How to use a torque wrench properly for tightening nuts or bolts – Step by Step

How to use a torque wrench properly for tightening nuts or bolts - ( Step by Step )

The torque plays an essential role in our safety, and tightening down a bolt until it feels tight is no way to guarantee safety.

Torque wrenches are designed to set the desired amount of torque value that reduces the chances of under-tightening and over- tightening of nuts or bolts.

Whether you are a professional mechanic or even a car enthusiast.

One thing you clearly noticed is that toolbox is incomplete without torque wrenches,

Because torque wrenches are the heart of the toolbox and play an essential role in mechanical work.

Torque wrenches come in different types and sizes, like digital or electronic, click, beam, Split beam torque wrench.

Regular automotive work in a garage needs a torque wrench, because it’s a tightening tool used for routine automotive maintenance in the garage.

The purpose of using a torque wrench is to apply a specific torque to a fastener bolt, screws, and lug nuts. But it is not ideal to be used to loosen the bolts.

It comes in different sizes such as 1/4 size used for small or lighter work. 3/8 size used for medium work. 

1/2 drive size used for automotive work, and 3/4 or 1 inch oversized used for tough truck lug nuts.

Here are the most commonly used types of torque wrenches with how to use them properly step by step with some tips,

And cautions for beginners and professionals primarily used for regular automotive work in a garage.

How to use a click-style or clicker torque wrench ( Step by Step )

The click-style or an adjustable torque wrench is a simple tool used to apply a specific torque to a fastener bolt, screws, and lug nuts.

But it is not ideal to be used to loosen the bolts. A 1/2-inch torque wrench and 3/8-inch torque wrench are used for most automotive jobs,

Like engine repairs, head gaskets, tires, and brakes. The 1/4-inch torque wrench may be ideal for small or lighter work,

And 3/4 or 1 inch oversized used for tough truck lug nuts.

Here is how to use the click-style or an adjustable torque wrench properly step by step.

How to use a click-style or clicker torque wrench ( Step by Step )

If you got stuck on the stubborn bolt that is very irritating and headache for you. Here is the best heavy-duty air impact wrenches for automotive work in 2021.

How to use a digital or electronic torque wrench ( Step by Step )

The digital torque wrenches come with different drive sizes with different torque ranges, with,

And without flex head angle for further usages, which are more expensive than other torque wrenches. 

But comes with more accuracy, is easier to handle, high-quality, and other premium features.

Digital torque wrenches sense how much twisting force is applied, comes with an LCD to show real-time torque via a digital display,

And the user can set desired torque via given buttons without twisting the grip.

Also includes other premium features like a strong LED indicator, buzzer, vibration handle after reaching the preset torque value,

That can’t miss, and such strong warnings reduce the chances of over-tightening of bolts or nuts.

Such electronic or digital torque wrenches features make them superior and reduce the chances of accidental changes in torque setting during working.

Here is how to use the digital torque wrench properly step by step.

How to use a digital or electronic torque wrench ( Step by Step )

Regular automotive work in a garage requires a portable cordless impact wrench to deal with the stubborn bolts or nuts that are very irritating and headache.

How to use a beam or deflection torque wrench step by step

The beam-style torque wrench is relatively cheaper than other types like click-style and digital-torque wrench. 

But its accuracy and quality are comparatively lower than a click-style and digital-torque wrench.

It comes with a built-in scale and shows you the torque value ranges from 0 to 150 lb-ft while tightening the bolt or nut.

The beam-style torque wrench is easy to use but can’t preset the desired torque and provide no indication or sound after reaching the desired torque.

It comes with good quality material that makes it live long in an automotive garage or at home.

The beam-style torque wrench comes with an analog meter to show the amount of force applied to the nut or bolt. 

When you apply force to the handle, the calibrated scale deflects to the right or left to indicate the exact amount of torque exerted to the fastener,

And observe the gauge until it reaches the desired torque level, then stop applying force to the handle.

Here is how to use the beam-style torque wrench properly step by step.

How to use a beam or deflection torque wrench step by step

How to use a dial indicator torque wrench ( Step by Step )

A dial torque wrench is designed to mechanically display the data on a dial and can also be used for joint testing, auditing, or verification of torque applied.

It contains a memory needle in the middle of the dial that captures the finishing torque applied to a fastener. 

When you tighten the memory needle inside, the dial moves to both the left and right direction and stays at the higher point of torque that clearly shows when peak torque is achieved.

You can easily find 7-inch pound torque wrenches in the market, and 1,500 foot-pound varieties are also available depending on user projects and needs.

Here is how to use the dial-type torque wrench properly step by step.

How to use a dial indicator torque wrench ( Step by Step )

Regular automotive work in a garage requires a toolbox with valuable pieces of equipment. The toolbox is incomplete without the best impact sockets set.

Tips for using a Torque Wrench

List of some necessary tips for using a torque wrench

Conversions of Torque Wrench

1 foot pound=12 inch pounds
1 foot pound=1.3558 Nm
1 Newton Meter=0.7375 ft.-lbs
1 Newton Meter=8.85 in-lbs
1 inch-pound=0.1129 Nm
1 inch-pound=0.083 ft-lbs

Proper Tightening Sequence

How should a torque wrench be left after use?

If a torque wrench is in regular use, it doesn’t need to be rewound. 

But if you are not going to work with a torque wrench for more than a few weeks, then always turn it down to the lowest possible setting (never to zero).

Because if you stored a fully loaded torque wrench it can result in weakening the spring over time. 

Always store all types of torque wrenches in their original cases.

What is the lowest setting on a torque wrench?

The mechanical wrenches are ready to use the tool but don’t set the desired torque value for fasteners.

In the case of torque wrenches, these are the updated form of wrenches and allows you to set desired torque value for fasteners,

And they are calibrated and tested to an accuracy of +/- 4% in a clockwise direction and +/- 6% in a counterclockwise direction.

It is essential to store the torque wrench at the lowest scale setting, 10 in, to maintain this accuracy. -lb (1.1 Nm).

This setting would relieve extra tension on the internal spring. If you stored a fully loaded torque wrench can result in weakening the spring with over-time that can adversely affect accuracy.

How to maintain a torque wrench?

The performance of torque wrenches may begin to fade over time due to withstand much wear and tear.

If your torque wrench needs calibration, take it to a professional repair shop that quickly understands how to set a torque wrench accurately.

Always keep your torque wrench dry and store it in an original or an appropriate case for protection from chemicals, grime and dust, 

And make sure to wipe it down with a clean cloth before storing it as residue liquid. Could damage it over time.

Conclusion

Using a torque wrench properly for tightening nuts and bolts by following the tips mentioned above,

And following the proper guideline provided by the manufacturer is for safety and extends the lifespan of the mechanical parts for years.

About the author

David Johnson

Add comment

Recent Posts

Recent Comments