificate and manufacturer service for the 1/4 inch tools.

Practical tips


Torque wrench under 100 euros in a comparison test


mps photo studio

Our model Scarlett with a small and large torque wrench.

  1. A torque wrench is a sensitive measuring tool and should ALWAYS be treated that way.
  2. A torque wrench is NOT intended for loosening bolts or nuts. There is only one reason for switching to left-hand rotation: there are also left-hand threads!
  3. Triggering torque wrenches should always be relaxed after their last use, i.e. turned back to the lowest scale value.
  4. Work calmly and evenly, do not use the torque wrench jerkily. Store the tool safely when not in use – a fall from the workbench is poison for the mechanics. 
  5. Give for maintenance on a regular basis. In industry, torque wrenches require service after 5000 uses or once a year. This is certainly exaggerated for private users, but every two to three years the darling should go to customer service – which is usually cheaper than expected. Adjusting, calibrating and, if necessary, repairing costs z. B. at the professional tool manufacturer Hazet as a complete package including packaging and shipping for less than 50 euros.

Basic tightening torques

Steel screw in steel thread (or steel nut on steel bolt)

Screw / nut M5
(SW * 7 or 8) 5 to 6 Nm

M6 screw / nut
(SW 8 or 10) 9 to 11 Nm

M8 screw / nut
(SW 12 or 13) 22 to 25 Nm

M10 screw / nut
(SW 14 or 17) 44 to 50 Nm

M12 screw / nut
(SW 17 or 19) 77 to 85 Nm

M14 screw / nut
(SW 19 or 21) 95 to 110 Nm

M16 screw / nut
(SW 22 or 24) 125 to 155 Nm

Steel screw in aluminum thread (or aluminum nut on steel bolt)

Screw / nut M5
(SW 7 or 8) 3.5 to 5.0 Nm

M6 screw / nut
(SW 8 or 10) 6.0 to 7.8 Nm

M8 screw / nut
(SW 12 or 13) 14 to 22 Nm

M10 screw / nut
(SW 14 or 17) 25 to 35 Nm

M12 screw / nut
(SW 17 or 19) 45 to 60 Nm

Phillips and flange bolts / nuts

5 mm screw with Phillips head 4 Nm

6 mm screw with Phillips head 9 Nm

Flange screw 6 mm with SW 8 9 Nm

Flange screw / nut 6 mm with SW 10 12 Nm

Flange screw / nut 8 mm 26 Nm

Flange screw / nut 10 mm 39 Nm

Flange screw / nut:
Screw / nut that is firmly attached to a washer.

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