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Is there any point in spending money on an expensive torque wrench if they all need to be calibrated every year? I'm currently using a cheap HF torque wrench ($20) and I was wondering if it is even worth calibrating because it seems to cost around $50. I'd be better off just buying a new torque wrench every year. So is there any purpose in buying a quality torque wrench if they are gonna be calibrated so often? I'm not sure how accurate HF torque wrenches are straight out of the box, but it is still cheaper than getting it calibrated.
 

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If I was building a engine, diff, gearbox, then yes, I would use a calibrated torque wrench.

My Toledo torque wrench only sees wheel nuts and has never been calibrated.

Main thing to remember is to unwind the mechanism when not in use.

Also buy a quality brand, Ive seen some dodgey cheap tools.
 

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If you doing anything that requires precision do not use a HF torque wrench. There are torque wrenches that are affordable and not off the tool truck. Those torque wrenches are worthy calibrating.
 

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Get yourself a beam wrench if you want a cheap one.

Otherwise the 100 dollar range does quite well for the clicker stuff. I wouldnt even bother with a 20 dollar HF one, ive tightened enough bolts to be as close as the HF one by hand lol.
 

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Calibration won't fix a device that can not make repeatable measurements.
 

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I have a 3/8" dr. Husky torque wrench that's 20 years old and it's still on the money. I always make sure to unload it after every use which I think helps. Also back then they were made by SK Tool. Now most box store brands are Chinese crap. I've since started buying CDI torque wrenches. I think even they are made in Taiwan, but they seem to be good quality and you can get them for a good price on some of the tool sites as well as ebay. A side note... CDI makes some of the torquewrenches for Snap on. Anyway I have a 3/8's dial and clicker as well as clickers in 1/2" and 3/4" dr. So far I've been very happy with them.
 

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Yeah I've had my snap-on digital torque wrench for about 5yrs now. I have never ever dropped it and put it back in its case right after use every single time. I've had it calibrated once and that was about 4 years ago. To this day its accurate and i trust its readings. So to make my point and answer your question, yes its worth it to invest in quality tools but it also depends on what your using them for. If you just using the torque wrench to tighten down lug nuts then yeah i wouldnt spend the money on something fancy. But if your using the torque wrench alot and using it for important stuff like head studs and other big work then yes i highly recommend investing in quality tools.
 

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I have a precision instruments Split Beam Torque wrench.

That thing is awesome, you dont have to unwind shit... just rotate a dial to specified torque and have at it, you can leave it on any torque settings. There's also video on how to calibrate that but from what i've seen, they hold their calibration *looooong* just because of the nature of its design.

I've used tekton and HF and husky but after getting that split beam, havent really wanted to go back to any click style torque wrenches.
 

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I had a buddy that put together his entire BMW E30 5.0 v8 Build with a HF torque wrench and he says it was just as accurate as his Snapon one hes got at work. How it will stand the test of time, idk, but something to be said for cheap tools that you only break out once in a blue moon.
 

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i have early 90s snapon 3/8 and their 1/2 was working professionally so wanted something better than my craftsman beam style! the 90s was sent back for calibration before I received it and it read completely accurate, purchase was ~2011, still use both and tested my beam vs my 1/2 and still is on the money!
 

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Excluding severe abuse, why would a beam torque wrench go out of cal. It's just a piece of metal - I'd expect temperature - say in my unheated garage to have a greater effect.

Added: How would you calibrate a beam wrench?
1) Zero it by bending the non-moving beam so that it point to 0
2) After that all you can really do is print a new scale! and attach!
 

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i could see it going out due to torqueing past its max point eg: max is 90, doing head bolts take it up to 150, or something similar...stacking tools in your toolbox maybe, I know I had one that got damaged years ago...I tried bending it back but was never quite the same lol
 
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