Tested: Laser Tools – New Digital Torque Ratchet

Filed under: Classic News,Product Reviews |
Laser Tools – New Digital Torque RatchetThe name Laser Tools has been around for several decades now and most tool boxes will contain a selection of offerings from the Warwickshire based company. Let’s be honest, they were always considered the budget choice but usually represented value for money, producing tools that did the job although not always enjoying the longevity of names that cost three times as much; they were perfect for me. You see, as a weekend tinkerer my tools will ‘rust-up’ before they suffer a month’s worth of workshop labour as I still enjoy some of their products from the 90’s. Things have however changed for Laser, with an export market across Europe and a very glamorous connection with Aston Martin Racing their growth hasn’t slowed. Under the Tool Collection banner Laser is joined by recognisable names such as Gunson Tools for the workshop and Power Tec for body shop requirements. Precision engineering from Eldon and smaller tools aimed at the cyclist are offered by Kamasa; this means huge coverage, supplying everything from cheap screwdrivers to diagnostic equipment. If like me your torque wrenches are large, heavy objects that cannot be manoeuvred easily in small places and require ‘base twisting’ to acquire an inaccurate setting then read on as we put the new hand held digital ratchet to the test. Three versions/sizes are available; the ¼" drive model (part number 6207) is a compact 200mm long and covers the range 6-30Nm (4.4-22.1 ft/lb). The 3/8" drive model (part number 6206) is 230mm long and ranges between 16-80Nm (11.8-59 ft/lb). The 1/2" drive model (part number 6205) is 275mm long and ranges between 20-100Nm (14.8-73 ft/lb). We chose the largest ½ in drive priced in the catalogue at £81.77 inc (contact your local supplier for special offers/deals) which is certainly competitively priced. Like most males, I avoid reading the instructions until things go wrong but in this instance I was forced to, being unable to switch the ratchet on. The moulded case will certainly protect what is a pretty impressive piece of kit when removed from the bubble wrap. The instructions are clear and concise with battery change and setup details including how to pre-set and store 50 different settings. Keeping the master switch at off will no doubt save the two small watch type batteries from failing prematurely; at least there is an early warning for this issue. The last page includes hand written calibration results all well within 2% accuracy plus the date of testing, this offers reassurance that Laser have tested and passed your ratchet. My ½ drive is the largest and is quite heavy, saying that it falls nicely to hand and is easy to operate in tight spaces. The 72 teeth operation is very good; it sounds precise and is; whilst the audible bleep resembles an alarm clock warning you that your torque application is within 20% of the desired figure, when the bleep becomes constant setting has been reached. Putting in your required load can be a little fiddly, mainly due to the multiple options the Laser ratchet offers but once mastered this really is a great tool that represents excellent value for money. Specification;
  • ½ ‘’Drive x 275mm long
  • Range 20-100Nm (11.8-59ftlb) accuracy plus or minus 3%
  • Automatic shut off
  • 72 teeth
  • Supplied in a blow mould case
Reviewed by Grant Ford (www.grantford.co.uk) for Classiccarmag.net