How to Properly Use a Torque Wrench

Using a Torque Wrench

A Torque Wrench is a tool commonly used in the automotive industry, and by mechanics in general. However, you should know that the use of this hand tool extends well beyond these applications.

In order to know how to use a torque wrench, you need to understand a few basic things. Once you’ve grasped some of the fundamentals you will be able to save money by not needing to visit the automotive repair shop, because you will be able to Do-It-Yourself.

Buying a good torque wrench is a wise investment in the long run, but it’s crucial that you know how to use it properly. In this guide we will go over everything you need to know in order to use this versatile tool. Let’s dive in and look at how to use a torque wrench!

How to Use a Torque Wrench

For a start it is worth mentioning that all adjustments to the torque wrench can be done by hand, so there is no need for any additional tools to get started. First thing you should do in order to use it is adjust the handle to a level of torque that suits your applications. There is a tightener at the end of the handle which you should lock into place. After you’ve done this, adjust it to fit over the nut or socket and start rotating! Rotate clockwise if your intention is to tighten, and anti-clockwise to loosen. This is just a rule of thumb and is not always the case. After you’re done using it, put the setting back to 0 before storing it away.

So, we have covered the basics of how to use this tool, but there’s still much more nitty-gritty stuff we need to dive into so that you can understand things properly. In order to properly adjust your torque wrench you need to understand where the tightener is located and how to operate it. Generally, it is located at the end of the handle, often made of a plastic or metal cap which is different in color to the handle. To adjust the wrenches settings you need to twist it counter clockwise and loosen it.

On the handle there is a marking which indicates the torque setting. There’s a set of large and small numbers which indicate the larger and smaller units. Usually these are foot-pounds and meter-kilograms respectively. In order to get to the desired torque setting rotate the handle until it’s at the right point.

Another important part when it comes to using a torque wrench is fixing a socket to the head. Depending on what you’re working on you may also need to have an extension or adapter to provide additional reach. The extender/adapter is very useful to reach into tight spaces where you don’t have a lot of room to operate in.

When you’re using the wrench and turning the handle you don’t have to worry about repositioning it again and again, this is one of the great features that a torque wrench has. It has an automatic return function, so all you do is move it back counter clockwise to position it again. You will hear a clicking noise while this is taking place.


After reading through this guide you should have a fair idea of how to properly use a torque wrench. Now you will be able to handle mechanical issues on your own, with this great tool. If you have anything to add, or think we’ve missed anything important please get in contact with us.