How To Read a Torque Wrench In 2 Easy Methods

A torque wrench is a valuable instrument must-have in your auto repair business. You can use this tool to properly adjust many different types of parts on your car, truck, or SUV. Before using this equipment, ensure you understand how to read a torque wrench.

To read a torque wrench, you must first decide which direction the bolt or nut turns. You may see a red arrow on the wrench to indicate the correct direction. Once you know which way the bolt turns, you can follow the red arrow on the wrench and measures torque.

In this post, I want to teach you how to read a torque wrench. By applying the right technique, you can accurately determine the desired torque value for your engine.

Read Also: Best Budget Torque Wrench

How To Read a Torque Wrench?

Method: 1

Understanding the Numbers on a Beam or Dial Torque Wrench

 To read a torque wrench, you must first decide which direction the bolt or nut turns. You may see a red arrow on the wrench to indicate the correct direction. Once you know which way the bolt or nut turns, you can follow the red arrow on the wrench.

Understanding the Numbers on a Beam or Dial Torque Wrench

When you follow the direction of the red arrow, the tool will show you the exact value of torque that is needed. The torque ranges you want to check are usually indicated on the wrench in numbers or symbols.

The desired torque number indicates the amount of torque needed. For example, a torque value of 1,000 ft lbs means you must tighten the bolt or nut to 1,000 ft/lbs of force. To determine the proper torque, you need to look at the specifications listed on the wrench.

Method: 2

Using Electronic Torque Wrenches

You will need to know the torque value you want to use for a digital read torque wrench. You should measure the torque wrench once you set the digital display setting to the desired value.

For example, a digital-read torque wrench may have a setting of 1,500 ft/lbs. After you have set the settings, the numbers will display on the digital display.

Electronic Torque Wrenches

It would help if you tightened the bolts or nuts to the preset torque value. The numbers displayed indicate the amount of force needed to turn the bolt or nut. It would help to turn the wrench until the desired torque is reached.

Tips For Successfully Reading The Torque Wrench

  • Know the values on the wrench. The amount of torque that you are tightening should be in the thousands of pounds of pressure.
  • Set the wrench to the correct torque setting. The digital-read torque wrenches are designed to measure torque settings in inches-pound units. You should set the wrench to the value that you want to use. For example, if you set the wrench to 15 inch-pound, you should tighten the bolt or lug nuts until you reach 15 inches-pound.
  • Keep track of the figure shown on the digital display. After setting the torque, you should turn the wrench until you reach the correct value. The value on the digital display indicates the amount of torque in the pound-feet required to tighten the bolt or nut. It would be ideal if you tightened the bolt or nut until you reached the value displayed on the digital display.
  • In order to avoid accidents when you are tightening a bolt or nut with a torque wrench, it is important to follow the instruction manual given by the manufacturer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Read Torque Measurements?

Torque is measured in pounds-feet (lbs/ft) and, in turn, converted to Newton-meters (N-m). It can be done using a scale or a torque wrench. However, the scale is inaccurate, and you need to read the data displayed on the wrench. To do so, you need to apply the wrench evenly across the entire nut and then read the data displayed on the scale.

How Do You Read A Twist Torque Wrench?

A twist torque wrench can measure the amount of torque applied to a bolt or nut. It usually has two faces, one that indicates the amount of torque the tool is applying and another that indicates the direction the tool is twisting.

How Do You Set The Torque On A Torque Wrench?

Most torque wrenches have a dial indicator or easy to read scale to tell you how much torque to apply, but you can also use a torque wrench without a dial indicator. These are commonly used with a torque screwdriver; you turn the dial wrench until it gets red, indicating that you’ve reached the set torque level.

What Is Calibration Certificate?

Calibration Certificate for Torque Wrench is a document that is issued by the manufacturer of the tool. These certificates usually certify that the tool has been properly calibrated and maintained, and that its accuracy is within the specified tolerance.

What Do The Figures On A Torque Wrench Mean?

Torque wrenches have different numbers to measure the level of force needed to tighten a bolt. These numbers are usually represented in pounds of torque (lb-ft) on a scale between 1 and 10. These numbers can use to determine the tightening force required for a bolt.

How Much Is 1nm Torque?

1 nm is a measurement of torque used in science to measure the force of a single rotation. In layman’s terms, it measures the strength of the rotation of a single object. Torque is measured in foot pounds and can be expressed in this way: ft-lbs = lb 0.0005 (radians/degree)

How Do You Convert Nm To Ft Lbs Torque?

To convert Nm to ft-lbs torque, divide the Nm by 1.356.

How Tight Is 10Nm?

In simple terms, 10 Nm is the minimum force required to break a thin object (such as a piece of string) when it’s being pulled at a constant speed of 1 m/s. To find the equivalent tensile strength of a material, divide the value by 2.54. For example, a piece of steel has a tensile strength of 100Nm/2.54 = 39.05MPa.

How Do You Read A Newton Meter On A Torque Wrench?

A torque wrench can be read by turning the handle clockwise. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Turn the handle counter-clockwise until you can feel the spring-loaded wheel move forward.
2. Press the dial to the maximum setting and turn the handle clockwise.
3. Let go of the handle when the dial shows the maximum torque value.

How Do You Judge Torque Without A Torque Wrench?

Torque can be easily judged by feeling. You can usually identify a loose bolt by how it moves inside the threaded hole. A loose bolt will move freely when the nut is turned. Tighten the bolt until it feels snug. Turn the nut until the bolt resists being turned further.


In conclusion, there’s no magic solution to reading torque wrenches. It’s a skill that requires a lot of practice. The more experience you gain with reading torque wrenches, the more confident you’ll be in judging the torque of bolts and nuts.

The first step is to learn how to read a torque wrench. Then you can go on to read other types of torque wrenches. If you want to become a really good wrench reader, you may have to read many different types of torque wrenches.

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