Home News Ratchet and torque wrenches: Everything you need to know

Ratchet and torque wrenches: Everything you need to know

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Torque wrenches are a popular choice for mechanics and auto service professionals. They’re used to tighten bolts or nuts to a specific amount of force (or torque) to ensure they’re properly secured.

Wrenches are widely differentiated between torque wrenches and ratchet wrenches. Moreover, there are various torque wrench types that you can use for multiple purposes around your house. The following article has everything you need to know about these tools: 

Ratchet wrench

A ratcheting wrench is a type of wrench that uses a mechanism in the head to allow you to make precise adjustments. It’s used for tightening or loosening fasteners, like lug nuts on wheels or spark plugs in an engine block. The most common type of ratcheting head is the clicker-style, which has an audible click when it reaches your desired setting.

The main advantage of this type of wrench is its speed—you can quickly adjust the setting and get back to work with minimal effort.

Torque Wrench

You might have seen a torque wrench on your mechanic’s bench and wondered what it is. It’s a simple piece of equipment that’s used to tighten bolts and nuts to the correct torque value, but many types of torque wrenches are available.

A beam-style or clicker-style wrench is one of the torque wrench types you can buy. These tools use an analog gauge, with the needle indicating how much force you’re applying as you turn the handle. You can set these wrenches by hand or with an adjustable knob to show accurate readings in both directions (clockwise and counter-clockwise).

  • Beam Torque Wrench

A beam wrench is used to tighten fasteners to a specific amount of torque. When the desired torque is reached, it will deflect, and this deflection can be measured using a scale on the handle. The scale is marked with different colors to indicate what range you have set your wrench for (i.e., 20 lbs, 50 lbs).

Beam wrenches use spring-loaded beams that deflect when they reach the desired torque (or break if too much force is applied). They are exact and easy to use—just turn them in until they break!

  • Click torque wrench

Click wrenches are ideal for those who want to be sure they have the right amount of torque on a bolt or nut. These wrenches use a preset torque setting that is set by the manufacturer, and once you reach that point, there will be an audible click. The advantage of using this type of wrench is that you know when to stop applying force because you’ll hear the click, so it can help prevent over-torquing nuts and bolts.

A disadvantage is that it’s difficult to measure exactly how much force has been applied with a click wrench; if you’re working on something like an engine gasket, for example, then it’s hard to know exactly how much force has been applied since there isn’t much room for error here (you may damage some parts).

  • Hydraulic torque wrench

A hydraulic wrench is a power tool to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts. It uses the force of compressed air to drive the fastener against its head and increase the friction between them. The hydraulic wrench is mainly used in the industrial sector to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts.

Conclusion

It can be overwhelming when you’re looking to buy a wrench. There are so many options out there, and they all have different features that make them unique. 

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