The differences between ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn) and ISO 6789:2017

ISO defines the standards that torque tool calibrations must follow. In 2017, the 2003 standard (ISO 6789:2003) was withdrawn and replaced with the 2017 standard (ISO 6789:2017).

Although the 2003 standard is now classified as ‘withdrawn’, it is still requested by torque tool users and remains widely used by calibration laboratories.

Read on for an explanation of the difference between the standards and how it will affect the type of torque tool calibration your business will need.

What’s the difference between the standards?

ISO 6789:2017

The new standard, ISO 6789:2017, puts greater emphasis on the inclusion of uncertainties and takes steps to understand the factors that might cause the calibration values to vary from calibration to calibration.

Any UKAS accredited laboratory in the United Kingdom, or indeed any laboratory accredited to ISO 17025 by an appropriate organisation will be required to establish the uncertainty by conducting a number of additional steps which take the calibration process from 35 processes to around 135 processes per hand tool. 

This allows for the more stringent demands of higher tech applications where absolute understanding of the torque tool is required, such as aerospace and medical.

ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn)

In comparison, ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn), carries out a significantly smaller number of tests during the calibration process. Although this means accuracy levels are not as high, as the testing process is not as stringent, calibrating to the 2003 standard is significantly cheaper when compared to the prices for calibrations using the 2017 standard. This standard is still typically requested by our customers in the food and drink, metals and chemical industries, along with vehicle repairers and garages.

Which type of calibration is right for me?

When deciding which type of calibration is most appropriate for your equipment, take into account the age of your torque wrench. Many older torque wrenches (pre-dating 2017), may not be built to high enough quality to pass a calibration using the 2017 standard.

If your torque wrench was built before 2017, we would recommend you choose a calibration performed under the ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn) standard.

We offer calibrations up to 2,500Nm under both ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn) and the latest ISO 6789:2017 standards. If you’re unsure about which standard applies to you, let us know when booking and one of our team can advise you.

Declaration of conformance vs. calibration certificate processes

Test Procedure BreakdownEN ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn)EN ISO 6789-2:2017 (latest)
Temperature StabilisationYesYes
Pre-Load Visual ChecksYesYes
Pre-Load to Max CapacityYesYes
Test Points measured in line with ISO standardYesYes
Adjustments (if required & where possible)YesYes
Measurement of Uncertainty TestsNoYes
Repeatability (40 points measured)NoYes
Reproduceabilty (20 points measured)NoYes
Interface (40 points measured)NoYes
Length dependency (20 points measured)NoYes
Declaration of Conformity producedn/an/a
Calibration Certificate producedYesYes
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