Torque Screwdrivers Useful or Pointless?

OK so I work in a busy electrical training centre based in Kent, we deliver domestic courses and additionally the Level 2 and 3 – 2365 to name a few. Anyway theres been a number of students showing an interest and enquiring about the VDE torque screwdrivers available on the market today, out of a large amount of tutors/assessors only a couple of us had 1st hand experience with these tools so it seemed like a good idea to get a couple in and circulate them among the staff.

I ordered the Wiha 11 piece set which has a good torque range of 1.0Nm – 5.0Nm, and dished them out! First of the feedback received was that the screwdriver was flimsy. Mainly due to the individual parts and additionally being the extra slim model probably didn’t help.

Most of the feedback received was based on how you change the torque settings, this in fairness is quite a pain which requires a second tool. So to adjust the torque setting heres what you have to do:

  • Step 1. Remove centre bit holder shaft
  • Step 2. Insert torque tool and adjust torque setting, remove torque tool
  • Step 3. Insert centre bit holder shaft
  • Step 4. Insert bit and lock in place
  • Step 5. VDE Torque Screwdriver ready for use

Please check video below curtsey of Wiha for exact process.

Is it Useful?

So is it useful, yes in a word of course it is! One of the biggest problems with electrical installation today is poor termination. This tool would certainly help rid us of these problems but the cost keeps it at bay for the time being. Maybe if certification bodies (like NICEIC) decide to make it compulsory to have one as part of your kit then you’ll have to bite the bullet.

Is it pointless?

So is it pointless? maybe a bit so let me explain myself. If you are going to make a career as an electrician then surely you have to be capable of tightening up screws and know how to gauge whats loose or over tightened. I will certainly be using one to give new students an idea of what loose and whats over tight but as they progress through the course i’d expect them to be able to get it right with a normal screwdriver.

Summary

There is only one real way for me to summarise this and that is to ask myself the big question, do I want one?………. No, I don’t see a need to add one to my tool kit. Yes as a teaching aid.

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