Notice: This review was originally posted in Sept of 2010 and was of the first generation torque driver. They have a new 4th gen which is radically different and we will work to get a review of that driver done. We will leave this review posted as it is still relevant.
Most of our time doing write-ups and reviews here at Sniper Central is spent with the big three, Rifles, Optics and Ammo. But occasionally we take the opportunity to also review additional items used in the field such as slings, bipods, spotting scopes and even on occasion we like to take the time to look at handy tools for field and deployment use as well.
One of the tools that is handy to have for field maintenance of your weapon system is a torque wrench to properly torque your action screws and scope mounting screws while deployed in the field or even just prior to each shooting session to insure proper accuracy as well as functionality. The problem has always been the physical size and weight of a properly calibrated T-Handle torque wrench, especially when more than one might be needed. Even with the fact that the action screws and ring cross mount bolts share the same torque setting, typically 65-inch pounds, to allow for sharing a single wrench for both of those settings, it is also nice to have a good torque wrench for use on the ring caps to insure the scope is firmly in place and properly torqued in the rings. This is usually a recommended setting of 25-inch pounds.
A clever solution is presented here by Borka Tools. What Borka did was design a small and compact tool that has the ability to do multiple torque settings but yet is small and light weight. The available settings are ones that are most common for tactical rifle use and they have even included a nice T.A.B. Gear canvas case to package it for easy storage.
The multi torque driver is a two piece arrangement, not counting the socket to fit the nut or bolt. There is a handle and then the drive part. The two pieces separate for storage and combined are compact and light weight and when separated and stored in their T.A.B. Gear canvas pouch, it is small and compact making for easy storage in a ruck sack, deployment case, or even weapons cleaning case. The T.A.B. case itself is much larger than it needs to be and I would say it could easily be trimmed down to about half of its current width to make it even easier to store.
The torque wrench itself is pretty easy to setup, especially if you refer to the included instruction sheet as well as view the YouTube video demonstrating how to set it up and use. You assemble the wrench by removing the “cap” from the end of the drive portion and then inserting that drive into the handle in the desired torque setting you would like, such as 65-inch pounds, and then placing the “cap” back onto the drive portion, therefore assembling the two pieces as a single unit. The available torque settings are 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 36, 43, 50, 57, 65, and 72 inch-lbs.
The tool is quite simple with only a single moving part being the handle which “breaks”, or “releases” at the configured torque setting. The tool is simple, but the quality is good and the tool is sturdy and quite durable. The plastics on the handle and cap are a durable plastic that will last a long time and the drive tip is removable to easily allow changing the drive size from the provided .25″ socket drive to what ever might be needed. The tool itself is made here in the USA.
To use the torque tool you attach your desired head to use for your screw or nut, in my sample case here, a half inch socket to use for tightening the nuts on a pair of Tactical Rifle Chimera rings. With the socket on the nut I placed my thumb onto the “cap” for leverage and then used the remaining fingers to pull the handle portion until the handle would “snap” over, releasing the tension. The handle easily just pops back in place and you are set to go again. The documentation from Borka indicates that it is accurate to within +/- 4% and as a test I used the Borka tool to tighten the set of Chimera rings to 65 inch-lbs and then followed it with a calibrated T-handle torque wrench to see how far off it was. I was not able to provide any real scientific measurements, but each time the T-handle wrench would tighten the nut just a bit more than the Borka tool, so the two tools were not exactly the same, but they were fairly close.
The tool is handy and is compact and light for easy storage, especially in a deployment bag or ruck. The cost is a bit expensive running from $70-$95 depending on your desired configuration, and that is about what a good T-Handle torque wrench runs, though the T-Handle wrench is heavier and only good for one torque setting. The Borka multi torque driver is handy and makes a good tool for your standard kit and it appears to be durable, which we will see over time as we continue to use it.