How to Set a Snap-on Torque Wrench

Updated February 21, 2017

Snap-on has a long history of making professional grade auto mechanic tools that are reliable and designed to make a mechanic's job easier. Its line of torque wrenches is no exception. Whether you own one of the older, manual torque wrenches or the new Tech Angle Electronic Snap-on Torque wrench, you will be able to set and control the exact amount of torque pressure delivered to the fastener with ease. Learning how to set a Snap-on torque wrench is easy.

Skip to step 3 if you own any of the Tech Angle series of Snap-on torque wrenches. Your manual torque wrench will have a series of markings written in one of two places. Your wrench may have the markings on the back of the head of the wrench (where you attach the socket) or they may be written on the actual handle. If they are written on the handle, skip to step 2.

For dial torque wrenches, grab the outside ring of the angle dial and turn it until the amount of torque required by your project (in lbs. per inch) is lined up with the indicator mark moulded into the dial. Your wrench is now ready to use. Listen for the clicking as you use it; when the clicking stops, you have reached the proper torque.

Hold the handle of your manual torque wrench just above the torque amounts written on it. With your other hand grab the rubber grip of the wrench. Push the rubber grip part of the handle in and turn clockwise until the indicator mark on the edge of the grip is lined up with the line indicating the torque amount on the handle. Your torque wrench is now ready to use. Listen for the clicking as you use it; when the clicking stops, you have reached the proper torque.

Unscrew and remove the bottom cap of your Snap-on Tech Angle torque wrench to open the battery compartment. Drop three AA batteries into the battery compartment in the handle with the positive (+) ends of the batteries all pointed toward the head of the wrench. Replace the cap and screw down until it is hand tight.

Press the "On" button on the flat face moulded into the handle of the wrench. The "On" button is the button that looks like a solid circle. You will see the small digital screen turn on. If it does not, press and hold the "On" button again. If it still does not turn on, check that your batteries are installed correctly and have a good charge.

Set the units of measurement for the torque. This could be in foot per pound, inches per pound or a number (representing angle degree) only. The units button has a "U" shaped image on it. Press the button until the correct unit of measurement appears on your digital screen.

Adjust the torque needed by pressing the arrow buttons to move the amount up or down. If you are holding the wrench so you can read the digital screen right side up, then the arrows will be pointed up and down and you will know which is which. Your Tech Angle wrench is ready to use. When you hear a series of "beeps" and the wrench handle vibrates, you have achieved the correct torque on your fastener.


Take the time to research the correct torque needed for the project you are doing and make sure you know the specifications for each bolt. Bolt to bolt the torque requirements can vary and knowing what they are in advance will save you time in getting the job done.


Torque wrenches are capable of applying great pressure to nuts and bolts. It is easy to strip a bolt or break it by over-torquing. Torque wrenches tend to have longer handles then a typical socket wrench, giving you more leverage and allowing you to exert more force without feeling it. You must pay close attention to the wrench and listen for its clicking or beeping to let you know when you have hit the right torque. If you rely on the feel you will snap the bolt. Do not use a torque wrench in a loud environment or with a radio playing, this will distract you from the warning the wrench will give.

Things You'll Need

  • Torque requirements for project
  • 3 AA batteries (if needed)
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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.