What Is the Difference Between a Breaker Bar and a Torque Wrench?

Published on: June 16, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

A torque wrench and breaker bar are two vital pieces of equipment that any workshop should have, especially if the business’s primary focus is on autos.

Breaker bars are only used to remove nuts and bolts that are firmly tight and demand a lot of torque. On the other hand, Torque wrenches are used to tighten bolts to a predetermined torque. Breaker bars are used to remove bolts, whereas torque wrenches are used to tighten them.

difference between a breaker bar and a torque wrench

This page discusses what each tool excels at, what it lacks, the many forms of each tool, and how to use them correctly. Are you ready for a battle between a breaker bar and a torque wrench? Let’s get started!

Difference Between a Breaker Bar and a Torque Wrench:

A torque wrench differs from a breaking bar in what ways? To be honest, the number of differences between the two tools far outnumbers the number of parallels. They differ from one another in the following ways:

What’s a Breaker Bar?

what is a breaker bar
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A breaker bar is a long bar with a socket that looks like a wrench. They’re sometimes referred to as power bars.

A swiveling head or a socket can be connected to the longer handle. The ones with a swiveling charge and a socket can apply greater torque to release nuts without requiring a lot of strength. The most convenient to use are 180-degree swivel breaker bars, which allow you to operate from any position.

Breaker bars are powerful in and of themselves. They’re constructed of chrome steel that’s been polished. As a result, you’ll never hear it shatter. Even if it doesn’t, it’s cheap to replace and can be found at any hardware shop.

Breaker bars come in a variety of forms and sizes to fit the various sizes of bolts and donuts. The angle is also available in a variety of lengths.

Longer handles can usually apply greater torque, allowing them to extract recalcitrant and frozen nuts and bolts. I like the ones that are between 18 and 40 inches long. An 18-inch breaker bar is short enough to loosen tiny nuts but powerful enough to remove lug nuts securely from wheels.

How does a breaker bar differ in terms of its range of torque compared to a torque wrench?

A breaker bar is designed to break bolts, nuts, and other fasteners that are stuck due to rust, corrosion, or over-tightening. It has a longer handle than a torque wrench, which allows for a greater range of torque. This makes it ideal for loosening stubborn fasteners or turning fasteners that require more torque than a torque wrench can provide.

What Is A Torque Wrench?

The features of a torque wrench are similar to those of a breaker bar. However, it is a tool that is guaranteed to provide a specified amount of torque to the nut or bolt to secure it. When tightness is the most crucial factor, the torque wrench is the best tool to use!

Using a torque wrench, you can pick the proper torque and obtain the best results.

what is a torque wrench
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Types of Breaker Bars & Torque Wrenches

We’ll go through several breaker bars, and torque wrenches here.

Breaker Bars

There aren’t many different types of breaker bars. The bars are functionally identical, and their appearances are similar as well. More curiously, the bars’ design is so efficient and effective that just minor alterations have been made to the item. You could see the only difference in the tool’s nozzle or head. Read more: 11 Best Air Impact Wrench for Changing Tires

Torque Wrenches

Torque wrenches are available in a number of types, and in this part, we’ll provide you with the knowledge you need to choose the right one for you!

Click-Type Wrenches

These are the most well-known in the industry! This sort of wrench generates the distinctive click sound when the necessary torque is obtained, as the name implies. There are also a variety of click-type wrenches to choose from, such as beam torque wrenches and mechatronic torque wrenches.

Furthermore, these wrenches provide outstanding performance and allow you to enhance your talents. This kind, however, has a disadvantage. The clicks do not prevent the nuts and bolts from being overtightened.

Digital Torque Wrenches

The digital torque wrench is one of the most efficient and accurate torque wrenches available. Pre-calibrated digital torque wrenches allow you to get the needed torque with minimal effort. Furthermore, the wrench alerts you with a beep or something similar. when you achieve the ideal torque

And, the downside of these is that they are expensive.

Slip Torque Wrenches

These are perhaps the most effective but basic of the four! Over-tightening is also less likely as a result of this. Furthermore, it is cost-effective and efficient.

However, the disadvantages may exceed the advantages. With this one, you won’t be able to watch the torque being applied, and these typically handle torque in the region of 100Nm. See also: The Best Ratcheting Wrench Set Made in USA

Breaker Bar VS Torque Wrench

Both breaker bars and torque wrenches will be compared in-depth here. Continue reading to learn more about their distinctions.

1. Leverage

Compared to a torque wrench, a breaking bar generally has a much longer handlebar. If you’re a scientific student, you’ll understand why this is both a wonderful thing and a major problem. The length of a tool’s effort arm, or in our instance, the handlebar, directly influences its leverage and efficiency.

As a result, the breaking bar, with its long handle, may generate greater torque from the same amount of force exerted than a torque wrench. As a result, a breaking bar is better at locking or releasing screws.

2. Automation

A torque wrench has a lot to offer if you want to be fancy and do more than simply crank the bolt. A broken bar is as straightforward as it gets. Other than installing different bolt sockets for different screws, there isn’t much opportunity for improvement.

A torque wrench, on the other hand, is quite useful. The first and most apparent step is determining the exact amount of torque. One step further is to tighten up to the correct amount.

If you want to take it a step further, electronic torque wrenches provide greater control and speed and make the tedious work a little more fun… I mean, it’s not really entertaining, but it’s a step in the right direction.

3. Utility

In terms of practicality, a breaking bar provides a substantial advantage. I’m referring to things the tool can achieve that aren’t related to its original function. There are certain restrictions to using a torque wrench. At least a few types are unsuitable for unscrewing bolts. When it comes to tightening, they excel, but not when it comes to unscrewing.

Screwing and unscrewing using a breaker bar is a breeze. All models and brands are the same. Instead, if you need to break a sweat, a breaker bar is great for that.

Their capacity to handle stress is astounding, and they frequently outperform the user. At the same time, using a torque wrench limits you to operate in a restricted torque range.

4. Control

Control isn’t the same thing as usefulness or usability. The wind suddenly shifts to the torque wrench’s advantage. A standard torque wrench allows you to fine-tune the torque. When it comes to dealing with autos, this is a requirement. Torque is one of the most critical things to keep in check in the engine block.

Torque wrenches are designed for precise control. A breaker bar, on the other hand, provides very little control. The feeling on your hand and how hard it is pushing in your hand is all you have control over-torque. You can read also: 10 Best Cordless Ratchet Wrench

There’s one more thing I’d like to bring up. Remember how I indicated that a breaker bar might liberate a rusty bolt that would otherwise be a pain to remove? There’s a unique quality that only a breaker bar can provide if you think about it.

5. Price

Compared to a torque wrench, a breaker bar is far less expensive. Despite certain limitations and being outplayed in some instances, a torque wrench has several nice characteristics that a breaker bar will never have.

The importance of control and battery-powered automation cannot be overstated. As a result, a torque wrench is somewhat more expensive than a breaker bar. A breaker bar, on the other hand, a breaker bar may be quickly replaced if your tool breaks or just has to be replaced.

Can You Use a Breaker Bar to Tighten?

You’ll need to know how to tighten lug nuts to rotate tires or fix a flat tire, but “tight enough” isn’t good enough. While many individuals get away with using a spider wrench, breaker bar, or impact pistol (which can be dangerous), utilizing a torque wrench is the best way to tighten lug nuts.

Why Do Breaker Bars Work?

A breaker bar is a long steel bar with a socket drive attached to a head. This head rotates up to 240 degrees to allow the user to set the bar in the best position for providing the leverage required to extract a stubborn nut or bolt.

Are Breaker Bars Necessary?

Even an impact wrench can’t always get the job done. A breaker bar is required in this situation. If you ever want to work on your automobile in the luxury of your garage, you’ll need a good breaker bar to remove rusty bolts and nuts quickly. A breaker bar is a relatively straightforward instrument.

When Would You Use a Breaker Bar Instead of a Torque Wrench?

A breaker bar should be used when an extra amount of force is needed to loosen a fastener, such as a stuck or rusted bolt. A torque wrench is designed to measure the amount of torque applied to a fastener, rather than to provide extra force to loosen it.

Final Words

Something that the majority of individuals lack the necessary equipment or skill to do. This is why, despite taking longer, most individuals prefer to use a breaker bar instead of a torque wrench when transitioning between tightening and loosening activities.

If you’re only working on one component at a time, though, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use your torque wrench as a breaker bar because you won’t cause any harm. Just make sure it’s calibrated for each work before you use it. If you need more information, try our posts on removing castle nuts without a wrench and utilizing standard sockets with an impact wrench.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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