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What is a "torque stick"

I’ve seen this mentioned in the forums. I do know what a torque wrench is.

You use a torque stick with an impact wrench in place of using a torque wrench. They’re available in different torque values.

It is a wrench that can read resistance, ie torque, or skip once the torque usually foot pounds is reached. In essence torque is the amount of turning pressure suggested for a particular bolt. Torque is also used to describe the tightening pattern, say on lug bolts, head bolts or valve covers.

Good question…

I was curios too, but never got around to asking it.

What are the advantages/disadvantages over a torque wrench ?

Wikipedia has a detailed explanation …

Torque sticks are used when you want the speed of an impact wrench, while still applying the correct torque. I don’t know how accurate the sticks are.

In my experience torque sticks are very accurate. I recently bought a set for myself after using them for the past two years at work. I torqued my lug nuts using the 80 ft-lbs stick and then took my regular torque wrench and set it to 80, the nut did not turn any more, set it to 85 and it turned slightly.

I think in the long run that they may actually be more accurate since a click-style torque wrench needs to be periodically recalibrated to remain accurate.

I understand torque sticks are only accurate if the impact gun’s input air pressure is within a given range (not always a given with many shops). I’d welcome feedback from anyone with experience on this.

Tork-Stix appear to be a great aid in preventing broken lug studs when incompetant, unqualified or unhappy workers are employed. And, for the fastidious, they offer another opportunity to make a flourishing, pedantic show.

Torque Sticks are a valuable tool when time is money. They are made of spring steel and should NEVER be used with a rachet or breaker bar. They will twist in half otherwise.

Exactly. The gun must be set to match the stick or it can be way off.

I had a tire store (that I will never return to) use them. The same day one of the new tires failed (slow leak - they did not get it seated right). With an 18" bar I had to stand and slightly hop on it to break the bolts free. I weigh about 220 so that would be about 330 ft/lbs. That is way more than should be required to loosen a bolt that should be torqued to 90 ft/lbs.

The owner of the shop was clueless and could not explain how that could happen. Now I just remove all the wheels - take them to get new tires mounted - and put them back on myself.