No matter how cheap or what additional features are offered, a torque wrench needs to be accurate first and foremost. Offering a simple design at an impressive price, the new Ocarina from IceToolz is also impressively accurate across its 1-10nm-torque range.
Named after an ancient musical wind instrument, this torque wrench and its hollow plastic construction felt like a toy at first. It wasn’t until benchmarking it against a digital torque wrench tester that we realised this was indeed a fully functioning torque wrench.
Keeping things simple, it’s the flex of an internal shaft that dictates the function of this tool. It’s a similar design to that of proven beam-type torque wrenches, but in a different layout.
Torque setting is a matter of turning the wrench and reading to the desired number. It works perfectly, although human error is possible
With that, the tool will only work in a clockwise direction, and doing so moves a needle inline with the raised numbers on the tool’s handle. Without contrast in colour, these numbers can be difficult to read in low light or with the tool upside down.The danger here is that it's up to your eyes to tell you when to stop turning the torque wrench, and so over-tightening the bolt is all too possible if you're not paying close attention.
This tool spans from a minimum of 1nm to a maximum torque reading of 10nm. For cycling, this should cover many common uses of a torque wrench. Accuracy is impressive with the tool only marginally under-reading to true torque.
Extra bits are stored in the handle
The tool accepts commonly available 1/4in hex bits, which are magnetically held in place. The handle doubles as storage for the included 3, 4, 5, 6mm hex and Torx 25 bits. These will see you through the majority of repairs. Getting the bits out can be a little bit of a fiddle – the easiest way we found is to use the bit last in use to poke out the one you want.
Such a simple design, along with the large and comfortable hollow plastic handle means this 88g torque wrench also happens to be one of the lightest multi-torque tools we’ve ever seen.
Low weight is rarely a crucial factor in tools, but it does make the Ocarina the perfect choice for the bike traveller. A weight of 88g including bits is extremely impressive, and this tool will happily handle all seatpost, stem and handlebar tightening needs.
That low weight does come with the trade-off in feeling a little cheap, and certainly we suspect the handle will crack if you were to accidently step on it (it’s a precision tool, keep it off the floor). Additionally, the long handle can hamper clearance into tight spots, and we struggled to adjust the torque on at least one seat post clamp head (twin bolt design) due to this.
Regardless of its low cost materials and clearance issues, this is still an exceptional option. So much so, that it came in an extremely close second place for the ‘Best Value’ award in our recent definitive torque wrench grouptest. It’s also the top choice for when travelling with a bike.