Hints posted to the Mailing Lists
Last Update: April 17, 1999

 Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 12:12:00 -0700
From: Devin Olson <dolson@Primenet.Com>
Subject: Harbor Freight Torque Wrench Review ( was DiRT: in.lb. torque wrenches)

>  ...Harbor Freight has a 20-200 in.lb. wrench for $25.
>  ...got to be more accurate than any "Kentucky" method...
>  ...You can find a description at:

I checked out this tool (thanks Jason), and found that Harbor Freight has a store here in Phoenix (WooHoo!).  I purchased the aforementioned Torque wrench on Saturday.  Here are my thoughts: The torque wrench is made by Pittsburgh Tools (I've never heard of them) and is extremely well built.  The fit and finish are perfect, and there is none of that "binding/scratchy" feeling when adjusting the settings, as there is on other "cheap" torque wrenches.  This wrench is on par with some of the Craftsman and Snap On torque wrenches I've used in the past. Once set, it didn't come loose (I've had that happen before on low end models) through multiple settings, and the "click" when hitting the appropriate torque is firm, positive, and very audible.  I am VERY impressed with this tool.  It comes in a bright orange molded plastic storage case (another plus, in my mind), and is very comfortable to use.  The range is 20 - 200 inch/lbs.  List price is $24.99  If you don't have one yet, I HIGHLY recommend this as an addition to your toolbox.

On a side note, if any of you have the opportunity to visit a Harbor Freight store (as opposed to mail-order), plan on spending a few hours just walking around.  The employees were both considerate and knowledgeable (this surprised me greatly,  I've gotten used to the local Auto Zone lackeys, and was pleasantly surprised when the 17 year old kid not only knew what I was asking for, but also knew how many she had in stock!)  The tool selection is incredible, with tools ranging from paint scrapers to full sized milling machines (sounds of testosterone induced grunting, ala Tim Allen.)  The quality of the tools also varies greatly, ranging from cheap cast wrenches to full-blown professional quality stuff.  Be careful, it's easy to spend waaay to much $$ while there.  (I went in planning on "checking out" the torque wrench, and left with 2nd degree burns on my Visa ;->  )

Thumbs up to Jason B for turning me on to Harbor Freight Tools.

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Devin S. Olson --Phoenix, AZ
97 RAM 2500HD CCLB 4X4 V10