Close this search box.


Breaker Bar Vs Torque Wrench : Which One to Choose?

Do you need clarification about the difference between a breaker bar and a torque wrench and help to select which tool best fits your task?

Having the appropriate tools is essential when working on vehicles or other machinery. Breaker bars and torque wrenches are two standard tools used for this task. However, they serve different functions.

Each tool is engineered with its own specific goal in mind. Breaker bars are specifically designed to break free tight, frozen and rusted fasteners; torque wrenches feature mechanisms which exert exact amounts of torque onto fasteners.

These tools are convenient when overtightening is not an option, such as working with spark plugs, lug nuts, engine building or assembly.

What Is A Breaker Bar?

In automobile repair, maintenance, and other sectors, breaker bars remove tight bolts and nuts that wrenches can’t loosen. Its architecture is simple: a robust handle with a male square socket at one end that may stay fixed or swivel within a specified range of angles. It doesn’t damage anything; it loosens screws.

Types of Breaker Bars

There are two main types of breaker bars available in the market:

1. Hinge Handle Breaker Bar

This type of breaker bar has a hinge in the middle of the handle, which allows the user to adjust the angle of the socket. It is ideal for use in tight spaces where a regular breaker bar cannot be used.

2. Ratchet Breaker Bar

This type of breaker bar has a ratcheting mechanism that allows the user to rotate the socket in one direction. It is ideal when the user needs to apply torque to the bolt or nut.

How to use a Breaker bar?

Utilizing a breaker bar is straightforward and user-friendly. After selecting an appropriate socket size for loosening a bolt or nut, attach it to the male square socket on the end of the breaker bar, and apply force through its handle – rotating this way will loosen any remaining fasteners or nuts that remain tightened down on it.

Can We Use a Breaker Bar for Tightening Bolts and Nuts?

Breaker bars are typically designed for loosening tight bolts or nuts, though they can also be used for tightening them if necessary. It should be noted, however, that final tightening should only be accomplished with a breaker bar as this could apply too much torque and cause irreparable thread damage.

Which is the Best Breaker Bar in the Market?

There are various brands of breaker bars on the market, each boasting its own set of features and benefits. Some popular ones are Craftsman, Snap-on and Stanley; your individual needs and budget will determine the most suitable breaker bar option.

Breaker Bar Safety Issues

When using a breaker bar, it is imperative to take certain safety precautions to avoid injury. Wearing gloves and eye protection may prevent injuries from flying debris, and ensure the bar is upright and secure to reduce slipperiness or any potential for damage to surrounding areas. In addition, users should always comply with manufacturer instructions when using their tool for its intended use.


  • It rotates 230 degrees, making it perfect for a variety of tasks
  • Extended 40 inches in length, making it more convenient and powerful


  • The head is a bit too loose for my liking

What Is A Torque Wrench?

Torque wrenches are an indispensable tool for mechanics and DIY enthusiasts, used for tightening nuts or bolts to their recommended torque in their user’s manual. Torque wrenches allow users to tighten bolts or nuts at specific torque settings to ensure they do not loose too quickly. When this set torque is reached, a click sound will typically sound.

Types of Torque Wrench

1. Click Type Torque Wrenches

This type of torque wrench is the most popular and commonly used. It has a clicking mechanism that indicates when the desired torque setting is reached.

2. Split Beam Torque Wrenches

This torque wrench has no clicking mechanism like the click-type wrenches. Instead, it uses a visual indicator to show when the desired torque is reached.

3. Digital Torque Wrenches

This type of torque wrench has a digital display that shows the torque setting and indicates when the desired torque is reached.

4. Slip Type Torque Wrenches

This type of torque wrench is designed to slip when the desired torque is reached. It is commonly used in applications where over-tightening could cause damage.

5. Intelligent Torque Wrenches

This type of torque wrench is the most advanced and comes with features like Bluetooth connectivity, data logging, and torque-angle readings.

How to use a Torque Wrench?

Using a torque wrench is easy and requires a few simple steps. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Determine the torque specification for the bolt or nut you want to tighten. This information can be found in the user’s manual.
  2. Adjust the torque wrench to the desired torque setting.
  3. Place the torque wrench on the bolt or nut and tighten it until you hear a click or see the visual indicator that indicates the desired torque is reached.
  4. Repeat the process for all the bolts or nuts that need to be tightened.

Is it Possible to use a Torque Wrench in Reverse?

No, using a torque wrench in reverse is not advised. Torque wrenches are intended to tighten bolts or nuts clockwise only using one in this manner could damage its precision and accuracy.

Which is the Best Torque Wrench in the Market?

Various torque wrench brands on the market offer different features and benefits to meet specific user needs and budget constraints. Finding the ideal torque wrench depends entirely upon individual preferences and circumstances.

Torque Wrench Safety Issues

It is essential to follow safety guidelines when using a torque wrench. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Always wear safety glasses when using a torque wrench.
  2. Make sure the torque wrench is calibrated correctly before use.
  3. Avoid using a torque wrench to loosen bolts or nuts.
  4. Never exceed the maximum torque rating of the wrench.
  5. Store the torque wrench in a dry, clean place to prevent damage.


  • The dial controls torque present adjust system
  • Read and register for both left-hand and right hand threading
  • Conversion scale on the body of the tool is for more convenience


  • Audible click is not very loud

Breaker Bar Vs Torque Wrench Differences

1. Differences in Design

A breaker bar is a long, straight bar equipped with a square drive at its tip; on the other hand, torque wrenches have an elaborate ratcheting mechanism and gauge to measure the torque applied. Breaker bars are easy-to-use devices, while torque wrenches require calibration for accurate results.

2. Apply Force

Breaker bars apply maximum Force against stubborn or rusted bolts, while torque wrenches tighten them at a specific torque setting without overtightening them.

3. Types of Fasteners

Breaker bars are typically employed on larger bolts or fasteners that require considerable Force to loosen, while torque wrenches are ideal for more delicate fasteners requiring precise torque settings.

4. Accuracy

Torque wrenches are intended to deliver precise torque settings, while breaker bars tend to be used more for brute force tasks that don’t require as much precision.

5. Cost Differences

Breaker bars tend to be cheaper than torque wrenches yet provide a different level of precision and accuracy. Torque wrenches may become quite pricey if you require professional-grade models.

Breaker Bar And Torque Wrench – FAQs

1. Can We Use a Torque Wrench as a Breaker Bar?

Ans: Torque wrenches can be used as breaker bars, however it’s unsafe and ineffective. Torque wrenches are designed to apply specific amounts of torque, while breaker bars use maximum Force to loosen stubborn bolts or nuts. Using a torque wrench in its place could damage its tool and may not provide enough Force to loosen said bolt or nut, so using the right tool for the job ensures the safety and proper function.

2. How much torque can be applied when using a breaker bar?

Ans: The torque applied by a breaker bar depends on its length and the Force applied. Generally, longer bars allow more torque to be involved. However, staying within manufacturer-recommended torque specifications is essential to prevent damage to either tool or object being worked on. Utilizing a torque wrench to ensure accurate and safe torque application is highly recommended.

3. What Are the Uses of a Breaker Bar and Torque Wrench?

Ans: A breaker bar is a long-handled tool that provides additional leverage when loosening tight bolts or nuts, commonly seen in automotive repairs and construction projects. A torque wrench, on the other hand, tightens bolts or nuts to a specific torque specification to ensure safety and prevent any potential component damage during fastener installation. Both tools are essential in many toolkits, both professionally and DIY alike.


Ultimately, breaker bars and torque wrenches are valuable tools in any mechanic’s toolbox. While breaker bars are ideal for loosening stubborn bolts and nuts, torque wrenches provide tightening torque specifications with greater precision. Understanding their differences is key for selecting the appropriate tool to meet each task effectively, whether DIYing or employing professional mechanics. Having both in your arsenal will simplify your job and more efficient!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *