How to Use a Torque Wrench
Buy and use a torque wrench to prevent common over-tightening problems and avoid expensive fixes later.
Adjust the torque wrench to the manufacturer listed setting.
You may think you don’t need a torque wrench to install spark plugs or work on your garden and lawn equipment. But studies show that most DIYers overtighten just about everything. And overtightening leads to broken bolts, stripped threads and damaged equipment.
Having a torque wrench and the manufacturer’s torque value in hand, the issue is solved: A “clicker” torque wrench makes an audible click when you’ve reached the set torque, along with a “beam”-style wrench, you only watch the scale and stop at the right number.
Torque Wrench Use and Care Tips
Tighten fasteners in 2 steps-first to half torque and then to final torque.
Clean dirty or rusted threads before tightening, but don’t lubricate them unless instructed to by the equipment manufacturer.
Always dial the wrench back to zero (never below zero) when you’re finished with it.
Never use your torque wrench as a breaker bar-that’ll damage the torque mechanism.
Carry it with kid gloves-just one fall can knock the precision off as much as 30 percent. If you do drop it, get it recalibrated (calibration firms listed below) before working with it again.