Torque wrenches are used in many applications; household repair, production and maintenance. But what is a torque wrench? How do they really work? What else do you need to know about them? Let’s discuss in the following.
What’s a Torque Wrench?
It’s a tool or instrument used for applying a certain torque amount to a fastener/bolt/nut to ensure it won’t be too loose or too tight. Commonly, one can be a socket wrench that has an internal mechanism, but there certain different types you need to know in the following
Types of Torque Wrenches
Beam type: It has a pointer beam attached to its head. This beam remains in place, while the scale beneath it shows the torque amount applied.
Clicker type: It has a spring-loaded lever to adjust by simply twisting the handle in order to achieve the needed torque. The lever breaks when the desired torque is achieved, making a clicking noise.
Digital electronic: It can be programmed easily and can be set at specific limits. The digital type figures out the correct torque level for the application.
Hydraulic: It’s used to exert the needed torque intensity of the fasteners. A correct pressure amount is applied to its bolt’s head. With proper lubrication, the bolt/nut will be tightened to the preset torque level. These wrenches are commonly used for automotive tasks.
How Do Torque Wrenches Work?
They work based on torque as the name implies. The torque amount applied is based on the wrench’s length along with the force put into the tool’s handle. Thus, the length of the wrench and the torque applied are proportional.
These tools make use of a calibrated spring system or a deflection beam in order to figure out the torque amount applied to a bolt or nut. You can check the torque amount in the dial or meter.
In what measurement does a wrench display the torque amount? You can check the applied torque in foot-pounds, Newton-meters or inch-pounds. In general, the tool is used in generating torque of up to 250 ft lbs.
On the other hand, a torque wrench that comes with a handle is used in setting the torque requirement. Once the amount of it has been achieved, this instrument clicks, a feature commonly stored in the handle.
Meanwhile, there are torque wrenches with an external rod above the shaft. This rod is pointing to the direction of a gauge found at the handle.
The gauge usually has steel in the middle, and it can be set to the right or the left. The rod pointing to this gauge will stay straight and will contract once you have achieved the correct amount of torque.
Just like other types of torque wrenches, this type also produces an audible sound to indicate that the right torque amount has been achieved.
Does a Torque Wrench Stop When It Reaches Its Torque Limit?
Not all types of wrenches are the same. Users have to do the constant reading of the tool’s indicator in some torque wrenches, telling them to stop twisting the bolt/nut.
On the other hand, some wrenches come with a dial used to set the desired torque amount. However, its indicator won’t stop applying force even when the torque is reached. What they have is a visual signal/digital reading indicator or an audible click/beep.
However, there are torque wrenches that cannot be used easily in tight places because they might not be ideal for reading an indicator or a gauge like when working in automotive applications.
A Few Things to Know
Different jobs require varying torque or tension amounts, which should be just enough – not too tight or not too loose.
- Too tight – you will strip the bolt or cause other problems
- Too loose – you will run the risk of having the components coming apart
Calibrate your tool properly even if it can withstand high levels of abuse. This applies especially when working with delicate or sensitive parts.
You can consider how to use a torque wrench click here.