Although I am bias when it comes to torque screwdrivers, my favourite is the ARMEG switchblade set – which is our March free prize draw giveaway.
We thought it’s best to look at a few alternative options to see what other torque screwdrivers the trade are using!
Before we look at the torque screwdrivers let’s look at what the regulations say about using them?
BS7671 – 18th edition Wiring Regulations
Regulation – 134.1.1
“Good workmanship by one or more skilled or instructed persons and proper materials shall be used in the erection of the electrical installation. The installation of electrical equipment shall take account of manufacturer’s instructions” IET Wiring Regulations BS7671.
If you have ever fitted anything electrical that has a screw terminal and read the manufacturer’s instructions there is a good chance that it says that the screw-terminal should be tightened to a specific N.m (Newton metre) and as per regulation 134.1.1 you should be taking into account the manufacturer’s instructions, therefore failure to tighten screw terminals to a specified N.m could be seen as a departure to BS7671.
It was recently estimated that only 10% of electricians and associated trades own a torque screwdriver and more amazingly! – I have never been asked or know anyone who has ever been asked to provide a copy of the calibration certificate on their annual CPS (competent persons scheme) assessment.
However, when I contacted my CPS scheme I was informed that although having a certificate of calibration was not a requirement of theirs, should a fire occur in a board that I had installed, it would be in my interest to be able to evidence that I had installed the board using the manufacturer’s published torque settings – therefore having a torque screwdriver is essential!
Calibration for a torque screwdriver should be completed annually or approximately at 5000 clicks.
Just last year whilst working with an electrical contracting company and working with one of their teams for a few days installing PV inverters, one of the team members was a lady electrician around 5ft 4in and one of the lads was well over 6ft and clearly spent his evenings in the gym. How can these two electricians possibly tighten terminals blind to the correct N.m?
In my opinion on the grounds of covering yourself a torque screwdriver without fail is probably one of the most important tools in the bag.
Why did I choose the ARMEG switchblade set? The main reason was cost, a torque screwdriver handle is quite expensive however buying them in a set seems to be a little more cost effective (although more expensive) you get more changeable heads in the set. When I was at one of the trade shows I got a chance to play with the ARMEG set and I found it more comfortable to use than some of the competition.
Let’s look at the 3 popular torque screwdriver sets out there today!
WIHA Torque Vario VED interchangeable torque screwdriver 13 piece set.
WERA Kratform Kompakt VDE interchangeable torque screwdriver 15 piece set.
ARMEG Fully loaded 13 piece VED adjustable torque screwdriver set