How often should I calibrate my torque wrench?


Anyone who uses torque tools knows that over time, general usage alongside wear and tear can have a detrimental impact on the tool’s internal workings, leading to the tool delivering more or less torque than intended to. As a result, fasteners may end up too loose, allowing them to back off under stress, or too tight, causing them to deform, shear, or otherwise break.

During the lifespan of a torque wrench, it is bound to fall out of calibration. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the tool and a simple re-calibration will return the tool to delivering an accurate performance.

But businesses are often faced with a Goldilocks and the Three Bears scenario when wondering how often their torque wrenches need to be calibrated. Too often and you’ll be wasting money and causing disruption to processes. Not often enough and you could be producing faulty or defective products without realising, which you may be liable for if that product fails within the field.

So, what’s the ‘just right’ amount of torque wrench calibrations?

In short, it’s standard practice to calibrate your torque wrench every 5,000 cycles or every 12 months, whichever comes first.

But before you breathe a sigh of relief and put calibrations to the back of your mind, there are a number of factors that could affect the accuracy of torque tools and could increase your need for more regular calibrations.

If the torque tool is dropped or banged constantly, if you’re using the tool in unusually hot, cold, humid or wet conditions, or if the torque wrench is subjected to an overload equal or more than 25% of the maximum, you may want to calibrate more often than every 5,000 cycles.

Likewise, torque tools which show visible signs of general wear and tear, such as old grease, worn parts, or loose screws, should be pulled from service and inspected.

These tips can be used as a guideline, but your operation’s specific calibration intervals will depend on the precision you need, the exact tools you’re using, the fasteners you’re working with, the criticality of your operation and potentially the legal requirements which govern your industry.

The recent change to the ISO standards relating to the calibration of torque tools may also impact the type and frequency of torque tool calibrations your business requires.

Torque calibrations made simple

Luckily, torque tool calibrations don’t need to be a laborious or time-consuming process. The simplest way to manage torque calibrations is to send tools to a certified laboratory for testing and recalibration (if necessary). This avoids the need for businesses to invest in and maintain testing and calibration equipment, or dedicate internal resource to testing, calibrating and documenting the process.

Calibration Select from Avery Weigh-Tronix offers torque tool calibrations within 5 days, with our door-to-door collection and return service. Items are tested and recalibrated by highly trained technicians at our Calibration Laboratory in Birmingham using state of the art equipment.

Speak to us to receive a quote for your torque tool calibrations. And remember, the more you can send us for calibration, the larger the savings we can offer!