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3/8 in. vs. 1/2 in. Torque Wrench

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Old 01-21-2014, 03:35 PM   #1
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3/8 in. vs. 1/2 in. Torque Wrench

I am thinking about getting a torque wrench for doing general maintenance on my truck, such as changing the sparkplugs. I have been debating on getting a 3/8'' drive torque wrench in the 120-960 in./lbs (10-80 ft/lbs) range or a 1/2'' drive in the 10-150 ft/lbs range.


Which do you guys suggest or find most useful? Note, the only regular wrench I currently have is a 3/8'' drive. I know I could always get an 1/2'' to 3/8'' adapter if I got the 1/2'' drive.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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get both, for sparkies, the 3/8" is perfect, for other stuff, like suspension and the like, the 1/2" is the one you need...


if torqueing with the 1/2" drive, using a reducer could lead to problems, especially with the higher torque values...you could end up with a sheared reducer or a popped/cracked socket...
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:40 PM   #3
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I have not really ever used a torque wrench for anything that I tighten with a 3/8. The only time that one has been needed is when I work on suspension which is when I use my 1/2.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:51 PM   #5
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If I get both as some of you suggested, what ranges in ft/lbs do you suggest?
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #6
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For a 3/8, find a 5-60 ft-lbs, and for the 1/2", find a 20-150, or there about.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:54 PM   #7
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Thanks Chris!
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bldegle2 View Post
get both, for sparkies, the 3/8" is perfect, for other stuff, like suspension and the like, the 1/2" is the one you need...
This.

I have both. If you sign up for harbor freight coupons, you can get them for $10 each. Like bldegle2 said, the 3/8" is perfect for spark plugs and other smaller bolts (like those on top of the strut assembly), and the 1/2" is perfect for bigger suspension bolts including lug nuts.

If you have to get one or the other, get the 1/2". I use mine way more than the 3/8", but they are both nice to have. I haven't had any quality issues with my Pittsburgh (HF) torque wrenches.
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