FIXT Torque T-Handle Wrenches | MC TESTED

A convenient T-handle and torque wrench combined, for the avid mechanic.

You might recall this item from Gear from a few months back (see Tool Time here). It's a standard T-handle with a torsion-bar inner shaft calibrated from 4 to 20 foot-pounds. I requested a sample to photograph, and the manufacturer encouraged me to keep the tool and use it. So I hung it with the rest of my T-handles in my garage.

And there it sat for several weeks, passed over as I reached for more familiar tools. And then I had an engine to rebuild, and when it came time to tighten the cam-holder bolts and case bolts, I reached for the Torque T-handle. It just so happens that this is the perfect application for this tool. I usually use an 8mm T-handle to seat small fasteners then follow up with a torque wrench. With the Torque T you can accomplish both tasks quickly and accurately with the same tool.

For those accustomed to click-type torque wrenches (myself included), this meter-type wrench can take some getting used to, especially since the graduations are close together and the numbers small. After a little use, however, I found that I was able to identify the spec with a glance. As a torsion-bar device it’s very durable and doesn’t require periodic calibration like clicker-type wrenches. You don’t have to set the torque, either, which means you don’t have to zero the tool out when you’re done.

Unless you’re a tool nut or regularly have engines apart on your workbench, you probably don’t see the appeal of the Torque T. Fair enough. But if you do frequently take down and reassemble engines, this is a seriously handy item. You can use it to assemble the entire top end of a bike and much of the bottom end, and I’ve found that I set the torque on fasteners that I don’t usually give much attention to (battery-terminal, starter-motor, and valve-cover bolts, for example).

FIXT TORQUE T-HANDLE

PRICE: $99
CONTACT: fixtproducts.com

MC GRADE: A-

Verdict: A novel and indispensable tool for avid mechanics. Down two marks for cost.