Torque wrenches have always been the first choice when it comes to applying a specific amount of force to tighten a nut or bolt. For the same reason, torque wrenches are extensively used in high-precision applications across a number of industries such as industrial, automobile, mechanics and general maintenance. Torque wrenches are commonly used in commercial garages as well as for DIY projects.
Whether you have used torque wrenches for high-precision jobs or you are just a beginner and need one for your DIY project, you need to make sure that you are getting the best out of your torque wrench.
This article can be used as a quick guide as an introduction to the 5 best practices for using torque wrenches.
Always remember the ‘One-click method’
The golden rule is to never over tighten your torque wrench; if you exert more force than required, you will not only damage your tool but also the complex parts of the machinery.
Once the pre-set torque is reached, you will hear and feel the torque wrench click through the handle. However, if you try to click the wrench multiple times, additional torque will be applied which will be detrimental for the application. By any chance, if you click your wrench multiple times, the best practice is to loosen the tool and reach the correct and safe torque again. One click is enough for accurate results.
To get the best results, make sure to check the manufacturer’s manual and learn more about the pre-determined torque for your equipment.
Check your torque wrench whether it works on an anticlockwise thread
Always check your torque wrench manual before using it on an anticlockwise direction. Most torque wrenches can only be used on a clockwise thread. If not specified in the manual, never use your torque wrench on an anticlockwise thread. Using a wrench on an anticlockwise thread will lead to losing torque control.
However, there are exceptions – the left-hand wheel nuts of automobiles and the left pedal of bicycles need torque wrenches that can be used on an anti-clockwise thread.
Never forget to wind your wrench back if not using it for a long time
Whenever you are not using your torque wrench for a long period of time, you need to wind it back. You should wind it back to the minimum scale setting, however, be careful not to wind it to zero. In the long run, letting the wrench sit without winding it back can damage the spring and weaken the wrench, leading to inaccurate measurements in the future.
Adding extensions to your torque wrench handle can be a bad idea
Attaching a pipe or any other kind of extension to the torque wrench handle is not recommended. An extension can not only damage your tool, but it can also lead to inaccuracies. Furthermore, extensions can be hazardous to your torque wrench.
Tool maintenance and safety
A well-calibrated torque wrench can make all the difference to an application. We need not repeat the fact that a torque wrench is a high precision tool. Like any other tool, a torque wrench needs to be re-calibrated on a regular basis. Also, never drop or damage your torque wrench.
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