Been Using Issue 8

This Month I Have Mostly Been Using…

Last Autumn, my old torque wrench finally gave up the ghost, when the bit that actually sets the torque came unscrewed and various bits and widgets pinged across the workshop, never to be seen again. The remainder of the wrench was destined for a future as a breaker bar, and I got a new Stag Tools wrench.

Stag Tools are a budget range under the huge Tetrosyl banner, and are pretty widely available. This half-inch drive unit has some heft to it, and while I’m not expecting laboratory-standard precision from a budget torque wrench, the ratcheting mechanism was solid and it gave a sound clunk-click when it reached the pre-set torque.

But this isn’t so much a product review as a general rant, and it’s not just directed at Stag Tools by any means. The torque markings are etched into the body of the wrench, one side in Newton-metres and the other in foot-pounds. However, while the Nm scale is in the nice round numbers you’d expect, the ft.lb. scale is in fractions thereof – 30.7, 41.3 and so on. They’ve just translated round Nm into ft.lb, and I found it incredibly difficult to read. Now I know that the vast majority of the world is now metric, and I’m as happy to work in kilogrammes and millimetres as anyone else, but I am one of the poor benighted heathens that still work in ft.lb. of torque. Newton-metres, kilopascals, fruit pascals, and whatever else, mean absolutely bugger-all to me.

Aside from the tricky scales, though, it seems like a perfectly decent bit of kit for that price bracket. You’ll find Stag Tools in various stores and online suppliers – see www.tetrosyl.com for more details.