How to Adjust Torque on Air Impact Wrench

In this post, we’ll review how to adjust torque on an air impact wrench. Professional mechanics use an air impact wrench that allows you to loosen or tighten bolts without manually turning the bolt by hand.

The amount of pressure applied can make a huge difference in your project, so knowing how much torque you’re using and what type of material you are working with before making adjustments is important. 

When adjusting the torque on your air impact wrench, you first want to take off the retaining clip from inside the case where all of the other parts are stored. This will allow access to both screws that control how much force is being applied and gain more access for future maintenance if needed. Read on to know more about this topic.

How to Adjust Torque on Air Impact Wrench

How to Adjust Torque on Air Impact Wrench: 7 Methods You Can Use

When it comes to changing a tire, using a screwdriver or wrench is a tough job for anyone. Would you know how to adjust torque on an impact wrench if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere and needed to change your tire?

The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can get this done without having to call a tow truck. In this guide, we will teach you seven easy methods on how to adjust torque on an air impact wrench.

Method 1: Using the Torque Dial

This is the most common method for those who do not know how to adjust torque on an impact wrench: an impact wrench has a dial that shows you what level of torque you are applying. This is one of the simplest methods to follow, but it only works if the wrench has this feature.

If your wrench does not have a torque dial, you can try out any of the seven other methods below. Ensure you never over-tighten anything because this can be very dangerous and lead to accidents.

Method 2: Using the Markings on Your Air Impact Wrench

The following method is to use the markings on your air impact wrench. Locate where you are set currently. You will have a number or letter that shows you the torque setting you are using right now. When changing your car’s tires, we recommend using the number “five” or markings that say “5 ft/lb.”

If you are using this method, make sure to apply the same amount of torque each time you use your wrench. The downside to this method is that it does not consider variations in surface conditions, which could lead to you over-tightening or under-tightening your lug nuts.

Method 3: Using a Torque Wrench and Pin

If you do not have an adjustable torque wrench, you can use a calibrated torque wrench and a pin to get the job done right. The easiest way to do this is to measure how much pressure it takes to screw in your lug nuts with your wrench.

Then, you can calculate how much force is needed to be applied for your lug nuts to reach the right torque level.

Please ensure not to use this method on an impact gun since it will drastically change your results. Also, this method exerts a lot of force on the fastener, so it is easy to lose control of your fastener and damage something.

Method 4: Using a Breaker Bar

using a breaker bar to adjust torque on air impact wrench

A breaker bar is a long bar that engages the socket from the side instead of from the top. This bar works well for those who do not have an impact wrench because you can still apply a lot of torque without worrying about fastening your lug nuts.

When it comes to adjusting torque on an impact wrench, you will need the breaker bar to allow for more force when removing or tightening your car’s lug nuts. If you do not have a breaker bar, use any of the other methods we listed above in this guide.

Method 5: Use Torque Sticks

You can also use torque sticks to adjust your torque setting on your air impact wrench. All you need to do is place the stick’s hook over the lug nut and let go of it. If you try this method out, you should find that things are too tight or too loose.

We recommend that you use torque sticks whenever you can because they are safer. In addition, they work even on impact wrenches, so there is no need to worry about losing control of your fastener. However, make sure not to use a torque stick unless you need it, or else this could lead to over-tightening the lug nuts on your tires.

Method 6: Adjust Based on Feel

This is a great method to follow if you have a feel for the proper torque. Of course, you will want to apply the same force every time, but this method does not require you to know the exact torque needed for your lug nuts.

You need to apply torque until you think that things are tight enough. Then, if parts of your car are still loose, you will have to use a different method of adjusting the amount of torque applied to your lug nuts. This is the safest way to change the torque on an impact wrench because it eliminates human error from the equation.

Method 7: Use a Thread Gauge

You can also use a thread gauge to get the right amount of torque for your lug nuts. This method is the most accurate way to adjust torque on an impact wrench, but it requires more steps than any other method we listed above.

Use a Thread Gauge to adjust torque on air impact wrench

You will need to determine what size of thread you have used for your car’s tire and then match that with a corresponding number on your torque gauge. Once you do that, you can adjust the torque on your air impact wrench until it reads that number.

The downside is that this method can be time-consuming because you will need to do some research before adjusting your torque. It also requires using a calibrated wrench, or else you could use an incorrect amount of force onto your lug nuts.


To get the most out of your air impact wrench, ensure you know how to adjust torque on an air impact wrench. This will optimize performance and durability while saving you money on repairs in the long run. Adjusting torque is not difficult and can be done with a few simple steps that we have outlined above for your convenience.

Keep these tips in mind next time you need to tighten something up! Once this has been completed, tighten up the Allen-head bolt with a ratchet set by following these steps in reverse order. If you have any questions about adjusting torque on an air impact wrench, please contact us for more information!

Jennifer Branett
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