do you calibrate your torque wrench?

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I have an inexpensive torque wrench that's several years old but it has seen very light use. I just use it to tighten wheel lugs, do fluid changes and brakes, that's all. I always store it at the "0" setting so I figure it should be as accurate as when it was new. Does it need recalibrating?
 
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There are places that will recalibrate them. We had to keep ours in perfect condition at all times since we made gaskets. If it was accidentally dropped it became questionable and off it went. The place was local so we didn't have much down time. It was an electronic model.
 
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If you don't abuse them they last a life time. I have one that is a Snap-On but the single digit collar is slipping so it needs to go in.
 
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I have a beam type, and I just bend the shaft over to the side so that it zereos.
 
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If it's a cheap torque wrench, it probably isn't worth the money. The cost of recaliberation is probably more than what you paid for the wrench originally. You may as well go to China Freight and buy another one.
 Originally Posted By: Steve S
Most automotive applications aren't that critical.
Until you break a lug stud. ;\)
 
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 Originally Posted By: The Critic
If it's a cheap torque wrench, it probably isn't worth the money. The cost of recaliberation is probably more than what you paid for the wrench originally. You may as well go to China Freight and buy another one.
 Originally Posted By: Steve S
Most automotive applications aren't that critical.
Until you break a lug stud. ;\)
If you don't realize your torque wrench is that far out of calibration, you shouldn't be turning a wrench.
 
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 Originally Posted By: dishdude
If you don't realize your torque wrench is that far out of calibration, you shouldn't be turning a wrench.
I know, I was just messing with Steve.
 
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 Originally Posted By: firemachine69
I leave mine at 78 ft/lbs. Makes for quick-and-dirty lug-nut check-ups. ;\)
You should always "unwind" your torque wrench to the lowest setting of its specified range to release tension on the spring.
 
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I calibrate my clicker torque wrench every few years. The spring does seem to weaken a bit with use. I calibrate it myself by comparing it to my beam wrench. I couple them together by using a 8-point (a twelve-point can also be used) 1/2in socket. Over the past fifteen years i have had to recalibrate twice. I check it every so often and once it is out by more than ten per cent I recalibrate.
 
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The Warren & Brown is the toughest torque wrench there is - it would have to be run over by a truck before I'd even suspect it could be out.
 
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 Originally Posted By: tonycarguy
I have an inexpensive torque wrench that's several years old but it has seen very light use. I just use it to tighten wheel lugs, do fluid changes and brakes, that's all. I always store it at the "0" setting so I figure it should be as accurate as when it was new. Does it need recalibrating?
Great question, I have a Craftsman torque wrench, but fear if Sears gets their hands on it they'll mess it up. I'm leaving mine alone. When done with the torque wrench turn it all the way down to relieve the spring. With light use from a DYI'er they should be accurate for a very long time.
 
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Secure the square drive end in a vice - maybe use a socket or short extension. Make the torque wrench horizontal - nice and level. A dumbell weight of 25-50 lbs can be used to check the 'click' of the wrench at the appropriate setting. Hang it at the right spot and release it SLOWLY. There is often an allen head screw for fine tuning. I like the beam type torque wrench - no fooling around - the spring is at rest when not using it.
 
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Most places will not calibrate a cheap torque wrench.There is one place in West Virginia that won't calibrate a cheap torque wrench.
 
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Jan 15, 2006
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 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
Secure the square drive end in a vice - maybe use a socket or short extension. Make the torque wrench horizontal - nice and level. A dumbell weight of 25-50 lbs can be used to check the 'click' of the wrench at the appropriate setting. Hang it at the right spot and release it SLOWLY. There is often an allen head screw for fine tuning. I like the beam type torque wrench - no fooling around - the spring is at rest when not using it.
Would you not have to hang the weight at 1 foot from the wrench axis to achieve 25 or 50 ft-lbs.??
 
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