Dial torque wrenches are spendy bastids, but Proto has a good reputation for tools. Bear in mind you need a business license to buy from Grainger - they're not wholesale, but they are commercial only (last I recall - may have changed.)
Craftsman actually used to be made by Proto, so it would likely be equivalent. However, there's nothing wrong with getting a "beam-type" wrench and using that, especially since it will cost considerably less (and require far less frequent calibration - and calibration is usually a matter of bending the indicator beam back on track.) I'd suggest a dial wrench for a shop - where it's a tax write-off and you're going to be using it frequently - but the hobbyist would be better served with a beam wrench.
When it comes to pinion set-ups I only use one with a dial. Mine has a needle that stays at the highest reading until reset. It has been am extremely nice feature when doing gears while the axle is still in the vehicle.
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Just my expereince with Proto tools on jobs at work,mostly power plants..the Proto tools they supply are cheap,the crecent wrenches fall apart,ratchets don't last,wrenches bend and break,their sockets seem pretty good for the most part.Never used the their torque wrenches though.
Proto is just supposed to be the industrial side of Stanley tools..i didn't know that until about a month ago we had to have a training class on how to properly and safely use DeWalt and Proto tools..lol..yea i know.."whatta joke",,but anyhow..the Proto rep was there,,with Stanley clothes,hat etc on..and giving out "Stanley" stickers for lunchboxes,hard hats..etc etc...now i know why those Proto tools break easily..i'm just used to the old Snap-ons,Klein, etc etc..even those now a days are cheaply made.
The Quality of tools now a days are NOTHING compared to what they used to be.Too many corners being cut in the manufacturing of them to save a dime or 2.
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I purchased a clicking style inch/lb TW from harbor freight for when I set my pinion preload and it worked fine. A needle style is better but I couldnt find one anywhere local and wanted to get it done that weekend. I new it was prolly going to be the only time I needed one and couldnt see spending a lot for something I would only need once in a blue moon. Comes with a decent case though....
Grainger might have one, I purchased a socket I needed for the pinion nut through them but never asked about the TW. They are in fact only commercial so just give them a company name thats in there system when they ask and pay with cash...
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I went ahead and ordered it. I actually have an account with Grainger. A friend works there so he gave it to me at his discount price which was $150. Should be here in a day or so. I'll post how it works out.
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