Proto Drive Smart Torque Wrench successfully combines precision torque and technology
Technology is penetrating almost every facet of how we work, and the mechanic’s workshop is no different. For those of us who embrace it, the Proto Drive Smart Torque Wrench has the potential to change the way we set torque.
- Excellent haptic feedback
- Degree of protection IP54
- Replaceable head
- Construction made of stainless steel
- Hard Shell Storage Case
- OLED digital display
Using Proto Drive’s Smart Torque Wrench
Precision is important
A few years ago I had the divine privilege of replacing the driveshaft on my push mower. You can imagine my excitement. Disassembly was the easy part. When it came time to put everything back together, reassembling was one thing. Getting the torque right was another.
At that time I was still working with a manual torque wrench. It’s not the best or the most precise, but I knew it was the only way I could get my project done that night.
Although I was able to finish the job, I know some of the nuts and bolts are not tightened as precisely as I would prefer. Most likely it won’t really matter for a small Honda push mower in the long run. However, I don’t share the same sentiment about the aircraft mechanic reassembling the engine for my Delta flight next month.
Plain and simple, there are times when precision is key. When the job calls for precise torque specs, the Proto Drive Smart Torque Wrench has your back. This 3/8 inch torque wrench delivers 5-100 ft-lbs of fastening force with a ±2% error tolerance on torque and ±1° on angle. There are also models that cover 1-22 ft-lbs (1/4″ drive) and 25-250 ft-lbs (1/2″ drive).
The really great thing is that they use smart technology to ensure human error doesn’t have as much of an impact as some designs.
Proto Smart Drive torque wrench technology
The on-board technology connects to the mobile Proto app via Bluetooth. From there, just set the desired torque on your phone and get to work.
In the app, you can organize specific tool applications into groupings, which can then be combined into a deliverable report. These reports are useful for maintaining standards and identifying inconsistencies.
In addition, it has a tool locator mode that activates the OLEDs and pokers. You might get strange looks, but at least you’ll find your torque wrench! This is a Bluetooth connection, not a WiFi or cellular connection, so the tool must be within range of your phone to use this feature.
One thing you need to know is that you must use the app. All adjustments are done there and there is no way to set them manually on the tool. Once you’ve set the torque, there’s no longer a need to run the app, and you can still store up to 500 readings on the tool when you reconnect. If you’re unsure about using an app on your phone or tablet, Proto also offers other electronic and manual options.
Haptic feedback is one of my favorite features of the Proto J6112BT. As you approach your target torque (50%-74% of target), the vibration will let you know. Its intensity increases as you get closer (75% – 99%) and finally clicks when it’s time to stop. There’s also a visual indicator that moves from a slow blinking orange to fast and then green as you hit your target. It turns red when you walk past it.
Forget alkaline battery storage—the Proto Smart Drive torque wrench is also rechargeable with an internal lithium-ion battery. Pop it on the charger when you’re done with the day and you should have enough charge to get you through the longest of days. You can even mount the charger on the wall if you’re not worried about it going away overnight.
Proto ships the torque wrench with an ASME calibration certificate. Because of its precision nature, they recommend that you have it recalibrated once a year.
- Replaceable head
- Square rubber bumper prevents rolling
- Multiple types of socket pins included
Proto Smart Drive Torque Wrench Price
This torque wrench from Proto definitely belongs to the upper class of high-quality hand tools. Expect to pay around $580 for the 3/8-inch model we’re reviewing. This includes the tool, hard carrying case and a wall charger in the kit. Proto carries a one-year tool warranty and a 90-day calibration warranty.
The final result
Having gained some hands-on experience with this wrench, we can say with confidence that this is the most advanced torque wrench we have ever used. There are so many unique and useful features that are clearly designed for practical use of the torque wrench. If you’re familiar with connected tools, the Proto Smart Drive torque wrench is one of the best torque wrenches you can get your hands on.
Proto Torque Wrench Specifications
- Model: Proto J6112BT
- Torque Range: 5 – 100 ft-lbs
- Length: 17.5 inches
- Weight: 2.75 pounds
- Charger: 2 amps
- Battery: Lithium Ion
- Accuracy: ±2% for torque, ±1° for angle
To learn more about this Proto torque wrench, click here.