I confess to being a tool lover, and I'm from the "never skimp on tools and you'll never be sorry" school, but I really didn't want to pay $100 plus for a top-shelf 1/4" torque wrench so I took a chance on this one. OK, I shouldn't have expected much for only $40, but I was hoping to get lucky, and I have had a few good experiences with inexpensive tools that are clearly second rate but still quite serviceable. I came close to sending this one back since I thought at first it was broken. Now it will sit in my tool chest and every time I get it out my heart will sink a bit thinking that I could have had a really nice tool but instead I skimped and now I'm stuck with another second rate tool. OK, to be fair it isn't junk, and it will do the job. For $40 buck maybe I should have given it 4 stars, but:
There's a little plastic plug that fell out and got lost the first time I used the tool. Not a critical part, but good tools don't do things like that.
If you loosen up the setting too far (as in much past the 20-in-pound minimum) the tool is effectively broken and you have to take it apart and reassemble it to get it working again. (Hence my near conclusion that it was defective.)
It comes with a fairly nice plastic case, but it doesn't really fit in the case very nicely. I mean it fits, but just not like the case was really meant for it.
When you reach the torque setting you get ONE small barely audible click. Once it clicks it becomes effectively a breaker bar, so if you fail to hear or feel the click and keep turning you will destroy whatever you're working on.
On the good side I was able to check the calibration and it appears to be right on. Here's how you do it: Get a spring scale, a fish scale is ideal. Check its calibration with a known weight. Now attach the scale to the ring on the end of the handle (you'll probably have to put the ring on yourself; mine didn't come attached), which is precisely 10" from the pivot point. Set the wrench to, say, 50 in-pounds, "tighten" an already tight bolt by pulling on the scale (Wrench should be turning in a horizontal plane so the weight of the wrench doesn't skew the measurement). The wrench should click when the scale reaches 5 (50/10) pounds. Repeat for other settings, 10 pounds on the scale for 100 in-pounds, 2 for 20, etc.