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How Does Torque Wrench Work?

How Does Torque Wrench Work?

How does torque wrench work

Wrenches are essential tools in the household. They are used to fit grip and applying pressure in turning objects like nuts and bolts to fasten them in the place and prevent them from moving. Torque wrenches are one of the few types of wrenches but are used to measure the torque applied while tightening the bolts and nuts. So, how does torque wrench work? Torque refers to the force rotating something about an axis like the wheels of your vehicle, but that term can mean anything in that state; not just how powerful of the car’s engine is.

Another example involves the lug nuts that secure the wheels of a vehicle. These types of nuts have a particular amount of torque with which they must be fastened. If very little is used, they might come loose while driving, which could lead to an unsteady wheel or the wheel even coming out. When they are fixed too tight, you run the risk of something cracking which can also cause the wheels to have problems.

Adjusting the Torque Wrench:

First, check the handle of the click-style torque wrench. You will notice two different settings. They may be Newton meter setting on one side and inch-pound or foot-pound on the other side.

Then, find out what setting the bolt or nut you are tightening requires for a torque specification. Note that an automotive torque wrench for large bolts and lug nuts are measured in higher Newton meter and foot-pounds where smaller bolts and nuts use a smaller torque wrench with lower Newton meter and inch-pound.

Next, set the torque specification on the wrench by rotating the handle while pressing the shaft of the torque wrench. The gauge indicator will sway up or down the Newton meter scale, foot-pound or inch-pound as you rotate the handle clockwise or counterclockwise.

Lastly, the foot-pounds, the Newton meter, and the inch-pound are divided into increments. Simply put. Depending on the torque wrench, the foot-pounds may be divided into increments of ten. At the top of the holder, there is another indicator numbered from 0 to 9. This is to adjust offset torque settings between the increments.

For example, to set 48 foot-pounds, you need to rotate the holder while pressing the shaft until the indicator lines up with 40 foot-pounds and then processed by rotating the handle until the number 8 on the other dial indicator.

Set the torque wrench to the correct torque setting and fasten the nut or bolt until it clicks. Once it arrives at the setting programmed, it will then collapse, then click at the Newton meter, foot-pound or inch-pound setting.

Tightening Nuts and Bolts:

What this device does is actually very simple. It functions similar to ratchet in many cases. However, the torque wrench will measure the quality of the torque as the bolt is tightened. When fixing the bolts and nuts, it is good to make sure that they move freely on the threads. This will ensure that the readings you take when tightening are accurate. If there is resistance, the readings will not be correct, which can result in insufficient pressure when tightening.

This is critical for fasteners that are securing bearing surfaces, as the tighter the fastener is, the smaller the bearing clearances may be. Some torque wrenches use a needle and pointer gauge to determine the amount of torque being applied while others make an audible sound when at the set torque limit.

When working on a series of bolts or nuts, tighten them until they are snug, then go back over them for a final tightening and reading. This is once again to assure that you are placing even load on the surface you are working on. This is useful general information but becomes absolutely necessary when using a torque wrench on a surface that requires specific torque pressure.

Maintaining Your Wrench:

Dropping a torque wrench will cause loss of calibration, therefore, always handle the torque wrench with care.

Clean and store the torque wrench in its case when not in use. Proper storage may vary based on how frequently you use your torque wrench. If you do not use it regularly, maybe less than once per month, the wrench should be turned down before being put away.

However, don’t wind down to zero. Instead, wind it down to the last setting. By doing so, it will prevent the wear in the spring.  For the regular wrench use, the winding down is not necessary before storage.

When you purchase a used torque wrench, make sure you calibrate it properly before using it.

When someone asks to borrow your tool, you should put your foot down and refuse. Why? Simple! It is the only way to make sure that nothing will happen. Note that, if you use the tool by yourself without sharing, it will last longer. Some people tend to care less about the devices which are not their own. If a person that is borrowing a tool drops or damages it, they may forget – intentionally or not to notify you.

Avoid using any extension on the holder to apply added torque. In case an additional torque is required, consider using a larger torque wrench instead.

If you are in a circumstance where you must use company-issued tools or loan a tool, the best thing is to always check for accuracy before using the device. The simplest way is to check the torque wrench against another wrench that is referred to as a spec.


A torque wrench is a useful tool and should be handled and maintained like a measuring instrument. A torque wrench must be rightly calibrated and maintained on a preventative maintenance and calibration plan. Understand the critical information concerning setting preventive maintenance, calibration intervals, and adjustment verification for torque wrenches. Furthermore, to have a better understanding of torque, you have to read and understand the manual and follow the guide to the letter plus learn the scale used on various torque wrenches

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