Gazette Archive 11/17/99
I finally get on the 'puter quick enough to get a tool to test, and what a really cool tool! The Torq-Mate by Jacobs (the chuck people) has replaced two other tools in my carry box after using it for just one day ! The timing was perfect as I was scheduled to install site built banisters, in a new log cabin, which were to be fastened with lag bolts.
Those of you who have had to install a quantity of lag bolts know this is not a task one looks forward to. Starter holes, sockets and ratchet, a generally labor intensive endeavor. This is the case in deck-building, stair railings, or any other project which require the use of lag bolts.
At first glance I was doubtful of the Torq-Mate's ability to handle the task, lag bolts are not really cooperative and the two "power" methods of installing them ( corded and cordless impact drivers ) are not always successful, but I was pleasantly surprised. Traditional impact drivers require the operator to hang on for the ride, usually at the expense of feeling in your hands, wrists, and arms, caused by the vibrations associated with the "impacting" or hammering action. The Torq-Mate has none of the expected vibration or torque to the hands and wrists, it is as smooth as drilling into soft pine with a new drill bit.
The sleeve provides a surface to help steady the extra length of the tool, socket, and lag bolt, though the tool does not require two hands, and can be operated single handed in those tough to reach spots. It is comfortable to hold and as can be seen, does not require a gorilla's grip to keep engaged on the bolt. The sleeve does not turn in use.
Power is transferred, forward and reverse, from your standard 3/8 or 1/2 corded or cordless drill with no strain and without heating up. The Torq-Mate will easily install lag bolts without pre-drilling or pilot holes, though to avoid splitting, pilot holes should be used near edges. The tool will has as much power and speed as your drill can transfer and will twist off a lag bolt if the operator stays on the trigger once the bolt is tight, ( go on, guess how I know that ! )and will do it without twisting your wrist.
The Torq-Mate has a hex shank which is securely gripped in your drill and a standard 3/8 square drive on the out-put end. This set-up allows you to use any 3/8 drive screwdriver bit or socket you choose. After using the Torq-Mate to install a few lag bolts, my partner started the, " I want one, this is so cool ! Where can I get one? Can I have this one? I'll buy it right now!" After stashing it in my Suburban, I told him he could get his own
The Torq-Mate is available for less than $30.00 from:
Grizzly Industrial, Inc., phone # 1-800-523-4777,
The Torq-Mate by Jacobs has earned a permanent and protected place in my every day carry tool selection. I highly recommend this tool; it is priced right, does the job it is intended to, and does it well.
Now go get your own, this one is mine
Torq-Mate by Jacobs,
The Torque Mate is a device that fits in the chuck of your ordinary power drill and turns it into an impact driver. It's appearance is a short tapered black cylinder, one end that is hexagonal to fit in your drill and the other to receive sockets. It looked a bit bulky to me, but that fear was soon alleviated when I put it in my drill. It did not alter the feel, or balance enough to worry me in the slightest.
To get a feel for it I predrilled several different pieces of scrap that I had lying around and then drove a six inch 3/8 lag bolt through. The pieces ranged from 1/2 inch through to 4 inch. The torque master drove lags with considerable ease. Much easier than sitting there with a ratchet, and less worry about shearing the bolt while using the drill itself. After many times I decided to try it with out the pilot holes. Again it drove the lag through most of the samples up to about 2 inches. With the thicker stuff it eventually bogged down, and just sat there slipping its disks. Which seemed to do no harm either to itself , the lag, or the drill. This did not particularly surprise me as I don't imagine it is designed to do that sort of thing anyway, I just had to give it a try!
In my opinion this is a darned handy
thing to have kicking around in the drill box. It would be of
great assistence in loosening old rusted bolts and screws with
its persistant action, it would also be a dream for those little
projects where you wished you had an impact driver, but couldn't
justify the expense. My only regret is that I cannot tell you
how it works. I considered taking it apart but I liked it too
much to risk! If and when it fails I will do a post mortem, but
from what I've seen that may be some time in the future!
Not really knowing what to expect when the package arrived, I opened it in anticipation to what a Jacobs Torq-Mate really was. I was surprised and a little confused. I figured out that it simply attaches to the drill chuck and that you can turn nuts and bolts with it. But once I got it chucked in, I was very pleased to say the least. I soon figured out that the Jacobs Torq-Mate, when hooked up with a screw driving bit adapter also drives screws as well. Another bonus. But my biggest surprise came when the screw was finally embedded in the wood. I was tempted to slack off on the trigger because we all know that using a regular drill and screw driving bit will strip a screw head pretty quick if we're not careful. I was quick to learn that it acts as an impact wrench and stops when the strain is evident (screw is set in place). The Jacobs Torq-Mate also works very well in reverse. In using the mechanism of the impact wrench, it continues to bang away at the screw head until the threads loosen. No more stripping the head of screws or bolts. The housing that surrounds the mechanism doesn't spin with the drilling process so it provides an extra area to hold onto the drill for better support. A great idea!
I've been wanting something like this
for years. All along I've been using an 3/8" extension bar
cut down to fit into my drill in order to use sockets. My little
invention now sits at the bottom of the garbage can. This would
make a great addition to any home do-it-yourself person's toolbox.
Money well spent.
Torq-Mate by Jacobs
The Torq-Mate accessory is a new attachment for any 1/2" or 3/8 drill motor. By inserting the Torq-Mate in your drill you will have unbelievable additional power. Your drill actually becomes an impact device.
I've installed my Torq-Mate in a Bosch 14.4 cordless drill. I used the Torq-Mate to assemble a chain link fence and it really made the job easy.
I wondered just how powerful this small item was so I decided to see if I could change a tire using the Torq-Mate. It took a little time but I was able to break all 5 lug nut's loose.
What a concept . . . cordless impact!
Don't leave home without one!
Editor's Note: The WWA would like to thank Jacobs for providing five Torq-Mates to our members for evaluation. Five you say? Yeah, I got one too...very nice tool! - Jim Mattson