How to Do a Torque Calculation


Torque is a measurement of the force applied to an object that will be rotated, such as the force applied to a nut as it is screwed onto a bolt by a wrench. There are many precision bolts that must be tightened to a precise amount of torque to ensure safe and accurate performance. A torque wrench is a specialized piece of equipment that can measure the amount of torque applied to a component such a nut, but torque can also be calculated using simple measurements and a calculator.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Calculator
  • Wrench
  • Convert all measurements into pounds and feet. For instance, if yards are used to measure length, divide by 3 to find the amount of feet. If tons are used for weight, multiply by 2,000 to find the amount of pounds.

  • Find the force applied to the object that will be exerted in a circular manner. For instance, if you were apply 50 lbs. of force to the end of a wrench, the number to note is 50.

  • Find the length of the object being used to exert circular force. For example, if you were to apply 50 lbs. of force onto a wrench that has a 5-foot-long shaft, the length to note is 5 feet.

  • Multiply the amount of force applied with the length of the object exerting that force. For example, if you apply 50 lbs. of force onto a wrench with a 5-foot-long shaft, you would multiply 50 by 5 to get 250.

  • Express the resulting figure as "pound-feet of torque." For example, 250 pound-feet of torque.

Tips & Warnings

  • For extremely accurate measurements of torque, a recently calibrated torque wrench can be a big help. There are numerous types of torque wrenches—beam, deflecting beam, calibrated clutch and electronic—that can be used for specific types of jobs and amount of accuracy needed.
  • To avoid injury, always wear safety goggles and work gloves before working with tools like wrenches.

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