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How to Set a Torque Wrench Foot Pounds

How to Set a Torque Wrench Foot Pounds

A torque wrench is must-have tool for mechanics or DIY enthusiasts because it lets them tighten nuts/bolts with just the correct amount of torque that the components require.  It’s also a handy tool for many applications, such as home repairs and industrial uses.

However, you need to figure out how to set the torque wrench in foot-pounds, the basic measurement of torque force.  For help, check out the following.

How to Set a Torque Wrench Foot Pounds

Setting a Torque Wrench Foot-Pound

Look on the handle of the torque wrench (e.g. the click type).  Check the two settings found side by side.  One for the foot-pound/inch-pound and one for the Newton meter.  Do the following steps.

  1. Check the tightening requirements of your bolt or nut. If working with large bolts or lug nuts you need them measured in foot-pounds.
  2. Adjust the torque specification. Turn the handle while keeping your hands on the shaft. Check the dial indicator moving up or down as you’re turning the handle counterclockwise or clockwise.
  3. To set, notice the foot or inch pounds and the Nm scale represented into increments, such as by tens. At the top of the handle, check on another dial indicator represented by 0 to 9. It’s what you’ll use to set the offset settings of the tool between the increments. So if you’re looking to get 36 ft lbs, rotate the handle until the indicator is adjusted with 36 ft lbs.  Keep turning until you get the number six found on the other indicator, ands it must be in the middle.

Now, adjust the tool to the correct setting before tightening your bolt or nut until it clicks. Once it achieved the programmed setting, the tool will make an audible sound, a “click.”

How to Set a Torque Wrench Foot Pounds

Getting the Right Torque Force

With too loose nuts, you’ll run the risk of them slipping off while on the road. If too tight, you might encounter the problem of damaging the metal and struggle the next time you’d need to unstuck it again.

Follow the maker’s instructions

Every car manufacturer specifies the correct tightening level or the torque indicated in foot-pounds, and it applies to each fastener of your vehicle.  [Torque is the rotational force applied to a nut or around a point.]


Apply one-foot long wrench on a nut and then put 10lbs of force to the other end. In this case, you’re applying 10 ft lb in twisting the nut. It means the distance x force or in another term 1 ft x 10 lbs.

On the other hand,  if using a 2ft long wrench and applying 50 lbs force, you’ll get 100 ft lbs, which are almost as along as many types of lug wrenches as well as almost  the same  force as many types of elbows are cranking on.

How to Set a Torque Wrench Foot Pounds

Use the correct tightness for the fastener

While you might be relying on a properly calibrated elbow when tightening things, you should take note of the correct tightness that the fastener you’re working on is falling within a narrow range.

If not, fastening it too loose might lead to the bolt or nut unscrewing constantly while driving.  In addition,   the O-ring fitting clamped by a certain bolt might leak.

If you’re using too tight fastener,   you might run into the danger of having your car’s bolted-together components compressed, damaged or bent.   Also,   your bolt shank might also break, or in other cases, the threads are going to strip, delivering zero clamping force.

Simple Conversion Factors

The following are simple conversion factors that you might want to refer to for accurate torque applications per application and according to the manufacturer’s torque specification requirements.

  • 1 ft lb = 12 in lbs
  • 1 Nm = 0.7375 ft lbs
  • 1 in lb = 0.1129 Nm
  • 1 ft lb = 1.3555 Nm

How to Set a Torque Wrench Foot Pounds

What to Know about Torque Corrections

You should hold the tool using the handgrip, one of the ways to use it correctly.  The action can be a pull or a push on the handle’s part only. Now if the handgrip comes with a pivot point, you must hold the tool’s handle in order to balance the load over the pivot point.

Most torque wrenches are used with a socket wrench, which won’t alter the reading you’ll get. However, pay attention of keeping the extension straight to what you’re tightening.

Another thing to remember if you’re using a crowfoot open end wrench on your torque wrench, you should position the prior correctly so it would be aligned at 90 degrees to the handle of the tool.

In this way, you can minimize change in leverage that would alter the accuracy of the reading you’ll receive. Now if you’re positioning the crowfoot straight with your tool’s handle, this action is going to extend its length, increasing the leverage slightly.

As a result, you will also get a higher torque reading over what the tool is indicating.  The difference it could make is between four to five perfect based on your tool’s length.

When this happens, you should try to reduce the torque amount applied by a corresponding amount to four to five percent.

There you have what to know about the proper setting of torque wrench to foot-pounds along with information on simple conversion factors and torque corrections that would come in handy per application for which you’re using your torque wrench. – From – Latest News, Reviews and Guides for Every Tool Guy