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What Is an Electric Torque Screwdriver?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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An electric torque screwdriver is a tool used to tighten screws and bolts. These tools use electricity to rotate the head of the screwdriver so that the body of the screwdriver and the arm of the person holding it remain stationary. Once the tool reaches a specified torque, it stops rotating. This type of tool is often used when assembling small objects, such as electronics, that require the components to be assembled to exact specifications.

A person using an electric torque screwdriver does not need to use manual force to tighten the screw or bolt. Instead, electricity is used to power the screwdriver and to rotate the head at high speeds. The tool can be held still while the motorized parts do the work of tightening the screw.

The head of the screwdriver needs to be positioned so that it lines up with the screw or bolt. In most cases, the handle of the tool is in line with the head of the screw so that the entire tool points in the direction that the screw moves. It is possible to find electric torque screwdrivers with angled handles that make holding them more comfortable.

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The electric torque screwdriver is designed to stop once the screw or bolt has reached a certain tightness. The tool is able to sense the tightness of the screw by determining how much torque is needed to continue tightening it. Once this torque has been reached, the tool will shut off automatically or slip itself off of the screw to prevent over-tightening.

The torque can be set so that all of the screws on an object are tightened to exactly the same specifications. This allows for devices to be built so that there are no screws that are over-tightened, which could damage delicate things such as electronics, or under-tightened, which could lead to screws falling out. In most cases, the torque setting on an electric torque screwdriver can be easily changed as needed. Some electric torque screwdrivers can be set so that the torque cannot be accidentally changed.

There are a few ways that an electric torque screwdriver may be turned on. Some of these tools are designed to turn on when they are pressed against the head of the screw, while others are turned off and on through a trigger or button. Screwdrivers that activate when pressed against the head of the screw will automatically shut off once it has reached the desired torque, while those controlled by a trigger or button may either shut off or slip off the head of the screw at the specified amount of torque.

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