The best 101 of torque wrenches: Expert tips for working with tools

Written by Adam Morris
3 Min read
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Torque wrench types

There are different types of torque wrenches including click, beam, split beam, digital, and slip. Each type is designed to offer a different amount of accuracy, precision, and force. The click style is the most common type and offers good accuracy and some level of adjustability. Beam and split beam wrenches also provide good accuracy, but require regular calibration. Digital torque wrenches are known for their high levels of accuracy and convenience. Slip-type torque wrenches are well suited for applications where the risk of over-tightening is low.

Torque wrench use

When changing tires, it’s important to know the thread size of your lug nuts and torque to the appropriate foot-pound amount. This information is often provided on a short table. For example; 12-millimeter lug nuts might require 74 foot-pounds of torque, 14 millimeters may require 84 foot-pounds and 17 millimeters may require 96 foot-pounds.

The best way to ensure that your lug nuts are not over or under-tightened is to use the correct torque wrenches. Knowing which type of torque wrench to use and what size will best suit the needs of the job at hand can make the difference between a successful repair and a disaster.

Torque wrenches and their use

The right size of torque wrench

Searching for the right size torque wrenches can be difficult, but 1/2 inch is generally the right choice for tire changes. There are four common sizes (1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4-1 inch) each of which are best suited to different jobs. A smaller size such as 1/4 inch may be better suited for small jobs such as tightening screws, while a larger type such as 3/4-1 inch is more suitable for heavy-duty work.

How to use the Newton Meter scale on a torque wrench. Reading Nm and setting the coarse/fine scales.

Expert tip: Torque wrenches

When using a torque wrench, make sure to always use the proper extension or adapter for the job. This will ensure maximum accuracy and make it easier to get the right amount of torque on your lug nuts. Additionally, consider investing in a calibrated torque wrench that has been regularly tested by a professional. This will help to ensure you are getting the most accurate readings available.

When using a torque wrench, it’s important to choose the right socket size for the lug. Many times an oversized socket can be used, but this might compromise the integrity of the lug nuts. It’s always best to use the proper size socket and ensure that the lug nuts are tightened as much as possible without putting excessive force on them.

It’s also important to remember to accurately set the torque wrench to the desired amount before you start tightening your lug nuts. Most torque wrenches have a locking cap feature that allows the amount of torque to be adjusted to the desired amount before beginning work.

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If you’re using a manual torque wrench, it’s important to remember that after each use, you must adjust the torque setting back to its original position (typically indicated by the “0” setting). This is because manual torque wrenches are designed to apply consistent force when used regularly.

Purchasing a torque wrench

When purchasing a torque wrench, be sure to do some research to determine the maximum torque rating of the wrench, as this will help you make the best decision for the job.

Before you begin using any tool, be sure to read the safety instructions. It’s also important to wear protective gear such as safety glasses to protect your eyes. It’s also important to make sure that the surrounding area is free from obstructions that could cause injury.

Make sure to check the seller’s website for any updates to the latest versions of the tools you need. Tools can change over time, and being aware of the latest versions can help you stay up to date with the latest features.

Finally, it’s important to remember to clean and maintain your tools regularly. Cleaning off any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the tool can help prevent any damage to it. Oiling any moving parts can help reduce friction and increase the life of your tool.

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