How to Set a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds? – Advantages, Disadvantages & Tips

If it feels like every time you’re ready to turn a nut or bolt with your torque wrench, it’s set in metric units instead of inch-pounds – you’re not alone! But don’t worry, today I’m going to show you how to quickly and easily switch between metric and inch-pounds on your torque wrench. So grab your gear and let’s get started!

Knowing how to set a torque wrench is important for those who need precision adjustments on components, fasteners and parts. Torque wrenches are used to tighten fasteners to specific values in order to reduce the risk of a component failing, or a fastener losing its hold, and allow for repeatable applications if needed. This guide will show you how to set a torque wrench in inch-pounds, allowing you to make precise adjustments every time.

Being able to correctly adjust your torque wrench is key to properly tightening fasteners, as it allows you to select the desired inch pound level that corresponds with the needs of the component or system being worked on. Setting up the wrench is relatively simple and requires only a few easy steps that can be completed quickly and easily with minimal effort. Follow this guide in order ensure accurate settings each time you use your tool:

  1. Check the torque wrench for any signs of damage or wear
  2. Set the desired inch/pound level on the torque wrench
  3. Check for accuracy
  4. Check the torque wrench for correct operation
  5. Ensure it has proper calibration

What to Know About Torque Wrench?

Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is a precision measuring tool used to apply a specific amount of rotational force or torque to an object. It is commonly used in automotive, engineering, and construction applications where accurate fastening is important.

Torque wrenches come in several different varieties and sizes, but all are designed to apply a specific amount of force within certain tolerances.

For instance, when installing a bolt or securing something with nuts and bolts the process may require setting a specific amount of torque. A common range for most household bolts is 5 to 25 inch-pounds (in-lbs). A typical torque wrench have measures in inch-pound units and foot-pounds (ft-lbs) as well as Newton meters (Nm). Depending on the manufacturer, the range may start at as low as 1 in-lb or go up to 100s of foot-pounds. It is important that you select the right size and capacity for the job you are performing.

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How to Set It?

How to Set a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds - Advantages, Disadvantages

Getting the correct inch-pounds when setting a torque wrench is essential when performing certain types of maintenance or repairs. If you do not get the right amount of torque on a bolt or nut, you could risk over- or under-tightening it, leading to potential problems in the performance and reliability of your vehicle.

The first step for setting your torque wrench is to adjust the ratchet head to “loosen” so you don’t have to fight back against it while making adjustments. Once that is properly set, look for a small indicator scale near the base of the handle and line up the indicator with the appropriate number on that scale corresponding to what inch-pounds of pressure you need to apply (most likely indicated in an instruction manual).

You will then be able to tighten your wrench all the way until it clicks just until that pressure is reached and no more. Make sure not to go past this point as any further upward pressure will damage both parts connected by over-tightening them too much! Some wrenches come with a digital readout that can tell you exactly how much force has been applied, so keeping an eye on this while adjusting can also be helpful in ensuring accuracy.

Once done, reset your wrench back to its original “loosen” position before using it again.

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Setting a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds

Setting a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds

Accurately setting a torque wrench in inch-pounds is important in many different applications, from automotive repair to working on a bicycle. While most modern torque wrenches are designed to be easy to use and understand, there are some steps that must be taken in order for the wrench to provide accurate readings and ensure optimal performance. Follow the steps below for properly setting a torque wrench in inch pounds.

1. Set the scale:

The first step is finding the correct settings for your torque wrench. To do this, turn the knob or twist the dial on your wrench until it reaches the desired measurement on its scale. Generally, this scale should show two units – foot-pounds (ft-lb) or inch-pounds (in.-lb).

Make sure you select the right unit of measure first!

2. Test accuracy:

Once you’ve chosen your desired setting, it’s important to test its accuracy by tightening a fastener down by hand and then checking with your torque wrench if it’s within an acceptable range of pressure.

To make sure that nothing is wrong with your settings, double check them regularly and/or recalibrate if necessary.

3. Monitor progress:

As you increase or decrease a tightening pressure on various fasteners, move along with reading from left to right on your scale using either foot pounds (ft-lbs.) or inch pounds (in.-lbs.). This will allow you to monitor better progress and help keep consistent readings at any pressure.

Keep in mind your goal of reaching a specific amount of force so you don’t over tighten anything!

4. Avoid shock:

When finished turning something like nuts or bolts try not to shock stop suddenly while turning them with your torque wrench as this can cause damage over time because of continued stress put onto both tool and fastener which could lead to incorrect readings being given by your device after each application time used!

Make sure that when using any type of power tool like wrenches not too end up putting too much force through them otherwise they could break easily during usage if too much friction is applied when trying to reach targeting goals each time working on projects around home environment.

Advantages of Setting a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds

Advantages of Setting a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds

When working with fasteners such as screws or nuts, using a torque wrench is important to ensure that the fastener is tightened securely and accurately. The most common method when using a torque wrench is to set it in foot-pounds. However, there can be advantages to setting the torque wrench in inch-pounds instead.

The main advantage of setting a torque wrench in inch-pounds rather than foot-pounds lies in the precision of the readings obtained. For instance, if you need to tighten a certain bolt to 18 ft-lbs, there may not be an exact setting on your torque wrench; however, if you set it in inch-pounds and convert 18 ft-lbs into 216 in-lb., you may get a closer reading on your torque wrench. Thus helping ensure more accurate tightening of fasteners.

Inch pound units also allow for fine adjustments when using a low range dial adjustable or click type torque wrench which gives greater control over lower range settings when compared to foot pounds measurement. This can be especially helpful when dealing with smaller fasteners where approximate measurements such as 3/4 inch or even 1/4 inch may come into play which cannot be measured precisely when working with foot-pounds measurements alone.

Thus setting your torque wrench in inch pounds could reduce user error more than simply relying upon tool markings made for foot pounds readings only and make sure that the force applied on the fastener is correctly calibrated with higher accuracy.

Disadvantages of Setting a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds

Disadvantages of Setting a Torque Wrench in Inch Pounds

When setting a torque wrench in inch pounds, you must exercise caution as there are certain drawbacks that come along with this method.

One of the primary disadvantages of setting a torque wrench in inch pounds is that it only provides an approximate reading, rather than an exact one. This means that the amount of torque applied to the bolt may not be accurate. As a result, an overly tightened bolt may become damaged and need to be replaced or an overly loose bolt could lead to connections coming loose, potentially posing a safety hazard.

Additionally, another disadvantage is that since inch pounds can be difficult to read accurately from a dial indicator on many types of torque wrenches, calibrating and adjusting the instrument can be especially tricky. Without proper calibration and maintenance for each use, it is likely that your readings will not be accurate.

Furthermore, because inch pounds readings tend to span such a wide range compared to other units of measurement like foot-pounds or Newton meters – readings can vary by several thousand units due to even small adjustments. As such, when using this type of unit it is important to ensure consistent readings when taking them multiple times on different bolts or connections in order to ensure accuracy and prevent potential hazards from arising as a result.

Tips for Using a Torque Wrench

When using a torque wrench, it is important to understand the range of settings on the wrench to ensure that the appropriate torque value is set. Also, proper calibration and storage of the wrench should be done in order to maintain accuracy and prevent damage.

Before use, you should make sure that both mechanisms on your torque wrench are in place and tightened securely. Then, check to make sure that the wrench is properly calibrated before setting it for inch-pounds.

To accurately set a torque wrench for inch-pounds, place the handle against the scale at an angle such that all scale graduations are visible. Rotate one graduation at a time until you have reached your desired value of inch-pounds (for example, 10 inch-pounds). Repeat this process if additional calibrations are necessary.

Torque wrenches need to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment as they can become damaged when subjected to extreme temperatures or rapid changes in temperature. Periodic testing and recalibration should also be done periodically to maintain accuracy and usability. By following these tips and using good judgment when using your torque wrench, you will ensure accuracy with each application and promote longevity of use.

A Torque wrench can be a helpful tool when your having problems with a car jerking when accelerating.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the proper way to set a torque wrench in inch pounds?

To set a torque wrench in inch pounds, start by setting the desired torque value on the torque wrench dial. Then, make sure the torque wrench is in the unlocked position and hold the tool firmly. Finally, press the handle against a firm surface and turn the locking collar clockwise until it is securely locked in place.

2. How do I know if my torque wrench is set correctly?

How do I know if my torque wrench is set correctly

To ensure that the torque wrench is set correctly, check the torque value dial to make sure it matches the desired torque setting. Additionally, if the torque wrench has a spring-loaded indicator, make sure it is in the middle of the range.

3. How often should I calibrate my torque wrench?

Most torque wrenches should be calibrated at least once a year. Additionally, if the torque wrench is used frequently, it should be calibrated more often.


When setting a torque wrench, it’s important to remember that the torque should be as precise as possible. By properly calibrating your tool with an inch-pound torque wrench, you will achieve accurate measurements that will ensure optimal performance and safety of your tools.

To do this, use a digital torque tester or spoke wheel to adjust the torque scale until it reads zero when the handle is in its closed position. Then, set the desired level using a calibrated inch-pound torque wrench or another easily readable chart.

Finally, when using the tool for tightening bolts and nuts, measure tension levels periodically throughout the process to ensure maximum accuracy and safety. As with any device used when tightening fasteners, be sure to adhere to all instructions on proper usage of your particular tool in order to create a safe working environment and obtain reliable performance results.

Finally, always store your tools safely and replace them if they show signs of wear or malfunctioning in order to ensure optimal performance of each job you perform:

  • Store tools safely.
  • Replace tools if they show signs of wear or malfunctioning.