New RAD Torque Tool Takes More Weight off Technicians

January 10, 2018

RAD Torque planetary gearboxRAD Torque Systems is known for lightweight torque wrenches, but its new planetary gearbox makes the company’s tools more ergonomic than ever before.

Weighing in at only 14.8 pounds, the 30DX is compact and portable, but it doesn’t sacrifice on torque.

“It’s the smallest 3,000 foot-pound package on the market,” said Chris McKerihen, a mechanical engineer at RAD.



Technicians in the mining, wind energy, oil and gas, manufacturing, aerospace and railway industries all use RAD’s wrenches.These industries take safety seriously, so weight is a major consideration when choosing tools.

“Health and safety regulations only allow a person to lift a certain amount of weight, so if a tool is too heavy when fully assembled it’s a problem,” McKerihen said. “We aim to minimize weight at all costs to make heavy duty jobs ergonomic and easy. Based on power-to-weight ratio, the 30DX is our lightest tool yet.”

Torque wrenches can be large when fully assembled with a gearbox, socket, and reaction arm. Therefore, technicians working in North America often use lift assists to avoid strain.

Though, many mechanics and engineers in countries around the world use RAD’s tools without assists. This makes weight even more important.

“Shaving an extra five pounds off a tool can impact how easily and safely a technician completes a job,” he said.


In addition to being the lightest and most compact torque wrench on the market, the 30DX is extremely customizable. Like the 34GX, it has a removable square drive. This drive can be replaced by a low clearance socket for bolting in hard-to-reach places. Mechanics in the mining industry find the 30DX helpful. They use it with a reaction arm and a long extension shaft when performing maintenance on recessed wheels, according to McKerihen.

RAD also puts together custom low clearance kits for the railway industry.
“We designed an input offset for CN Rail so technicians could complete bolting in a space with only 8.5 inches of clearance,” McKerihen said.

The 30DX gearbox is compatible with all series of RAD tools, including the E-RAD, B-RAD, and V-RAD. It can benefit technicians working in various industries around the world.

“We made this gearbox available on different series to meet each industry’s unique tooling needs,” McKerihen said.

Some technicians might not have compressed air available. Others might want a portable option like the B-RAD battery series, or they might need electric options like the E-RAD and V-RAD.

“If you’re looking for a versatile and light planetary gearbox that still packs a high torque punch, you won’t find anything better than the 30DX,” McKerihen said.