How to Use a Craftsman Torque Wrench

By Richard S. Clark | Last Updated: September 9, 2022

Craftsman torque wrench is not only for mechanics. You can also have one in your garage. Its primary function is to tighten your car’s loose nuts as well as be used on changing spark plugs. If you work on your own vehicle, a torque wrench is a must-have tool.

It depends on your budget. There are several types of Craftsman torque wrench that you can choose from. In selecting a torque wrench, it is best to pick the value you need and the correct drive size.

Now that you know what to look for when buying a torque wrench, you need to know how to use it properly. Below are steps on how to use the tool correctly.

Craftsman Torque Wrench Applications

The tool is used in machines that require tightening of the nuts and bolts. You can use it on gardening tools, construction, automotive spare parts, DIY repairs, and fixing heavy machines. It is very useful when it comes to sensitive tightening. But, you might find it hard to maintain. Also, there are several factors that you need to consider when it comes to its calibration.

Steps on Using Craftsman Torque Wrench

Adjust the Torque Wrench

Loosen the wrench’s handle tightener. You will find the tightener at the end of the wrench’s handle. The tightener is usually a metal or plastic cap stuck at the end of the wrench. It may come in various colors. Twist it counterclockwise to loosen the piece and change the wrench settings. No need to remove just loosen it.

Determine the Torque Measurement

This step will help you determine the measurements of the torque. To lower or raise the torque setting turn the dial on the wrench. Now that you have loosened the tightener, brace the wrench body using your non-dominant hand. To lower it turn the handle counterclockwise, and to raise it, turn clockwise. Stop turning the handle once you reached the needed hash mark.

Determining the Total Torque

After adjusting the handle’s height, and turning the dial, determine the total torque. Add the numbers together to make sure you have adjusted them accurately. Get the hash mark on the handle and add the number on the dial to determine the torque. For instance, the dial reads 5, and the handle is 50, the total torque is 55 ft-lb.

Tighten Again the End of the Wrench

Hold the wrench using your non-dominant hand and twist to tighten until it doesn’t move, and lock the handle in place.

Work on the Nuts and Bolts

Slide a socket that matches your bolts or nuts into the torque wrench head. If you are using an adaptor or extender, you can slide that at the head’s opening. The torque wrenches may be available in various sizes, but the sockets are interchangeable. The wrenches are quite expensive, so they are rarely available in one size only.

Turn the Nut or Bolt Manually Until it Catches the Screw Thread

Take the nut or bolt that you need to tighten and put it over the threading for the screw. Turn the nut or bold clockwise using your fingers until the threading gets in contact with the screw threading. Turn the nut or bolt until it is tight enough and won’t turn by hand.

Fit the Socket Over the Nut or Bolt You Are Tightening

With the nut or bolt on the threading, hold the torque wrench handle using your non-dominant hand. You will need your dominant hand in guiding the adaptor, extender, or socket onto the nut or bolt. Carefully slide the wrench over the nut until the two pieces are flush.

Turn the Handle Clockwise to Tighten

Start tightening by rotating the handle clockwise. The automatic return function is present on most of the torque wrenches, so no need for you to reposition them. For this sort of wrench, move it counterclockwise to reset. For a manual wrench, reposition the nut or bolt to continue torquing it down. Once you hear a clicking or switching sound after returning the handle counterclockwise, the torque wrench returns automatically.

Stop Turning Once it Starts Clicking

If you hear your automatic wrench clicks if you return it, continue tightening the nut or bolt. If it starts clicking whenever you turn it clockwise, stop tightening the nut or bolt. The clicking sound as you tighten it indicates that you have obtained the needed torque level. If you are using a manual wrench, stop turning if you feel the tool resists.

Thus, if you set the handle at 100 ft-lb of torque, it means that the bolt will be tightened on that level as soon as it begins clicking every time you attempt to tighten it. The manual wrenches will stop moving once the intended level of torque is reached.

Types of Torque Wrench

Bending Beam

This type of torque wrench is calibrated by taking note of the scale and stopping at the needed number. It can last for a long time if you don’t drop it. The design is not as favorable compared to others, mainly when you use it at various angles or deep down. It’s because you need to read the scale above the needle, which is inconvenient in some conditions.

Clicker Style Micrometer

You will hear a clicking sound as you approach the set torque. It means that the setting is completed. As compared to other types of wrenches, this is more expensive, but it will surely not let you down. This type of torque wrench has longer precision and is very accurate when calibrating. The warranties differ, and some come with lifetime warranties.

Economy Clicker Style

It is cheap, but the calibration does not last long. Most of the time, this type is used for a single project since its calibration reliability is compromised earlier.


Every car owner should have a craftsman torque wrench just in case the nuts and bolts of the car need some tightening. You don’t have to look for a car repair service, as you can do it on your own as long as you have the right tool with you.

The Craftsman torque wrench is not an ordinary tool, and it is also quite expensive compared to regular wrenches. It requires proper handling and maintenance. You can use the tool to tighten the nuts and bolts and tighten other fasteners to prevent over-tightening. The torque wrench application can help you improve the life span and quality of the machines.

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