5 Odd Myths About Torque Wrenches Debunked

5 Odd Myths About Torque Wrenches Debunked

February 14, 2023

You may be surprised to learn that many myths surround torque wrenches. Since they’re such sensitive instruments, people often worry about torque wrenches losing their calibration. Let’s debunk these five odd myths about torque wrenches.

You Can Improvise a Torque Wrench

Improvising a torque wrench is one of the most dangerous myths on this list. Sometimes, people put a long pipe on the end of a torque wrench to make it more powerful. However, this “cheater bar” can easily snap in half, sending you and the wrench flying into nearby equipment. Never improvise a torque wrench!

Mechanical Wrenches Are More Accurate

If you’ve been using a mechanical torque wrench your whole life, it’s understandable that you might be a little wary of switching to a digital version. This has led some people to speculate that digital wrenches aren’t as accurate as old-school mechanical wrenches. However, it’s not true—digital wrenches are actually more accurate.

You Can’t Use a Dropped Wrench

As we said earlier, torque wrenches are sensitive instruments. However, they’re not so fragile that they lose calibration after you drop them on the floor one time. Feel free to pick up a dropped wrench and continue using it. You may want to check the calibration if you drop it frequently.

Wrenches Only Measure Large Increments

This myth comes from a misunderstanding about how torque wrenches work. People falsely believe that torque wrenches, especially digital ones, cannot measure torque increments of five foot-pounds or less. This isn’t true at all, but there’s a good reason for the confusion: you shouldn’t use your torque wrench to make small adjustments.

If you tighten a bolt to 65 foot-pounds, you can’t just tighten it up to 70. In most cases, the bolt will require more force to turn than the force required to move from 65 to 70. If you need to adjust the settings of a fastener slightly, you should loosen it, then re-tighten it to the desired amount.

Always Unload Your Wrench Before Storing It

This last myth about torque wrenches is sort of true and sort of false. If you have a mechanical wrench (the clicking kind), you should always put it back on its lowest setting before storing it. However, you don’t need to do this with digital torque wrenches.

You can find industrial-quality torque wrenches and orbital welding equipment at SEC Industrial. We carry pipe beveling equipment, power supplies, and everything else you need for orbital welding. Contact us today if you have any questions.

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