If you’re looking to build any garage toolset, one of the first things you’ll need is a torque wrench. It’s an essential item for any garage and vehicle owner.
However, since the uses of torque wrenches are versatile, you’d probably need a large collection.
But, here’s the catch. Collecting these many wrenches is costly, and they’ll need a lot of space. Also, if you’re a travel junkie, driving around with several wrenches isn’t an ideal scenario, right?
The good news is, there’s a solution. You can use the best digital torque adapter there is. They’re very compact, highly portable and deliver various benefits. You can use them with a normal breaker bar or ratcheting wrench.
Digital torque adapters help you keep track of how much force is being applied. They help you apply the correct amount of force while tightening, for example, a lug nut.
In this article, we’ll talk about these compact yet highly efficient devices. Purchasing them can be tricky. If you don’t know their specifics or what the specifics mean, you might end up purchasing a wrong one. So, keep reading.
Quick Tips to Choose the Best Digital Torque Adapter
When it comes to mechanical devices like digital torque adapter, the most important factor to consider is the accuracy. An inaccurate tool ends up wasting your time and effort. On top of that, you might face serious consequences due to a machine malfunction caused by an incompetent tool.
That’s even truer for digital torque adapter. If the device isn’t properly calibrated, you’ll keep getting faulty readings. As a result, you’ll end up with the wrong amount of torque.
Usually, manufacturers include a calibration certificate with the product. It shows the result of various torque tests. The best scenario will be less than 0.5% error. However, error up to (+/-) 4% is acceptable.
Digital displays are meant to be more standard than manual ones, and often they are. However, some digital displays are better than others.
There are displays which are only seen when you look at them head-on. Obviously, they aren’t ideal for every application. The display monitor should be bright, clearly watchable and come with large digits.
You’ll get different functions with a different unit of torque adapter. The basic ones will give you the reading of the torque amount that is being applied. More advanced ones come with additional settings where you can set a limit and it’ll warn you as you reach closer.
As for notifying the user, adapters do that in different ways. Some has LED lights with several colors which gives a clear visual indication to the user. Some have an audio function that generates a perceptible click or beep when the adapter reaches appropriate torque. Some come with both functions.
Astoundingly, manufacturers try to make the use easier. Since accessing the display might not be always possible, some models generate a subtle beep that keeps getting louder as you reach the desired torque. This allows the user to determine how close he/she is.
Obviously, cheap materials lower down the cost of a machine. That lures buyers to purchase adapters with plastic body. There’s nothing wrong with saving some bucks, but the problem is durability.
You see, the torque adapters are meant to withstand strong forces. Also, you’ll be carrying this with you, which means it’ll go through situations like collision and slippage. A metal or all-steel adapter is best suited to withstand these situations. Also, they last longer. So even though you’re spending a few bucks more, you’ll get a better shelf life and value for the money.
You might use your torque adapter frequently. Or, you might use it occasionally. Either way, you’d want a torque wrench that comes with a strong battery. Many of the digital torque adapter reviews revolve around the battery life. It’s irritating if you have to replace the battery regularly.
The solution is purchasing an adapter with a high battery life. Also, some adapters come with features that allow the device to shut down automatically if it’s inactive for a specific time. This way, you’ll be saving battery energy.
Storage & Portability
Many people buy digital torque adapters because they are supposed to be easier to carry. However, depending on the weight and design, you might find it either convenient or inconvenient. Usually, the weight of torque adapters ranges from as low as 14 ounces to as high as several pounds. They come with compact sizes.
Additionally, the storage facility is also important. You’ll be carrying the device to different places, and often keep it in your car. It only natural that they’ll go through collision and bumps. It’s important to keep them safely stored because any collision can push them off-calibration. Usually, good products come securely stowed in a plastic case.
Size & Range
The more size and range you get, the more freedom you’ll have. Yes, you might have to spend a few dollars more to buy a versatile adapter, but it’ll save you from purchasing additional heads.
The most common adapter connection is ½ inches. They are cheaper. But more versatile adapters will contain the option to use 3/8 inches or ½ inches ratchet with them.
Same goes for torque range. You’ll get a varying degree of torque ranges within which the devices give accurate results. Make sure you choose the right range for your application.
Many purists like and want to use a physical torque wrench for every use. While there’s nothing wrong with a desire, it’s not a world of unlimited resources we live in. More and more people are leaning towards products that have versatile uses.
The best digital torque adapter can be a valuable addition to your toolbox. They are highly portable, often provide great accuracy. But the most important issue is they are specially built to prevent the application of inappropriate torque force.
In this article, we have reviewed the top products on the market. They’re dependable, accurate, and most importantly, they won’t cost a fortune.