Digital Torque Wrench

What you really mean to say is YOU have no feel for how tight a small fastener should be, so rely on a torque wrench as a crutch. And if you continue to rely on that crutch you will never develop a feel for how tight is appropriate, or when a fastener in a failing thread is pushing its limit.

I've been in the engineering field for 50+ years, I'll guess you work in a clerical field.

The ONLY place a torque wrench is necessary is for an assembly that requires a uniform precision fit eg. a motor cylinder head. You ever see a professional tyre person use a torque wrench to tighten wheel nuts? NO, only pure amateurs.
I gotta ask…
If you were an engineer (which I doubt) what did you write in your engineering specifications?
Sorta tight?
Really tight?
Tighten securely?
Did you specify that tightness doesn’t matter?

If you were an assembler did you just decide you could ignore engineering specifications?

Torque specs are quantifiably specified for a reason. Objective actions will have unreliable results.
 
Ok, you win, an ebike is the equivalent of the space shuttle and every screw and 1/4" nut needs to be torqued to spec (wherever someone is going to find these specs is completely lost on me).

And you continue to tighten your wheel nuts to 100ft lbs, and then be stuck on the side of the road when you get a flat tire and can't undo them with the typical ill fitting 12 inch long wheel spanner the manufacturer supplies. Me, I'll tighten them up only as tight as the average owner (which maybe a lady) can undo them with the manufacturers supplied tool.

To the OP, you don't need a torque wrench, save your money. Just use the appropriate size professional quality tools (small) and a bit of common sense.
 
Ok, you win, an ebike is the equivalent of the space shuttle and every screw and 1/4" nut needs to be torqued to spec (wherever someone is going to find these specs is completely lost on me).

And you continue to tighten your wheel nuts to 100ft lbs, and then be stuck on the side of the road when you get a flat tire and can't undo them with the typical ill fitting 12 inch long wheel spanner the manufacturer supplies. Me, I'll tighten them up only as tight as the average owner (which maybe a lady) can undo them with the manufacturers supplied tool.

To the OP, you don't need a torque wrench, save your money. Just use the appropriate size professional quality tools (small) and a bit of common sense.
It is just a matter of using the proper tool for the job. The companies spent a lot of money to have engineers figure out the proper tightness to securely do the job without damaging the components.
Personally I would much prefer not to have my lug nuts come loose while I am driving or snap because they were overtightened.
Pretty much any 100 lb lady with a 2 foot lug wrench can loosen a properly torqued lug nut.
The problem comes when some yahoo runs a cheap pneumatic wrench until it quits turning so it is way too tight.
There are definite reasons many places on a bike where torque is important. Even torque on axle nuts is important. Even and adequate torque on brake caliper mounting bolts is important. Adequate but not excessive torque on bolts going in to soft aluminum is important. Proper torque on bearing nuts is important.
Whether you are working on the space shuttle, a lawn mower or a bicycle it will last longer and operate better if fasteners are properly, evenly and uniformly tightened.
Replacing the threads in a stripped out hole is neither cheap nor easy. The first time you do it you will wish you had used a torque wrench.
 
Here is a great resource for torque technique and torque specs for bicycles from one of the eminent suppliers of bicycle tools.
Your owners manual will also provide specs.

 
My brother learned the hard way that he needed a torque wrench to reinstall a drain nut on a motor vehicle that has an aluminum oil pan. We came up with a fix but replacing the oil pan would have been a major repair. You really can't trust it now.

I recently had new automobile tires installed and when I returned home, I retorqued the wheel nuts to factory spec. I've also learned to return torque wrenches to zero after use.

BTW, usually a torque spec is provided as two numbers, like 10-15 inch pounds. I always choose the middle number to dial in to the wrench. It's also handy to be able to do the math to change a torque spec from foot pounds to inch pounds. If a spec is in the low foot pound range, like 20 foot pounds, that is sometimes at the low end of a foot pound wrench's capability. Multiply it by 12 to get the inch pound number, and dial that into an inch pound wrench.
 
I forgot to include the info that putting an extension on the wrench, like when the bolt is in a hard-to-reach place, doesn't affect the torque as long as you also remember to always torque with your hand on the grip.
 
You don't need a torque wrench for anything on a e-bike. You'll actually do more damage than tightening things by feel using the correct size spanner for the job. When you rely on a torque wrench you are disregarding that all important 'feel'.

Really bad advice.
^^^ this x 100. The torque wrench keeps you from using the 'feel' which is generally completely wrong unless you are a highly experienced mechanic who is working on connections and fasteners that you have repeated experience (i.e. years) working on.

The whole purpose of a torque wrench is to keep the huge mistakes that come from using 'feel' from happening.

There is a reason mechanics use torque wrenches, and a reason torque specs are printed on almost every bike part. Try guessing what 6 Nm is and the normal person will almost always get it wrong.

Telling people to learn the hard way via repeated failure until they stop breaking things is just internet ego talking
 
You ever see a professional tyre person use a torque wrench to tighten wheel nuts? NO, only pure amateurs.
This is asinine. Of course professional tire workers use torque wrenches. The backing-off-before-torqueing technique I described came from a tire shop, and when I was working in a pit crew (and doing my own wheel changes on my own car at the track during test-n-tune days) we used torque wrenches on wheel studs/nuts. To not do so would get you benched, or a wrench upside the head for lacking the basic experience to do the job.
 
Here are some of the benefits of using a digital torque wrench:

  • Improved accuracy: Digital torque wrenches are more accurate than traditional wrenches, which can help to prevent overtightening or undertightening of fasteners.
  • Easier to use: Digital torque wrenches are easier to use than traditional wrenches, as they have a digital display that shows the amount of torque being applied.
  • More consistent results: Digital torque wrenches can help to ensure that fasteners are tightened to the same torque specification every time.
  • Reduced risk of damage: Using a digital torque wrench can help to reduce the risk of damage to fasteners and the components they are attached to.
Digital torque wrenches are available in a variety of sizes and with a variety of features. When choosing a digital torque wrench, it is important to consider the torque range you need, the accuracy you require, and the features that are important to you.
 
There is an age that a man reaches where having a PSA test (which is the initial blood test to determine whether you might have prostate cancer) is no longer considered useful and may not be offered because even though you might have prostate cancer, it usually grows so slowly that you are more likely to die of something else before that kills you, which it eventually will. Coincidentally, it is also the same age where you have seen so many societal changes that you begin to wonder whether little things like the batteries that are typically required to run digital readouts might not always be available. You could buy additional batteries as back-ups, but their shelf life isn't that good. Thus, I'm leaning towards torque wrenches that aren't digital.
 
I prefer vernier scale tools as that is what I started out using. I do like digital just because I'm older and my vision isn't what it used to be so the tools are easier to adjust and read. That said when using vernier scale type tools I just remove my glasses. Now where did I put my glasses?
 
I'll chime in and say I have made a conscious decision to stay away from digital tools. And that came after I had some and learned the hard way what the limitations were. In short its the batteries. So many times, I reached for a tool and instead of using it, I found I had to change the batteries which had died in the cold garage, or just from old age, or they weren't old and died anyway. When I went back to analog and dial gauges, I left all those problems behind and my tools just worked when I reached for them.

My Mitutoyo calipers are calibrated to be accurate to 0.01 of a millimeter and thats as good as I need. My Wera torque wrenches are good to a fraction of a Newton Meter (I forget exactly what at the moment) and since a Nm is less than a foot-pound, thats also a very fine level of accuracy.

When competing with long range firearms, I did use a digital torque driver (not a wrench) for stuff like scope mounts and things that bolted onto or into custom (and delicate) composite rifle stocks, and for THAT field, where you are talking about really small or fine (or both) increments, digital was required. But for a bicycle anything finer than a single Nm is unnecessary. I'll take the repeatable reliability of analog on a bike.

And since most bike people are doing farmer-tight by feel as it is (and grossly over-torqueing as a result) A cheap analog torque wrench to start with is still a big step up. The weekend rider can spend 10% of the possible budget to get 90% of the benefits.
 
Just to mention, I had to get two flats on my car fixed today (Thank dog for Walmart road hazard warranty).
The tech pretightened the lugs to about 80 lbft then used a good torque wrench to bring them to spec.
 
I'll chime in and say I have made a conscious decision to stay away from digital tools. And that came after I had some and learned the hard way what the limitations were. In short its the batteries. So many times, I reached for a tool and instead of using it, I found I had to change the batteries which had died in the cold garage, or just from old age, or they weren't old and died anyway. When I went back to analog and dial gauges, I left all those problems behind and my tools just worked when I reached for them.

My Mitutoyo calipers are calibrated to be accurate to 0.01 of a millimeter and thats as good as I need. My Wera torque wrenches are good to a fraction of a Newton Meter (I forget exactly what at the moment) and since a Nm is less than a foot-pound, thats also a very fine level of accuracy.

When competing with long range firearms, I did use a digital torque driver (not a wrench) for stuff like scope mounts and things that bolted onto or into custom (and delicate) composite rifle stocks, and for THAT field, where you are talking about really small or fine (or both) increments, digital was required. But for a bicycle anything finer than a single Nm is unnecessary. I'll take the repeatable reliability of analog on a bike.

And since most bike people are doing farmer-tight by feel as it is (and grossly over-torqueing as a result) A cheap analog torque wrench to start with is still a big step up. The weekend rider can spend 10% of the possible budget to get 90% of the benefits.
Even the cheap Harbor Freight torque wrenches are certified for 0.6 Lbft.
 
The tech pretightened the lugs to about 80 lbft then used a good torque wrench to bring them to spec.
Yeah they use a torque stick extension on the air gun that is guaranteed to do most of the work fast, but come nowhere near full torque. Then tighten to full rated torque manually.

I still have my blue torque stick ... somewhere. Blue is 80 ft lbs. Highly recommend these if you don't have them.

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I used it in the paddock when I was rotating tires or changing brake parts in between lap sessions. No air gun at the track but I used a Makita 1/2" impact wrench which is overkill unless you do a lot of tire changes with limited time to do the work. They also come in sets rated to different limits but I only bought the one.
 
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