Are you considering buying a torque wrench, but you don’t know how to use it?
In this guide, we are going to discuss split beam torque wrenches thoroughly. How does one properly use a split beam torque wrench? After going on some general terms, steps on how to use this torque wrench will be provided.
Price, advantages, and other types of wrenches would be talked about as well.
What Is a Torque Wrench?
Before defining what a torque wrench is, it’s best, to begin with, torque. Torque is a measurement of the force required to twist an object. It is measured Pound Per Force Feet.
Torque wrenches are devices invented in the early 20th century by two Americans. They are used to tighten fasteners (bolts and nuts), wherein the exact amount of torque is needed. They are made up of an internal mechanism that allows them to adjust to suit different torque specifications. (Read How To Unscrew A Tri-Wing Screw)
These things are used in different sectors of society. But the most picture-perfect example would be a car wheel and its bolts.
How Does Torque Wrenches Work?
There are different kinds of torque wrenches, but they all work in this way. The desired torque is calibrated, and when that amount is achieved, it indicates that it has. This way, the right amount of tension is applied to the fasteners.
Torque is a rotational or twisting force. And it is equal to distance multiplied by force.
What is a Split Beam Wrench?
A beam wrench is a subcategory of torque wrench. A split beam torque wrench is a subcategory of beam wrench.
Anyways, split beams have two beams. One acts as a handle that deflects predictably when one turns it. And the other part gives out the reading.
They are simple, durable, and affordable. The best split beam torque wrenches are accurate to up to 2 %. A good split beam would cost no more than 200 dollars, but some would cost 800 USD.
How to Properly Use A Split Beam Torque Wrench?
Think of this as a loose but otherwise helpful guideline in using a split beam torque wrench.
- Make sure that the drive size is correct. And know the torque that you need.
- Fit the fastener tightly in place-don’t use the wrench.
- Set the scale to zero; it displays zero. Then set the measurement to the desired torque.
- Use the socket to loosen or tighten a fastener—clockwise direction for tightening and counterclockwise for loosening.
- Once you hear a click. Or once you’ve noticed that the scale is at where it’s supposed to be-you’re done for that bolt. The gauge shows how much you need to reach the desired torque.
These are some valuable tips when having a torque wrench.
- Most torque wrenches come in safety containers or boxes. Use them always for storage to avoid impact and rust. A hard fall or multiple medium impact fall could mess up the calibration. Keep these high-precision instruments dry.
- Calibrate your torque wrench at least once a year. You could do it yourself, which is possible for anybody to do. Another option is to spend around 50 dollars to have someone else do it.
- Unless otherwise stated, it’s a good idea to store your wrench with the lowest possible setting. This makes it stay in calibration for a long time.
- High precision instruments need to be used sparingly. This means that your torque wrench should not be used in place of a breaker bar. Use another beside a torque wrench to get the bolts snug, etc.
- In buying a torque wrench, considered the project/s you will be taking. The sizes of the nuts and bolts should tell what drive size to consider. The torque spec range you would be working with most often, and of course, price.
- Another thing to consider is that a half-inch drive with a torque spec of 20 – 150 ft-lb is the most useful. At least for the average guy.
- Where to get torque specs for cars? Buy car manuals of your projects, or search for the spec on the internet. Just take caution as wrong info could spell a potential disaster.
- Warranty is another thing you should consider. The good brands out there would offer some warranty. Remember, these things are durable, but you need them to be very accurate.
- Materials and grip. You want durability and longevity. And you would also want a firm but comfortable grip. (Read Are Chainsaw Chains Universal)
- Most people would need a torque range not having maximum torque of 200. Thus, even a light-mid-duty split beam would be good enough.
- They are accurate and versatile. It can be used in different fields, and the best ones have up to 2% accuracy.
- It has a simple design that allows ease of use. Its design also allows for more accuracy compared to the sing beam wrenches. Also, because of its simplicity, it is durable.
- It’s able to do clockwise and counterclockwise measurements.
- Not as accurate as an electronic torque wrench.
- Maintenance is essential, so you should do it consistently.
- Users must watch the scale as they turn the fasteners. But only if there’s no click
- The beam type torque range goes in increments. Let’s say it has a five increment. So hitting the adjustment knob in 5’s or 0’s is easy.
- However, torque setting for those numbers that don’t end in 5 or 0 is tricky. This isn’t to say that there’s something wrong with the adjustment mechanism.
- The higher the needed maximum torque range, the higher the price.
Other Types Of Torque Wrenches
There are several kinds of wrenches.
- There’s the deflecting beam torque wrench which applied torque on a deflecting beam. Not on a spring.
- Micrometer Torque Wrench – used for cargoes and shipments mainly.
- Click Torque Wrench – uses a more advanced calibration system
- No-Hub Torque Wrench – specializes in plumbing application
- Hydraulic Torque Wrenches – uses hydraulics for calibration. And is used in industrial fields
- Electronic Torque Wrench – Uses an electric sensor. More expensive