How to Use a Torque Wrench the Right Way

A torque wrench is a tool used quite often by auto mechanics. Its main use is to tighten up bolts. At America Tools, located in Miami, Florida, we offer many types of tools for professionals and the at-home handyman, shipping nationwide. Our knowledgeable staff is available by chat on our website 24/7 and can help you pick the right tool for the right job. 

Here, we discuss the proper way to use a torque wrench.

What Is a Torque Wrench? 

A torque wrench is a specialty tool designed to tighten down bolts to certain specifications. It is used by auto mechanics and do-it-at-home car enthusiasts. A torque wrench is similar to a socket wrench but allows the user to specify a torque rating so the bolts and nuts are not tightened too tight, or too loose.

There are three different types of torque wrenches.

Click-Type Torque Wrench

A click-type torque wrench looks similar to a socket wrench and features a head with a driver, a long shaft, and a handle that is rotated to select the specified torque setting.

Digital Torque Wrench

This type of torque wrench looks like a click-type torque wrench, except it has a digital display on the shaft that allows the user to input a specific torque setting. A digital torque wrench can also feature a backlit display, as well as chimes and vibrations for when the torque setting is near. These are normally battery-operated.

Pressure-Displayed Torque Wrench

A pressure-displayed torque wrench features a pressure-based analog display on the head that shows the torque’s pressure.

How to Use a Torque Wrench Properly 

Using a torque wrench is very easy, even if it’s someone’s first time. Here is the correct way to use a torque wrench:

  1. Take out your torque wrench and the required socket. Make sure you have the correct drive and sockets before beginning your project.


  2. Find the bolt’s specific required torque. Using a torque that is too strong can cause damage, while using a torque that isn’t strong enough will not tighten the bolt properly.


  3. If you’re using a click-type torque wrench, set the specified torque setting by rotating the handle. If you’re using a digital torque wrench, input the specified torque setting through the display.


  4. Hand-tighten the bolt as much as possible. This will ensure the bolt is in place and threaded properly.


  5. Attach the socket head to the bolt and begin to turn the torque to tighten the bolt.


  6. Torque the bolt to the specified torque. Keep an eye out for the correct reading so the bolt isn’t over-torqued.

Following these easy steps will enable you to make the most of a torque wrench. 

Tips for Using a Torque Wrench

Sometimes, a little tip or trick can make using a torque wrench easier. Some tips include:

  • Practice with a torque wrench before using it for a project to get used to the feeling and sounds of the wrench. 


  • Hold the handle of the wrench correctly, as holding it incorrectly could result in an inaccurate torque value. 


  • Remember to clean the fastener’s threads, and only lubricate threads if necessary. 


  • Do not exceed the maximum torque limit of the wrench. 


  • Store a torque wrench in a protective case so it is not damaged if it is accidentally dropped. 

If taken care of properly, a good torque wrench can last about 100,000 tightening cycles.

Uses for a Torque Wrench

When a nut or bolt needs to be tightened with accuracy, a torque wrench is the tool for the job. When used properly, a torque wrench will make sure that fasteners are secured tightly, without applying too much pressure or breaking anything. A torque wrench works well for the following tasks:

  • Assembling components of trailers, car racks, and bicycles


  • Installing a lawnmower blade


  • Repairing engine components in vehicles, including smaller engines in snowmobiles and motorcycles


  • Tightening a tire's lug nuts


  • Working on a vehicle's suspension mounting points or braking system

Find the Perfect Torque Wrench at America Tools

America Tools is a top distributor of popular professional-grade tools, like Greenlee, Makita, and RIDGID, for customers throughout the United States. Based in Miami, Florida, America Tools is known for its customer service. We are always available to answer any questions our customers have. We can be reached by phone, email, or through our 24/7 chat function. We are available to help customers decide what tools they need for a specific job. Contact us today to learn more about our entire stock of professional-grade tools, including torque wrenches.