Tested: Laser Tools - New Digital Torque Ratchet
The name Laser Tools has been around for several decades now and most tool boxes will contain a selection of offerings from the Warwickshire based company. Let’s be honest, they were always considered the budget choice but usually represented value for money, producing tools that did the job although not always enjoying the longevity of names that cost three times as much; they were perfect for me. You see, as a weekend tinkerer my tools will ‘rust-up’ before they suffer a month’s worth of workshop labour as I still enjoy some of their products from the 90’s. Things have however changed for Laser, with an export market across Europe and a very glamorous connection with Aston Martin Racing their growth hasn’t slowed. Under the Tool Collection banner Laser is joined by recognisable names such as Gunson Tools for the workshop and Power Tec for body shop requirements. Precision engineering from Eldon and smaller tools aimed at the cyclist are offered by Kamasa; this means huge coverage, supplying everything from cheap screwdrivers to diagnostic equipment. If like me your torque wrenches are large, heavy objects that cannot be manoeuvred easily in small places and require ‘base twisting’ to acquire an inaccurate setting then read on as we put the new hand held digital ratchet to the test. Three versions/sizes are available; the ¼" drive model (part number 6207) is a compact 200mm long and covers the range 6-30Nm (4.4-22.1 ft/lb). The 3/8" drive model (part number 6206) is 230mm long and ranges between 16-80Nm (11.8-59 ft/lb). The 1/2" drive model (part number 6205) is 275mm long and ranges between 20-100Nm (14.8-73 ft/lb). We chose the largest ½ in drive priced in the catalogue at £81.77 inc (contact your local supplier for special offers/deals) which is certainly competitively priced.
Like most males, I avoid reading the instructions until things go wrong but in this instance I was forced to, being unable to switch the ratchet on. The moulded case will certainly protect what is a pretty impressive piece of kit when removed from the bubble wrap. The instructions are clear and concise with battery change and setup details including how to pre-set and store 50 different settings. Keeping the master switch at off will no doubt save the two small watch type batteries from failing prematurely; at least there is an early warning for this issue. The last page includes hand written calibration results all well within 2% accuracy plus the date of testing, this offers reassurance that Laser have tested and passed your ratchet. My ½ drive is the largest and is quite heavy, saying that it falls nicely to hand and is easy to operate in tight spaces. The 72 teeth operation is very good; it sounds precise and is; whilst the audible bleep resembles an alarm clock warning you that your torque application is within 20% of the desired figure, when the bleep becomes constant setting has been reached. Putting in your required load can be a little fiddly, mainly due to the multiple options the Laser ratchet offers but once mastered this really is a great tool that represents excellent value for money.
½ ‘’Drive x 275mm long
Range 20-100Nm (11.8-59ftlb) accuracy plus or minus 3%
Automatic shut off
Supplied in a blow mould case
Reviewed by Grant Ford (www.grantford.co.uk) for Classiccarmag.net
Laser Brake Bleeder Wrench Set 6783
The days of hunting around the tool box to find a suitable open ended spanner that may fit the odd size bleed nipple on your old drum brakes have long gone. The scenarios of the loose fitting option that slips, resulting in rounded off edges and blood from the knuckles or the other that is just a fraction too small but will fit with the help of brute force, these are history. The Laser kit consists of six wrenches that contain various six point sockets ranging from 7mm-12mm, offering a wide range of applications from old drum to modern disc or motorbike. The sockets are rubber lined inside for an airtight fit and colour coded with each wrench labelled for size and easy recognition. The kit also contains 1.2 metres of silicone hose with a one-way valve installed; it’s just a case of attaching the correct size, release and bleed. We tested the kit on a set of rear drums from a Reliant Kitten then changed the fitting for a modern VW Polo front caliper. The system also mated perfectly to our air bleeder for those working without the assistance of a third leg to pump the brake. Finally, if you manage to misplace or somehow damage one, each socket is available separately from Laser. Great tool, clever design and works with equal ease on brake or hydraulic clutch systems.
Laser Brake bleeder wrench set 6783: £104.52 plus Vat
Built in 6 point socket and wrench sizes 7/8/9/10/11/12mm - colour coded
1.2mm silicon hose and check valve
Ideal for bleeding brake and hydraulic clutch systems
Packed in a blow case with EVA foam. All wrenches available separately