Do Digital Torque Wrenches Need to Be Calibrated?

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A digital torque wrench is a highly valuable tool in many industry workers’ arsenals. It is a precision instrument that is used to apply torque to a fastener, and it can perform this task to a high degree of accuracy.

Digital torque wrenches are powerful tools, but for them to work at the maximum potential, they will need to be calibrated. This article will seek to answer the questions on why you might need to have your digital torque wrench calibrated.


Why Should I Calibrate My Digital Torque Wrench?

Many users of digital torque wrenches ask whether calibrating their torque wrench is necessary or not. It depends on particular cases, but most of the time, you might need to calibrate your digital wrench for the reasons listed below.

And without proper calibration, you won’t get the best results, even if you have the best digital torque wrench. You can check this list of reviews if you want to find a good option.

So, let's get on with the reasons for calibration.

Consistent Accuracy

Digital torque wrenches are accurate devices, but even they have a margin of error. When you buy a torque wrench, you'll want to read the manufacturer's instructions or specifications. These specifications will give you an idea of what the accuracy is.

Do Digital Torque Wrenches Need to Be Calibrated?

Do note that this reading isn't absolute, especially if you bought your torque wrench from a second-hand dealer. What this specification does is give you a general idea of the accuracy level of your torque wrench.

You will generally need to calibrate your torque wrench to validate or check for the actual error margin or accuracy. With time and use, the accuracy will generally decrease, and this is especially true for cheaper torque wrenches.

Using your torque wrench without calibrating before use will lead you to get wrong readings, which will hurt your work in the form of loose screws or fasteners. You will need to calibrate your torque wrench before use to ensure that the accuracy is consistent.

Readjusting For Different Tasks/Uses

In an industry, a digital torque wrench will see a lot of uses. While uncommon for a digital torque wrench, there is a chance that the calibration settings might have been changed a bit during repeated use.

Do Digital Torque Wrenches Need to Be Calibrated?

While it is a small chance, depending on the size of the industry, the frequency might increase by manifolds. As a result, there may be a substantial amount of incorrect readings. To avoid this, it is necessary to recalibrate after a certain amount of uses to ensure that the calibration is okay.

There is no hard or fast rule stating how frequently one should recalibrate their torque wrenches. Generally, the rate of recalibration should be proportional to the frequency of use.

Varying External Conditions

Manufacturer’s specifications are often given based on a certain temperature scale or weather conditions. As a result, the settings may not hold true if you work in a different location that is subject to different temperatures and weather conditions.

During such cases, you will find that your digital torque wrench will often give you inaccurate results. This is because lower temperatures will often affect the internal parts of a wrench and cause them to prematurely rust.

Do Digital Torque Wrenches Need to Be Calibrated?

Similarly, higher temperatures will cause lubricants to melt and clog the internal parts. This will mess with your calibration settings, and as such, you will need to properly protect your tool from the harsh weather conditions and recalibrate it using a torque tester.

Careless Use

A digital torque wrench is an especially sensitive device, and as such careless use can compromise its performance heavily. Digital torque wrenches are also tightly calibrated, and as such improper use can mess up the calibration settings.

It is important to keep in mind that every torque wrench has a specified maximum torque limit. This is the maximum torque you can apply. Adhere to this limit. Exerting more torque will more often than not put heavy stress on the torque wrench and mess up the calibration settings.

Also, dropping the torque wrench onto the ground will often cause the calibration settings to be reset. A careless user will often need to recalibrate his torque wrench.


As you can see, digital torque wrenches need to calibrated often to ensure their maximum performance. They are quite easy to calibrate as you can download the information via Bluetooth connection on most models.

Jose A. Brown

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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