How to use a Torque Wrench PROPERLY

Hey guys, ChrisFix here and today I’m gonna show you how to properly use a torque wrench. A torque wrench is used to tighten down nuts and bolts to a specific torque. You should use a torque wrench because you can easily over-tighten nuts and bolts and damage the threads. Or, you could even snap the bolt head right off. Also, if you don’t tighten nuts and bolts enough, they could come loose, which would be very bad. All torque is is a rotational force, or a twisting force and while working on cars, you’ll be rotating a nut or a bolt. And that can be while working on different parts of the car, such as the suspension, the wheels, the brakes, and even while working on the engine. So let me show you how to use a torque wrench All these right here are torque wrenches. We have a 1/2″ drive, we have a 3/8″ drive, and we have a 1/4″ drive. and then here’s the one I use all the time, which is a 1/2″ drive. Now let’s say we want to torque down the lug nuts on a wheel. Most wheels, the lug nuts are tightened to 100 lb-ft of torque. And yes, the right way to say it is “pound-feet” of torque not “foot-pounds” of torque. But, everyone says “foot-pounds” of torque — I even say “foot-pounds” of torque and it’s really not that important how you say it. But anyway, get your click-adjustable torque wrench which is the most common type of torque wrench and what we’re talking about in this video. So, to adjust the torque wrench, the first thing you do is you go down to the end here and you loosen this little knob down here and that allows the handle to freely move back and forth You want to make sure you’re using the correct units in this case we’re using foot-pounds but if we go to the other side of this wrench you can see here there [are] different units because not everybody uses foot-pounds and then what we’re going to do is we’re going to look for 100. So our torque is 100 foot-pounds, you can see right there we have 100 foot-pounds so what we’re going to do is we’re going to rotate this until our 0 right here meets that 100 foot-pound line right there so now we’re going to just turn this handle until that 0 mark lines up with the 100 mark. So right now our 0 is lined up to that one which is 90 foot-pounds We want to get to 100 So that would be 91, 92, 93 96, 97, 98 99, 100 The zero lines up with 100 And we are set to 100 foot-pounds If you wanted to do 99 you just move it one click down and that’s 99, 98 right there. If we want 101 We go 100 and 1 102 102. Once we have it all lined up you’re going to take your locknut back here and then turn it clockwise until it locks this in place, so your torque spec doesn’t change when you’re trying to tighten it down. Then all you do is you get your torque wrench, put your socket on your torque wrench put it on the lug nut you put your hand on the handle part that you were adjusting before and you tighten. And the click means that you’ve reached your desired torque. so you’re done. Move on to the next lug nut that you want to torque down. It’s as simple as it looks, just tighten it until it clicks, and then you’re good to go. Now I know the lug nuts are the correct tightness so I don’t have to worry about damaging the studs or having the wheel fall off. And that’s really all there is to it it’s very simple to do nothing complex at all. As easy as these things are to use, there are a lot of top tips that I can give you. Such as, where do I get my torque specs? How do you take care of these? Where do you store them? What about the calibration? Can I use extensions? And another big question is: where do I get a good torque wrench? So the first top tip I want to cover is, where do I get my torque specs? This is where I get my torque specs from. I buy the service manuals for the cars I own because I know I’m going to work on them. And the service manual tells you the basic steps to repair the part and it gives you the torque specs for the nuts and bolts that you’re going to tighten down. The other method to get a torque spec is to just do a search online. For example, if I’m working on a Trailblazer, and I want to get the axle nut torque spec, I’ll search “2004 trailblazer axle nut torque.” And you can see there are a bunch of relevant results and this guy says 103 lb-ft and he says he’s quoting the service manual. So those are the two methods I use. The next top tip is taking care of your torque wrench so it lasts a long time. Make sure you don’t drop this or impact it hard when you’re turning this, because that could throw off the calibration. Sure, if you drop it once, you know, it’s not gonna mess it up. But if you’re constantly dropping it, or you drop it from really high up, you know, this is probably gonna knock out of calibration. The other thing is, you want to keep this dry and out of places it could get rusty. Most torque wrenches come in a case, so use it. This case protects it from moisture and shock. But before you put it in a case, you want to remember something: inside this torque wrench is a spring, which is under pressure. The more you tighten the torque wrench handle, the more pressure there is on the spring. When you store the torque wrench, you want to store it [at] the lowest setting. So loosen it up all the way, and once you get it all the way loose, tighten it, a little bit past the lowest setting. That’ll keep slight tension on the spring so it’s not completely loose but the spring will be unloaded and it’ll make your wrench stay in calibration a lot longer. Remember, torque wrenches are precision pieces of equipment so treat them that way. The other thing is, you don’t want to use your torque wrench as a breaker bar or as a normal ratchet. Use a breaker bar — that’s why you have breaker bars. These are made to take the strain. You’re going to wear the components in this out if you use it that much. The other thing is don’t be using this as your ratchet to tighten this up all the way tighten it up most of the way with a ratchet first and then once it gets snug then you can use your torque wrench. And then that will just keep your calibration longer and you won’t have to send it in for service. Now, speaking about calibration, when should these torque wrenches be calibrated? On average, torque wrenches should be calibrated at least once a year or every 5,000 clicks. So for most DIYers, once a year is going to work. And now getting your torque wrench calibrated could be kind of expensive It ranges from $25 to $75 depending on who does it plus shipping if you have to ship it out So what I’ll do is I’ll test my torque wrench to see if it’s in spec and I’ll show you that in a different video but you can actually do that yourself so you’re not shipping this out and spending a lot of money especially if you don’t use it that often. Now another top tip I have is using extensions. A lot of people are like, “Oh, you can’t use extensions with torque wrenches because then the torque won’t be exact.” And, well, that’s not completely true. You want to try to use thicker extensions. You can see these are 3/8″ extensions so they’re more likely to have a little bit of twist to them. But these 1/2″ extensions take a lot of force to twist. You have to realize, when you’re working on cars, sometimes you have to use extensions just to get to the nut or bolt. Now, the extensions that you shouldn’t be using when you’re torquing stuff are universal joint extensions that have a lot of play in them and also wobble adapters, or wobble sockets which have a lot of play in them. because this will mess up your torque reading and torque spec. The final thing I want to cover is what torque wrench should you get? Well, there’s two different things you have to look at the first thing, you need to figure out what drive torque wrench you want. And the drive is what size the stud is. So here we have 1/4″ drive, here we have 3/8″ drive, and here we have 1/2″ drive. So if your socket says 3/8, you might consider getting a 3/8. But that’s not the only thing to think about. The other thing you have to think about is what torque spec you’re going to typically torque down your nuts and bolts to. So the 1/4″ drive uses inch-pounds which is for tightening smaller nuts and bolts I typically don’t use this. And then we have the 3/8″ drive and the 1/2″ drive The 1/2″ drive goes from 20 to 150 ft-lb which is the range that I like, this is what I use most of the time. And the 3/8″ drive goes from 10 to 80 ft-lb, which is a decent range but a lot of times, especially [like when] we just did the lug nuts we won’t be able to use this. So once you figure out what size drive you want, and what torque range you’re going to be using the most, you want to figure out what price range you’re in. The more expensive wrenches like SnapOn are definitely better but you can get a decent, inexpensive wrench. This is inexpensive, and I’ve had it for a few years now, it’s what I use in all my videos No need to break the bank 1/2″ drive 20 to 150 ft-lb and it’s what I recommend to everybody. I’ll leave a link in the description to a torque wrench that is a good price and is really good quality for the price. It’s not gonna break the bank, you’ll be able to buy it yourself, and use it at home, it’s good for all the DIYers, home mechanics, but those are things that you have to think about. So now you should know everything you need to know about torque wrenches! Hopefully the video was helpful! If it was, remember to give a thumbs-up. If you’re not subscribed, consider subscribing!

100 comments on “How to use a Torque Wrench PROPERLY”

  1. Mike Miller says:

    the wrench you are using is cheap and nasty

  2. stfugeek2 says:

    Just curious here. The link to the torque wrench (Tekton 1/2" – up to 150ft-lb, etc) on Amazon cost $38, but you pay around $75 each time you get it calibrated? Why not just buy a new t-wrench each time?

  3. tom42n says:

    Nice one, straight forward and well described.

  4. Sacatolas Moreira says:


  5. Nawaj Khan says:

    My problem tere naam

  6. Fabian Gomezjr says:

    Perfect explain video thx bro blessings

  7. Brendon Boyer says:

    I love you

  8. Mohamad Faizal says:

    i like you videos very much…very helpful…👍👍👍👍👍 i will always support you bro….!!!

  9. Eyez On Me says:

    Why dont you do a Q&A?

  10. Franklin Valdez says:

    Awesome video

  11. Michael Stevenson says:

    That wasn’t 100

  12. THE GARAGE says:

    I work on cars myself but I can not do more video because of my full time job. but man I really love your energy keep up the good work to help People save money on cars repair. God bless

  13. SanityOne says:

    Couple of things.
    1. Using extensions on a torque wrench does not affect applied toque, since rotation is slow and constant. (As long as the extension is perpendicular to the torque wrench)
    2. Always adjust up to your desired setting. If you pass your desired setting, go back below it and then come up to it.
    3. Make sure that the device you are torquing is moving when the torque wrench clicks…otherwise the device is already beyond the desired torque.
    4. Never us a torque wrench counter clockwise, unless it's designed to be used in that direction.
    5. The calibration interval on some torque wrenches is up to 3 years…depending on their design…some way less. Contact your manufacturer for the calibration interval for your tool.

    Note: The correct toque is applied when the torque wrench clicks…not clicks plus another inch or two. Stop at the click.

    How do I know? I worked in a calibration lab for many years. One of my jobs was testing and repairing torque wrenches of all sizes, types, and ranges. I also worked in industrial instrumentation and physical measurements where one of my jobs was testing industrial torque measuring devices.

  14. Donald Thompson says:


  15. Having Fun says:

    Kids toys, my most used wrench is 3/4” drive 100-600 ft/lbs and often use 1” drive 200-1000 as I torqued wheel nuts on underground haul trucks to 740 ft/lbs

  16. Nicholas Hudson says:

    @chrisfix still waiting years on that calibration video.

  17. 60sMark909 says:

    Chris, when are you going to, wha , wha ,wha…..

  18. uKnow says:

    His voice annoys the hell out of me 🙁

  19. Azhar Aurang Zeb says:


  20. kps gil says:

    Thank you!

  21. Anti-theist says:

    The most important thing is to slack off the nut and then tighten to torque setting. Just putting it on and waiting for click is not correct because the wrench has to overcome friction which can be greater than the torque setting. You didn't mention that because you are not an engineer.

  22. Matt Arnold says:

    4:24 – You're daaaamn right!

  23. Jay Smith says:

    Calibrate torque wrench to 50 lbs/foot. 1. Set torque wrench to 50 foot lbs 2. Put torque wrench on lug nut so that the torque wrench is level to ground. 3. Hang 50 lbs from the torque wrench exactly one foot from the lug nut: 45lbs no click, 55lbs click = all is good. Can also use a vice, wall, engine stand etc.

  24. Sheldon Kalas says:

    I Don’t need Torque Wrench I’ve got my Hands.

  25. Cleetus MacFarland says:

    so much for free shipping, $50.21 for the wrench and $60 for shipping estimated delivery mid oct ): guess I'll be getting the one on sale at CTC (this is about amazon not Chris)

  26. Mang Baite says:

    Chris, plis vlogg on EPS problem .

  27. sandy7m says:

    Common mistake with click style torque wrench is to very slowly apply the torque just before the click. ROT is to apply the final torque at a bit faster rate than the second hand moves around an analogue clock. Do not jerk the wrench to get that final torque applied either.

  28. Dan Lo Fat says:

    Chris is it safe to use a torque wrench to loosen and then rhetoric I know you said don't use it as a wrench but just as a quick, can you use a torque wrench in reverse not that it would read or tell you anything but just wondering just like a little bit of a back off in case my mechanic airgunned aluminum wheels to 120 and they're only supposed to be 75, etc?

    1997 Toyota Avalon, usually aluminum 15-inch wheels my spare is a steel wheel and that takes 90 or a hundred I forget which.

  29. Dan Lo Fat says:

    Chris does anyone make it for Christ where you can pull it reverse to see how tight something was made and then does like a clicker a pop or just starts loosening it to readjust.

    like some kind of a ranch maybe digital where I pulled back on something to see how tight it was before it starts to loosen? I've seen videos of such a wrench but I can't remember who sells them I know they would be a little bit more expensive and I know there are one or called reversible torque wrenches, is that what I'm looking for either mechanical or digital? my budget is about $120 on harbor freight if you know what I'm saying.

  30. Squidiot says:

    Great job showing and explaining

  31. Julie Poirier says:

    Excellent video Chris thank you. I lost a wheel on my travel trailer on the highway from Dealer's over-torque. I do my wheels myself now with a Snap-On TW, yes,, expensive but fun to use. Some guys have a calibration check in their truck but I would like to see your promised video on; How to Check Torque Wrench Calibration : -0),

  32. ANDY WAN says:

    What if I wanted to torque to 174 ftpounds?

  33. MentalWarFare says:

    I brought a TWrench 193.$$ 1/2 25/250 lbs ft. I think I’m a bit nuts but at least I got a gooder one🤨

  34. Logan O'Hartigan says:

    The hell is a hunret? That some sort of Canadian measurement?

  35. Gary Mittelstadt says:

    So if ft lbs isn't the correct way to say it, then why is every torque wrench I've ever seen have "ft lbs" engraved on the scale/meter/setting? And why did I not here the term lb ft until I was 60 years old (ie recently)? And why was it ft lbs when using it in college physics courses? I think it's someone's idea of being fashionable like saying "impordant" or "di-int". To hell with fashion. I'll continue saying ft lbs and wearing white socks.

  36. Don Lew says:

    Where is the "snug" setting on my torque wrench? I must have bought a cheap one…

  37. Lakota Pride says:

    🙏 mr Chris for your help

  38. Ray Hai says:

    The 3/8" goes from 5 to 80ft-lbs 😉

  39. Semper Fi says:

    It even says foot pounds on the torque wrench.

  40. Adam K says:

    I like how you start of with, and yes it is called Pound Feet of torque, then you point to the torque wrench that lists Foot Pound.

  41. Ben Dover says:

    wheres the torque wrench calibration video ????????

  42. 1967AJB says:

    The correct measurement of torque is the Newton Metre, drag yourself out of the steam-age!

  43. Machinist64 says:

    3:26 was pretty funny.

  44. Stromberg97 says:

    You don't need all that if you have a calibrated elbow…

  45. John McDonald says:

    Still waiting for calibration video since 4 years

  46. Shifting gears says:

    What brand torque wrenches are they?

  47. harry berry says:

    The torque wrench you said you have is $38 (per link you provided) and you say to get calibrated it's between $25 and $75 do you actually get your $38 torque wrench calibrated…doubtful. For the cost of calibration (including shipping) you might as well buy another

  48. Francisco Lewis says:

    Thank you very helpful in all areas

  49. jake lee says:

    pound feet and foot pound are the same unit of measurement.

  50. James Mcrory says:

    I wouldn’t bother with the calibration
    You can get a good torque wrench for £30
    So once it’s done just buy a new one, probably a lot cheaper than sending it in to be calibrated

  51. sal mora says:

    Mine doesn't go all the way to 100

  52. 120 POUND SOUND says:

    "I've got 99 problems and lbs-feet ain't one"

  53. Felix Reiter says:

    I didn't know I had to recalibrate my torque wrench. Been using it for 10+ years without and none of my wheels came off yet, maybe I'm just lucky

  54. Gus Mason says:

    Excellent video, Chris…

  55. Tony Conrad says:

    Thank you for that. I didn't have a clue. Now I have to find out what the torque is for my wheels.

  56. rockers 512 says:

    You are the best carry on doing what you doing don't let any one stop you

  57. rockers 512 says:

    My son loves you you are his inspiration he loves watching you and he comes up to me saying "daddy did you know" an then something he learn .you are the best

  58. Tim Liu says:

    thanks for info!!!!!!!!

  59. Jon Mantooth says:

    lol I was setting my lbs to the top 100 line

  60. Jesus is KING says:

    Never use an extension on torquing

  61. M.kara Manager says:

    Hello ,

    I Have a question and hope you can help .
    I have to torque a sway bar links with 40 f.pound but my torque wrench start from 50 f.pound .
    Can I torque it 50fp instead of 40 ?

  62. Movement. says:

    you are a good teacher. thank you.

  63. Cypher791 says:

    Well i know this is an older video now but its still helping people, i got a torque wrench and rotated my wheels today.. Thanks >_>

  64. Richard Moreno says:

    Thank you Chris fix I didn't know how to read my torque wrench and I've had it for about a year now your video was very easy to understand keep up the Great learning videos

  65. jay v says:

    Well demonstrated and explained. Good video overall. You got yourself a new subscriber 🤙🏼

  66. Sralaine 007 o-007 says:

    Thank you for showing me the Right way to do it Right…….👍💪

  67. A. Jennings says:

    You are incorrect. It does matter how you say it. The terms Ft Lbs and Lb Ft do not mean the the same thing. They are not interchangeable. They measure two different things. With reference to torque wrench settings. Ft Lbs is correct. It even says "Foot Pounds" on the wrench's settings.

  68. yooneunhye sarang says:

    Simple explanation that even my dumb boyfriend understand.

  69. Manny Chacon says:

    Wow Chris, u become my favorite YouTube video, Hey can you do a video like on diesel trucks ? Like changing tie rods on a Ford F-250 stuff like that? God bless

  70. Roberto Reyes says:

    Why does the torque wrench itself say foot pounds. 1:21. Isn’t it supposed to be a precision tool. Shouldn’t it say pound feet instead. Saying pound feet uses less letters so one could not argue that it would not fit.

  71. Rhaspun says:

    I see many people double clicking with their torque wrenches. Is that good to do? But I've also seen comments from aviation repair techs who are trained to torque it down to the one click and that's it. I've been torquing to one click over the decades. I never thought about re-torquing to get a second click until I saw it on You Tube. Are both ways correct?

  72. Kenneth Wayne says:

    Thank you for this video

  73. MrHT25 says:

    Hi Chris. What about digital ones ???

  74. ted hall says:

    You did a lot of unnecessary talking but left out a few very important details.

  75. Jeffrey Reicher says:

    Is it acceptable to use an 3/8 to 1/2 inch adapter with a torque wrench, rather than purchasing 2 torque wrenches?

  76. Valentin Corona says:

    Instructions not clear torque wrench stuck in rance bottle

  77. RH 0703 says:

    Thanks a lot for uploading this video. For so long I have been asking myself how to use this thing. Now, my problem solved. Thanks Chris!

  78. Leland Gaunt says:

    In New Orleans these are called “twerk wrenches.”


    Christ is one the simplest and important video.

  80. flavtro says:

    You got that Harbor freight tools lol
    Me too

  81. James says:

    Almost all hondas are 80 or 94. Most Toyotas and lexus are 76. Newer mazdas are 108

  82. CinematicTouch Productions says:

    So why when I get a flat fixed they don't use that tork wrench to spec the lug nuts?

  83. David Guilbault says:

    Excellent. Thank you. Very helpful.

  84. Josh P says:

    If torquing bolts in a pattern do you do say 20lbs-ft on each one then another 30 on each to get to 50 total? Or do you go 20lb-ft on each one then 50lb-ft on each one for 50lb-ft total? That part always got me. Say if your doing a cylinder head.

  85. stm666 says:

    Foot pound of torque is wrong, it should be foot pound-force of torque. Pound is a unit of mass, not force, so you need to multiply by the gravitational constant. Or you know, use newton meter.

  86. Dan Sibayo says:

    Very clear explanation for setting the torque. I like it.

  87. Scott Muas says:

    Ah… you taught me something new today, chris! Thank you very much…. I love your channel, man!

  88. 7033Joe says:

    Wife: "Honey, did you tighten the wheels 100 pound feet of torque?"

    Husband: "…I tightened it 100 foot pounds."

    *wheel flies off*

  89. Frank Sz says:

    Guys, don't get the one in the link. Get a better one. I purchased one and managed to over tighten a balljoint, the torque wrench never clicked at the set foot-pounds, it applied maximum torque. Returned it they sent another, tried it, also didn't work. At this point I wanted my money back Their quality is horrible. Get something that may cost 2x much but at least works. If you read the reviews on amazon, this thing is a turd, not sure how they maintain a 4-1/2 ratings when every 2nd review is a 1 or 2 star. The return rate is high.

  90. Kyle Van Beek says:

    good detailed video. wow 5.69 m subs good for you!! thats amazing

  91. Justin Vicars says:

    I bought a tekton inch lb torque wrench on Amazon and it was defective. Couldn't get any click on any range. I have heard good things about their products but I guess their quality control isn't perfect.

  92. Charles Lastname says:

    Niiice, a B2000? Don't think I've seen one of those in person yet .

  93. Itnecap says:

    "Not everyone use foot-pounds"
    Literally ALL the rest of the world: "Excuse me wtf?"

    Get the metric guys 😉

  94. HEXER 90706ER says:

    thanks for the video real helpful

  95. Henry Elicker says:

    Lol where the Newton-meters folks at

  96. Alpha Wolf says:

    Is that a Duralast Toque Wrench wrench?? I had one and that screw that holds the spring doesn't tighten any more, so yesterday I went with a craftsmen

  97. Shawn H says:

    Can adapters be used with a torque wrench? Like a 1/4 to 3/8, or 3/8 to 1/2? Would save from buying multiple torque wrenches

  98. al birdie says:

    dude, the world use metric system, so Nm

  99. I'm Lee says:

    when do you show the video you put the turbo in the car?

  100. Mytwistedvoices says:

    4 years Chris… how do we check torque wrenches at home?

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