The chances are you may come across times when you need a torque wrench. What happens if you cannot even set it right? Well, you guess it right, the tool will not be useful.
First, what is a torque wrench?
A torque wrench is a tool you use for tightening and loosening bolts, nuts, and screws. What is key about this type of wrench is that you can use specific torque for an application.
So far you can see how a torque wrench would be an important tool for DIYers and mechanics alike. The best part is that you will no longer under tighten or overtighten the bolts.
The process of setting torque wrench inch pounds
Now that we know how important a torque wrench is, it is important that you know how to set it right for proper use.
When buying a torque wrench, you may get that its measurements are either in inch-pounds or foot-pounds. In case the torque wrench has the foot-pounds scale, you may have to convert the inch-pounds to foot-pounds.
The general rule for conversion is that 1 foot is equal to 12 inches. The same applies to the opposite of the conversion.
A good example is when you want to use a torque of 30-foot pounds, then multiply the value with 12 to get 360-inch pounds as the correct torque to use. Simply divide by 12 if it is the opposite.
A dual-range torque wrench will have both the in.-lb and Nm scales on the opposite sides of the wrench handle. You need to know how best to read them before using the torque wrench.
Each torque wrench will have the main scale found on the handle body and a micrometer scale on the knurled handle. The main scale will be for coarse adjustment while the micrometer scale is for fine adjustment.
To set the torque on the wrench, start with the coarse-scale adjustment. This is done by depressing the torque wrench collar and holding it down as you turn the knurled handle until it reaches the desired torque on the main scale. The micrometer scale should be on the zero mark before find adjustments are done.
Now it is time for fine adjustment. This time we use the micrometer scale. You will notice each division is 1inch-pound. So, to get an additional 5 inch-pound, simply turn the micrometer scale handle until the mark is on 5.
Now that you have set the torque, release its color to lock in your torque setting.
Here is a video with more details
How a torque wrench inch-pound works
A torque wrench is different from what you may have used as a standard type wrench. This is because here you have the chance of setting the correct torque needed for specialty fastening.
In most cases, you will be using it on bolts, screws, and nuts. Since you are looking for accurate results, a torque wrench inch pounds is the way to go.
The usage is quite simple regardless of the one you pick. The most common would be the click-type torque wrench.
In this case, place one hand on the torque pivot and use the other to rotate the handle. This allows you to set it correctly as mentioned in the section above.
Each time you hear the click sound, it means the torque has been reached. This helps to avoid over-torquing the bolts or nuts.
In case you have a digital torque wrench, it works the same only that this time you have a digital display.
Here is a video on using a digital torque wrench
Benefits of Using a Torque Wrench
Easy to use
Compared to some other types of wrenches, torque wrenches are not hard to use. That is why you will mostly come across them in different auto shops. Also, DIYers love them.
The biggest advantage is having a way of knowing the torque limit has been achieved. Also, they are budget-friendly depending on which brand you get.
A torque wrench is quite a flexible tool to have. This is because it allows you to work with different sizes of bolts, nuts, and more.
Since operations are easy to handle, you should have an easy time working with this kind of tool. Also, selecting the amount of torque you want is straightforward too.
It is hard to go wrong with the kind of accuracy you get with this tool. So long as the torque wrench is properly calibrated, then the accuracy is not an issue.
Using this tool means you no longer have to worry about overtightening or under-tightening. You will always get it done right.
Which torque wrench should you get?
Most people would have a torque wrench with a ½-inch drive paired with an 18-inch handle. This would do a good job for lug nuts, suspension bushing, cylinder heads, and other applications.
Which torque wrench stands out as the most accurate?
The dial-type torque wrench is considered the most accurate because its final reading cannot be affected by how you hold the wrench.
Is it worth getting a torque wrench inch-pounds?
It depends on which type of work you intend to handle. If it will involve working on an engine or parts that need precision, then having a torque wrench is important.
Should you use a torque wrench for loosening bolts?
As much as you can use it for loosening bolts, it is not recommended. This is because it is a precise and sensitive tightening tool.