Here’s another of GearWrench’s SEMA releases: a new electronic torque wrench. Besides the advantages of all electronic torque wrenches — unlike “clickers” they can measure maximum torque applied to install or remove a fastener — GearWrench also brings some of their own “flavor” to the pie in the form of a 60-tooth ratcheting gear and an innovative “traffic-light-like” system to warn you as you approach your target torque.
The 60-tooth ratchet yields a 6′ ratcheting arc — about half that of many competitors. That’s handy when you’re in tight spaces. But what really grabbed our attention was the wrench’s alert system. In a torque wrench, accuracy is everything. Most electronic torque wrenches just buzz or beep as you’re exceeding the target torque. Only by applying very smooth, steady, slow torque can you assure any level of accuracy.
But what if you’re cranking in 150 ft-lbs? The GearWrench allows you to pull hard until you see the yellow light illuminate — at 85% of your target torque — then pull slow and steady up to your target, where the red light illuminates and the buzzer sounds.
Internally, GearWrench upped the speed of the electronics to take 3,000 torque measurements per second — as opposed to the 300 that’s common in the industry. They also integrated the digital signal processing and conditioning functionality into the same chip that performs calculations, speeding up the process to further help prevent overtorquing. A side benefit: the electronics module is a little smaller, too.
Other features include the ability to convert units on the fly (ft-lbs, in-lbs, Nm), a backlight to help you read the LCD when you’re up to your neck in an engine compartment, and a thin-profile ratchet head that’s sealed to help keep dirt out.
Street pricing starts around $200, which is pretty inexpensive for this kind of tool.