The hydraulic torque wrench is one tool you don’t want to be without in home improvement projects. The wrench exerts high force through a powerful twisting motion when applied onto a work piece. It also has clamping ability which is useful in securing fasteners. This high power device is sure to increase efficiency in a host of domestic projects. It isn’t difficult to use a torque wrench. However, it helps if you practice certain safety measures. Below are 7 safety tips.
1. Exercise the Torque Wrench before Use
Check the wrench carefully before each use. Make sure all components are securely in place. You need to exercise your wrench prior to usage. This should be done not less than three times at full scale level. It will help you determine if movable components run in the correct direction. It also puts the tool in a balanced state which assures you of higher efficiency when working.
2. Handling the Torque
Proper handling is essential to job efficiency and personal safety. Firmly grasp the handle in the middle. Avoid gripping the hoses or any other connections. The torque wrench is designed for hands-free usage. However, you may hold it occasionally to regulate during operation. Keep your hands away from the boot or reaction bar. Maintain a steady pace as you approach the final torque. Refrain from pulling the wrench once you’ve achieved your desired torque level. When applying final torque, use a pulling motion and avoid pushing.
3. Correct Sockets
Make sure sockets are in good condition. Sockets that are cracked or show other signs of wear and tear should not be used. Socket sizes should be capable of holding the nuts well. Sockets which are too small or too large for the nuts will hinder proper working. It is best to remain a good distance away from sockets during use. This increases your safety in the event that sockets malfunction and break.
Always use your torque wrench within the calibration range specified. To exceed the specified limits will subject you to danger. It may also damage your tool. Should you drop your wrench at any time, it is best to have it re-calibrated. It is also a good practice to maintain a regular re-calibration schedule. Take your wrench to a calibration lab once a year or after each 5,000 cycles completed.
5. Cheater Bars
It is not a good idea to use a cheater bar to gain more leverage. Cheater bars will not give you accurate readings as you work. They also increase the likelihood of damage to your tool.
The wrench capacity to be used is generally determined by the intended job. However, as a safe practice, it is best to use the wrench at the mid-point level of overall capacity. This will ensure you work in a comfortable setting. It also adds to the durability of the tool.
7. Dress Appropriately
Wear safety goggles when working with a hydraulic torque wrench. It will protect your eyes from the impact of flying particles. Keep your hair securely away from your face. All cloth parts should be tucked in place. Hanging clothes can easily get entangled in the machine. It is best not to wear jewelry while working with a torque wrench.