Review: Silca Pista, Ti-Torque, Latex Tubes
article & images by Nick Salazar
Apr 5, 2018
T-Ratchet + Ti-Torque Kit (v2)
Last year, we reviewed the first version of Silca's innovative mobile torque wrench, the long-windedly-named T-Ratchet + Ti-Torque tool. Technically, the T-Ratchet can be purchased separately from the full T-Ratchet + Ti-Torque kit, but we still think the full kit could have a slightly pithier name. I've called it the "v2" in the header here, but Silca hasn't changed the name. Any new version you buy will be this updated version.
At the time, our chief complaint was with the extraordinarily small scale of the hashmarks on the tube. These hashmarks are what you use to determine how much torque you are applying. See, the Ti-Torque doesn't operate the same way you may understand from other tools. Traditional torque tools allow you to set a designated torque (or have a preset torque level), and you simply turn the tool until it either makes an audible "click", or simply stops allowing you to add additional torque. Silca's Ti-Torque tool, by contrast, never prevents you from continuing to turn the tool. Instead, it uses a titanium inner spindle which twists at a known rate, and the scale on the side of the tube lets you know how much the inner spindle is twisted, and what torque corresponds to the current amount of twist. Therefore, it's up to you to carefully read that scale to know when you have achieved your desired torque.
The original tool was pretty difficult to read. Compounding the difficulty was that my tool didn't seem to rest exactly at the zero-torque hashmark. But it was a tough problem to solve. If you want to increase the distance between hashmarks, you'd need to use a spindle that twisted MORE, and that would have limited the max torque before it twists so much that it either breaks or won't twist back properly (it's basically a "spring constant" problem).
But in true Silca form, they came up with a simple, elegant, brilliant solution. Instead of putting all the hashmarks on a single, tiny scale, it divides them into three scales. There's a 0-2-6 scale, 0-3-5 scale, and a 0-4-8 scale. It's MUCH easier to see when you've hit the hashmark you're looking for when there are only three of them, instead of five. A big chapeau to Silca for solving this problem. The new version maintains all the portable functionality of its original form, without suffering the chief problem of the original. Like any high-end tool, it behooves the owner to take time to learn how it works. But the customer who takes time to do so will be reqarded with an eminently functional and innovative toolkit for their mobile quiver.
Finally, let's see something we never expected from Silca: simple latex tubes.