View Full Version : Torque screwdriver.
04-15-2004, 11:26 PM
I need one. I am not paying premium prices, but don't want an import.
Is Utica an American-made brand?
Can you source me a good USA torque screwdriver for under $50? A link would be greatly appreciated!
BTW this is for my new panelboard installation, I'm getting down and dirty and adhering to the letter of the NEC and every possible correct assembly and safety method I can muster in the house re-wire.
Utica is US made. You can get the TS 30 or TS 35 pretty cheap on Ebay, used. There are several on there now ranging from 35 to 60 bux. One auction will get you a TS100 along with it.
The TS 35 has a wider range and goes up to 36 inch/pounds but either will do. I've bought two and they've all tested and worked out fine. Btw, don't snub imports. Some are are much better tools than Utica.
04-16-2004, 02:55 AM
Ok, great, thanks for the info.
I did in fact get the TS-30 and TS-100 combo on eBay. Good deal IMO, hopefully they hold a calibration.
I don't snub imports by any means. My drill press and bandsaw are imports, as well as my Mitutoyo calipers and mic. But if it's possible, I get American, you know...
Yeah, that auction was good deal although I personally wouldn't have much use for the TS 100....to low. Still, a bargain considering what them babies retail for.
I use my TS 30s for aviaiton purposes and check them often. The Utica design is simple, rugged and holds calibration well. They can be sometimes hard to read but a trick is to use a permenant black marker (a fine tip Sharpie works well) to fill in the graduations. Wait a moment and then wipe of the excess before it dries, it should leave the recessed graduation markings nice and clear. You may need to do it a couple of times to get it dark enough to suit your tastes. (Remove with rubbing alcohol to start over.)
Btw, I have a torque calibrator designed specifically for these tools. If you'd like I'd be happy to test and cal your TS 30 for the cost of return shipping. However, I've never seen one in good condition that needed adjustment so you can likely trust it. It's because many are used in industries where cal is important and done often. It's caled by adjusting the allen screw on the top of the handle. If you have any questions on use or care go to the Utica (Cooper Tools) website:
Click on "measurment" and you can bring up the service manuals in PDF for both your tools.
I can't do your TS 100 as I don't have an instrument that goes down to in/ounces. Let me know. Otherwise, happy torquing. :)
05-02-2004, 10:24 AM
It is a good idea to test these from time to time, depending on usage, being mechanical they are subject to wear.
Roughly 20% of torque wrenches we get in require adjustment or repair..... occassionaly even on brand new units.
As far as import, I'd have to say Mitutoyo outshines Starrett and Smith & Wright... in fact they're not even in the same league.
05-02-2004, 12:41 PM
For panel board work they do spe it,, but I doubt it ever make any difference. The main thing if you want to be upstanding is to use no-lox on the threads of the heavy lugs so they will tighten and dont dry sieze. Come back in a year and snug them again. There is such a thing as overbraining the situation. I dont really see how a formula in practicality would work with a connector that tends to compress like wire anyway. There are so many variables. Just tighten them up well, thats the main reason for the spec on those in the first place is that some limp wristed type is scared to crank them down and they find loose connectors.
05-02-2004, 05:56 PM
I've read and heard that in reality, overtightening is more of a problem. I can believe that. My book PEW says that some people don't understand the concept of too tight. I agree. My dad is a great thread modifier extraordinaire.
Thanks for the no-lox tip. I take it that's a brand. I will specifically look that up.
05-02-2004, 07:17 PM
Its called by several different names, same stuff. No lox, Contax, Anti-Ox. Black grease for electric work. I use it on screws for breakers also. I also use 1 drop of WD-40 sometimes on any breaker screws, just something so that threads do not friction seize. (I know its not recommended for panels before you scream,,, 1 drop is all it takes) I threw away a panel that would have been re-usable except for the screws had seized in the main lugs because they guy assembled them dry and tightened them till they quit turning, they fricton welded themselves in. You cant ever get them out or tighten them again. Grease the ends of any alum wires with this stuff too. I can feel when a bolt is tight and I like to re-check them in a year. I use the no-lox on all the lug bolts in meter bases. I had an insp a while back and he noticed that,, made the comment,, good idea. On threads you dont have to slobber it all over, just something to allow them to turn. I did the ones ahead of time so when the power company came to hook to the base they were pre-lubed, those guys dont take the time.
05-02-2004, 09:08 PM
That is something I will do. I'm doing underground service through meter base and branch circuits and everything in between. Total re-wire.
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