How to Set a Click Style Torque Wrench

by Jody L. Campbell

Setting the correct torque on a click style torque wrench is pretty easy. There are generally two different types of torque measurements on a click style torque wrench, depending on its size and purpose. There are standard American inch- or foot-pound settings and Newton meter settings. Once the torque wrench is properly set for the correct setting, when it tightens the nut or bolt to that specification, it clicks to alert you that you've achieved the proper tightness.

Step 1

Look on the handle of the click style torque wrench. You may notice two different settings. They may be side by side or there may be Nm settings on one side and foot-pound or inch-pound on the other.

Step 2

Determine what setting the bolt or nut you're tightening requires for a torque specification. An automotive torque wrench for lug nuts and large bolts is measured in foot-pounds and higher Nm, where smaller bolts and nuts use a smaller torque wrench with inch-pound and lower Nm.

Step 3

Adjust the torque specification on the wrench by turning the handle of the torque wrench while holding the shaft of the torque wrench. The dial indicator will move up or down the inch-pound, foot-pound or Nm scale as you turn the handle clockwise or counterclockwise.

Step 4

Notice the inch/foot pounds and the Newton meter scale are broken into increments. In other words, depending on the torque wrench, the inch/foot pounds may be broken into increments of ten. There is another dial indicator at the top of the handle on the torque wrench that is numbered from 0 to 9. This is to set offset torque settings between the increments. In other words, to set 36 foot-pounds, you turn the handle while holding the shaft until the handle indicator lines up with 30 foot-pounds and then continue to turn the handle until the number 6 on the other dial indicator is set in the middle.

Step 5

Set the torque wrench to the proper torque setting and tighten the nut or bolt until the torque wrench clicks. When it reaches the setting programmed into the wrench, it will collapse -- click -- at that inch-pound, foot-pound or Nm setting.

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