Breaker Bar VS Torque Wrench [What Are The Differences]

The basic safety rule is to loosen and tighten the nuts and bolts properly when dealing with any machinery. Most people use a Torque Wrench or a Breaker Bar to complete this operation correctly.

Nonetheless, how would you know which one you’d use?

Both tools are the same in terms of functionality. However, they are distinct in their own characteristics. In addition, both beginners and specialists are perplexed as to which instrument is the most effective.

Therefore, to help you further understand what breaker bars and torque wrenches are, we’ll list down their characteristics, use, types, and differences.

What Is A Breaker Bar?

It’s very simple to understand the fundamentals of a breaker bar. A breaker bar is exactly what it sounds like, but it’s actually a lot more. It’s a bar that shatters.

The tool’s primary goal is to release rusty nuts and bolts. Hence, it is a useful tool for loosening tight fasteners and unbolting them. It’s because the products are exceptionally long.

Moreover, the breaker bar is also known as a power bar. Because of its lengthy non-ratcheting bar, it generates enough torque and force.

What Is A Torque Wrench?

A torque wrench differs from a breaker bar in two ways: first off, a torque wrench can readily tighten and loosen bolts for starters, whereas a breaker bar is mostly used to loosen bolts.

In addition, compared to a beaker bar, a torque wrench can readily modify torque. The breaker bar can’t manage the torque and isn’t ratcheting.

It’s also a tool that guarantees the application of a specified amount of torque to the nut or bolt that is being fastened. Using a torque wrench is suitable for situations where tightness is a priority.

Variants Of Torque Wrenches

Out of the eight types of torque wrenches available, three are the most commonly used individuals. These wrenches will help you distinguish this tool from the others and know which ones to employ.

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Click-Type Wrenches

In the market, these are the most well-known! As the name implies, this sort of wrench emits a clicking noise when the necessary torque is obtained.

There are also a variety of click-type wrenches to choose from, including beam torque wrenches and mechatronic torque wrenches.

Aside from that, it also provides you with a great deal of power and helps you improve your abilities even further. This style, however, has a drawback. Over-tightening of the nuts and bolts is not prevented by the clicks.

Digital Torque Wrenches

Digital torque wrenches are among the most efficient and precise types available. Because digital torque wrenches are pre-calibrated, they make it easy to get the right torque with the least amount of effort.

In addition, you may use an auditory indication or view the LED display as you go to program torque levels.

Additional options, such as memory settings and the ability to transfer data to a computer for use in specifications and spreadsheets, are also available to tech-savvy users. Therefore, when the wrench reaches the desired torque, you will be notified by a buzzer or other similar means.

The only drawback of this modern tool is that they are rather costly.

Slip Torque Wrenches

It’s the second most recognized member of the beam torque wrench family and works similarly, using two beams to achieve precise tightness. It operates by opening the hinge and adjusting the torque to the correct amount.

Certain models have a click feature that alerts users when the setting is reached. Most garage enthusiasts will use a split beam torque wrench when overtightening isn’t an option.

Therefore, using a split beam torque wrench to tighten a bolt that must be factory tightened, and utmost precision is required, the split beam torque tool is ideal.

Despite its outstanding features, the drawbacks may outweigh the advantages. With this one, you won’t be able to see how much torque is being applied, but these are usually capable of handling torque up to 100 Nm.

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Breaker Bar VS Torque Wrench



When loosening nuts and bolts, a torque wrench should not be used. Specific drivers are designed to provide specific functions.

As a result, only tighten nuts under a particular degree of tension with a torque wrench. But, if you can’t use it to loosen bolts, what should you use to loosen them?

This is where a breaker bar comes into its own. Breaker bars, as previously said, have a broad handle, making them suitable for loosening nuts.


Both tools have a long life period. Steel, aluminum, or any other robust metals are used to make them, and they are long-lasting. It’s required because they’re known for providing a lot of torque, and they’re constantly under pressure.

As a result, both have a lot in common regarding lifespan.

Keep in mind that adequate care and maintenance are required to ensure long-term service. Store these in a box after wrapping these with a nice leather tool pouch.


Torque wrenches, as previously said, deliver a specified torque, which means that they are equipped with a torque meter. Buy a torque wrench if you need to provide the proper torque for your job.

Because breaker bars do not have torque gauges, it is possible to overtighten them and cause harm to your equipment. Don’t buy breaker bars if you’re looking for the correct amount of torque.

Functionality And Leverage

When tightening bolts and nuts, torque wrenches are more akin to measurement devices that can also tighten nuts and bolts. With these, you can also employ a torque angle gauge.

When compared to wrenches, breaker bars, however, are more efficient. These were also designed to guarantee that bolts and nuts were fastened correctly and quickly.

You may also tighten and loosen this one at the same time. Similar functions may be found in a set of ratcheting wrenches.

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However, one thing you should do to maintain the tools’ long-term viability is to keep them somewhere safe.


Breaker bars are less costly than torque wrenches. On the other hand, Torque wrenches have a lot of features, which is why they’re so pricey. While Beaker Bars are reasonably priced.


There are some variances in breaker bars, but they are so minor that they aren’t worth noting. Any nice breaker bar will do just fine for you.

Additionally, there’s less choice here, so you shouldn’t be concerned. These tools are made to perform at their best in any scenario.

On the other hand, there is a range of torque wrenches on the market. Beam wrenches, digital wrenches, click wrenches, and slip torque wrenches are the different varieties. You may choose a torque wrench based on your project’s requirements from a wide range of classes.

Features Breaker Bar Torque Wrench
Application For loosening For tightening
Durability Incredibly tough to endure the high torque and stress
Efficiency Less efficient More efficient
Functionality and Leverage Correct and fast fastening Loosening, tightening, and measurement
Price More reasonable price. Quite pricey.
Variety All breaker beakers are alike Variety of types for your need

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can a Torque Wrench Act as a Substitute for a Breaker Bar?

As the torque wrench has many functions, a substitute for the breaker bar is not one of them. The torque mechanism will be damaged if you use your torque wrench as a breaker bar. In this video, you’ll get a deeper understanding of why you should not use your torque wrench as a breaker bar.

To tighten bolts, you should essentially use a torque wrench. You may use this tool to secure or tighten a screw, nut, or bolt with a specified level of torque provided by this tool. A torque wrench is an example of a tool that must be properly maintained and used following its intended use.

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Additionally, it operates by giving a certain amount of torque, which should never be exceeded. A torque wrench’s mechanism might be tampered with and permanently damaged if you do so. In short, No, you can’t use a torque wrench as a breaker bar.

YouTube video

How Much Torque Does A Breaker Bar Add?

The primary premise behind breaker bars is that a longer handle generates more torque. A breaker bar is more effective than a shooter-handled ratchet at releasing a locked nut because it produces higher torque. From 18 inches to 40 inches, breaker bars come in various lengths.

A typical length for a breaker bar is 18 inches. Removing lug nuts from wheels without causing harm creates adequate torque while being short enough to handle tiny engine nuts.

When it comes to removing frozen nuts or lug nuts that have been tightened with a pneumatic air pistol, a 24-inch breaker bar is appropriate.

While 30-inch bars aren’t as prevalent, the extra 6 inches of length might be just what’s required to remove a rusty, corroded lug nut on a truck with a 20-inch or bigger rim or to liberate larger lug nuts on a truck with a 20-inch or larger rim.

What Torque Wrench Do I Need For Lug Nuts?

Most torque wrenches have ratcheting handles that can be snapped into a socket. Therefore, they come in four different socket drive sizes.

The longer the handle and the larger the drive, the more torque it can give, just like any other ratchet wrench. A 1/2-inch drive click-style torque wrench is ideal for lug nuts and other automobiles.

Can You Over Tighten Wheel Nuts?

Excessive lug nut tightening can harm the wheel, ruin the braking rotors, and possibly tear off the lug stud. Lug nuts that aren’t tight enough might fall free, causing serious damage.

With a torque wrench, you may properly follow the manufacturer’s guidelines by measuring the amount of force used.

Is it Recommended to Loosen Lug Nuts with a Torque Wrench?

You should not loosen anything using a torque wrench as a general rule. If a torque wrench is designed to loosen fasteners, it will be stated in the product’s user manual.

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It can potentially put the wrench out of calibration if it is not intended for it, making it a liability. When you check the calibration or have a torqued fastener come free or lug nuts, you won’t know whether it’s operating properly.

According to most manufacturers, clicker wrenches should be re-calibrated every year or after a specified number of uses. Most beam wrenches do not need to be re-calibrated in most cases.

Getting The Right Tool

If you thought that a breaker bar and a torque wrench are the same, there’s no need to worry. There has always been a common misunderstanding that both tools are the same. However, there are some significant differences between them.

A torque wrench and a breaker bar have similar functions. On the other hand, the breaker bar does not include a torque measuring mechanism; thus, it will not give precise torque data, but the torque wrench does, so it is ideal for tightening since it has one.

The breaker bar is wonderful for loosening, but the torque wrench is not.

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