What Is A Torque Wrench And When Should You Use It?

A torque wrench is a tool used to control and apply a specific torque to a fastener such as a bolt or a nut. It is a fundamental element in general mechanics, tire changing operations and industrial maintenance & repair industries, to ensure customers’ safety.

How important is using a torque wrench?

Torque wrenches allow you to tighten lug nuts without damaging the rim. This is especially important on light metals like aluminum that can scratch and dent easily. Torque wrenches can also be used to set bolt pulleys, bearings, seal the mating surface between a gasket or crush plate, and more.

Can you use a torque wrench as a regular wrench?

In these applications, a torque wrench is the proper tool to use instead of a plain ratchet. Fortunately, in all but the tightest or most specialized of applications, ratchet torque wrenches can be used.

Do I really need a torque wrench?

If you plan to do any major work on your engine or on some major powertrain components, you absolutely need a torque wrench. Overtightening cylinder-head bolts, for instance, can easily cause expensive damage and catastrophic coolant loss. Too-tight exhaust manifold bolts can cause the manifold to crack.

What happens if you dont use a torque wrench?

Too tight and something will break, it may be the thread on the bolt, or much worse the thread on in the hole. Bolts will also break, sometimes leaving a very hard to remove bit in your frame.

Do you really need to torque lug nuts?

When installing the wheels on a vehicle after servicing, it is important to torque the lug nuts properly. Lug nuts that are not tightened correctly can ruin wheels, affect rotor runout and can be deadly if the wheel comes off or studs snap. Over-torqueing the lug nuts does not affect runout immediately.

How much torque do I need?

Generally speaking, an impact driver with 1500–1800 in-lbs of torque puts more emphasis on higher RPM. It will do 95% of the work more quickly than a tool with more torque and slower speeds. Our rule of thumb is that, if you need to reach for a socket adapter, you’re better off grabbing an impact wrench.

Is a torque wrench necessary for spark plugs?

Spark plugs should be torqued to manufacturers’ specifications. However, it is possible to tighten the plugs satisfactorily without a torque wrench.

Should you double click a torque wrench?

Double checking your torque is never a bad thing.

By double clicking, you are allowing the fastener to rest for a second, then you are back at it to get the proper amount of torque there.

What sockets to use with torque wrench?

Hex sockets have a square drive socket at one end which is used to attach with a torque wrench like square drive torque wrenches. The other end of the hexagonal or bi-hexagonal is used to turn the fasteners such as nuts and bolts.

Are torque wrenches accurate?

Torque wrenches are typically 20% accuracy to 100% of scale. A good quality torque wrench will provide a spec showing falloff curve at low and high end of range.

What is the limitation of a torque wrench?

This permits proper tension and loading of all parts. A torque wrench uses torque as a proxy for bolt tension. The technique suffers from inaccuracy due to inconsistent or uncalibrated friction between the fastener and its mating hole.

Does a lawn mower blade need a torque wrench?

Most mowers will not require using a torque wrench. The biggest benefit in using a torque wrench for the average mower will be not only to ensure you have the blade tight enough, but that you don’t tighten it so much that you can’t remove the bolt later. Blade bolts can tighten with use.

What is better to have torque or horsepower?

Torque, simply, is the ability of a vehicle to perform work — specifically, the twisting force applied by the crankshaft. Horsepower is how rapidly the vehicle can perform that work. … Because there is generally a limit on how fast you can spin an engine, having higher torque allows for greater horsepower at lower rpms.

Which torque wrench should I buy?

The bigger the drive and the longer the handle, the more torque they can deliver. Most home mechanics will find that a torque wrench with a 1/2-inch drive and at least an 18-inch handle is the best choice for lug nuts, cylinder heads, suspension bushings, and other likely uses.

What is the most commonly used torque wrench?

Click-style torque wrenches are the most popular type of torque wrench. This style of wrench can be set to a specific torque level by twisting the base of the handle to match up with the desired setting on the handle. It’s also affordable and accurate, though not as durable as a beam torque wrench.

What happens if you overtighten lug nuts?

It’s possible to damage the wheel, rotor, and hub assembly. The wheel can come off if over-torquing the nuts/bolts is done.

Can you over torque lug nuts by hand?

The problem with impact guns is they’re so powerful, one can easily over-tighten the nuts. A torque wrench measures the tightening force applied, allowing the user to accurately follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If your lug nuts were tightened by hand I wouldn’t be too concerned.

Can you tighten lug nuts without a torque wrench?

There are a couple of tools you can use to get lug nuts just as tight as a torque wrench. With a crossbar tire iron, choose the right size socket and tighten by hand if you have the arm strength. If not, you need to stand on the right side of the tire iron to turn and tighten the lug nut clockwise.

How many foot pounds can you hand tighten?

Hand tight is on average about 2ft-lb.

Is it bad to leave a torque wrench set?

Storing your torque wrench

However, when storing a torque wrench for an extended period of time, users should always wind it down to the minimum scale setting and never to zero. A fully loaded torque wrench, left in storage for a long period, can cause a ‘set’ in the spring, causing it to weaken over time.


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