Torque wrenches are special tools similar to socket wrenches that allow the user to specify a torque rating that the agency then aids in ensuring it isn’t exceeded. It is essential to tighten bolts and nuts without over-tightening them correctly.
Types of Torque Wrench
Three types of torque wrenches are available. Here are how they differ from one another.
1. The pressure-displayed wrench
The torque wrenches with pressure displays look like socket wrenches and have a long shaft, a driver, and a handle. An analog display shows you where you are in terms of pressure.
2. Click-Type Wrench
With click torque wrenches, you rotate the handle when setting the torque to obtain the specified setting. They resemble socket wrenches and have a long shaft, where the driver is located, and a long handle for turning.
3. Digital torque wrenches
On the other hand, a digital torque wrench also resembles a socket wrench, but it possesses a digital display along the shaft where you can input the specified torque setting. In addition to chimes and vibrations to alert you when you are close to setting your desired torque, these units also feature back-lit displays.
How to set a torque wrench – 10 Best Methods
A torque wrench is one of the essential tools in automotive engineering. It can be extremely frustrating if you work on your car and find out that the bolts are either too loose or too tight. To avoid such situations, learn how to use a torque wrench carefully and adequately follow the specifications given in the manual. Here we explain the ten best methods about how to set a torque wrench:
1. Decide about Accuracy
The first thing you need to do is decide whether you need an adjustable or a preset torque wrench. For heavy-duty applications like trucks, adjustable wrenches can work fine as they give speed as well as accuracy at the same time. However, for smaller equipment and more precision, you can choose a preset torque wrench.
2. Understand Torque Angle
Torque angle is the best way to avoid over-tightening or under-tightening when you are using torque wrenches. Ensure that it’s following the specifications given in your manual; otherwise, you might damage your tools or equipment or make them unfit for use.
It has been seen that even professional mechanics often ignore this fact when tightening bolts, resulting in malfunctioning parts like brakes and suspensions, which could cause accidents on the road. So it’s better to err on the side of caution rather than end up in an undesirable situation due to incorrect usage of torque wrenches.
3. Calibrate Your Wrench
It is a good idea to calibrate your torque wrench before you start using it. Even if the tool has been calibrated before, it’s always better to check whether it’s working fine or not. If there are any problems, you need to stop using that tool immediately, as incorrect calibration can pose severe risks for equipment and vehicle parts.
4. Read the Instructions Properly
You should carefully read the instructions for your specific model torque wrench and follow them accordingly. There is a chance that your torque wrench will give different results depending on how much weight is applied, so make sure to know about such specifications beforehand and adjust accordingly. Also, some twists come with additional features like beam-style wrenches, which can be used for applications that require more accuracy.
5. Check the Accuracy of Wrench
In order to check the accuracy of your torque wrench, find a testing device near you and perform a simple test on it. After that, you can also compare results with online sources like Scribed or Wikipedia to better understand that tool’s specifications.
It might be challenging to understand all this while using a torque wrench you’re first few times, but soon you will get used to it. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure that everything is done precisely as per marking on various tools.
6. Keep Records
Make sure to keep records about which equipment or part has been tightened how much with what setting from your torque wrench. This information will come in handy during maintenance and inspections and help you avoid over-tightening or under-tightening bolts. You can keep a notebook nearby and record all the information mentioned above so that there is no chance of any errors while reassembling your tools.
7. Use Proper Measurements
It would be best to use proper measurements when tightening bolts with torque wrenches; otherwise, there might be problems like broken parts or loose nuts after assembling or using them. Some technicians recommend using micrometers to check the bolt’s shape after tightening, but this isn’t an accurate method.
It doesn’t give authentic results in terms of accuracy because micrometers are designed to measure smaller objects, not big pieces like bolts. Therefore, it is advisable to use calipers instead, which can help inaccurate measurements of bolts after tightening.
8. Use the Right Wrench
It is a good idea to use the proper wrench when you are tightening bolts with a torque wrench instead of using adjustable wrenches for everything. That will give you more accurate results and draw them precisely per specifications which isn’t possible with adjustable wrenches.
Also, make sure to change the angle on your twist when changing from one bolt to another so that there is no chance of over-tightening or under-tightening any part during reassembly.
9. Adjust Torque Settings Properly
You should adjust torque settings properly for different applications and bolts according to their specifications and requirements using preset wrenches like this: small bolts – low torque, large bolts – high torque, and other specifications. Preset wrenches were introduced to overcome the problem of errors due to incorrect settings. It is always better than changing wrench angles every time you need to tighten a bolt during reassembling.
10. Know Your Wrench
You must know your wrench before you start using it because only then will you measure pressure or tightening with accuracy, which is necessary for adjusting torque correctly. Many tools like click wrenches and beam-style torque wrenches measure the amount of force applied instead of measuring the change in an angle like earlier models; this makes them more accurate and friendly towards inexperienced technicians who might not understand how an adjustable wrench works appropriately yet.