|Unlike many others who have spent a decade or more working as a shop mechanic, I'm not one of those guys who talks down his nose to anyone who doesn't use a torque wrench. That said, I know from experience (meaning that I've damaged my share of threads when I started) that there's a time and a place for a proper torque wrench, and my so-called calibrated elbow isn't going to cut it when working with expensive carbon components. This includes ENVE's carbon stem and handlebar that I put on my bike awhile back, with the stem calling for 5.5 Nm of torque to be applied to the steerer and handlebar clamp bolts. The ATD-1 is perfect for this kind of job, and the different bits tucked away inside of the handle makes it easy to adapt the tool to work on whatever it is needs to get tightened.|
The ATD-1 makes properly tightening bolts a convenient task, but it's how its ratcheting internals function that sets it apart from some other torque wrenches on the market: you literally can't over-tighten a bolt due to the ratchet letting go at whatever value you've set it to. Many compact torque tools will emit a loud click when you've hit that number, just like the ATD-1 does, but they'll still allow you to tighten the bolt further, should you decide to do so for whatever reason. This isn't possible with the ATD-1, which makes it pretty much idiot proof so long as you've set it to the proper torque value.
My only real gripe with the ATD-1 is that the steel dial that adjusts the torque value is very difficult to turn by hand, and I usually resorted to using a 6mm hex key to change it. Reaching for another tool isn't that big of a deal, and if you're using a torque wrench I'm betting that you'll also have other hex keys nearby, but I can't help but wonder why Park Tool didn't go with a larger diameter dial with a knurled surface that could be turned by hand.
The ATD-1 is sturdy enough for day to day use in a busy shop, but it's small and relatively inexpensive, so it also makes sense in the garage of anyone who regularly works on their bike. No, you may not reach for it all the time, but those with high-end bikes and gear should consider using the ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver. - Mike Levy
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