Hello, does anybody have any experience, knowledge of accuracy with Harbour Freights' cheap torque wrenches?
Nope don't know anything about them, but I'd be very suspect of a torque wrench that costs less than a single socket.
Here are two of what technicians need today to service todays cars.
From there others are also required for a tech to have a complete tool kit, which would be at very least an inch/lb wrench in addition to the two already listed. But if you do bigger equipment you may need some of the others listed on this page. Note these are 1% accuracy.
I have a few harbor freight tools. From my experience with them, for a home owner using a tool once every great while they're ok. To a craftsman using them every day they are garbage.
As to the torque wrench, it depends on what you intend to use it for. Not many people have the high end stuff john g is linking to. I have a $130 craftsman from sears myself. The utility where I work buys Proto. Can't remember what they cost but I'm pretty sure they were less than $100.
The thing you need to be aware of, and the reason for me posting is to point out that they need to be recalibrated from time to time. If you're just using it to torque lug nuts, accuracy probably isn't that important. If you're doing something where it really matters, you need to send it in once a year anyway. Sears recalibrates theirs for a fee. At work we have a lab that recalibrates the company ones. They said they'd do mine too, didn't ask what if anything they'd charge me. Haven't done anything where it was critical enough to worry about myself. The thing about the harbor freight special is I don't know where you'd send it for calibration, or if it can be beings how it's so cheep. At $10 or whatever it was for the tool, the cost to calibrate exceeds the cost of the tool. If it were to be used on something critical, I don't think I'd trust it.
Really brings some things into perspective dosen't it Gary. From the hopes fxcj8 had that the $11.00 Torque Wrench would have some value, compared to the Craftsman and Proto tools you use, which aren't bad BTW. To the tools that a technician like myself uses. The Torque Angle wrench is one of the newest items on the market. First it's an electronic "tattle tale" which means if you pull just a little harder when it "clicks" it displays what the torque that you actually applied was. Just because a wrench clicks at a given torque setting does not mean you actually stopped pulling at that instant. This becomes really critical with lower torque specs, say like the kind you might have to deal with when servicing an electronic solenoid pack on a transmission valve body (60 inch/lbs). Then the gyroscopes in the torque wrench are reported to save a technician as much as an hour per job as compared to using the manual angle gages. The 3/8" Torque Angle wrench from Snap-On is one of the next tools on my list. But hey, whats another $500.00 when I already have some $200K+ invested already in tools and equipment.
A cheap torque wrench may not be a bargain.Because they have to be calibrated correctly and keep that accurate calibration to be useful.
I own a Harbor Freight electric impact wrench.The cheap one thats orange.It works OK but I must remember the rocker switch is wired backwards.Forward is reverse and vise versa.I would have never excepted this flaw from an expensive tool.If they wire a switch backwards I certainly would not trust there calibration of a torque wrench.
Oooh.......... man, you bought an import, JD?
Even in small towns they buy chinese imports, I guess huh?
Yea thats mail order for you!Live and learn is what I discovered.I told them to take me off there mailing list and stop sending me the e-mails every other day.
That backwards wired impact wrench was the first thing I ever ordered from them.I keep it around to remind me to stay away from Buffalo tools and Walmarts and places like that.Thats what I like about it.It works very well and the bright orange color is like a light bulb every time I think of buying import junk like that.
I bought a cheapo 10 dollar or so inch pound micrometer style torque wrench from AutoZone. Riding lawnmower needed it, I think. My old one was temporarily missing (in friends weekend toolbox).
Anyhow it nearly dead on matched my old craftsman beam type inch pounder when coupled. That one had been somewhat recently checked by the SnapOn guy.
I used that AutoZone torque wrench some, probably never over 30 inch pounds.. it broke when I dropped it.
I'm always very tempted by their $59 portable bandsaw. Anyone try that? (Compares to Miluakee @ $349)
you want to build an engine, i would say no, you want to keep your lug nuts, close to specs, its probably fine. its like their power tools, for my mom that uses a drill once or twice a yr. harbor freight is great.