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Tools for Better Torque

Tools for better torqueGetting torqued up? To know if you’re tightening connections properly, you use a torque wrench. But how do you know your torque wrench is accurate? An inaccurate torque wrench can mean irreversible damage to expensive gear.

Your first line of defense is to use quality torque wrenches. As with your other tools, buy industrial grade only. These will save you money just by lasting longer. They’ll also hold calibration far more reliably than the cheap knockoffs.

What type of torque wrenches should you buy? For field work, we have traditionally used manual torque wrenches because powered ones required compressed air. But that’s changed with the improvements in batteries for power tools. You can now use highly accurate, tendon-saving electric torque wrenches and torque screwdrivers all day long.

These basically put a motor behind the traditional hand-powered, breakaway torque wrench or screwdriver. They can increase productivity and reduce fatigue, but the same principles apply:

  • Select the correct range. The torque wrench is a spring-based device. As you go to the extremes of the spring, things become nonlinear. Make sure the desired torque value is between 20% and 80% of the torque wrench’s range.
  • Sequence it. Tighten per the recommended pattern.
  • Stay relaxed. Set the torque wrench to zero between uses.
  • Exercise. Run the torque adjustment well past the desired point, back down to zero, and then to the desired point.
  • Calibrate after impact. Dropping a torque wrench can change its calibration. If in doubt, send it out.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection