So you’ve decided to rip apart your favorite firearm to give it a full cleaning. Now its time to put it all back together and your not sure how tight you should make those action bolts. Too little and the rifle will rattle and be inaccurate, too much and you could tear the head right off the bolt or damage something else. What do you do? Get a torque wrench to be 100% sure that you have tightened the bolts to factory specs.
Being an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, I cannot stress enough the importance of using the correct torque values when fastening two integral parts together. My experience has been that most people use one of two torque values : Blue ball torque or finger tight.
Unless you use a calibrated torque wrench on a daily basis, you will have no idea what ‘feels’ right when tightening down nuts and bolts. Thus most people will gronch it down super tight to make sure it never lets go. Over torque on a fastener will lead to premature failure of the parts involved. When those parts cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to replace, suddenly a torque wrench becomes a wise investment
But which one should you get? A good torque wrench will not be cheap. Top quality wrenches will run you several hundred dollars. In my line of work, top quality is a must, thus I use Snap-On torque wrenches. They can be calibrated on a yearly basis and hold accuracy to with-in 4% across all values. But this is a tool I use daily, and we are looking for something a little more affordable.
Enter the Borka Tools Torque Driver. The 12 setting version of this handy little tool will cover all values you will typically see when assembling a rifle. I picked one up for less than $100 including shipping, and I couldn’t be happier. The driver is very small and can easily fit in you tool kit when you head to the range. I now include this tool in my standard range kit. There was only one concern I had when opened the box, was how accurate the calibration was. So the first thing I did was take it to work with me so that I could pit it against several calibrated Snap-On torque wrenches.
I have 5 different Snap-On torque wrenches available, all of which are calibrated annually. But only 3 of them have inch pounds values low enough to compare to the Borka.
The first test was to tighten a bolt to some value on the Borka, and then see how much more torque was needed to budge the bolt forward. This was accomplished with a digital read-out Snap-On torque wrench which gives a live reading as you apply pressure. I put the Borka through all the available values.
The second test was to use torque wrench against torque wrench to see which one would break first.
- Compact and light weight
- Top level craftsmanship
- Has a full torque range needed for most rifle adjustment
- Calibration is close enough to work both in the field and as a primary tool
- The tool takes a little finesse to get an accurate torque.
Notes : There is an adjustment screw on the bottom of the unit that should allow you to calibrate the tool if needed in the future
- Design : 5/5 – Great tool that serves the rifle market perfectly
- Quality : 5/5 – Top quality machining and materials
- Durability : 4/5 – The point where the ball rolls over the lip to ‘snap’ as you reach torque, has potential to wear out and give lower torque values in the future
- Aesthetics : 5/5 – Laser etching gives a great look that is easy to read.
- Value : 4/5 – Price is just a tad on the high side for what you get, but I still think its worth the money.