What can we learn about Torque?

In this section we will learn more about Torque, how it is measured, how to specify the Torque value of fasteners and how to correctly tighten Bolted Joints.

You can also find these helpful PDF downloads:

These will help you understand the terms used regarding Torque, the different types of Torque Units and how to convert between them.


Torque is the application of force acting at a radial distance and tending to cause rotation; this is also called torque loading. It’s used to create tension in threaded fasteners. When the nut and bolt are tightened the two plates are clamped together.  The thread converts the applied Torque into tension in the bolt shank. This in turn is converted into a clamping force. The amount of tension created in the bolt is critical.

Photograph of a torque wrench, tightening a nut and bolt, with indicative arrows and labels, explaining torque application.



  • The tension in the bolt creates a clamping force (generally referred to as the preload) between the two parts.
  • If the clamping force is too low, the fasteners can work loose due to vibrations or movement between the component parts.
  • If a clamping force is too high, the fastener may permanently stretch and no longer apply the required clamping force.
  • In severe cases the fastener may fail in assembly or during use when under loaded.



  • Torque is the result of multiplying the value of Force applied by the Distance from the point of application.
  • Comparing the two examples below (A and B) it will be noted that the same resultant torque can be achieved with a lower Force if the Distance from the nut/bolt is increased.
  • It should also be realised that some Torque Wrenches are length dependent which means that the actual torque applied to the fastener varies if the hand position on the wrench is varied - even with the wrench preset. This occurs if the pivot point of the wrench mechanism is not coincidental with the point of application of torque.

Technically drawn diagram demonstrating how torque is calculated, with indicative arrows and labels.

Get In Touch with your Torque Tool Manufacturer

If you would like more information on what torque is and the range of torque tools and products we manufacture, give our team a call on 01483 892 772 or visit our contact us page and fill in our enquiry form.

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