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What Actually Is A Torque Wrench?

It usually puts anyone in an uncomfortable situation simply by talking to someone and using terms or words which you don’t have any idea of what it means. So just before we start diving into learning what torque wrenches are, let us first start this article by knowing what a torque wrench exactly is.

Torque wrench is basically a type of wrench that is specifically designed to apply specific amount of force otherwise called as torque to a bolt or nut. When average individuals have heard of the word torque, they often think of the engine’s horsepower. Well, torque does refer to a force rotating such as the wheels of a car but that term can also refer to almost anything in that case and not only the power of your car’s engine.

Another common example for this involves lug nuts that hold the wheels on an automobile. These lug nuts also have a specific amount of torque to which they have to be tightened. In the event that too little amount of force is used, they may come loose while you are driving which can lead to unstable wheel or worse, your wheel may come off. If they are too tight on the other hand, you are running the risk of something cracking that can cause some problems on the wheels. With this in mind, if these nuts have to be applied with specific torque or amount of force, making use of a torque wrench will come into play.

For the most basic type of this wrench, it has a small gauge showing how much force you’re applying. And in case for lug nuts, cars usually need 80 pounds of force, what you have to do is put the wrench on and then tighten it until it shows that you are applying 80 pounds of torque and you are good.
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As a matter of fact, there are many different types of torque wrenches and with the most basic is mentioned above. Normally, it simply uses a needle to be able to indicate the amount of force applied. There are also some that have mechanisms preventing you from over-tightening, which has a clutch that automatically disengage when you reach that certain amount of force. With this, it helps in preventing unnecessary force to be applied.
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Again, there are electronic wrenches that have a digital display than an analog gauge. At the same time, there are hydraulic torque wrenches in the market which can apply significant amount of force by using hydraulics. In most instances, you’ll see this being used in bigger pieces of machinery where basic wrenches would not work.