How Does a Torque Wrench Work: The 8 Easy Steps Explained

how does a torque wrench work

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021 by John Patterson

You bought one of the top-quality torque wrenches for your project after researching all the top brands. But do you know how does a torque wrench works?

Nowadays, most of us using a torque wrench for tightening a bolt or nut. You are not interested in losing the chance of getting benefited from this amazing tool, right? Yes, every screw needs to get tight correctly, not too loose or too tight.

A torque wrench can help us much to tighten up any screw. But when the question comes, ‘how to set a torque wrench, people get puzzled and search for answers.

Are you one of them? Then we can help you to find out the solution, and it is the torque wrench. You will surely know all the answers to the questions that peep into your mind regarding a torque wrench.

So, have a look over the article to know how torque wrench works for the real user.

How does a torque wrench work?: a step-by-step guide

First of all, you may often face difficulties with using a torque wrench and tightening nuts and bolts with it. Now I will let you know about the working process of a torque wrench in a nutshell.

how to set a torque wrench

Step 1- Pick a torque wrench that calibrated

It’s essential to ensure that your picked wrench is calibrated. For this, go to an auto parts store or supplier where you can buy a calibrated wrench.

But some of us want to get a used one. If you also wish to such that then go to an auto parts store to re-calibrate it.

Step 2- Ensure about the types and purchase what you need

The basic types of torque wrenches are a beam, dial indicator, clicker type, and digital electronic torque wrench. Therefore, which one will you purchase?

If you need to lessen the cost, then buy a beam-style torque wrench. But if frequent use and accuracy is more important to you, then get the adjustable click one.

Step 3- Use clean and undamaged nuts and bolts    

Damaged nuts and bolts hamper the functions of a torque wrench. Moreover, it creates problems when the fasteners will be removed.

Step 4- Tighten the bolts on the threads

Do it until the bolts are snug. Then you will be able to follow up with the torque wrench.

Step 5- Hold the handle of the wrench

Hold the handle of your torque wrench firmly as if it centered on the pivot. Also, the end of the handle should stay out of the bar, should not touch the bar.

Step 6- Attach the wrench straight in position so that you can read the beam

Without viewing from an angle, attach the wrench straight. Then you can read the beam.

Step 7- Adjust the wrench and turn it clockwise

First, tighten the bolts with the wrench. Then adjust this as you need. Take the wrench and loosen the adjustable dial. Turn the handle of it and tighten the adjustable dial.

Now hold on to the handle and place the fastener’s tip on the left side with the handle. Then until you hear a click, turn the handle clockwise. After hearing a click, you’ll be able to ensure that you’ve attained the perfect amount of force.

Step 8- Finally reset the wrench to zero

Reset the torque wrench to zero at the end of your task (never set it below zero). Setting it to zero will decrease the pressure and help to keep this calibrated.

Above all, you need to stiffen the nuts and bolts with the suggested force as they can attach appropriately. Otherwise, the nuts can be slipped over from the tire of your car and cause an accident.

Frequently asked questions: FAQs

Some common questions may haunt us about a torque wrench. Now we’ll discuss these briefly.

Question #1. Can you use a torque wrench to loosen it?

Answer: Probably, this one is the most asked question. Using only a few times on anti-clockwise may seem to you okay. But it causes damage to your tool by degrees because some factors affect bolt loosening. But you can have a solution to this problem.

If you torque a nut to 100 Ib-ft, remove this by torquing exactly 100 Ib-ft. It will not cause damage to your wrench.

Question #2.  Why do you use a torque wrench?

Answer: A torque wrench is one of the most useful tools. You can use it for tightening the nuts and bolts of the wheel of your car, sealing and preserving food, and so on.

Question #3.  How do torque bars work?

Answer: Giving the right amount to the handle of a torque bar is the main thing you need to care for. As the flex opposed to the arm, the amount of torque is determined. It works clockwise and causes our force into effect.

Question #4.  Do you need a torque wrench for spark plugs?

Answer: It’s a grain of salt to us that whether we need a torque wrench for spark plugs or not. You can tighten spark plugs with a torque wrench or a spark-plug socket. So, if you have a torque wrench, use it.

Question #5.  Can you use a torque wrench in reverse?

Answer: It depends on the wrench. Some will work both ways, and some only go one way. But generally, the mechanism of the wrench is designed for right-hand threads. Therefore it’s not accurate when used on left-hand threads.

Question #6 What happens if you don’t torque wheels?

Answer: If you don’t re-torque the tires or wheels of your car, it may cause an accident that eventually brings even death. It’s very dangerous that your wheel’s nuts are too tight or too loose.

If it too loose, the wheel could fall off during your driving. Again when it is too tight, the nuts can damage threads or even break the fastener!

So, you surely don’t want to lose your life or not to see a murderer in your mirror, do you?

Final words 

Now we are at the end of the article. We have talked about a hotly discussed topic- torque wrench. It might seem tough to understand how a torque wrench works before.

But after reading this article from top to bottom I’m sure that you’re thinking, this is like a piece of cake!

We’ve tried to make your suspicious mind about this topic crystal clear. We could help you rather than wasting your time!

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.

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