By David C.
While putting together my new custom bolt action, I knew I needed a quality torque wrench for the job. A torque wrench should be a critical piece of your gear in your kit if you don’t go to a gunsmith for every little task. But up until now, I had been one of the many who just scratched it off my tool list. It was my experience that quality torque wrenches were expensive and were built for only one torque setting, driving up costs as you buy multiple pieces for action screws, base screws, and rings. And the cheap alternatives were, well, cheap in build quality as the price tag implied. . .
But when utilizing quality optics and components, and driving for the utmost accuracy and precision, a solution to consistent and accurate torquing of fasteners is a must. After all, over torquing rings can damage multi-thousand dollar optics, and inconsistent torque on your action screws can alter POI hindering repeatable accuracy. After doing some research I came across an innovative solution by Borka Tools; the Borka Military Grade (MG) Multi Torque Driver.
The Borka MG multi torque driver allows the user to choose between 12 preset torque settings varying from 15 in-lbs to 72 in-lbs. The manner in which it operates is proprietary (Patent Pending) yet simple and easy to use.
The meat of the driver is the driver arm. The driver arm consists of a driver handle, locking mechanism, and the driver arm. The locking mechanism within the driver handle breaks at one of 2 preset torque values, depending on which direction the force is applied. The individual torque setting is then selected by inserting the hex bit holder into one of the six holes in the driver arm. By flipping the driver assembly over, and inserting the hex bit from the other side, you can choose from 6 additional settings, since the pre-set ‘break’ is at a higher force when turning the opposite direction. Confused? We’ll give you the details in a minute.
The Multi Torque Driver is available in various field and shop kits that include carrying cases and various bits. I purchased the MG7 kit which includes the torque driver assembly, a mini ratchet handle, 30 hex bits, a 1/2″ socket, various adapters and extension, and a 1000D nylon field carrying case by TAB Gear. For a complete list of what is include in each kit, check out this link and scroll down. One included bit is a custom 3/16″ AICS action screw bit for legacy Accuracy International Chassis. This proved useless for me, but if you utilize an AICS chassis, I’m sure it’s plenty valuable.
Here’s a little more behind the principle of operation via Borka Tools:
Torque, also called moment or moment of force, is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist. Assuming that vector of the force is perpendicular to the arm, torque value can be calculated as (Force) X (Distance). This is exactly how it works for Borka multi torque setting driver: while tightening force F is fixed (preset) to a certain value, change of torque setting is accomplished by selecting the different, also, fixed, distance D from the point of force application to the axis of rotation, in this case, rotation of hex bit holder mounted in an appropriate hex socket of the driver arm.
Until tightening force is below pre-set value, driver handle remains rigidly attached to the driver arm, and forms a lever of the distance D. When tightening force exceeds pre-set value, driver handle lock disengages from locking detent of the driver arm, allowing driver handle to rotate in the direction of the tightening force, which “breaks” the lever and effectively stops further application of tightening force, and correspondingly, tightening torque . As a result, over-tightening becomes impossible.
If you’ve taken a physics class, you should be experiencing at least a little DeJa-Vu, if not, rest assured, the science is solid. In practice it works like this, find the bit you need and insert it into the driver. Look at the handle and find the torque setting in inch-pounds that you desire, insert the bit through this hole. This step is easy to confuse, as the setting will be on the bottom of the driver arm when is use, make sure you have it right. Then simply insert the bit into the fastener head, place your palm on top of the driver to hold in the bit and your thumb in the center of the groove on the handle. Now just turn the assembly, with the force of your thumb, until the handle ‘breaks’ or cams over. Below is a short video of the operation I put together.
After using the Borka Multi Torque Driver on action screws, a scope base, ring mounts, and the rings themselves, I found it easy to use and very helpful. I am happy with my purchase.
I did have a one observation that I thought was important to share. At higher torque values, when the locking mechanism ‘breaks’ and the handle cams over, this can be a somewhat violent action given the amount of force you are applying to the handle, and the sudden give-away of the locking mechanism. Just be certain you have control of the entire assembly, or the bit can pop out of the fastener during the ‘break’ and you could scratch your coveted workpiece. I did find it easy to avoid this, if you use the torque driver as described above, with your palm on the center of the driver as outlined in the User Guide. This was not the intuitive, natural way to hold the driver for me, and took some getting used to.
What does it cost? I purchased this Borka MG7 kit from Mile High Shooting Accessories for $145 with free shipping. This was very reasonable to me given the flexibility of having 12 different torque settings over a wide range. Even the cheap adjustable wrenches usually don’t cover a range that wide, and at least 2 different wrenches would be needed. And if you were to buy quality, single setting torque drivers or limiters, you’d have a collection of them in order to do what the Borka system does in one convenient package.
Borka also has excellent communication. In fact, within 12 hours of going live with this review Boris Teper, the Owner of Borka Tools, and the designer of the tool contacted me (unsolicited) to say thank you for the positive review and to point out a couple small errors. I don’t even know how he found the review so quickly. Perhaps one or two referrals from this blog on his website analytics? I can only expect that someone that is ‘on the ball’ that well would provide excellent customer service as well.
Price: $105 – $145 depending on accessories
Ratings (out of five stars):
Design/Ease of Use: * * * * 1/2
The driver has a very innovative, easy to use design. I knocked off a 1/2 star because it is easy to hold the tool improperly and at higher torque settings, this can increase your ‘scratch potential.’
Construction: * * * * *
There is nothing to indicate anything about this kit is less than top quality.
Value: * * * * *
Over $100 for a torque wrench may seem steep, but when all the bits, accessories, and carrying kit are compared to other quality options (usually consisting of multiple torque drivers) the Borka offers great value in one simple package.
Overall: * * * *1/2
The Borka Multi Torque Driver is an excellent addition to your rifleman’s tool kit. It will allow consistent repeatable torque settings over a wide range. It is easily portable and thrown in a range bag or a bench draw and will be there when you need it. Borka has come out with a great, innovative solution to multiple torque wrenches/limiters, and made it simple and handy so it is likely to be utilized rather than collect dust.
Let me know any questions or comments you may have about the driver in the comments. I’d be happy to provide additional information if I needed.
David C. writes at nogreatercause.org. This article originally appeared there and is reprinted here with permission.
Sidebar: Recommended Torque Settings
The following are general recommended torque setting for various applications on your rifle. Always defer to manufacturers recommendations if they differ from those below.
- Action Screws in stock without bedding pillars : 40 in-lbs
- Action Screws in stock with bedding pillars: 65 in-lbs
- On actions with 3 screws, the middle screw should only be tightened slightly
- Scope Base Screws: 30 in-lbs MAX
- Ring Mount/Windage Screws: 30 – 40 in-lbs; 50 in – lbs MAX
- Scope Ring Screws (Aluminum): 10-15 in-lbs; 15 in-lbs MAX
- Scope Ring Screws (Steel): 15-20 in-lbs; 25 in-lbs MAX