How Do Torque Sticks Work? [Explained]

In layman’s terms, a torque stick is a tool used in conjunction with an impact wrench to apply a specific amount of torque to a fastener, such as a bolt or a nut. Once the desired torque level is reached, it flexes and stops overtightening.

Since torque sticks are an added accessory for installing fasteners, people, especially mechanics have raised questions about their uses. They think these are good for nothing.

Before we comment on it, it is better, to explain to you the purpose and function of torque sticks. Then you can decide if they are really useful or not. Read on to learn more detailed information on torque sticks.

How Do Torque Sticks Work

How Do Torque Sticks Work?

Torque sticks are used as an extension to a torque wrench and limit the torque being applied for tightening the bolt. Hence, named “torque limiting extension bars“. Their main purpose is to prevent overpressure on bolts and threads and ensure they get the right amount of torque. 

The working method of a torque stick is almost like a torsion bar. It’s like a bolt holder placed in between the bolt and impact wrench. To tighten the bolt, a specific torque is required. When the limit reaches, it flexes and stops rotating-keeping nut bolts safe.

How To Properly Use Torque Sticks?

Since the tightening procedure can be performed without the use of torque sticks. And most mechanics even do that effectively. So people have questioned whether they need it or not. If you are also in a group that thinks these sticks are good for nothing, you may find this part interesting.

The following step-wise procedure will dictate to you the effective way of using torque sticks.

Step 1: Find the Correct Torque Sticks

First, find the right size torque stick. Select it based on the required foot-pound limit for tightening. Beyond this limit, the stick stops rotating.

To get the best out of these sticks, select a foot-pound stick with a limit slightly lower than the desired tightening torque. This will keep the bolt threads safe.

Step 2: Take the Impact Wrench

The sticks cannot be used manually. They are best suited to use with an impact wrench. They work with all sorts of impact wrenches.

Step 3: Place The Socket

The sticks need the help of sockets to work will all kinds of bolts. So, you need to take a perfect-sized socket to work with the bolt you are trying to open.

Step 4: Run the Impact Wrench

Now everything is ready to use these sticks. You must place it on the bolt and press the impact switch. When the bolt reaches its limit, the stick will stop rotating.

If you are still confused about the procedure, you can visually clarify your confusion further with this video.

The major purpose of torque sticks is to prevent overtightening of bolts. For example, if you’re trying to tighten bolts by hand, applying more downward pressure will result in tighter screws being created due to greater leverage from the torque stick’s design. 

And if you need increased force while operating a drill or saw blade, then placing the lever part of the torque stick against your palm will provide extra oomph (that’s Greek for “strength”).

Is Torque Stick Worth It?

The price and service are the things that we can consider to justify whether Torque Sticks are worthy or not. By using this tool, you can increase your grip strength by up to 40%. 

Since they prevent the overtightening of bolts; they are great for the life of bolts and your safety. Besides this, the price of these sticks is in touch. You can easily buy and use them for a long time. So, these sticks are worth buying.

Where You Can Use Torque Sticks?

The working method of a torque stick is impressive and unique. For this, there are different applications where you can employ them.

  • When you suspect that the applied torque may exceed the limit, and you want to reduce its impact. Then, torque sticks are helpful for adjusting and tightening bolts and screws.
  • They are also useful for loosening stubborn nuts and bolts that have become stuck in their sockets.
  • These sticks will also allow you to reach narrow areas to work with nuts and bolts.

Can A Torque Stick Be Used To Tighten Lug Nuts?

While a torque stick may not be the only tool for this task, it can definitely be used to tighten lug nuts. To do so, use a standard socket wrench that has been appropriately sized for your bolts (see specifications below). 

Once you have the correct size socket on hand, insert it into the bolt head and turn it clockwise until tightened. Then repeat on the other side. Be sure to use caution when using a torque stick as there is potential for injury if incorrect force is applied.

How Long Do Torque Sticks Last?

Torque sticks typically last for about 8-12 months or about 5000 uses, but this depends on how often the stick is used and the quality of materials used. If the torque stick is stored properly, then it can last much longer than that. 

Make sure to store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity. The best place to keep them is their toolbox. Additionally, don’t use it for applications, where the impact is much higher than its designed limit, otherwise, it may fracture.

How Accurate Are Torque Sticks?

In terms of torque limit, they are quite accurate. However, the foot-pound limit has some margin of error.

Since torque sticks have no complex design and there isn’t added functionality. So, in that aspect, the accuracy is the hands of the user. How the right size is picked and used will determine its accuracy.


Torque sticks are versatile tools that come in different sizes and shapes, so they can easily fit onto the bolt head or nut. When installing or tightening a bolt with a torque stick, you must take into account the correct size for your stick as well as the thread pitch on your bolt head.

They may be an additional accessory, however, they add a safety perspective to your procedure and keep your bolt installations within the designed limit. Hence, we believe that they are worth buying.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.