Part two in Jonathan’s series on his legendary One-Case Toolkit.

Don’t even think about using pliers on that nut. Aside from a socket, a wrench is the only proper way to fasten or remove a nut of bolt without damaging it. But what wrenches should you carry? How big should you go? What about ratcheting wrenches and box wrenches? We’ll also discuss torque “wrenches,” and why you should have and use one regularly.

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From the workshop chat, some of the products and tips mentioned by viewers:

  • Knipex pliers wrench solves most of the stated issues with adjustable size.

  • The original style beam torque wrenches weren’t (aren’t) ratcheting. That’s probably where the name got set.

  • With a beam torque wrentch , one can measure the torque as one removes the fastener, in case the torque specifications are not available. I use it to measure torque while removing head bolts on a engine with a blown head gasket to pinpoint which head bolts are less tight and /or which cylinder could have issues.

  • I learned today to get a torque adaptor in order to save space. Thank you. Axle nuts may go up to 250 ft. lbs.

  • Okay, on a R1200GS the Rear wheel drive to swinging arm, M12 x 1.5 is 100 Nm (74 ft-lbs)

  • In aircraft accident investigation the torque to remove fasteners is routinely measured

  • Engine crankshaft pulleys will approach 250 ft-lbs also.

  • I believe break away torque when loosening a nut is typically higher than the original tightening torque. So I’d be careful trying to determine appropriate torque that way.

  • Tech engineer here, a good factory torque spec will assume a level of cleanliness and thread treatment. more friction in the threads mean you need more torque to achieve a given tension. most anti seize will lower friction and thus torque required compared to dry. but if manual says to anti seize and torque to x, hopefully the engineer already accounted for it and you don’t need to adjust.


  • My experience with the torque rod is they are not very accurate. I was tested them on a machine in my lab, I would not trust them.

  • For fasteners without factory specs available, there are tables of standard torques that have different values for different thread lubrication conditions. Bossard has a good fastener handbook PDF you can find online for metric ones.

  • I love my Knipex pliers, very durable and user friendly. Always get More tools.

  • I’ve seen some tables where based on fastener size there are (typical) applicable torque specifications. There’s a DIN standard, if my memory’s not wrong.

  • ‘Load indicating washer’ are the ones that squirt at right torque. Hardish to find in metric sizes in small QTYs in US


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