Torque Sticks – What Are They and Do I Need One?

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When speed and accuracy are a priority, torque sticks are an important tool you must consider adding to your collection.

The purpose they serve, preventing the over-tightening of lug nuts and bolts, will quickly make this tool your best friend.

What Are Torque Sticks?

A torque stick is used with your regular impact wrench.

They are literally extensions of an impact wrench. Garages have kept this tool a secret to prevent you from having it, but the cat is out of the bag.

Today, it’s easy to acquire your own torque sticks and fix your wheels correctly without the worry of overtightening the bolts.

You might be fooled by the simple design of torque sticks, but the tools play a significant role, especially for busy mechanics who have very little time to spare.

Purchasing it as a personal tool is an even more significant advantage.

What Are Torque Sticks Used For?

As mentioned above, torque sticks are used with an impact wrench when you don’t want to over-tighten a bolt or when the nuts are too tight to unscrew normally.

They come in handy in the case of an emergency break down when you need to quickly replace your tire.

Literally, no effort is required when screwing nuts on and off with an effective torque stick.

When using a torque stick, the need for adjustments and pauses experienced with standard socket spanners is eliminated.

The utility is smooth, and you will find yourself carrying it with you as your favorite tool.

Where Are Torque Sticks Used?

These extra handy tools are mainly used in garages.

This is especially true in high-end garages, where speed is a factor, and accuracy need not be compromised. It allows mechanics to operate at a quick pace when fastening loose bolts all round a vehicle.

For lug nuts needing extra effort to tighten, like those in the wheel rims, torque sticks are the answer. You need minimal effort to fix even the most challenging hitches with such precision and speed.

The secret to a well-established mechanic is sophisticated tools like torque sticks. If you are a mechanic and you don’t own one, get a set today!

How Does a Torque Stick Work?

Basically, this convenient tool works as a shock absorber, but indirectly.

The “torque limiting extension bar” is added at the endpoint of an impact wrench to elongate it. The mechanism uses torsion theory, which means the tool flexes at a certain rate when the user is rotating the wrench.

When a specific flex is attained, the torque stick automatically stops the rotation, so no more rotation occurs.

At this point, the maximum flex point is achieved, and additional torque could damage your nut or socket.

Torque sticks are usually color-coded and come with a visible chart so you can grab the specific stick you need without referring to the torque requirement specifications.

This helps to eliminate any adjustments while in operation, which saves you time.

Who Needs a Torque Stick and When?

Basically, torque sticks are an excellent addition to any mechanic’s toolbox, particularly next to an impact wrench.

Lug nuts, especially for heavy machines, are tightened fast to prevent loosening during weighty tasks.

Unscrewing such nuts and bolts can be a task, and force is an essential constituent if the lug nuts are to come out.

When a mechanic uses an impact wrench to screw out a substantially tight lug nut, the wrench sockets have to be forced into the lug nuts to provide enough grip for unscrewing.

More force can lead to the steel parts grinding, thus smoothing out the nuts and making it impossible to remove them using a socket. In this case, an extraction kit has to be used, or the whole nut has to be replaced.

A torque stick comes in to avert the damage and save you time and energy. When forced against a lug nut, the torque stick’s sprung metal material twists significantly.

Thus, the force of the impact wrench is transferred to the stick and not the lug nuts.

This ensures the nuts are not forced past their breaking points, so both the socket and the nut are spared from rounding out.

Summary

It’s crucial to invest in a good set of torque sticks if you’re regularly involved in a lot of wheel work.

They are simple to use, and you’ll tighten your lug nuts faster without sacrificing their quality and safety.

Although they’re simple to use, you need to follow the instructions. Improper use can lead to loose lug nuts, damaged wheel studs, or distorted brake rotors.

Image Credit: Steelmantools.com

About Susan Brown

Susan and her husband own a mechanic shop. They do all the work themselves, from fixing cars to hunting for new customers. Susan is the brains of the operation; she writes articles on car repair-related topics based on her own experience. She loves writing about anything related to autos: diagnosing problems with cars, maintaining vehicles, and even how to choose a good mechanic!

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