When it comes to tightening bolts or screws, a torque wrench is the tool of choice for many professionals. This is because a torque wrench allows you to tighten bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring that they are not over- or under-tightened. Unfortunately, with so many torque wrenches on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is best suited for your needs.
In this article, we will share seven factors you should consider before purchasing. That way, you can be sure to purchase the torque wrench that is best suited for your needs.
What is a Torque Wrench?
For those unfamiliar, a torque wrench is a tool used to apply a specific amount of torque to a fastener, such as a nut or bolt. The amount of torque is usually expressed in foot-pounds (ft-lbs) or Newton meters (Nm).
There are two types of torque wrenches: adjustable and preset. Adjustable torque wrenches allow you to set the desired amount of torque, while preset torque wrenches come with a fixed torque setting.
Why Use a Torque Wrench?
Torque wrenches are used when it is important to achieve a specific level of torque, such as when assembling a piece of machinery. Over- or under-tightening a bolt can lead to problems, such as stripped threads or a joint that is too loose or too tight.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a torque wrench. In addition, torque wrenches should be calibrated regularly to ensure accuracy.
7 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Torque Wrench
Like every other consumer, you have probably developed a level of trust (or mistrust) for certain brands. However, when it comes to torque wrenches, there are many reputable brands on the market. So do some research and read reviews to get a sense of which brands are most trusted by professionals.
Some notable brands include:
- Pittsburgh Pro
When shopping for a torque wrench, you will notice three types available in the market: bean type, digital wrench, and an interchangeable head torque wrench.
- Bean type is the oldest type of torque wrench. It is easy to use but not as accurate as digital or interchangeable torque wrenches
- The digital torque wrench uses sensors to measure the amount of torque being applied. They are more accurate than bean type wrenches but are also more expensive. Digital torque wrenches have a loud notification sound when the correct torque is applied. Some variants also let you store data so you can review it later.
- The interchangeable head torque wrench is the most expensive type but also the most accurate. This torque wrench uses electricity to heat the element that applies torque.
The torque wrench size is important because you need to be able to grip the wrench in your hand comfortably. It won’t be easy to use if the torque wrench is too large or too small.
Some torque wrenches come in multiple sizes, which is a good option if you plan on using the wrench for different applications. Currently, there are four common sizes of square head range, all of which correspond to different functions and torque ranges.
- 1/4-inch Drive: suitable for small bolts and nuts like bicycles, garden equipment, and motorcycles. This size typically provides between 4 to 21 ft-lb of torque.
- 3/8-inch Drive: a common torque size for automobiles such as light trucks, passenger vehicles, and cars. This size typically produces 15 to 75 ft-lb of torque. Among all the torque sizes, the 3/8-inch drive tends to be the most versatile as it covers a wide range of functions.
- 1/2-inch Drive: suitable for larger bolts and nuts like suspensions and engine mounts.
- 3/4-inch Drive: only for special applications like tractor trailers and cargo aircraft.
The price of the torque wrench is obviously an important factor to consider. Keep in mind that you get what you pay. Cheap torque wrenches are likely to be less accurate and less durable than more expensive wrenches.
If you plan on using the torque wrench regularly, it is worth investing in a high-quality wrench. However, in any case, it’s always a good idea to go for expensive yet high-quality torque wrenches since it provides the most accurate measurements.
When shopping for a torque wrench, you need to consider what you will use it for. Torque wrenches are available in an extensive range of torque capacities.
Some torque wrenches are designed for specific tasks like torquing lug nuts or engine bolts. Others offer more versatility and can be used for a variety of applications.
If you know exactly what you will use the torque wrench for, it will be easier to find the right one. However, if you are unsure, opting for a more versatile wrench is best.
Accuracy and Calibration
When it comes to torque wrenches, accuracy is key. After all, you are using this tool to apply a specific amount of torque to a bolt or nut. If the wrench is not accurate, it could lead to serious problems.
There are two main ways to ensure accuracy: calibration and certification. Certification means that the torque wrench has been tested and meets certain standards. Calibration, on the other hand, is adjusting the wrench to achieve accuracy.
Most torque wrenches need to be calibrated regularly, usually once a year. However, some wrenches come with a built-in calibration mechanism. These wrenches are more expensive but also more accurate and easier to use.
Finally, you must consider the materials used to construct the torque wrench. The most common material is steel, which is strong and durable. However, steel can rust over time, so it is not the best option if you plan on using the wrench in a wet or corrosive environment.
For wet or corrosive environments, you need to look for a torque wrench made from stainless steel. This material is more expensive, but it is also more resistant to rust and corrosion.
When it comes to the construction of the torque wrench, you also need to consider the handle. The most common handle materials are plastic and rubber. Rubber handles are more comfortable to use but can be slippery when wet. Plastic handles, on the other hand, provide a better grip, but they are not as comfortable.
Why Use DATAMYTE
Apart from data and quality management solutions, DATAMYTE also offers hardware products that help with data collection. This includes the DataMyte LightStar Torque Wrench, an essential tool for any quality control department.
The LightStar Torque Wrench is highly accurate and easy to use. And with its haptic feedback feature, you can be sure that you are applying the correct amount of torque.
If you are looking for a reliable and accurate torque wrench, the DataMyte LightStar Torque Wrench is a great option.
We also have the DataMyte Digital Clipboard for torque workflow and inspection purposes. With this software automation software, you can create workflows and checklists for torque tasks. You can also use it to collect and store torque data, which is essential for quality control.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a great tool for any quality control department. It helps you to streamline your torque inspection process and ensure accuracy.
DATAMYTE has the solution to all of your torquing needs. Book a demo with us today and see how we can help you.
There are many factors to consider before buying a torque wrench. You’ll need to consider the seven factors mentioned in this post when buying one. That way, you’ll be able to purchase the torque wrench best suited for your needs. Keep these factors in mind, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect torque wrench for your needs.