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Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

Noah Bodman reviews the Park ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver for Blister Gear Review

Park ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

Torque Values: 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 or 6 Newton Meters

¼ inch Hex Drive

MSRP: $72.95

Park Tool is easily the most well known manufacturer of bike related tools, and you’ll likely find more than a few of their blue handles at most bikes shops.

And while you’d think that there wouldn’t be all that much room on the market for new bike tools these days, Park comes out with an assortment of new gadgets every year. Some of those address new parts that require specific tools (like Park’s new BBT-79, which is a bottom bracket tool that fits the new Raceface Cinch bottom bracket), while others are just a new take on an existing tool.

I’ve been checking out Park’s new ATD-1, or “Adjustable Torque Driver-1.” Unlike the traditional “clicker” torque wrench that’s essentially a fancy ratcheting socket driver (which Park also offers), the ATD-1 is a T-handle torque wrench that’s primarily designed for lower torque applications.

The most obvious use for this tool is for things like installing brake levers and shifters, particularly on carbon bars where over-tightening can damage the bar. Park also makes non-adjustable versions of the ATD-1 that look very similar, except the torque values are fixed (and they’re a bit less expensive).

Features

The ATD-1 uses standard ¼” hex drive bits, and there’s a void in the handle to store 3 extra bits. It comes with 3, 4, and 5mm bits, as well as a T25 Torx driver.

The torque settings are adjusted via a dial on one end of the handle, which is adjusted with a 6mm wrench. I would have preferred for the dial to be adjustable by hand, but it’s a fairly stiff spring in there.

Noah Bodman reviews the Park ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver for Blister Gear Review

Park ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

When the desired torque is achieved, the wrench gives a very clear release. Unlike some clicker torque wrenches I’ve used, there’s no way you’ll accidentally miss the click and overtorque. Like most torque wrenches, the ATD-1 is intended just to properly torque a bolt, and it’s not intended for counterclockwise use (i.e. removing bolts).

Build

In pictures, the wrench looks a bit plasticy, but it feels reasonably stout in your hand. Dropping a torque wrench is always a faux-pas since the impact could throw it out of adjustment, but I feel like the ATD-1 could take some abuse without cracking or failing.  The included bits seem to be pretty standard, but good quality. I’m not at all concerned about them rounding out, especially at the lower torque values that the tool is designed for.

Performance

Park doesn’t provide any numbers on the calibration or accuracy for the tool, but I did test the torque values that it was producing, and they were both consistent and accurate within a few percentage points.

Taking into consideration the fact that the ATD-1 isn’t intended to be a do-it-all sort of torque wrench, I only have a couple of minor quibbles. One is, as noted above, it’d be nice if the torque setting could be adjusted by hand. It would also be nice if the ATD-1 was continuously adjustable in its range, but I suppose there’s something to be said for quick and easy settings, and realistically, .5 Nm increments is probably sufficiently precise.

The last gripe is that values are only listed in newton-meters. I fully admit that metric is more better, and I acknowledge that converting to inch pounds is something I should be able to do in my head. But when some bike part has the torque values printed on it in in/lb, it would be more convenient if the wrench saved me from doing the conversion.

Who Should Get One?

Aside from those riders that just really like having lots of tools, or those who strongly prefer T-Handles, I think the people that’d benefit most from the ATD-1 are those who are frequently swapping controls, bars, stems, and other such relatively low torque items.

The ATD-1 is also nice for people who travel a lot—it’s fairly compact, so it’ll fit into a cluttered toolbox pretty easily.

It’d also be handy for shop folks who are torquing lots of bolts. The T-handle is just more handy in some situations than a socket driver.

Bottom Line

There’s no question that the ATD-1 isn’t a replacement for a standard torque wrench. It doesn’t achieve high enough torque values for lots of bolts on a bike, and it won’t work in lots of scenarios (for example, it won’t work on nuts).

But for its intended purpose, it’s a nice, compact, accurate, comfortable tool that’s quicker and easier to use when you need to torque a bunch of small bolts.

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