Tool Review: Murray TriGage combo tool

Feb. 11, 2013
Quickly measure the thread pitch, size of the bolt and reference the grade being used.

Murray Corporation's TriGage Combo Tool measures bolt diameter, thread pitch and bolt grade to ensure that when replacing bolts or studs, users select the correct size. It also helps to select the correct size split thread repair die when repairing exterior threads. Works for both SAE and metric applications.

The review

Eric Moore, a mechanic at DeMary Truck in Columbus, OH, is no stranger to retapping studs and dealing with broken bolts. After all, he works in an industry where mechanics put anti-seize on wheel studs. Thread repair is what you sign up for in the medium duty repair business.

Working on mainly Mitsubishi and UD trucks, Moore is used to having to break out his thread pitch gauges, bolt size guides and grade charts. When he was sent a TriGage Combo from Murray Tools, which apparently can fulfill the functions of those three tools in one tool, he was intrigued.

It did not take long to put the tool to the test. "We used it during the replacement of exhaust manifold studs, when matching up the old ones to some we had in stock," Moore recalled. "The tool proved to be a very quick reference when doing this type of job."

Like most mechanics, Moore does not read directions unless he absolutely has to. Moore reported that the tool was intuitive and that it did not come with directions, nor did he need them. "There was not a manual included, but there were quick references on the packaging," he noted. "Very easy to follow, and understand."

Along with the multi-tool's compact design, Moore commented on the ease of use. "I felt that the inclusion of the three-in-one tool made it very productive," Moore said. "I found the tools very easy to use."

Moore did have a suggestion for a future design improvement. "The only thought I had while using this tool, was to maybe include the average torque specification reference for the bolt size/grade being referenced," he said. "Some fasteners that we used this tool for reference on had no specific torque specification. In these specific applications, that would have been real handy."

Overall, Moore really liked the tool.

"This combination tool was very effective, allowing in very few motions to measure the thread pitch, size the bolt, and also reference the grade being used," according to Moore. "I would rate this tool solid nine out of 10 for the excellent and creative use in combining the three reference tools in one."

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