Working with wrenches can be one of the most relaxing and rewarding experiences. Bringing every part and component together and tightening all the bolts precisely on spec to form a single goal-oriented device is close to Zen meditation—that is, when you have the proper tools. If you don’t, then turning wrenches is a nightmare of barked and bleeding knuckles that will leave you haunted by the ominous rattle of an improperly tightened bolt. After all, that rattle usually heralds repeat repairs or an extensive rebuild in the none-too-distant future.
Fortunately, an interchangeable torque wrench set means that you’ll always have the correct wrench to complete a job and the ability to know that a bolt is turned to the correct torque specification. This helps you bring parts and components together correctly and ensure that they stay put. Interchangeable torque wrench heads will improve both repair and product reliably while helping to keep you in that Zen state.
Why Torque is Critical for Fasteners
If you’ve worked on your own vehicle, then you’ve probably come across the words “finger tight” or “turn until tight” in your repair manual. In reality, these instructions are cautions against over-torquing or under-torquing a fastener. Delicate fittings for airlines and fluid seals will often include precautions to avoid applying to much force, which might lead to stripping threads or overly compressing a gasket and creating leaks. The main concern for heavy-duty components is that not enough torque will be applied and that the fastener will come loose, so repair guides suggest turning it with as much force as possible to ensure that it stays tight.
Unfortunately, the lack of precision in these guidelines has serious repercussions down the road whether they’re being followed for repair or the initial assembly of a product. Imprecise tightening of fasteners can result in an unreliable product and potential damage. The good news is that accurate torque tools are widely available, and an interchangeable torque wrench set can ensure that every type of fastener is properly tightened.
Types of Interchangeable Torque Wrench Sets
Torque wrenches with ratchet heads and quarter-inch drivers, when paired with an off-the-shelf socket set, are capable of tightening almost all commonly used fasteners exactly to torque specifications. Click-wrenches emit an audible click when they reach the set torque setting, and adjustable click-wrenches can be set to a different torque setting as needed. Along with lug nut torque wrenches, these tools are ideal for heavy-duty applications like the maintenance of farm tools and equipment. The downside of click wrenches is that their ability to limit torque is confined to an audible warning and a distracted user could miss it and over-tighten a fastener. It’s probably best not to use click wrenches on especially sensitive parts like air and fluid valves or aluminum or nonferrous fasteners. An adjustable cam-over wrench with a clutch that disengages the driver when the torque limit is reached is a better option for delicate or sensitive applications.
There are, of course, applications where socket wrenches cannot be used. Air hoses or vacuum line usually have joints in the middle of the lines where a socket cannot be seated. However, in these types of applications, torque control is even more vital since they are made of soft metals and must seal tightly. Break-over torque wrenches have a similar form factor to open-ended, box, or combination wrenches, but when they reach a set torque limit, the head disengages for the haft of the wrench and appears to break, hence their name. Unlike traditional wrenches, the wrench heads are interchangeable and an adjustable break over wrench with interchangeable heads can be used to create a torque wrench set that is suited for highly specialized tasks, For instance, maintaining forklift maintenance standards with a set built to tighten hydraulic lines or performing helicopter maintenance with a wrench set designed for fuel and control lines are both ideal applications.
Standardized sockets and a socket torque wrench can make an interchangeable torque wrench set that works well for most applications in repair and assembly. Niche production and niche repair may call not only for torque control but also for wrench heads that are not typically part of a standard set. However, with break-over wrenches and interchangeable heads, it is possible to assemble an interchangeable torque wrench set for any type of fastening. The right tools ensure that the job gets done right and that you stay in your moment of Zen as the parts you are working on come together.
Mountz, Inc. understands the joy of working with tools and the pride of bringing every part together with a flawless fit. It’s why we build torque tools for every need and fastener. To see our full range of products, shop our store. Contact us anytime to ask a question. To inquire about price, request a quote. If you’d like to see our equipment in person, schedule an appointment.