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So you want to loosen some bolts, and you’ve got a torque wrench around you instead of a breaker bar. Since you’re here already, you must be wondering one question. Like can you use a torque wrench as a breaker bar? Or, should you just get yourself a breaker bar instead?
Then, I would have to say yes and no in the same sentence. Why so? Because there are certain aspects and situations you have to take into consideration before actually coming to a conclusion on this.
No, You Should Not
First of all, I will put a word of caution here that you should not ever use a torque wrench to do the job of a breaker bar – which is specifically suited to loosen the bolts that have been tightened by a wrench previously. Know that everything and everyone has a place and a certain purpose in this world.
Essentially a torque wrench should be used to tighten bolts. This tool will provide you with a certain torque amount, and you can use that to fasten or tighten a screw, nut, or bolts. A torque wrench is such a tool that has to be taken care of properly and used in a manner that it has been intended to.
How Does a Torque Wrench Work?
A torque wrench works by providing a specific amount of torque in order to fasten a screw, and that limit should never be exceeded. Doing so can mess with the mechanism of a torque wrench and damage it permanently.
The handle of a torque wrench has a mechanical indicator that connects to a calibrated scale. And when this indicator tells you it’s time to stop twisting the nut, then you should listen to it, and that is that. Or else, you can mess this up pretty badly.
Some torque wrenches have a mainspring mechanism that gets loose if not used in the correct manner. Essentially damaging the wrench in the long run.
So, what is the point of saying so much? To make you realize that a torque wrench has its own capacity to do things, and you should not put it to test by making it do what it’s not supposed to.
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How Does a Breaker Bar Work?
I guess I should tell you a little about the breaker bar as well. A breaker bar does the opposite job of a torque wrench. It loosens the bolts and nuts that the torque wrench tightens. These breaker bars are also known as power bars.
They have been traditionally used to loosen the nuts. The breaker bars use the basic laws of physics to do their job. Their long handle is what gives us the correct leverage to push on and loosen a tight nut.
So, in conclusion, it is the mechanism of a torque wrench that does not let you make it do the job of a breaker bar. But keeping all the technicalities aside, can you force it? If that is what the situation demands and you have no other way around it, you can use it as a breaker bar.
So, can you use a torque wrench as a breaker bar? Or do I recommend you do such a thing? I don’t at all. I wouldn’t want you to damage your torque wrench permanently to the point of no return.
One crucial thing here that you have to keep in mind is that there is a limit of torque that a torque wrench can handle – a torque limit. And there is a range of wrenches with different limits. As long as you stay within the limit, you can give it a try, I guess.