How to Use a Manual Torque Wrench

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A torque wrench is a specialized wrench fitted with a gauge on one end that reads in terms of pounds per foot. The benefit of the gauge is being able to see how much pressure is being applied to a particular nut or bolt. A manual torque wrench has a needle gauge and an dial to set the gauge to the desired amount. Use a torque wrench when you have to set a nut or bolt to a specific setting so as not to damage the fixture.

  • Grip the wrench so the dial on the bottom end is exposed. A manual torque wrench looks much like a socket ratchet, with the end of the handle the adjustable dial.

  • Turn the dial counterclockwise all the way to bring the gauge to zero. Check to make sure the needle on the gauge registers at the zero mark.

  • Turn the dial clockwise and watch the needle move up the gauge. Stop turning the dial when the needle is at the foot-pounds required for the nut or bolt. For example, if the recommended foot-pounds of torque for a nut is 10, turn the dial until the needle is at "10" on the gauge.

  • Place the appropriate size socket on the torque wrench and turn the nut or bolt. The wrench feels like the nut or bolt is breaking. This indicates the internal release mechanism on the torque wrench has kicked in at the gauge and dial setting. Remove the wrench when the nut or bolt is set to the recommended foot-pound setting.

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