How to Store Torque Wrenches to Increase Their Longevity
If you’ve spent a bunch of money on a shiny new torque wrench, you might be concerned about its longevity. After all, torque wrenches have intricate machinery inside them that can get damaged if it’s not handled properly. You might end up wondering how to store torque wrenches properly so that they last for a long time.
We have all of the answers for you. You need to have proper knowledge of how to set up a torque wrench and how to actually use it. Once you’re past that, you need to know the proper ways to store it once you’re done using it. This will directly affect how long your wrench stays calibrated and works properly.
To that end, we have curated a step-by-step guide on the proper storage of your wrench. We also included a few tips that you should always keep in mind when handling a torque wrench.
How to Store Torque Wrenches Properly
Once you’re done using any tool, it feels natural to toss it into your handy toolbox and call it a day. While that may work for simpler tools like pliers and hammers, you should never do that with your torque wrench.
After you’re done dealing some torque to those bolts, take a moment to appreciate the convenience of the tool you have in hand, and give this guide a read. Let’s take you through the proper storing method of your torque wrench.
Clean the Wrench
If you were working on a long project, chances are that your tools both need a good cleaning. All the dust, grime, and grease on your tools can end up damaging them or rusting them in the long run.
A good cleaning is especially important for a torque wrench. Any accumulating grime can damage the internal mechanism of the wrench, leading to a loss in accuracy.
Before you store your wrench, give it a good rub and wipe any dirt or moisture off of it.
Unload the Wrench
If you were using the wrench with the torque set to a high value, then it’s important to unload it before storing it.
Most types of torque wrenches, like click-type torque wrenches, have a spring mechanism inside them. Having it sustain constant spring compression for a long period of time can permanently damage it.
When unloading the wrench, make sure not to set the torque to zero. Instead, set it to the lowest setting allowed by the wrench.
If your wrench is in regular or daily use, then you can skip this step entirely. If you plan to put it in long-term storage, then unloading it and setting the torque to the lowest value will undoubtedly increase the longevity of the tool.
Store It in Its Original Casing
Once you’re done with cleaning and unloading the wrench, then the ideal place to store it is in its original casing that it came inside.
This casing will keep the wrench secure and prevent any physical damage befalling it. Additionally, the casing will also keep any dust, moisture, and chemicals from entering it.
Temperature and Humidity
Even after you place your wrench inside your casing, it’s important to pick a storage location that is free from moisture. Your wrench’s worst enemy is moisture, as it can lead to corrosion of the important metallic components inside the handle of the wrench.
You also need to watch out for excessively high or low storing temperatures. If there is direct sunlight falling on your storage spot, then you should change it pronto.
The importance of picking the right spot to place your torque wrench couldn’t be emphasized more. Avoid any places where children could grab your wrench and misplace it. If someone accidentally drops the wrench, they could permanently damage the torque mechanism, not to mention any collateral damage that the dropping wrench may cause.
Tips on Using a Torque Wrench
Whether you’re a novice to using torque wrenches or an expert, abiding by these rules will always be beneficial for your tool.
Never Use a Torque Wrench as a Breaker Bar
To a new person, the basic functions of a torque wrench and a breaker bar may seem similar and interchangeable, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
A torque wrench is a more sophisticated piece of equipment that is used for tightening bolts that have a maximum torque limit. Torque wrench handles have complicated equipment inside them that can easily get damaged if you provide additional torque beyond the maximum torque setting on the wrench.
On the other hand, a breaker bar is a much simpler tool that works on raw power. It doesn’t have any spring inside it and is much more robust when compared to a torque wrench. The main purpose of a breaker bar is bolt loosening.
Using a torque bar as a breaker bar will end up breaking the torque mechanism inside it and might even bend the handle if too much force is applied.
Reduce the Clicks
For click-type wrenches, people often keep applying force until they hear multiple clicks. This leads to them putting extra torque on the bolt than the limit they had set on the wrench.
The best way to tighten a bolt is to simply go in strong and slow and stop applying force when you hear the first click.
Marked Loading Point
Most modern torque wrenches have a marked loading point, indicating where you should place your hand. If you cannot find one on your model, then going through the manual once might be of assistance.
This is important because a torque wrench needs proper calibration to function properly. As a torque wrench is dependent on the length of the handle, the position of your hand on the handle also comes into the equation.
Not placing your hand on the marked loading point can mess up the calibration and the accurate torque setting of the wrench, leading to the actual torque being different than the one you set on the wrench.
Now that you know how to store torque wrenches, the longevity of your tool will definitely improve. Make sure to follow the mentioned tips to make the best use of your wrench.