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

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by Mit122, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM
    #1
    Mit122

    Mit122 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM
    #2
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

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    throttle body extension, custom rear sway bar, bilsteins, 2010 Tacoma 17" alloys w/265's, driveshaft mods, bullbar, .75" Bora hubcentric spacers
    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...
     
  3. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM
    #3
    User Name01

    User Name01 I leave on a donkey and come back on a horse

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    mehh
    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.
     
  4. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM
    #4
    BostonBilly

    BostonBilly Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the get both approach. I have one of each and use both for different jobs.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM
    #5
    Mit122

    Mit122 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If I get both as some of you suggested, what ranges in ft/lbs do you suggest?
     
  6. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM
    #6
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    4.10 gears, sliders, and lots of buttons.
    For a 3/8, find a 5-60 ft-lbs, and for the 1/2", find a 20-150, or there about.
     
  7. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM
    #7
    Mit122

    Mit122 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Chris!
     
  8. Jan 21, 2014 at 3:56 PM
    #8
    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco Well-Known Member

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    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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