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Torque Wrench Safety and Proper Usage

by Toolsource on January 20th, 2011

The following information comes from CDI Torque Products, Torque Facts -> Safety and Proper Usage

Torque Wrench Safety

These precautions should always be taken when using any torque wrench to avoid possible injury:

  • Read instruction manual completely before using torque wrench.
  • Safety glasses or goggles should be worn at all times when using any hand tool.
  • Always pull, DO NOT PUSH, to apply torque and adjust your stance to prevent a fall.
  • A “cheater bar” should NEVER be used on a torque wrench to apply excess leverage.
  • Do not use with sockets or fasteners showing wear or cracks.
  • Ratchet mechanism may slip or break if dirty, mismatched or worn parts are used.
  • Make sure direction lever is fully engaged.

Torque Wrench Usage

  • All mechanical torque wrenches are calibrated from 20% to 100% of full scale, therefore, they should never be used below or above those limits
  • To determine which torque wrench capacity is best suited for an application, many factors must be considered. However, as a recommendation, use a torque wrench in the middle 50% of the overall capacity of the tool. This will result in longer tool life, ease of use for the operator and increased accuracy from “clicker” type torque wrenches
  • Always grasp handle firmly in the center of the grip
  • Approach final torque slowly and evenly
  • Stop pulling wrench immediately when target torque is reached
  • Never use a torque wrench to break fasteners loose
  • Should be cleaned and stored properly
  • Should always be stored at it’s lowest torque setting
  • Wrenches should be re-calibrated if dropped. Should never be used in excess of it’s capacity
  • Torque wrenches should be “exercised” a minimum of three times at 100% of full scale before use
  • The wrench selected should be calibrated in the same torque units that are specified
  • Use of a “cheater bar” will result in an inaccurate reading and can possibly damage the wrench
  • Torque wrenches will last longer if reasonable care is taken. Always unwind handle to the lowest setting after each use. Do not attempt to lubricate the internal torque mechanism. Clean torque wrench by wiping, do not immerse. The wrench should be sent to a qualified calibration lab once every year or every 5000 cycles for re-calibration

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