Torque Wrench Maintenance and Usage Tips

Torque Wrench Maintenance and Usage Tips

A torque wrench is a precision instrument designed to apply a specific amount of force to a fastener. Whether tightening head bolts on an automobile engine, lugs for tire and rim installation or inspecting fastener tolerances on high-performance equipment, it is extremely important that proper care is used.

A torque wrench is a precision instrument designed to apply a specific amount of force to a fastener. Whether tightening head bolts on an automobile engine, lugs for tire and rim installation or inspecting fastener tolerances on high-performance equipment, it is extremely important that proper care is used.

Guidelines are typically provided noting acceptable torque ranges, the order in which specific fasteners are tightened and the number of times a fastener must be tightened and loosened to ensure uniform torque application.  Failure to properly torque fasteners can lead to equipment damage, personal injury or worse.

It is important to follow acceptable maintenance and use practices, such as:



1.  Safety glasses or goggles should be worn at all times when using any hand tool.

2.  Always follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding torque direction, proper force, torque pattern/sequence, use or non-use of lubrication on fasteners and torque “tighten/release” cycles.

3.  Do not exceed the recommended working range of the torque wrench.  Reliable measurements are based on a percentage of the working range. In general, most mechanical wrenches have a useable range from 20% to 100% of full scale. Most electronic wrenches have a useable range from 10% to 100% of full scale.

4.  Do not use accessories or handle extensions unless specifically allowed by the torque wrench manufacturer.

5.  Take time to inspect the tool and check for worn or cracked sockets.  Properly lubricate and replace worn parts.

6.  Avoid dropping or sliding a torque wrench.  Dropping a torque wrench on a hard surface can cause the instrument to lose reliable calibration.  If you suspect that a wrench has been dropped, have the tool inspected by the manufacturer or reputable calibration service.

7.  Always store a torque wrench in a protective case and/or location when not in use.  

8.  Avoid exposure to temperature extremes, high humidity, fluid immersion and corrosive environments.  

9.  If using a click-type torque wrench, always store it at the lowest level on the scale.

10.  Avoid marking, etching or placing labels on torque wrenches.

11.  Use a torque wrench to apply a specific torque value during the final assembly process.  Do not use a torque wrench as the primary means of tightening or loosening fasteners.

12.  As most torque wrenches are length specific, always grasp the torque wrench in the center of the handle. If two hands need to be used, place one hand on top of the other.  

13.  Apply torque in a slow, methodical manner and avoid sudden, “jerking” movements.

14.  When the wrench signals (by clicking, beeping or lights) that a specific torque has been reached, stop pulling immediately.

15.  After 5,000 cycles or up to one year of use, whichever comes first, have your torque wrench inspected and recalibrated by the manufacturer or reputable calibration service.

With proper care, a high-quality torque wrench should provide accurate measurements for many years.

Tech Tip Courtesy of Snap-On Tools.

You May Also Like

FCS Introduces 42 New Numbers in May

Complete strut assemblies, shock absorbers, shock absorber assembly kits and suspension struts for popular VIO applications are included.

FCS Automotive announced the release of 42 new numbers in May, including:

8 Complete Strut Assemblies (936,389 vehicles in operation)

6 Shock Absorber Assembly Kits (2,696,801vehicles in operation)

16 Shock Absorbers (6,245,071 vehicles in operation)

12 Suspension Struts (2,135,974 vehicles in operation)

Philips Ultinon Drive 5000 LED Lightbar Line Expands

Lumileds has expanded the Philips Ultinon Drive 5000 series to include eight models.

DMA Adds New BrakeMaster Coverage

New coverage for Ford and Chevy includes popular pickup trucks and SUVs.

Akebono Expands Severe Duty Disc Brake Pad Kits

Akebono said it expanded its severe-duty ultra-premium disc brake pad line by 14 new part numbers.

GSP Releases New CV Axle Part Numbers

GSP said 14 new CV axle part numbers are in stock and ready to ship.

Other Posts

BCA Bearings Unveils 2024 Endless Summer Promotion

The Endless Summer promotion runs from May 1 through June 30, 2024.

PRT Launches 30 New Complete Strut Assemblies

The new items represent more than 10 million vehicles in new coverage, PRT said.

RNR Tire Express Hosts Mother’s Day Giveaway

The eighth-annual event promises $100,000 in prizes, as well as a brand new 2024 Buick Encore for one select nominee.

Brand Refresh for Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus Begins

Logo updates include a single-color tire mark; a logo palette comprised of Tires Plus yellow, black and red; and refined typefaces.