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Anyone know how to calibrate a torque wrench?

1821 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  roeb
Anyone know how to calibrate a 3/8 clicker style torque wrench? Is there any way I can test it to even be sure it needs to be calibrated? Haven't used it in awhile, and I'm pretty sure it's gotten bumped around quite a bit. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Calibrated in inch or foot pounds? what is the max range? What is the distance from the center of the 3/8" square drive to the end of the handle. Do you have access to a spring type scale similar to those used to weigh fire extinguishers?. Now I am thinking primitive here but it would do the trick.
A testing laboratory in your area would be the best way unless you would be satisfied to get it within two to three %. Let me know. Tom
I'll measure it and check the range, as far as the spring scale, I don't have the slightest clue what one looks like. Thanks.
Hey Tom, after looking at this thing I've decided to buy a new one. It's not a very good quailty tool by looking it over, plus I always like an excuse to buy a new tool. Any recomendations on a brand, or type, I'll primarily be using it on small engines. Thanks.

Before you discard it torque a bolt to the mid size range and then set the new wrench at the same setting and see if it cracks over near the same setting. If it checks, save it for a spare or give it to a friend. Tom
Wasn't planning on discarding it...I never throw away tools...I will check it against the new one though, hadn't thought about that. Thanks.

i always back mine off all the way b-4 i throw it in the floor ( oops ) i mean put it in the tool box bottom drawer ... na i dont use one on small engines and never have and never will . but if you dont know . u should always take the pressure off the spring and it will last 4 a long time . laaaters
Didn't know that, appreciate it. If you don't use one on small engines, how do you know if you have everything to the right specs? Just curious, still new to the whole small engine thing.

If your looking for one for small engines, don't go for a click type. Stick to a good quality dial type. Click types not good at the lower torque ranges and you might not hear or feel the click if there's noise or other distractions. Click types also wear faster than upper end dial types. All it takes is to screw up one customers engine to cost the same as good instrument. Also be aware that most torque instruments are only cetified in the top 80% of the tool eq 1-50 ft-lbs is really only good for 10 to 50 ft-lbs., any lower and it gets messed up.
i just go by the feel of the bolt but like said by homer i hate the click type too . i use the click type on big bolts ( chevy rod caps , mains , rods . heads ) but you always want to step up to the final 50 ft-lbs , or inch lbs by three torque settings like ten twenty thirty #'s then hit them one last time but i have broke bolts with a torque wrench whats why i wont use one i like to feel the bolt and threads , on heads i watch the gasket , i always dip the bolt in a little oil if the threads are alum,, and i always use loc tite on bolts and or nutts that are non ferrus ...

only good for 10 to 50 ft-lbs., any lower and it gets messed up." i totally agree i have used the click type then used the needle one to check it and the click type was showed the bolt too loose ,,,, happy new years
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I know at least one forum where Sqrench would be laughed to shame for the reply of not using a torque wrench on small equip. He was brave enough to say what I ( a none user, just gave my very old Thorenson away about 3 mos ago) have always felt. When you pull wrenches long enough, you acquire a natural feel for torque. I refer to reading the torque off of my elbow. Somehow I always know when it is enough.
While on that subject, I notice that a lot of large engine manufacturers, mostly diesel, tell you to snug a bolt up and then turn the heard 15, 20 or so degrees.
lol yea i kinda took a chance .. :" turn the head 15, 20 or so degrees". just enough to smash the gasket i would say ,,? happy new years all
I appreciate the info, hope you all have a safe and happy New Year.
Best to have at least three torque wrenches one in the inch lb. range 3/8" drive. and two in the 1/2" drive one for the lower ft. lbs. and one for the higher ft. lbs. they are much more accurate than the all range type. As for the elbow, have found at times my wheaties kick in a little more than others and off goes the head...
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