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How To Use A Craftsman Torque Wrench [Step By Step Instructions]

A torque wrench is an essential tool to have with you when you travel. If you have a new Craftsman torque wrench and want a simple set of instructions on how to use it, we’ve got you covered. We have researched how to operate this tool to help you out.

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These steps will provide you with a guide on properly operating your Craftsman torque wrench in two parts:

  1. To set the torque:
  • Unlock the grip
  • Rotate it to the desired torque
  • Lock the grip before using
  1. To apply torque:
  • Attach a socket to the drive
  • Place the socket onto the fastener to be torqued
  • Apply a steady pull until it’s tightened

These are the simplified steps in using a Craftsman torque wrench. In this post, we will detail each step further. We will also talk about other information related to torque, torque wrenches, and more. Continue reading to get more facts on this subject.  

Hand of carpenter holding ratchet torque wrench isolate on white background.Equipment of technician.Labor market of joiner and craftsman concept., How To Use A Craftsman Torque Wrench [Step By Step Instructions]

Operating A Craftsman Torque Wrench

Socket wrench (ratchet) isolated on white background.

You need a torque wrench in order to precisely tighten fasteners. If the owner's manual for your car states that this wrench should be used, do not try to substitute it with a ratchet.  

Using a torque wrench doesn’t give you more power; it just limits the torque you are applying to avoid the overtightening of bolts and potential damage.

These steps detail the usage of a Craftsman Clicker Style Microtork Wrench.

Before you begin adjusting the settings of the torque wrench, check the manual of the vehicle you are trying to repair. It contains information on the nuts and bolts you’re trying to tighten.

Because this is a click torque wrench, there are two parts to the operation: the first is setting the torque, and the second is applying the torque.

1. Setting The Torque

  • Turn the lock collar or the red knot counterclockwise.
  • Rotate the grip clockwise until you reach the desired torque in the meter. There are engraved marks on the side of the torque wrench that indicate the appropriate foot-to-pound settings. The pounds are rounded to the tens. There is also a corresponding Newton Meter on the opposite side.

What Are Foot to Pound and Newton Meter?

Foot-to-pound is a unit of energy that measures torque. This states the rigidity of screws or nuts. Newton-meter is the unit that measures the size of the force in the International System of units.

  • When you have reached the desired setting, turn the red knob clockwise to lock it. It is important to note that the grip should not be turned when it is locked. Also, when adjusting the torque, do not turn the grip beyond the lowest or above the highest scale.

2. Applying The Torque

  • Attach the socket to the drive. Turn the knob on the other end when you reach the desired setting. When you are using attachments or extensions, correct the torque settings. This is because the attachments change the torque wrench’s calibration.
  • The next step is to place the socket onto the screw that will be tightened.
  • Apply a steady pull until you feel the tightening of the bolts. During this process, make sure that you are only holding the torque wrench by the grip. You will hear a click indicating that the fastener is tightened. At low settings, you will not hear a click to signal the tightening of the bolts. It will not click when turned in a counterclockwise direction.
  • Note that when you are using extensions, only support the wrench at the head.
  • Tighten in sequence. If you are working on a tire, tighten one nut to the next in a pattern.
  • After use, turn the Craftsman torque wrench to the lowest setting to prepare for the next use.

Safety Precautions For Craftsman Torque Wrench

Mechanic's hand in the working glove holds the torque wrench

You should be careful when handling any tool. Following these tips will ensure that you safely use your torque wrench.

  • Every tool comes with a user manual. You should study it carefully before using the tool.
  • Wear safety goggles while using hand tools.
  • As mentioned in the previous section, do not more torque than the maximum scale. If you need to torque beyond your tool’s capacity, you need to use another tool with a higher scale.
  • In connection to the previous bullet, this torque wrench is not a torque-limiting tool, so it will not prevent you from applying more torque. Learning how different amounts of torque feel can help you determine if enough torque is applied.               
  • The Craftsman Clicker Style Microtork Wrench is designed to manually tighten threaded fasteners only. It should not be used for any other purpose.
  • Always pull the torque wrench for greater control.
  • Do not use the torque wrench on fasteners that are over-torqued or showing wear, as these may break.
  • Clean the threads before tightening them.
  • Because you are dealing with force, it is important that you keep a proper footing. Do not use the torque wrench in places where you might slip.
  • Avoid using the torque wrench around operating machines.
  • Do not apply force to the pipe placed over the hand grip.
  • Note that Craftsman’s lifetime warranty does not apply to this tool. If you disassemble it, the tool will not only lose accuracy but any warranty will be voided.

Click here to see this torque wrench on Amazon.

Care and Maintenance Of Your Torque Wrench

The manufacturer provides essential tips for taking care of and maintaining your Craftsman torque wrench. 

  1. Handle the wrench with care. Do not drop or bump it. This is a delicate piece of equipment. In fact, this particular model comes in a protective case.
  2. As we mentioned before, you should store the wrench at the lowest setting. If you leave it at a setting that's more than 50% of its capacity for more than a few hours, you will need to set it at the lowest setting and let it rest for a few minutes before you use it again.
  3. This wrench does not require lubrication. You can only lubricate the ratchet head as needed.
  4. The plastic grip may be affected by acetone and other solvents. You can clean the tool with a cloth dampened with denatured alcohol. Do not immerse any part of the tool in liquid.
  5. The wrench should be checked periodically for accuracy, especially if it is used frequently. It should be checked after every 5000 applications.

What Are The Common Types Of Torque Wrenches?

There are various types of torque wrenches.

The Craftsman Clicker Style Microtork is a click-type torque wrench.  This type is the most common one. You simply turn the handle to reach the desired torque. You will hear a click when you apply the appropriate force.

Another type is the dial-type torque wrench, which does not require recalibration. This wrench is often used for quality control. This type has an audio-visual signal that tells the user that the torque has been reached.

A beam-type torque wrench is simple and inexpensive. This is the most basic type. However, it can be difficult to read and is considered the least accurate type.

Click here to see this beam-type torque wrench on Amazon.

Electronic torque wrenches are a bit more expensive. This type uses electronic sensors to measure torque.

This type is best for transportation and automotive settings because it can be linked to laptops or tablets. It is very accurate but also more delicate than the other types.

Digital torque wrench.

Click here to see this electronic torque wrench on Amazon.

Can You Loosen Bolts With Torque Wrench?

Torque wrench, mower repair - professional service.

Technically, a torque wrench is a tightening tool. Most of torque wrenches only turn in a single direction. A standard wrench is better than a torque wrench for loosening bolts.

However, if the model that you have is designed to be used in reverse, you can use it to loosen bolts.  

Final Thoughts

A Craftsman torque wrench is easy to operate. However, bear in mind that a click-type torque wrench, such as the Craftsman Clicker Style Microtork, needs to be set first before the actual operation. It also has to be set to the lowest setting after use.

It is also important to follow the safety protocols set by the manufacturer to prevent accidents from happening. Remember that you need to properly maintain your torque wrench in order for it to last and stand up to repeated use.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out these other related posts:

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How To Use A Craftsman Stud Finder [Step By Step Guide]