Types of Torque Wrenches – MachineriesPoint

If you’re a mechanic, car enthusiast, or just someone who likes to work on their car, then you’ve probably heard the name of torque wrenches. A torque wrench is one of the handiest tools for any mechanics. These wrenches can apply a specific preset amount of force to fasteners that are essential for precise works, such as tightening wheel lug nuts and bolts.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the different types of torque wrenches and also discuss how each one works and when we should use them. We’ll also explore the various uses of torque wrenches so that you can easily pick the suitable one for your needs.

types of torque wrenches

Different types of torque wrenches

Torque wrenches typically come in various sizes and styles and are available in both hand-held and click types. When using any torque wrench, following the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage and care is crucial. Below we discuss the different types of torque wrenches. So let’s start-

Click torque wrench

Click is the most affordable and common type of torque wrench, which has a Ratchet head. This torque wrench prevents the over-tightening or under-tightening of bolts and nuts. These torque wrenches offer you the most accurate work that is between 3% to 5%.

A click torque wrench is a type of torque wrench that produces an audible clicking sound when the preset torque value is reached. This allows the user to know when to stop applying force, preventing the risk of overtightening and damaging the bolts or other fasteners.

Most click torque wrenches have a simple design, with a handle attached to a ratcheting head. The head contains a spring-loaded mechanism that produces a clicking sound when activated.

To use the wrench, the user simply attaches it to the bolt or fastener and applies force until the desired torque is reached. Once the click is heard, the user knows to stop applying pressure, ensuring that the bolt or fastener is tightened correctly.

Click torque wrenches can be used for various applications, such as automotive repair, plumbing, and general maintenance. It is also ideal for working in tight spaces. It must be calibrated a minimum of one time every year to get more accuracy.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • More durable
  • Ideal for tight space

Cons:

  • Less accurate than a digital one

Hydraulic torque wrench

A hydraulic torque wrench is a tool that uses hydraulic pressure to generate torque. It is typically used to tighten or loosen large bolts, nuts, or other fasteners. Hydraulic torque wrenches also come in various sizes and styles, but they all operate on the same principle. Inside the wrench, there is a piston that is connected to an extension rod.

When the piston is actuated, it creates hydraulic pressure that is transferred to the extension rod. The extension rod then applies rotational force to the fastener, tightening or loosening it as necessary.

Hydraulic torque wrenches are highly accurate and can apply a specific torque to a fastener. This makes them ideal for use in applications where precise torquing is critical, such as heavy machinery, aerospace, and automotive industries.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Ideal for heavy-duty use
  • You can quickly move bolts and nuts
  • Offer more precision
  • Prevent over-torquing

Cons:

  • Not beginner friendly
  • Complex

Beam torque wrenches

A beam torque wrench is a type of basic and affordable torque wrench that uses a beam to measure torque. The wrench has a handle that is attached to a beam, and the beam is attached to a sensor. The sensor measures the amount of torque applied to the handle, and the reading is displayed on the beam.

A beam torque wrench is used by attaching it to the object to be tightened, such as a nut or bolt. The handle is then turned until the desired amount of torque is applied. The reading on the beam will then indicate the amount of torque that has been used.

Beam torque wrenches are used in many industries, such as automotive, automobile, and aerospace. There are two main types of beam torque wrenches-

  • Split beam
  • Deflecting beam

Split beam torque wrench

The wrench consists of two beams that are connected at the center by a pivot point. One end of each beam has a handle, while the other end has a socket that fits over the bolt or nut.

The user simply tightens the handle until the expected torque is reached. The benefit of this design is that it is easy to read and prevents overtightening. When appropriately used, a split beam torque wrench can help to ensure that bolts are tightened to the proper specification.

Deflecting beam torque wrenches

The wrench consists of a handle, a beam, and a calibrated pointer. To use the wrench, the operator first sets the desired torque on the beam. Then, they place the wrench on the fastener and pull the handle. As the handle is pulled, the beam deflects. The amount of deflection is proportionate to the force that has been applied to the fastener.

When the expected torque has been achieved, the pointer will line up with the marking on the beam, indicating that the process is complete. Deflecting beam torque wrenches are usually used in automotive and aerospace applications where it is critical to apply a specific force to bolts and nuts.

Pros:

  • Affordable and easier to use
  • These wrenches are also more durable
  • Able to gauge force in both directions

Cons:

  • You need to be careful and watch the beam scale to get accurate results

Slipper torque wrench

A slipper torque wrench is a type of torque wrench that uses a mechanism known as a “slip clutch” to prevent the wrench from applying too much torque to a fastener. The slip clutch is essentially a clutch that “slips” when too much torque is applied, preventing the wrench from applying excessive force. This makes the slipper torque wrench ideal for applications where maintaining a precise amount of torque is essential, such as when installing fasteners on sensitive equipment.

To use a slipper torque wrench, simply set the desired amount of torque and then attach the wrench to the fastener. Once the desired torque is reached, the slip clutch will slip, indicating that the right amount of force has been applied.

Pros:

  • Easier to use
  • Ideal for small tasks

Cons:

  • Not suitable for demanding jobs

No-hub torque wrenches

A no-hub torque wrench is a type of socket wrench that is used to tighten or loosen bolts that secure a drain pipe to a trap. The wrench is inserted into the bolt head and turned until the desired amount of torque is achieved. The beauty of this type of wrench is that you can be used it with one hand, which is helpful when working in tight spaces.

Additionally, the torque can be easily adjusted, making it possible to achieve a precise level of tension every time. This is essential for ensuring the connection is secure and will not leak. While other types of wrenches can be used for this purpose, a no-hub torque wrench is often the best option because it is designed specifically for this application.

If you are a plumber or pipefitter or someone working in tight spaces, then this will be the perfect option for you.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Ideal for tight spaces
  • It comes with a T-handled shape that easily fits with your hand

Cons:

  • Expensive than other regular wrenches

Electronic torque wrenches

There are also electronic torque wrenches, which provide more accuracy than the click type. These electronic torque wrenches offer a digital readout. Some wrenches have data logging capabilities, allowing tracking of individual tightening cycles.

An electronic torque wrench is a specialized tool that can apply a specific torque to nuts and bolts. The electronic torque wrench consists of three main parts: the handle, the drive shaft, and the sensor.

The handle is used to grip the wrench and apply force to the drive shaft. The drive shaft is connected to the sensor. This sensor is used to gauge the amount of force that is applied to the fastener. The sensor sends a signal to the handle, which then displays the amount of torque that has been applied.

With an electronic torque wrench, you can preset the expected torque value, and when that value is reached, the handle will stop rotating. This prevents overtightening of the fastener, which can damage it or cause it to fail.

Pros:

  • More accurate
  • Ideal for precision work
  • Perfect for use in tight spaces

Cons:

  • Expensive

Programmable electronic torque wrench

Torque is a measure of force that is applied to move an object, such as a nut or bolt. In terms of a torque wrench, the amount of force is controlled by the user. A programmable electronic torque wrench is a type of wrench that can be programmed to apply a specific torque to a fastener.

The user inputs the desired amount of torque into the programmable torque wrench, and the wrench applies the specified force to the fastener.

Pros:

  • It eradicates the necessity for the user to apply excessive force to the fastener
  • This can help to ensure that the fastener is correctly tightened without being over-tightened, which can damage the fastener
  • It can reduce the risk of injury to the user

Cons:

  • Expensive

Mechatronic

A torque wrench allows the operator to apply a specific torque to an object. Torque is the “twist” that you apply to a bolt when tightening it. The main reason to use a torque wrench is to ensure that a fastener is adequately tightened. The fastener can be damaged or even broken if too much force is applied. If too little torque is used, the fastener may come loose over time.

A mechanical torque wrench uses a simple lever system to multiply the force applied by the operator. On the other hand, a mechatronic torque wrench uses electronic sensors and motors to provide more precise control over the amount of torque applied. This makes mechatronic torque wrenches ideal for critical applications where close tolerances must be maintained.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Suitable for compact spaces
  • Ergonomic design

Cons:

  • The price is a little bit high

Digital torque wrench

It is commonly used in automotive and industrial applications where it is essential to achieve a specific level of tightness on a bolt or nut. The wrench typically has a digital display that shows the amount of torque being applied, and most wrenches also have an audible signal that sounds when the desired torque level is reached. Many digital torque wrenches also have memory functions that allow the user to recall previous torque settings.

To use the wrench, the user simply selects the desired torque setting, attaches the wrench to the fastener, and begins to turn the handle. The digital display will show the current torque reading, and the audible signal will sound when the desired level is reached.

Digital torque wrenches are increasingly popular due to their accuracy and ease of use, and they are now commonly used in a wide range of applications.

Pros:

  • More accurate
  • Digital display
  • Easier to use
  • Comes with adapter
  • Compact design

Cons:

  • Less durable

See also: Are Pittsburgh torque wrenches any good?

Advantages and disadvantages of using a torque wrench

Torque wrenches come in different sizes and designs that can loosen or tighten fasteners with precision.

One advantage of using a torque wrench is that it helps prevent damage to fasteners by ensuring they are tightened to the correct degree.

Another advantage is that they can loosen tight fasteners without damaging them.

However, there are also some disadvantages associated with using torque wrenches.

One downside is that they can be expensive, and another is that they require regular calibration to maintain accuracy. Overall, torque wrenches can be helpful for home and professional mechanics.

Still, it is essential to consider both the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether or not to use one.

Tips for choosing the proper torque wrench for your needs

When it comes to torque wrenches, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The correct tool for the job depends on several factors, including the type of fastener being used, the level of precision needed, and the torque required.

With so many different types of torque wrenches, choosing the correct one can be a daunting task. However, by following a few simple tips, you can be sure to find the perfect wrench for your needs.

First, consider the type of fastener you will be using. Different wrenches are designed for different sizes and types of bolts. If you need to use a torque wrench on a delicate fastener, such as a watch screw, then you will need to choose a wrench with a smaller size range and a higher level of precision. In contrast, if you work with larger nuts and bolts, you will need a wrench with a larger size range.

Next, consider the amount of torque that needs to be applied. Torque wrenches are available in both digital and analog models. An analog model may be sufficient if you only need to apply a small amount of torque. However, if you need to apply a high level of torque, then you will need to choose a digital model. Digital torque wrenches typically have more settings and allow for more precise adjustments than their analog counterparts.

Finally, consider your budget. Torque wrenches range in price from under $100 to over $500. The price usually depends on the features you need and the level of precision you require. A less expensive model will suffice if you only need a basic torque wrench for occasional use.

However, if you plan on using your wrench regularly or need extreme accuracy, then you will need to invest in a more expensive model.

Care and maintenance of torque wrenches

Torque wrenches are essential tools for anyone who works with fasteners. They allow you to apply precise torque to a bolt or nut, ensuring that it is tight enough to hold without being too tight and risking stripping the threads. While torque wrenches are relatively simple devices, they require some care and maintenance to ensure they continue to function correctly.

  • First, it is essential to retain them clean and free of debris.
  • Second, calibrate them regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Finally, if you notice any damage or wear, have the wrench serviced by a qualified technician.

By following these simple things, you can help extend the life of your torque wrench and ensure that it continues to perform at its best.

Conclusion

There are four main types of torque wrench – digital, beam, hydraulic, and click. Each type works a little differently, but all are used to achieve the same goal: applying precise amounts of torque to screws and bolts so they can be appropriately tightened without damage. By understanding how these different types of torque wrenches work, you can select the one that is suited to your needs. Do you have any experience using a torque wrench? Let us know in the comments below!

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