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Posted: 1/16/2021 6:15:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2021 6:37:48 PM EST by EdPoint]
I’m just curious what torque wrenches you guys are using for barrel nuts when building? I know it doesn’t matter much, but I would think I’d prefer a dial type torque wrench for this. Or are most you guys just using the standard click type?
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 6:16:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By EdPoint:
I’m just curious what torque wrenches you guys are using for barrel nuts when building? I know it doesn’t matter much, but I would think I’d prefer a dial type wrench for this. Or are most you guys just using the standard click type?
View Quote


German!
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 6:41:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By EdPoint:
I’m just curious what torque wrenches you guys are using for barrel nuts when building? I know it doesn’t matter much, but I would think I’d prefer a dial type wrench for this. Or are most you guys just using the standard click type?
View Quote


Click type from Harbor Freight.  Yeah,  not as accurate as a Snap-On, but the range is 35-80 ft-lbs, so not really an issue.

I basically make sure it is at least 35 ft-lbs then crank it to the next notch in the nut that lines up for the gas tube.  As long as it doesn't go over 80 ft-lbs it's all good.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 6:46:04 PM EST
There  are a ton of used SnapOn’ on ebay from retired mechanics.  That’s where I got mine
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 6:49:41 PM EST
Harbor Freight for ft pounds

Wheeler for inch pounds
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:18:31 PM EST
Snap-On/CDI
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:22:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By EdPoint:
I’m just curious what torque wrenches you guys are using for barrel nuts when building? I know it doesn’t matter much, but I would think I’d prefer a dial type torque wrench for this. Or are most you guys just using the standard click type?
View Quote

I use a click-type.

BTW, it is really easy to check your calibration . . . .
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:33:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lysanderxiii:

I use a click-type.

BTW, it is really easy to check your calibration . . . .
View Quote

Craftsman

That is a really rough way to check calibration.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:38:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Donut777donut:
Harbor Freight for ft pounds

Wheeler for inch pounds
View Quote


This.

For barrel nut you just need to make sure it's not too much or too little torque in the wide range given.

It won't matter if the actual torque is accurate to 2 or 5%, you'll be lined up with the gas tube before you ever reach max torque. If you don't have to worry about gas tube lining up with barrel nut you still have a huge range to hit.


For inch pounds I use a wheeler fat wrench. Works great.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:50:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2021 7:52:59 PM EST by AlanD]
I have both dial type and click type torque wrenches and prefer the dial type.  The dial type allows you to see the amount of force as you are applying it, which I find advantageous.  It is particularly useful for timing (aligning) things such as a muzzle brake on a barrel.

FWIW I use this for higher torque applications: CDI 1403NLDNSS 1/2-Inch Drive Newton Meter Dial Torque Wrench, Torque Range 0 to 140.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:56:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SoftwareJanitor:


Click type from Harbor Freight.  Yeah,  not as accurate as a Snap-On, but the range is 35-80 ft-lbs, so not really an issue.

I basically make sure it is at least 35 ft-lbs then crank it to the next notch in the nut that lines up for the gas tube.  As long as it doesn't go over 80 ft-lbs it's all good.
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This.   I have compared the Harbor Freight Super Coupon $9.99 torque wrenches to a few to the EXPENSIVE professional mechanic ones and it was VERY close to match.  VERY close.

As SoftwareJanitor mentioned, the AR nut takes a RANGE from 35 up to 80, so I torgue it up to 30 & release twice, (to set the threads) and then final set around 55 ft/lbs as a good mid point where I can tighten if needed to clear the gas tube.

Link Posted: 1/16/2021 8:08:52 PM EST
I own a lot of Snap-on/Matco. Not sure I want the price tag of one of them for this application, but I do prefer good quality tools. I just never bought a torque wrench. Always borrowed that. Like the one reply said, I would think the dial type would be advantageous for gun work.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 10:56:29 PM EST
Northern Tool. For my preferred MI rails, the error range for hitting a non timed 40 ft/lb is neglible vs higher torque settings given timing, so a budget torque wrench will do.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 1:27:54 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 9:44:01 AM EST
I use the loan-a-tool from the local auto parts store.  They have click style, and if it looks rough I ask for another or go somewhere else.  I have an AutoZone, O'reilly's, and Advance all within a mile of me.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 2:19:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2021 2:20:28 PM EST by ahrion]
Tekton 1/4 for inch lbs and 1/2 for foot lbs. Does the job.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 2:21:08 PM EST
My 25 y/o Snap-on
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 2:28:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2021 2:35:16 PM EST by Pneumagger]
the barrel nut torque spec variation is huge. Like 30-80 ft-lbs or something.  Just use your arm.  I have a torque wrench and don't even bother to use it half the time.  It's just not necessary on a torque that has a +/-50% spec on it.  LOL.  Do you lift weights?  Imagine the force necessary to handle a 50LB dumbbell.  Hold your barrel nut wrench about 12" from the nut and apply your imaginary 50LB force... congratulations, that's about 50 ft-lbs and right in the middle of the spec.  In fact, if you HAVE a 30-80 LB weight you can hang it from the action wrench with a string 12" from the nut, too.

Obsessing over barrel torque spec is overrated. There's long distance shooters dialing up 1000yd and mile long shots using rifles with *literally* hand-tight barrels.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 4:52:40 PM EST
Harbor freight wrench I got on sale. Works well enough for my purposes.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 5:56:44 PM EST
Tekton
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 9:53:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 10:27:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/25/2021 11:50:01 PM EST by BCOWANWHEELS]
THE MORE IT COSTS THE MORE ACCURITE IS IS AS A GENERAL RULE. PERSONALLY ITS HARD TO BEAT MAC OR SNAP - ON FOR THE MONEY. CLICK TYPE......
YOU,LL FIND YOU,LL USE IT FOR MORE THAN JUST GUN STUFF............ALSO
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 10:36:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By QCMGR:


German!
View Quote


Guten Tight.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 10:44:43 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SoftwareJanitor:


Click type from Harbor Freight.  Yeah,  not as accurate as a Snap-On, but the range is 35-80 ft-lbs, so not really an issue.

I basically make sure it is at least 35 ft-lbs then crank it to the next notch in the nut that lines up for the gas tube.  As long as it doesn't go over 80 ft-lbs it's all good.
View Quote


Yep.

And $15 when l got mine.  Close enough for me.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 11:43:02 PM EST
THE MORE IT COSTS THE MORE ACCURITE IS
View Quote

i
How accurate does it have to be to hit a 30 - 80 ft lb window?!?!?
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 1:17:17 AM EST
Craftsman for both in/lbs and ft/lbs. 40+ yrs old and still going strong.

Just dial back to zero after every use to unload the spring.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 1:45:22 AM EST
Tekton
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 2:22:02 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SoftwareJanitor:


Click type from Harbor Freight.  Yeah,  not as accurate as a Snap-On, but the range is 35-80 ft-lbs, so not really an issue.

I basically make sure it is at least 35 ft-lbs then crank it to the next notch in the nut that lines up for the gas tube.  As long as it doesn't go over 80 ft-lbs it's all good.
View Quote


Back in the day when I was still working I was a service manager. We were required to have our torque wrenches certified annually so I contracted a national licensed company to come to our shop to check the accuracy of the torque wrenches being used. 100 % of the company wrenches were high dollar names and were 0-600 ft lbs, 0-300 ft lbs, 0-100 ft lbs, way down to torque screw drivers. Most of the guys also had their own they used for service work in their tool boxes which were just about all snap on. I was pretty good to the boys so on the day our wrenches were going to be checked I would let them bring their torque wrenches from home in and put them on the pile. I saw a lot of Craftsman harbor freight, and other Chinese wrenches. Sometimes if I had a chance I would watch the people checking the calibration and I was especially curious about the Craftsman and Harbor Freight. The craftsman and HF always were right in there with the high dollar wrenches which surprised me. The guys told me that they see the same result in most shops across the United States surprising them also.

I retired almost 11 years ago so that was then and I don't know what HF and Craftsman are like today. There is no way a HF or Craftsman will take 8 hours day after day on the shop floor clicking away on fasteners but for the guy at home I think they are a good value and accurate. Biggest thing with any T wrench never pull them counter clockwise, reduce the spring tension as soon as you get the fastener torqued. And then you have the Dopes that think its cool to double click.

Long story short don't be afraid of a HF if you take care of it for home use.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 11:39:14 AM EST
Snap-On flex head digital torque wrench that vibrates and beeps when you reach the set torque.

Link Posted: 1/18/2021 12:04:49 PM EST
After years of using a 100 Allen & Torx Bit wrenches and single tips I finally but the bullet (No Pun) and splurged for a sweet Torque Wrench and Kit to take place of a million different single tools. The Vortex is a bit pricey but totally worth it IMHO and the 72 Piece Wheeler Bit kit has every different tip for most everything! I found the Vortex one on a killer Gov-X sale for $54 and it even comes with a bunch of tips as well. Wheeler makes tons of different kits for anyone to pick and choose.

What Im looking for right now is a Multi Tool for Castle Nuts an the like. Real Avid and Magpul are best rated I think. Anyone attest to others?

Attachment Attached File
Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 12:15:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BCOWANWHEELS:
THE MORE IT COSTS THE MORE ACCURITE IS IS AS A GENERAL RULE. PERSONALLY ITS HARD TO BEAT MAC OR SNAP - ON FOR THE MONEY. CLICK TYPE......
View Quote

Hah. Ever take a HF junk toque wrench to a spec test place? I have, they are well within their advertised spec. So, as long as the HF spec is ok for the application, no need to spend more than that.

But, I don't see anything good at HF for that 5-50 lb-in scale.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 12:47:58 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Tejas1836:

Craftsman

That is a really rough way to check calibration.
View Quote

It will get you to within 1% if you are careful.

Is it traceable to NIST standards?  No, but are you working on the space shuttle?
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 5:32:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/18/2021 5:33:21 PM EST by 2A-Non-Negotiable]
I bought a GearWrench 85052 in 2011 and just tested its accuracy a couple months ago with a 35-lb weight. It was no more than 1/2-lb off, which is excellent. I've never adjusted it, and I don't think you even can.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 10:49:00 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IowaFox:


Back in the day when I was still working I was a service manager. We were required to have our torque wrenches certified annually so I contracted a national licensed company to come to our shop to check the accuracy of the torque wrenches being used. 100 % of the company wrenches were high dollar names and were 0-600 ft lbs, 0-300 ft lbs, 0-100 ft lbs, way down to torque screw drivers. Most of the guys also had their own they used for service work in their tool boxes which were just about all snap on. I was pretty good to the boys so on the day our wrenches were going to be checked I would let them bring their torque wrenches from home in and put them on the pile. I saw a lot of Craftsman harbor freight, and other Chinese wrenches. Sometimes if I had a chance I would watch the people checking the calibration and I was especially curious about the Craftsman and Harbor Freight. The craftsman and HF always were right in there with the high dollar wrenches which surprised me. The guys told me that they see the same result in most shops across the United States surprising them also.

I retired almost 11 years ago so that was then and I don't know what HF and Craftsman are like today. There is no way a HF or Craftsman will take 8 hours day after day on the shop floor clicking away on fasteners but for the guy at home I think they are a good value and accurate. Biggest thing with any T wrench never pull them counter clockwise, reduce the spring tension as soon as you get the fastener torqued. And then you have the Dopes that think its cool to double click.

Long story short don't be afraid of a HF if you take care of it for home use.
View Quote


I'd generally agree that budget items are probably not the best choice for professional high usage work, but adequate in general for home use...

I'm also of the opinion that over the past few years Harbor Freight and in general a lot of their similar priced competitors have on average really stepped their games up quality wise.  Chinese made goods are not as crappy overall as they used to be.  Still inconsistent, sure.
Link Posted: 1/25/2021 4:08:19 PM EST
I recently bought a Tekton.  The Amazon reviews were mostly good, except a bunch of complaints that people received obviously used and damaged wrenches, so I bought directly from Tekton.

Tekton is made in Taiwan, which makes me feel a bit better.  I don't need a $140 torque wrench, but don't want a $10 Chinesium special, so the $40 Tekton 10-150 ft-lb seemed like a good fit.  I haven't had a chance to use it, but in some simple testing with weights, it's pretty repeatable, if not super precise.  I'm happy with it so far.  We'll see how it holds up after a few barrel swaps.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 12:06:18 AM EST
I work in industrial maintenance working on multi million dollar machinery. I build ARs fairly often.

I have never used a torque wrench professionally or on an AR nor have I ever seen anybody use one at work. You should be able to tell when a fastener is tight. It's not rocket science.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 6:25:30 PM EST
I use an Eagle Tools torque wrench I bought at Big Lots about thirty years ago. Never have had any problems with it.
Link Posted: 1/27/2021 9:53:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/27/2021 10:21:57 AM EST by MS556]
A few years back a magazine, I think Hot Rod Magazine, tested several popular torque wrenches in a comparison,  The Harbor Freight models were just as accurate at the pricey ones.  They tested Snap-On, Craftsman and Harbor Freight.  If I recall, each was tested for accuracy for repeated use over a period of thirty days under equal, controlled conditions.  There was no statistically significant difference in accuracy.

One thing to remember about all of the "click" type torque wrenches that have the twist dial at the end of the handle:

Be sure to return it to zero or slack after each use.  Otherwise, the mechanism develops a "set" and will become inaccurate over time - even Snap-On.

Store them set at zero.

I have all three of the Harbor Freight sizes - 1/4, 3/8, 1/2".  They work just fine.

I do have a huge, very long 1" drive Snap-On for 250 lb and higher torque on farm equipment.  Bought it used at an equipment auction.  Obviously not needed for any small arms firearm service!  I picked it up for $200.  Seems like a lot, but a new one is over $2,000!
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