Park Tool Adjustable Torque Driver - Review

Jul 19, 2015 at 22:13
by Mike Levy  
Park torque tool review test


Shop-grade torque wrenches are often bulky items that can cost more than the component that you just stripped out because you weren't using one. There are, however, plenty of choices when it comes to smaller, less expensive torque wrenches with pre-set values, but these often don't allow you to change the tool bit, and also force you to have a selection of different torque wrenches depending on your requirements. Park Tool has all of the former in their catalog, but they've also just added the ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver that, thanks to its adjustable values and interchangeable bits, could make those other choices obsolete when it comes to day-to-day repair jobs that don't call for extremely high torque numbers.


Park Tool review test
The 1/4'' driver is magnetized to keep the bits in place.
Park Tool review test
The ATD-1 comes with 3, 4, and 5mm hex bits, as well as a T25 torx, three of which can be stored inside of the handle.


The bright blue (what other color would it be?) ATD-1 features a steel dial on one end of the handle that allows you to choose between 4, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, or 6.0 Nm, which translates to approximately 35, 40, 44, 48, or 53 in lb, meaning that it's very useful when it comes to things like stem, handlebar clamp or disc rotor bolts. This is especially true when talking about lightweight aluminum and carbon components as well. Internally, it uses opposing metal gears with slanted teeth that fit into each other but will also slip when the desired torque is reached, which is when it makes a loud clicking noise. Park Tool says that there are very few parts inside of the ATD-1, and that it should be quite reliable and go a long time before it ever needs to be recalibrated, which is a service that they offer.

All of the above is jammed into a relatively small package, and there are also three other tool bits hidden behind a screw-off cap. The ATD-1 comes with 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm hex tools, as well as a T25 bit, and the 1/4'' driver is magnetized in order to keep the bits from running away. MSRP $72.95 USD www.parktool.com


Park Tool review test
The steel dial on the end of the handle lets you choose between 4, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, or 6.0 Nm of torque.
Park Tool review test
A 6mm hex key can be used to easily rotate the dial, but it's hard to turn by hand.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesUnlike 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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120 Comments

  • + 201
 Thats what im torquing about
  • + 50
 Here we go again with the pun bit...
  • + 30
 Don't get your emotions wrenched because of a harmless pun.
  • - 16
flag ov3r1d3 (Jul 22, 2015 at 15:56) (Below Threshold)
 the puns get ridiculous but that one is hilarious...
  • + 53
 if you dont like puns, you're a... wait for it... *tool*
  • + 27
 I don't normally like them, but this pun was pretty tight
  • + 18
 I'm just going to bolt from this nonsense!
  • + 17
 this thread of puns is tight
  • + 22
 all these puns are making me feel blue.
  • + 13
 But seriously i think that pinkbike has to stem away from these terrible jokes
  • + 19
 The quality of these puns is slipping.
  • + 23
 We knocked this one out of the park
  • + 21
 i think we have stripped all we can out of these jokes
  • - 29
flag nilswalk (Jul 22, 2015 at 18:30) (Below Threshold)
 I would totally buy a toque handle
  • + 6
 Maybe these puns have been over torqued.
  • + 47
 Fastenating.
  • + 65
 You guys are really screwing up this comment thread.
  • - 1
 sorry @mikelevy, maybe you could stop us from torqueing
  • + 0
 but seriously this is getting a "bit" over the top
  • - 15
flag Jack-T-Media (Jul 22, 2015 at 18:58) (Below Threshold)
 sorry for all the puns but ive been in my lesson for 20 minutes and my teacher hasnt given me any work
  • + 10
 you bunch of spanners
  • + 7
 This is nuts
  • + 18
 i love pinkbike
  • + 41
 Rules for puns:
1. Keep it short. One pun per comment.
2. No reusing previous puns.
3. No interrupting pun chains with real comments concerning the subject matter.

Following these rules should result in mad props from your fellow pun chain partakers!(I just broke 1 and 3)
  • + 36
 Looks like a Session.
  • + 6
 It just clicked. I want one!
  • + 6
 You guys have a twisted sense of humor.
  • + 29
 Sure are a New ton of tools coming out.
  • - 4
flag slackadave (Jul 23, 2015 at 2:17) (Below Threshold)
 that shits tight!
  • - 2
 I tend to tighten my arse when I see Allen
  • - 3
 tight comments!!
  • + 9
 Took me a *moment* to get that last pun
  • + 6
 Great, my turn and all the puns have been stripped
  • - 3
 You just rounded it, you fool!
  • + 8
 Watch my Foot Pound the ground as I run out to buy one.
  • - 3
 Guys we should just leave it now. coming up with high quality puns is just becoming a tool order now.
  • - 1
 thx wakidesigns appreciate your quick response, guessed it was a pastry thing. Enjoy
  • + 2
 Park releasing PB Pun edition w torque settings 4, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5 and 4.6, identifiable by its EVO link and Full Floater logos on the handle.....
  • - 2
 What a bunch of Tools. Razz
  • - 3
 Why so tight bro?
  • + 6
 Man these puns are hexelent...
  • + 29
 Good for park to offer this but if you shop around you can find the CDI toque T handle for roughly 70.00 and it goes from 2nm all the way to 8nm at .1 increments. Those not familiar CDI is part of the snap on family so you can trust its quality.
  • + 2
 Its $59.94 on amazon... Amazing tool use it all the time on my bike totally worth it.
  • + 2
 I found a harbor freight one for $10 that is very close if not spot on to the park tool ones.
  • + 7
 If it's harbour freight it'll be +/- the entire range of the wrench. I certainly wouldn't trust it. Even a legit torque wrench needs to be calibrated after a little use.
  • + 6
 Oh ya because unlike harbour freight, park is totally sourcing out the best tool makers in asia to produce their stuff...
  • + 5
 @Jesse221 You took the words out of my mouth. I love Park Tool stuff but the CDI torque wrench is the way to go. Great tool.
  • + 20
 Why buy for $72 when a much nicer CDI Torque wrench can be found for $50. 2 to 8 range, with micro adjustments, vs 4 to 6. Nicer handle. Easier adjustment. I tested it against calibrated wrench, and it was quite accurate. And it is Orange.

CDI Torque tool >> Park.
  • + 1
 which CDI wrench is it?
  • + 1
 thanks axe, just looked and unfortunately they want $65 to post to uk, bummer
  • + 1
 @Axxe thanks!
  • + 17
 Thanks for all the comments. The Park Tool ATD-1 is made in the USA. Unlike others that are on the market, the ATD-1 has all steel internal parts compared to plastic which many others use. This will give the tool a much longer life and makes it rebuildable. We have cycle tested the ATD-1 to well over 15,000 clicks without any change in calibration.
  • + 6
 Made in America?!
That is rare and admirable.
I apologize for my previous comment.
How much of your product is made in America?
  • + 7
 About 80% of what we sell is made in the USA. Take a look at our St. Paul, MN factory tour video - www.parktool.com/blog/news/new-park-tool-factory-tour-video
  • + 1
 Had I actually trusted my new ATD-1 both my frame and handlebar would be cracked. Torque applied before tool actually stopped bolting was many times over the supposed 5Nm chosen.
Is my tool deffective?.... needs something to be done before using?
  • + 14
 How can you review a torque wrench without calibrating it with proper test equipment? Do you even know that it`s working correctly?

This is not much more than a glorified commercial for the company who makes it.

edit: grammar
  • + 6
 Seriously!!! A test of seeing how close the actual torque values are is a bare minimum IMO. Additionally, a comparison to other torque wrenches and their accuracy and prices would be nice as well.
  • + 1
 Was just going to post this exact comment.
  • + 1
 I would of though for that price and park tools name and reputation it would come with a certificate of calibration anyway
  • + 5
 I don't see any reason to get this one over the CDI (snap-on) Torqcontrol wrench, which has easy hand adjustability, a 2-8Nm range (although like all torque wrenches, the low end of the range is suspect), .1Nm increments, and the company has a stellar reputation - I use CDI digital torque wrenches at work building robot prototypes. The only thing this has over the CDI is a place to store bits... but let's face it, that's a minor inconvenience at best, especially since torque wrenches should really be stored in a case to prevent damage from dropping.

Best part? It's available for $60 right now on the big south american river. Sorry Park, too little, too expensive!
  • + 1
 I was looking at those Snap on ones...think they was half price when looked about 4 or 5 monts ago...I should have bought some. Is it the the white coloured one that is adjustable...I know they do like about 3 with a set torque and one with an adjustable torque..
  • + 1
 Might be ok for you guys across the pond but if I wanted to buy it they want $65 in shipping alone. No thanks.
  • + 2
 What for the Snap On CDI torque wrenches?. The ones I found on Amazon that were cheap, maybe half price I think they were did shipping to the UK and it was free if you spent over a certain amount like $50 or something I think it was. Not all the sellers on Amazon ship to the UK but at the time I checked I found some that did....
  • + 1
 For clarity - CDI is a Snap-On brand.
  • + 4
 Wow, for $73 you could pick up three proper click-type calibrated torque wrenches from Harbor Freight (1/4", 1/2", and 3/4" drive) with money left over. I've been using mine often for about ten years without a single issue. Done.
  • + 2
 In all honesty, how accurate are they though? Harbor freight seems to be hit or miss, some stuff is surprisingly fantastic.. Some is, well, expected quality. Haha
  • + 9
 I own a 1/4" from HF. I was laughing with one of my mechanic buddies about actually buying something with moving parts from HF when he suggested we test it. We performed a highly unscientific test by setting the HF and a SnapOn wrench to the same settings, tightening a bolt with the HF, then confirming it was tight enough by going at it with the SnapOn. We did this on a few different torque settings, and then again with the SnapOn first and the HF to re-tighten.

We didn't notice any difference; after one wrench tightened the bolt, the next wrench with the same setting wouldn't tighten it further.

But now that I've said that, it's going to fall to pieces the next time I take it out of the box.
  • + 2
 Dammit,I already posted a comment about them but didn't see your comment. But i concur. These are extremely nice for the price.
  • + 2
 My $10 torque wrench is just as accurate as the park tool ones that I use at my shop and I check it every few months just to be sure. Also in a tensile strength test the Pittsburgh wrenches were stronger than the Craftsman.
  • + 2
 You must have bought the miracle tool from HF then ... Yikes. Scrap metal.
  • + 2
 Tried the test 5 times and the results came out the same every time.
  • + 17
 60% of the time it works every time.
  • + 4
 I have a 2ft 1/2inch drive torque wrench from HF and it's been reliable for the last five years. Use it for car work. Metrology guy said it didn't need calibration. Just treat it like it's made of glass and it'll last.
  • + 6
 Static and dynamic torque are different... sorry, but you were right about it being highly unscientific

Static torque is significantly higher than dynamic torque (It takes more torque to get a bolt turning than to keep one turning that is already in motion)
  • + 1
 ^^^ this.
  • - 1
 It's like stiction and friction... you just got to keep that Fox moving by riding fast not pushing on parking lot and saying that 2003 Marzo was better. I haven't read a single comment I just posted something randomly, hoping it would fit the conversation
  • + 1
 Bottom line: an $25 HF torque wrench is accurate, costs a ton less, and will do the job for 99% of the DIY bike mechanics. Plenty of us use them without any issues. Why would we pay $73 for a tool that looks like a toy and has a limited range?
  • + 3
 Probably would have been a better test just to connect both wrenches by a straight coupling and turn against each other, see if they click at about the same time.

But yeah, @cuban-b has it right. The HF wrenches probably read fine, you just can't be rough with it. For an occasional torque wrench user it's probably fine. It'll break eventually, but there's no reason for an average joe to need park/snap-on for home mechanic work. I've had reasonably good luck with HF stuff, even with moving parts, as long as it doesn't have to handle high loads. Wrenches, sockets, cheap-ass power tools, all fine for their intended uses. But the bar clamps I got there were f*cking horrible.
  • + 1
 I'd buy the CDI torque wrench that goes from 2-8Nm but they wan't $65 on top of the $45 I would pay for the actual tool in shipping. Think I will just go for the Park one for now as I can actually buy it. It'll only be for when I'm on the move and not at my "workshop".
  • + 1
 I wouldn't use HF torque wrench, I have horrible experience with much of their stuff, and a good experience with a few things. I don't buy throwaway crap, it's really wasteful. Buy something that will last for life, you'll save money in the long run.
  • + 1
 Buy it nice or buy it twice!
  • + 3
 I'm on an engineering team at school, a few years ago one guy thought he knew how to use a torque wrench, *click* *click* *click* *thunk*. The thunk being the bolt head he just sheared off
  • + 0
 Formula SAE?
  • + 0
 Formula hybrid, 250cc and 150hp worth of electric motors.
  • + 2
 Now that I am winding down and have time to look at this product/article more I get a laugh from the puns but also see what looks like the enve mtn stem in the background - SMH. It's not April 1st all over again, is it? Park Tools, where was this item manufactured?
  • + 2
 you guys have harbor freight where you live?
I know its not "Bike" or Enduro specific and its all "harbor frieght" but I bought a torque wrench on sale for 11 bucks.
Its accurate within 4 percent. And at 11 bucks you cant go wrong. Check the review for it.
Better than no torque wrench for SURE!
www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-drive-click-type-torque-wrench-239.html
  • + 6
 Park tools, Just torquing the prices up.
  • + 4
 How many clicks before it requires re-calibration? Small torque wrenches like this all go out of spec after what would seem to be a light amount of use.
  • + 3
 I asked Park Tool that and while they didn't supply a timeframe, they said that the simple steel gearwheel internals mean that it can go a very, very long time until requiring re-calibration. Not too clear of an answer, sorry.
  • + 2
 Park answered in this thread. Up to 15k clicks.
  • + 4
 This is cool. Torque wrenches are a must have anymore, and it'd be great to have a "pocket" version quickly available. Nice work Park!
  • + 1
 The definite tool for sure, what i was expecting for ages. I can ride with the confidence I had lost, no fear to tighten my screws without the right torque, no fear to break threads. Now giant got to print a little notebook with all torques of my bike
  • + 6
 I prefer twerking.
  • + 5
 Crank it baby and if you hear a "crack" , it needed replacing anyway
  • + 2
 Bike specific tools are a total joke. Incredibly expensive, poor quality and it would be impossible to trust this over a genuine torque wrench with a calibration certificate.
  • + 1
 Too bad there aren't higher settings. You would still need another torque wrench for the pivots on your dual suspension rig and crown of your fork........
  • + 2
 It's hard to maintain accuracy over bigger spans of torque. Then there's the issue of getting you tightwads to pay for something that expensive ...
  • + 3
 You get props from me if you refrain from making a true pun.
  • + 0
 Stop screwing with the puns!
  • + 2
 My only thing is, you need a tool to adjust tension settings on the tool? No hand dial.
  • + 1
 as a former mechanic, I have to say the only way to go is spending $400 + on a digital torque wrench that you only use once a year...
  • + 2
 I use ones of these fromEvans cycles , much cheaper!=
www.evanscycles.com/products/fwe/5nm-torque-wrench-ec053191
  • + 1
 Even better, just get a "FAT" from Wheeler Engineering - more adjustments and less expensive. Next please!
  • + 2
 Get the CDI version, it's 2-8 Nm in the same size package.
  • + 2
 Park tool you guys are torquing my wallet.
  • + 2
 bought a topeak torque driver for £14 goes up to like 15nm
  • + 2
 Ho lord! Captain Overtorque need this shit !!!!!
  • + 2
 Made in?
  • + 5
 Made in the USA.
  • + 3
 Thanks for keeping it in the US!
  • + 2
 Sales pitch
  • + 1
 Will there be an enduro specific model coming out any time soon?
  • + 1
 "I enve the tool" - Mr.T
  • + 0
 Torque* damn you autocorrect
  • - 2
 So I have to take the torque wrench and a 6mm on my day rides, I just spent $500 shaving that weight off my bike!
  • + 9
 Why would you take this tool with you on a ride?
  • - 2
 Now we're torquing!
  • - 1
 Look like a session.
  • - 2
 Theres been a lot of torque about this recently, seems cool

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