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Manual Tightening Learning Journey: mechanical wrenches in a nutshell

All you need to know about Atlas Copco manual production tools

First, what are mechanical wrenches?


By definition, mechanical wrenches are adjusted for one target torque and they have inner moving parts. Therefore, they are not used for measurement and of course there is no integrated transducer.

Motivations to use a wrench

Mechanical wrenches are usually the easiest and simplest way to ensure a minimum reached torque on a joint. They are usually lower in operational costs than other tools, while offering a very quick setup and fast tool replacements.

Manual torque wrenches are light weighted and ensure good ergonomics. They can provide good quality standards also in narrow areas, as sometimes the joint accessibility is very poor and electrical tools are too big to fit into the cramped spaces.

Which types of mechanical wrenches do we have?

Click wrenches

Application of CWR mechanical click wrench in motor assembly
Click type torque wrenches are the most frequently used type in the market. They are very easy in handling and provide a very distinctive feedback to the operator: THE CLICK! This feedback will occur when the minimum torque is reached. Indeed, the tightening quality highly depends on the handling of the operator.

Break wrenches

Breaking wrench application on motor tightening
The next mechanical wrench concept is a break type wrench. This wrenchtype also has a very easy handling and distinctive feedback to the operator. In fact, the wrench won’t perform a click, but it breaks into a higher angle. The unique BWR mechanism significantly supports the reduction of overloads on the joints and increase process reliability: the wide angle helps the operator to stop in order to avoid overloaded bolts.

Camover/Slip wrenches

Mechanical SWR slipping wrench in application
The third type of mechanical wrench is the Camover, sometimes also called Slip type wrench.
Due to the camover mechanism, it is not possible to apply an overload on the bolt and therefore process reliability is significantly increased. The wrench is very easy to handle for a new operator and the feedback is indicated by the mechanical “slip” of the internal mechanism.

Accessories? The Microswitch Adaptor

Application of CWR mechanical wrench with microswitch adaptor
Here it is an accessory that counts clicks or breaks for you! The Microswitch Adaptor is able to send a signal to a PLC every time your minimum torque is reached, when you have a click or a break. This is the first step to process control.

Stay tuned to discover more about Manual Torque Wrench Solutions! Follow the Manual Tightening Learning Journey to learn about mechanical, mechatronic and electronic wrenches.

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