Wheeler F.A.T. Stix Nails the Right Torque With a Twist
I have a deep hatred of over-torqued fasteners. In some cases, it’s a minor irritation. In others, I have to replace a fastener or part, lose time, and spend more money in the process. The Wheeler F.A.T. Stix Torque Wrench Set is specifically designed to help you avoid those issues on some of the most sensitive components.
Using the Wheeler F.A.T. Stix Torque Wrench Set
If Wheeler is a new name to you, they have a significant presence as gunsmithing tools. While that’s still the primary target for these torque sticks, there’s an opportunity for crossover into other trades and hobbies.
The set comes with five preset torque sticks: 15, 20, 25, 45, and 65-inch pounds. They attach to a metal T-handle for operation using a simple friction fit.
Personally, I greatly prefer a T-handle over a standard screwdriver handle for the greater grip security it offers. If you prefer a different handle, you just need a driver that accepts 1/4-inch hex bits and you’re good to go.
Like other torque sticks, as you turn the handle, you feel a click once it reaches the specific torque for that stick.
The cool thing is that most of the Wheeler F.A.T. Stix are power tool-friendly. You can use them in a drill with no problem. The only one we don’t recommend using in a drill is the 65 in-lb one. We also don’t recommend using any of them in an impact driver to avoid the violence of the impact mechanism on a calibrated accessory.
Along with the handle and five torque sticks, there’s more in the case. You also get a 3-inch extension, 1/2-inch socket, 1/4-inch square drive adapter, and twelve 1-inch bits that include slotted, Phillips, hex, and Torx designs.
The nice thing about the bits is that they’re all 1/4-inch hex, so you can customize your loadout to include square, combination, security, or whatever bits you need for the job. Just grab the ones you prefer and use them instead.
As torque sticks, they come calibrated from the factory. The 15 – 30 in-lb ones are ±2% and the 45 – 65 in-lb ones are ±5%. Each one is rated for 7000 clicks.
Room for Improvement?
There aren’t any major flaws that we came across in our testing. However, there are some minor improvements that could make the F.A.T. Stix set even better.
We’d like to see the bit seating a little deeper. We didn’t have any issues with bits slipping out, but it would offer more security, particularly when you’re using them with a drill.
The handle wasn’t uncomfortable by any means. Comparing it to what auto techs, small engine mechanics, and other T-handle driver users expect, it would be nice to see a layer of overmold fully covering it, though.
The only other thing is to hit the torque specs in between the five that this set includes. For folks that need other settings, an adjustable torque driver that can cover the entire range (and perhaps extend it up a bit) would be a nice supplement.
Wheeler F.A.T. Stix Torque Wrench Set Price
MSRP on the full set is $109.99 and Wheeler had it listed on their website for $87.02 at the time we were writing our review. As torque sticks go, it’s a bit less than what you pay for Fix It Sticks and similar brands.
We’re really excited about seeing these show up, but we do have a little bit of a wait. Expect to find them directly from Wheeler or your favorite Wheeler retailer around the 2nd week of February 2022.
The Bottom Line
For some of the most common torque settings you come across in many trades and hobbies, Wheeler takes the guesswork out of the equation with their F.A.T. Stix Torque Wrench Set. The overall design is solid and comfortable to work with. While there’s some room to improve or perhaps develop some parallel prodcuts, there’s no reason to shy away from these tools if they cover the torque specs on your fastening needs.
Check out more tools at Wheeler’s website!