Can you use an extension with a torque wrench: Expert tips

Are you someone who works with tools regularly? If so, then you know the importance of accuracy and precision when it comes to tightening bolts and fasteners. One tool that can help you achieve that precision is a torque wrench. But what happens when you need to reach a tight space or increase leverage?

Can you use an extension with a torque wrench? The answer is yes, and here, we will discuss the several types of extensions that can be used with torque wrenches, how to use them properly, and safety considerations to keep in mind. This post will provide valuable information on how to maximize the use of your tools and achieve optimal results.

can you use an extension with a torque wrench

Torque Wrench

The primary purpose of using a torque wrench is to achieve the precise level of tension specified by the manufacturer on the fastener. This is important because over-tightening or under-tightening a fastener can cause damage to the parts being joined or lead to a failure of the fastener.

Several torque wrenches are available, including beam-style, click-style, and digital.

  • Beam-style torque wrenches use a physical indicator, such as a pointer, to show applied torque.
  • Click-style torque wrenches make an audible “click” sound when the desired torque is reached.
  • Digital torque wrenches display the torque level on an electronic readout.

The different types of torque wrenches are suitable for different applications. For example, beam-style torque wrenches are best suited for low-torque applications, such as automotive work. Click-style torque wrenches are commonly used in industrial settings, while digital torque wrenches are used in precision applications, such as aerospace or medical equipment manufacturing.

The Purpose of Using an Extension

The purpose of using an extension with a torque wrench is to increase the tool’s reach and provide additional leverage when tightening fasteners. This can be especially useful in tight spaces where it is difficult to access the fastener directly with the torque wrench.

Additionally, using an extension can help to distribute the force of the wrench more evenly, reducing the risk of damaging the fastener or the surrounding parts.

Different types of extensions can be used with torque wrenches, including:

Universal joints

These attachments have a ball-and-socket design that allows for a variety of motions, making it easier to access fasteners in tight spaces.

Extension bars

Extension bars are simple, straight bars that are used to extend the reach of the tool. They are available in various lengths and are helpful for reaching fasteners that are further away.

Flex head wrenches

These attachments feature a flexible head that can be adjusted to various angles. This allows easy access to fasteners in tight spaces or awkward positions.

It’s important to note that when using an extension, the torque setting on the wrench must be adjusted to account for the added length. The torque value should be multiplied by the size of the extension to calculate the correct setting.

Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure that the extension is securely attached to the torque wrench and that the extension is rated for the applied torque.

Can you use an extension with a torque wrench?

Yes, you can use an extension with a torque wrench. An extension is a tool that attaches to the end of a torque wrench and allows you to reach tight or hard-to-reach spaces while still applying the correct amount of torque to a fastener.

How to properly use an extension with a torque wrench?

  1. First, it’s essential to choose the right brand and model of extension, as not all extensions are designed to work with all types of torque wrenches. It’s also important to ensure that your chosen extension is rated for the applied torque.
  2. Then, determine the extension length you will be using and multiply it by the torque value recommended by the manufacturer. This will give you the correct torque setting for your extension.
  3. Make sure the extension is securely attached to the torque wrench. This can usually be done by screwing the extension onto the drive square of the wrench.
  4. Position the torque wrench and extension so that it is aligned with the fastener you will be tightening.
  5. Begin tightening the fastener by applying force to the handle of the torque wrench. Use a steady, consistent force to avoid over-tightening or under-tightening the fastener.
  6. Keep an eye on the torque reading on the wrench and stop tightening when you reach the desired torque setting.
  7. Double-check the torque setting by using the correct torque-checking adapter.

See Also: How To Use Crowfoot With Torque Wrench: Tightening Perfection

Potential risks of using an extension

Using an extension with a torque wrench can present several potential risks, including:

Over-tightening:

If the extension is not correctly attached to the torque wrench, it may cause the fastener to be over-tightened. This can lead to damage to the fastener or the surrounding area.

Improper attachment:

If the extension is not correctly attached to the torque wrench. It can come loose during use, which can cause injury or damage to the equipment.

Incorrect torque reading:

Using an extension with a torque wrench can affect the torque reading; this can happen due to the length and flexing of the extension.

Safety considerations

To safely use an extension with a torque wrench, it is essential to:

  • Always Use the correct size and type of extension for the task at hand.
  • Regularly maintain and calibrate the torque wrench and the extension to ensure that they are correctly working.
  • Make sure the extension is appropriately attached to the torque wrench before use.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper use and torque settings. Use the correct torque setting for the extension being used, also taking into account the added length of the extension.
  • Use a steady, consistent force when tightening the fastener, and avoid over-tightening.
  • Check the torque readings after using an extension by using a torque-checking adapter. If the torque reading is inaccurate, recalibrate the torque wrench or use a different extension.
  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses and gloves, when working with tools.
  • Keep the working area clean and debris-free to avoid tripping and falling.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your body parts away from the torque wrench while using it.Top of Form

By following these safety tips, you can minimize the risk of injury and ensure that your tools are used correctly and efficiently.

How much torque do you lose with an extension/ does an extension affect a torque wrench?

The amount of torque lost when using an extension with a torque wrench depends on a few factors, including the length and type of extension used. In general, the longer the extension, the more torque is lost. This is because the longer the extension, the more leverage is required to achieve the desired torque setting, which can result in less actual torque being applied to the fastener.

For example, a 1-foot extension may result in a torque loss of around 2-5%. At the same time, a 2-foot extension may result in a torque loss of approximately 5-10%. However, these numbers can vary depending on the specific extension being used and the torque setting.

The type of extension can also affect the amount of torque loss. Universal joints or flex head extensions are designed to minimize torque loss by allowing for movement and flexibility. On the other hand, using a straight extension bar can result in a greater loss of torque.

It’s important to note that even a small amount of torque loss can make a significant difference when working with critical fasteners, such as those used in aerospace or automotive applications. It is recommended to use a torque multiplier to increase torque; also, you should check the extension manufacturer specifications to ensure the torque loss.

Additionally, it’s essential to keep in mind that the torque loss is not constant and can change depending on the angle and position of the extension. It’s always good to check the torque after you use the extension with the torque wrench.

Conclusion

Finally, using an extension with a torque wrench can be a valuable tool for those working in tight spaces or needing to increase leverage. Proper usage of an extension with a torque wrench is vital for achieving accuracy and precision. Following the expert tips provided in this post, such as adequately attaching the extension, adjusting the torque setting, and regular maintenance and calibration, you can maximize the benefits of using an extension with your torque wrench.

Remember always to prioritize safety when using any tool. We hope this post has been informative and helpful, and we encourage you to share your experiences and tips for using an extension with a torque wrench.

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