Learn the Basics of Torque Wrenches

by Andy on June 23, 2010

A torque wrench may sound like a household tool, but do you know the basics?

The torque wrench’s main purpose: to tighten a bolt or nut with the correct amount of torque while avoiding over-tightening. These wrenches look pretty similar to standard socket wrenches, with the exception of the bottom part of the torque wrench, which tells you how much force you’re exerting as you tighten. Using a torque wrench requires five easy steps:

  1. Analyze the torque wrench to see a dial at the bottom, which you can change according to the amount of force you need.
  2. Look in your car or bike manual to find the recommended “torque” for the nut or bolt that needs tightening.
  3. Change the dial in accordance to the setting found in the manual.
  4. Find the appropriate socket for the nut/bolt and attach it to the wrench. Begin tightening with short strokes.
  5. Stop tightening when the wrench clicks, or slips, on the nut. This happens when it reaches the setting on the handle.

For a more visual tutorial, check out the YouTube video below:

Torque wrenches come in powered and non-powered models. Within the manual category, there are several types of torque wrenches: beam type, deflecting beam, click type, “no hub” wrench, electronic torque wrenches, programmable electronic torque/angle wrenches, and mechatronic torque wrenches.

We carry several brands of torque wrenches including Utica, Armstrong, and Cementex.

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