How To Use A Torque Wrench The Proper Way

A torque wrench is a tool that makes it convenient to fasten a nut used in automotive repairs or construction.

It is a specific tool, devised by Conrad Bahr in the year of 1918 when he was working under the Water Department of New York City, to control the tightness of bolts on stream pipes underground.

When the tightness of bolts and screws are becoming critical, a torque wrench is used. It makes it convenient to the operator in measuring the torque being applied to the fastener for it to suit the standards required for a specific application. This, in turn, produces appropriate tension and structural loads of all the segments.


To repair automotive, it is necessary to have a torque wrench.

It will be convenient for a car owner to be knowledgeable in using torque wrenches in order to have preventive measures for their vehicles.

To simply put it, it is the basic element in mechanics and in the industry of automotive.

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Each machinery or vehicle has various kinds of specifications regarding on the torque that is prescribed by the manufacturers.

With a torque wrench at hand, you can be certain on the right torque that you'll need for your machine.

It actually measures the force you exert on a wrench and how much torque you exert to a nut or bolt.

Torque wrench will help you ensure the standard tightening to all parts necessary.


Torque wrenches come in different types suitable for various purposes.

However, there are three that is most common in the automotive industry.

 These torque wrenches differently work from each other in achieving precise measure of torque force you should apply to a particular fastener.

The basic types of torque wrenches are listed here:

  • The Beam Torque Wrench

It is the most basic type of torque wrench.

Fastened to the wrench’s head is a beam on the pointer. The twisted wrench stays in place and so does the beam.

It then allows the pointer of the scale moves to determine the amount of torque or twist that is applied.

It is of utmost importance to observe that the handle should never be locked upon the wrench’s sides.

To achieve accuracy in reading the torque, the handles should be floating at all times when being held.

  • The Electronic Wrench

Using a piezoelectric sensor, which changes resistance depending on how much it deforms, this type of torque wrench has no locomotive parts. It senses the accurate force it should twist or torque on the socket, which eventually displays a digital readout.

Depending on your preference, this type of torque can either blink, beep, or vibrate when the appropriate torque is reached.

  • The Clicker Torque Wrench

At a glance, this type of torque wrench would seem like at par with a ratchet.

The difference is that this tool specifically has an inward mechanism intended to gauge torques, the most basic is the micrometer - adjust, which squeeze the inside spring.

A cube or a ball is then pressed by the spring, which is placed on the detent around the head. A click sound is then made when the ball or cube moves out of the detent after reaching a specific torque.

If the spring is tight, it would be hard to make the ball or cube out of the detent.



It is also important to note that in proper torque wrenches calibration methods, precision is achieved.

To know more about calibration, you should be knowledgeable about the different types of torque wrenches and when to use these.

Manufacturers assign torque specifications to fasteners you could think of in a car. Keeping track of these specifications could either lead to success or to a defective one.

Over twisting could damage the fasteners or break bolts with torque wrenches. Torqueing too little could loosen the fasteners and result to failure in mechanics.

A 15 to 75 foot-pound classification is adequate for light duty of work. This particular range is appropriate for oil plugs, plugs of sparks, and such. This is good for maintenance necessities.

If you're going to take a heavier duty, a 30 to 150 foot-pound classification is needed. This is the most famous form of range in torques. This can be used in automotive repairs such as tightening head bolts, lug nuts, or caliper bolts.

The right torque should be able to guarantee your security and safety. It is always safe if you can always look for the right specification to avoid any unwanted circumstances or accidents.

How to Use In Your DIY Projects

Before trying to execute your skills in torqueing, you must make sure that the torque wrench you purchased is calibrated. This is to achieve the torque wrench accuracy.

Aside from this, make sure that your bolts and nuts are dry, clean, and undamaged.

Moreover, being aware or being familiar with the manual can help you achieve full understanding of the torque wrench instructions and perform these with ease.

Here are the steps in how to use a torque wrench properly:

Step 1

Start by tightening the bolt using a wrench until they fit closely. Afterwards, you can eventually use the torque wrench.

Step 2

Hold the torque wrench with a steady and firm hand. If a sequence for the torque is necessary to be followed, such as nuts, wheel tightening, cylinder head bolts, and some parts of the transmission and the internal engine, carefully follow the guidelines in order to prevent damage and ensure safety in the operation.

Step 3

Set the bolt to a specific range of torque. It is always safe to read the manual and the specifications in setting the right torque so you will also be aware on how to use the torque wrench instructions.

When using a beam torque wrench, carefully watch the gauge up to the point when it reaches the required torque.

A clicker type of torque wrench requires adjusting the lock and the dial in accordance to the specified torque standards.

Likewise, the Electronic torque wrench is used in the same way as the clicker type of torque wrenches, with the exception of its notification.

When limit is reached, a light, a beep, or vibration would mean that you should stop applying force to preclude from over tightening.

The steps mentioned above are just guidelines in using torque wrenches. Always remember that it’s important to look for the best torque wrench to use in repairing or maintaining a vehicle and to keep it in proper working condition, reaching its optimum potential. 


Torque wrenches are an amazing tool that help and assist mechanics and hobbyists in their auto repair, be it in a professional way or in do-it-yourself tasks.

It is important to keep in mind that torque wrenches are sophisticated tools that require proper knowledge and meticulous handling especially that it covers the matter of safety in operation.

Just keep the torque wrenches calibrated when necessary to achieve accurate results.

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