How to Use a Snap On Torque Wrench

What You'll Need
Snap-on torque wrench
Item to be screwed

One of the many things that any car mechanic needs to know how to use is the Snap On torque wrench. These wrenches are vital if you want to determine how much you should tighten something, as you can set it to tighten only to a certain degree. Other wrenches may tighten, but they won't stop when the item is tight enough, so the Snap-On torque wrench is a vital piece of equipment. It can also measure how tight something is before you remove it, again very useful if you need to work on something quickly.

Step 1 - Set the Torque Wrench

On the side of the wrench, you will see that the handle has a dial, which looks rather like the pressure gauge of your tire pump. This dial shows how much you need to tighten something. Youcan adjust the amount of pressure that the wrench needs to use by moving the dial from side to side. This changes the amount of force that the wrench will use.

Step 2 - Examine Your Bolt or Nut

Before you can confirm the figure that you need to set on your torque wrench, you need to examine the nut or bolt that you wish to screw or unscrew. If you are using the Snap On torque wrench on a car, then the simplest method of doing this is to check in the manual for the manufacturer's recommended limits. This will give you the correct tension to use when placing the nut on or off of the car.

Step 3 - Correct the Dial

Once you know how much torque you need on the wrench, move it in or out as required. Ensure that the torque wrench is speaking the same language by checking the units along the side. You may find that you are trying to use one unit of force when the dial actually uses the other, so be clear whether you are turning the dial according to the metric system or the US system before you place the wrench on the bolt.

Step 4 - Find the Correct Socket Head

Before you can snap the torque wrench onto the screw, you need to ensure that you have the correct socket head for your bolt. Once you have found the socket, you can place this over the bolt. It should snap on or off the bolt rather like the top of an oil can lid, so if you are having trouble fitting the socket, you may need to change for another one. When you have snapped the wrench onto the bolt, start tightening the bolt using smooth, even strokes. Once you have reached the right amount of tightness for the bolt or screw, then your wrench will feel like it snaps off the nut. This is the wrench releasing the bolt.