How to Calculate Torque

by Andy on January 28, 2013

64-094 Click Type Adjustable Torque Wrench with Ratcheting HeadWhen looking for torque tools, you may notice that a big consideration is the torque range. Torque range is important, as it shows the minimum and maximum power that the tool can put out. Most of the time, selecting the torque is as simple as matching a number on your product and your torque driver, but you may wonder where that number comes from. Also, the units for torque seem rather odd by most standards, as they combine a length (typically feet, inch, or meter) with force (pounds or newtons). Luckily, the answer to how to calculate torque can also help you understand why torque uses foot pounds or newton meters as their units!

Torque is force on an object that is created by twisting or turning it, so it is easiest to think of as a wrench turning a bolt. To calculate torque you take the amount of pressure and multiply it by how far away from the application point. For the purposes of our calculation, the amount of pressure is how hard you push the wrench and the distance from the application point is how far your hand is from the bolt.

If you applied 10lbs of force at 1 foot away then you would get:

10lbs X 1ft = 10ft.lbs

Now, you can see that your overall torque will change if you apply the pressure closer to or further away from the screw:

10lbs x 0.5ft = 5ft.lbs

10lbs x 2ft = 20ft.lbs

The further the force is from the point of application, the stronger the torque becomes. Alternately, you can say that it takes less pressure further away from the point of application to apply the same overall torque.

This is why we use wrenches to turn bolts, as it allows you to use much less pressure to turn a screw than just using your hand. If you needed 1ft.lbs to turn a screw, and your point of application was 1 inch away then it would take you 12lbs of pressure, as opposed to the 1lb of pressure from 1 foot away.

Also, this shows why you use units like ft.lbs, as you are saying how many pounds of pressure you need to use to turn the object at a point 1 foot away from the point of application. If you are dealing with smaller units of torque then you may use in.lbs. (inch pounds) or in.ozs (inch ounces), and when using the metric system you typically use Nm (newton meters) or Ncm (newton centimeters).

Do you have any other questions on torque? Leave a comment below! Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out our site at for more information on specific products.


(special thanks to Mike Billings at Lindstrom for guest blogging the content below!)

Most torque testers are expensive and complicated or cheap with limited utility. It doesn’t have to be that way. Lindstrom now offers one that is affordable, accurate and easy to use over a wide range of torque devices and torque settings.

When ALL-SPEC customers hear Lindstrom mentioned, they probably think of our “little yellow cutter” or the pioneering ergonomic design of our RX Series ERGO cutters and pliers. But one of our most popular tool lines is our torque screwdriver range, both micro-adjustable and preset. People love the elegant yet tough tools for their consistently good results.

DTT Lindstrom Torque Tester For years, customers have asked us if we make a tester for use with torque devices, one as good as our screwdrivers. Back then, all we made were hand tools. Now, we make what just may be the best little Digital Torque Tester™ available: DTT-501-EZ.

Like our torque screwdrivers, DTT will be prized for its accuracy and repeatability. They share the same rugged design and tough powdercoat finish and both were created by the Snap-on Industrial Brand engineers who design torque wrenches and professional calibration systems for our company. So, we were able to pack a ton of features into these affordable torque testers. With a range of 20 to 800 inch ounces, the DTT can execute a quick peak-value check on torque devices – wrenches, screwdrivers, T-handles and even electric-drive on low RPM – to verify values – or perform a three-stage calibration sequence that adheres to A.S.M.E. standards. Visual and audio cues show users as torque values change during testing. Test data can be instantly downloaded to any text or spreadsheet program.

DTT Torque Tester in Case As implied in its name, DTT-501-EZ is easy to use. The touch screen has an intuitive design that makes it simple to navigate from opening screen to the type of test desired. Typical torque units (, Nm, kgcm, etc.) are supported in both SAE and International Standard. Lindstrom preprogrammed the DTT to automatically step through settings of 20%, 60% and 100% to test adjustable torque devices in conformance with A.S.M.E. B107-28-2005. Calibrations are traceable to N.I.S.T. standards and Lindstrom DTT-501-EZ is accurate to +/- 0.5% within specified range.

The Lindstrom Digital Torque TesterTM is an affordable and versatile torque testing machine that can be mounted on a wall, bench-top or mobile test cart. All DTT are sold as a complete kit including AC/DC power supply, USB cable, hex adapter, six-cell battery pack and carrying case.

All-Spec Industries is now carrying the Lindstrom DTT-501-EZ!

All-Spec Industries is an authorized distributor of Lindstrom tools. Lindstrom is one of the oldest continuous producers of hand tools still around today; they’ve been producing precision pliers and cutters since 1856.


What is Torque?

by Andy on July 1, 2011

Torque WrenchTorque is defined as a force which creates a rotation of an object around an axis.  The basic formula is the length of the tool multiplied by the force exerted which creates the torque. A good example of torque is using a wrench to tighten bolts. Torque is often measured in inch pounds, inch ounces, foot pounds and Newton meters.

A torque wrench is the the basic tool used to apply torque to a nut, bolt or other type of fastener.   There are varying kinds of torque wrenches including the simple beam wrench, click wrench, No-Hub wrench, electronic torque wrench, hydraulic torque wrench and deflecting beam wrench. Torque wrenches are important in order to meet the specified torque for a particular application. This is crucial because over tightening fasteners can damage an item or break the fastener itself. Torque wrenches also ensure that the bolted surfaces have the least amount of wear for the longest life possible.

In addition to torque wrenches, All-Spec also carries torque screwdrivers, insulated torque wrenches, torque power drivers and torque driver handles.