A FLICK through the latest Wera product catalogue will confirm the company is no stranger to the ‘torqueys’ – tools that control the level of torque for tightening various bolts and screws, writes PETER BRETT.
As machines and components have become more advanced, the need to control the levels of torque of various fixings has become very important.
'As tight as you can get it' is not an acceptable procedure when working on a carbon-fibre structure, or on an electronic device that needs a correct torque to maintain electrical contacts.
The Wera torque tool range provides ultra-precise micro screwdrivers to standard and VDE formats, right the way to a monster torque wrench capable of delivering torque tightening from 200Nm to 1000Nm.
Clearly the latter have more sophisticated ‘innards’ to ensure accurate and consistent torque delivery for a wider range of tasks.
Eisenwarenmesse 2018 (Cologne Tool Fair) was the setting for the launch of Wera’s Click-Torque range of wrenches – and an array it was too.
To ensure all bases were covered the range stretches from the A5 & A6 ¼” drive 2.5 – 25Nm right through to the E, which is a ¾” drive.
C1 – C5 Range
The C1 reversible ratchet wrench comes with a 10 to 50Nm capability up to the C5 with an 80-400Nm available. Add in the Click Torque E and the Click Torque X series for use with insert tools and it is clear Wera takes torque tools extremely seriously.
Click Torque C3
I was sent a Click Torque C3 to review, which is in the middle of the C range (1/2”) of wrenches and is a typical example of the ergonomics and operation of the Wera torque wrenches – so readers can generalise a bit about how the rest work.
The Click Torque C3 announces its capability with green lettering by the ratchet head reading 40-200Nm, meaning it would be a good choice for mechanics, AA Patrol Staff and such like.
This precision tool is just over 51cm long and arrived packaged in a snug square plastic box, which is great for storage and would suit any retail display.
Also in the case was the all-important calibration certificate and Certificate of Conformity, which should be kept safe.
Torque wrenches need regular calibration after a fixed number of work cycles to ensure continuing accuracy. I was pleased to note my sample, according to the certificate, was well within the 3% tolerance allowed by the standards testing authorities.
As we would expect from a Wera tool, the ratchet head is made from finely finished alloy with a ½ inch square drive. This drive has a ball-bearing socket retainer and a socket release button.
I hate wrestling with sockets that rely on friction and a tight fit to keep them in place.
Inevitably I end up struggling to change sockets, particularly in cold weather, so I welcomed these features.
The 45-tooth ratchet is reversible, so the wrench can be used to loosen bolts. The 45-tooth ratchet also means the tool has a relatively small ‘throw’, making it easier to use in cramped spaces.
A solid oval tube painted in Wera Black conceals the inner workings of the ‘click’ part of the Click Torque mechanism – of which more below.
Then comes the user interface: the setting scales. These are marked in Nm on the right side of the line and in lbs/feet on the left. The scales are in black lettering on a white background so are clear to see.
Although the lbs/feet scale is a bit smaller and I needed my glasses. The Nm scales are marked in 10Nm graduations and each in-between increment is clearly visible in a separate window.
To adjust the torque settings you have to head past the large Wera Kraftform handle to the button on the far end of the wrench.
The button has to be pulled out and this enables the handle to be turned. The design of the handle is excellent because the grippy patches not only help when applying torque, they also make it easy to twist it to set the scales.
The window below the scales provide individually click-stopped numbers from 0 to 9.
A full turn of the handle moves the scales exactly 10Nm and the 0 marks the exact spot for a 1Nm measurement.
An audible and tactile ‘click’ allows each incremental change to be clear to the user.
It is easy to work out if you wanted to set 45Nm, you set the scale to 40Nm and then turn the handle five clockwise click-stops.
In my opinion, the click-stop system is very accurate, and is easily repeatable should you need to change settings often. To lock the wrench settings so they will not move in use, the button on the end of the handle is simply pushed down.
Click – Torque is a brilliant feature of this series of wrenches.
On many older-styled torque wrenches, the torque’s indication target was reached when the head would give an audible click as the mechanism slipped.
However, if the user continued applying torque the likely result was a higher torque to that set on the wrench.
With the Click – Torque there is not only the audible signal to notify the user the target torque has been reached, but there is also a cam mechanism inside the handle to give a tactile click, which can be felt in the hand as it escapes the spring. This double signal means the user can immediately realise target torque is reached and can release pressure on the handle.
Not all torque settings are in traditional ‘righty-tighty’ screw threads, and Wera has therefore ensured the C-Series provides controlled tightening to the left and right.
So, will the C-Series catch on?
One of my usually infallible tests for finding out whether a tool will be a success or not is to lend it to the appropriate trade and then wait to see how long till you get it back.
In this case, deadlines being quite tight, I had to prise this wrench away long before the young motor technician to whom I lent it wanted to part with it.
He most liked the easy setting and overall quality of it, especially since he was having to reset torque readings several times a day. To my mind a slick summary of this wrench’s best points.