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Today I am looking at the Kincrome MTW150F 1/2" square drive micrometer torque wrench (manufacturer site here).
The MTW150F - catchy name - comes in a blow-moulded plastic case:
It seems there is usually a sticker on the top but it was mostly missing on our sample. Inside we find the torque wrench itself as well as an adapter:
The adapter is a 1/2" to 3/8" - a nice inclusion for anyone who might want to use the wrench with their 3/8" sockets. A closeup of the adapter:
The case also has a conversion table moulded inside it:
How useful you will find that will probably vary between users, but no harm in having it there. There's also a certificate showing that it passes the 4% accuracy test:
Interestingly, it isn't tested at the very lowest setting (10ft/lb). Regardless, those results are within the specified 4% tolerance. Taking a closer look at the torque wrench, we have the half-inch square drive:
On the other side of the head we have the toggle to select which way you measure the torque:
Flicked the other way:
The switch feels a little flimsy - wiggling back and forth slightly at any setting - but works well enough. Below that there is a rubber O-ring to keep debris from entering the shaft:
Further down, just in case you forgot which brand you bought there's a reminder:
There are some stickers on the shaft - reminding you to reset the torque setting to zero when not in use to avoid stretching the internal spring - and a serial number.
Further down we have the torque scales:
There are two scales - foot pounds and Newton meters. The wrench has a range of 10 to 150 foot pounds and the equivalent 13.6 to 203.5 Newton meters. This is a really handy range for most motorcycle and light automotive work - it should cover mostly anything you come across with the exception of the smaller nuts and bolts. Combined with a 1/4" drive torque wrench you should be able to accurately reach almost any torque setting required for your average car or bike.
Moving on down the torque wrench, the last thing we note is the nut at the bottom used to loosen and tighten the handle to allow for the handle to be moved up or down the shaft to reach the various torque settings.
There is a warning sticker on the handle against loosening this nut too far, lest the internals of the torque wrench fall out of alignment.
So, how much is it? The RRP at the time of writing from the Kincrome site is $108.41, and they can be found on eBay for under $80 delivered - not a bad price for a torque wrench with a versatile range. There doesn't seem to be a great deal available for a micrometer torque wrench in a similar price range that has any better than 4% accuracy, so from an accuracy standpoint it seems to offer good value. Kincrome also offer a 1/2" deflecting beam type torque wrench, which uses a metal beam rather than a spring to calculate torque. This has the advantage of having zero torque applied when the tool is not in use, so you don't have to worry about leaving the wrench on the lowest setting or that the spring will lose it's potency over time.
The deflecting beam wrench (K8030) has an RRP of $286.75 (!), and the street price seems to be $180 delivered - so at around double the cost it's not really in the same price bracket. If you have deep enough pockets, though, and only need to measure torque when tightening then the deflecting beam type is well worth considering.
If you are in the market for a torque wrench under a hundred bucks which covers a wide range the Kincrome MTW150F is well worth a look. When combined with a good 1/4" torque wrench you should be able to be confident that you can accurately torque just about any bolt you come across on a light vehicle.
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