Tools & Materials

How To Accurately Read a Torque Wrench

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The torque wrench is a useful tool for applying a precise amount of force to nuts and bolts. This is important when dealing with sensitive equipment that will break when too much force is applied on the nuts and bolts, and which will not move when too little force is applied. Before using the torque wrench, here’s how you can read the measurement.

Type . Before anything else, you should identify the type of torque wrench that you are using. There are many types of torque wrenches that are commonly available today, such as the micrometer, the digital torque wrench, and the dial indicator. Various types of torque wrenches will be read in various ways. The type of torque wrench that you should use should depend on the types of projects that you are engaged in and the type of accuracy and force that the torque can provide.

Micrometer . When using the micrometer torque wrench, you will set the pressure or force level even before you begin tightening the bolts or nuts. As you tighten, make sure that you listen for a light sound that indicates that the force level that you have identified has already been reached. When using the micrometer, it is important that you work in a fairly quiet environment since some micrometers will only produce very light sounds that can be masked by background noise. As you use the micrometer torque wrench longer, however, you will learn to adjust to the sound levels even when the background noise increases.

Dial indicator . With dial indicator wrenches, a small dial is located in the wrench. Place the wrench head on the nut or bolt and start applying pressure. As you apply more pressure, the needle in the dial will show much force is being applied. Be sure that you keep your eye on the dial so that you do not add unnecessary force on the nuts and bolts. Some dial indicator models will allow you to input the force value that you want to reach. Once the value is reached, a LED bulb will glow or a sound will be played to remind you to stop applying more force. Generally, these types of torque wrenches are more accurate compared to micrometers.

Digital display . Perhaps the easiest torque wrench to use is the digital torque wrench. With the digital wrenches, you will only need to specify the force value. Next, start applying the force. A LED bulb or sound will be played once the force value has been reached.

Calibration . The digital torque wrenches are the most accurate of all types of wrenches. Keep in mind, however, that even the best torque wrenches need to be calibrated every now and then to ensure that they will be able to make accurate measurements of the torque applied. Adjusting and recalibrating the torque wrench can usually be done by following the instructions written in the torque manufacturer’s manual.

Once you know how to read the torque wrench, applying the exact amount of pressure for your home projects and repairs will be easy.

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