Originally Posted by travisthomas
On this note--which is more often usable, 3/8" or 1/2"? I'm going to get my first torque wrench, and I'm not really sure what I need.
Yup, you really need two torque wrenches if you're going to go this route. Torque wrenches tend to be most accurate in the middle of their range, so a model that you use to torque your stem bolts is going to be way too wimpy to torque a crank bolt and a wrench that's good for cranks and BBs is barely going to register on the fine stuff.
A 1/4" and a 3/8" drive torque wrench will cover the fine and the high torque items.
Park makes two beam type torque wrenches that are well suited (because of their operating ranges) for bicycle applications. The 1/4" has a 0-60 in/lb range and the 3/8" has a 0-600 in/lb (= 0-50 ft/lb) range.
Beam type wrenches are nice because you can calibrate themselves. But, you have to be reading the scale while doing the torquing. Click type torque wrenches are nice for manly applications as you can concentrate on grunting and just listening for the click and don't have to worry about reading the scale at the same time (people that have used both types for high torque apps will know exactly what this comment means). But, click type torque wrenches need to be calibrated from time to time depending on how much they are used.