How To Calibrate a Socket Wrench? – Detailed Step

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Calibration is crucial when dealing with a socket set. In most cases, a socket set always needs proper calibration. With this, you can use your tool appropriately. The first vital question to ask is, “What exactly is calibration?” You must have heard about this in several places. However, to put your thoughts together, let’s define it. Calibration is the step of comparing an instrument (in this case, socket wrench) with known standards. Due to this, we all have what we call the S.I units. Although, we won’t be going deep into that in this write-up.

First, what are socket wrenches? According to Wikipedia, it’s a type of tool that inserts a socket to turn a fastener. Practically speaking, we all use these tools for loosing frustrating and tight fasters. Just as we use them for loosening, we use them to tighten them too. Now, straight to the most crucial question. Why do we need to calibrate these tools? It’s vital to perform calibration because the fastener needs to have the exact tension for proper functioning. However, what’s the most advisable way to calibrate the socket set ?


There are lots of essential things that you need to calibrate the socket set appropriately. Please note that the click type of socket wrench is the commonest and cheapest. However, it’s very prone to over-tightening. For this reason, you must be careful when performing the calibration process. Moreover, it is advisable to follow the ISO 6789 international standard requirement. Interestingly, it covers tool types, design requirements, and calibration methods. Before going straight to in-depth details, let’s see the necessary tools you need for this process. A few of them are:

  • Clicker-style torque wrench.
  • Tape measure.
  • Vise secured to a bench or lug nut attached to a piece of equipment.
  • Safety-toe shoes.
  • Method to record values.
  • 20 to 35-pound weight.
  • Marker or paint pen.

Some of these things above are for safety. As you can see, there are no special tools required. Just a few things to help your measurement and make things more comfortable. If you’re wondering what these things above are for, keep reading. Now, we’d go straight into the step by step approach of calibrating the socket set.


The first crucial step you shouldn’t ignore is getting the previously mentioned tools for performing this process on the socket set . When you successfully have them, these steps will be easy to follow. Here are the vital steps:

STEP 1: Capture the Measurement

It’s a fantastic fact that anything you need to calibrate needs capturing first. However, this is not a very common principle that people employ. Although, if you want to get the best results off calibrating the socket set , don’t miss this step. When taking measurements, always start from the middle of the square drive (Where the socket is attached). For more straightforward calculations, try using whole inches. Here’s where your marker or paint pen comes in. It would help if you marked the handle, where you stopped taking measurements.

STEP 2: Secure your socket wrench

In most cases, this specific step is the best when you have a vise. It’s a crucial step when dealing with the socket set . With the appropriate vise, you can lock in the torque wrench. However, there are some cases where the vice may be unavailable. If you find yourself in this situation, use a socket on the tool. Unfortunately, this step may sound a bit technical, but it’s easy to follow along with if you make a careful analysis. Give enough space to attach a rope and weight for performing this calibration. Additionally, secure the square end of your torque wrench to your vise for the calibration test.

STEP 3: Make the necessary calculations

This step is one of the most crucial steps in the entire calibration process. Moreover, calculations are vital tools that help us obtain correct values based on a specific S.I unit. How do you make the crucial calculations in this step? For this particular process, you need to multiply the measurements in this article’s first step with the weight you’re considering. Also, have it in mind that this is a vital step for any socket set brand. After this, divide your results by 12 to get your values in foot-pounds. However, this entirely depends on your measurements. For you, the calculation can be different. Interestingly, the only reason for the division by 12 is to convert from inch-pounds to foot-pounds.

STEP 4: Appropriately secure the weight for the calibration check

One of the most straightforward and exciting steps is the calibration check. In this step, you need to “secure your weight” appropriately. Here are the vital things to do here for the socket set :

  • Tie a rope around the weight to ensure it is appropriately secured.
  • Make a loop long enough to side over the wrench handle. For this specific step, please try ensuring that the rope’s length doesn’t make the weight reach the floor.
  • Set your socket wrench to the value you got in step 3.
  • Hang the loop end of the rope on the socket wrench where you marked initially.

Everything in this step seems a little tricky to understand. However, you need to know that your socket wrench will click once if the weight was well applied. Although, if you set it a step higher than what’s in step 3, and it “clicks,” then you need to recalibrate over again. On the other hand, if the socket wrench clicks, then your tool is accurate. For the sake of accuracy, confirm this step before moving to the next.

STEP 5: Proper adjustments of torque wrench

Lastly, you must always perform this step for the socket set. Without it, calibration hasn’t finished. Adjust your socket wrench by tightening the tension spring. If you have a problem finding them, there’s no cause for alarm. They are in the center of the “wrench” below the handle. Once you set your socket wrench to the value you have in step 3, your socket set is calibrated.


As a DIY lover, you need to have your socket set correctly. If you use these tools professionally, you need to make sure that they are in the proper condition. Calibration may look like it’s far-fetched. However, it’s simple and straightforward. Also, always remember that the best kinds of calibration still require the use of proper tools. Moreover, calculations are also very vital. Overall, please ensure that you follow the step closely and safely to avoid accidents while performing the procedure.

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