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Talking power tool torque - a short discussion

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

First of all, what is power tool torque? It is twisting force that dictates how tightly a power tool will drive a screw, nut or bolt, or how large a drill bit it will turn to make a hole, or how hard it will turn a drill bit before it gets stuck! Power tool torque is normally quoted in Nm or lb/ft or ft/lb.

Torque is not an indicator of how powerful your power tool is. Torque is only about how forcefully your power tool can work. Power is about how fast as well as how forcefully your power tool can work. For more on power tool power see KwikPro blogs Corded Tool Power and Cordless Tool Power.

A good way to consider how power tool torque works is to take a look at a two-gear rotary drill head such as when attached to a KwikPro motor handle. The power – mechanical twisting force and speed - comes from the motor in the KwikPro motor handle and at full throttle is the same whichever gear you select. In gear 1 the chuck rotates at a relatively slow speed and it's difficult to stop it from turning, but it takes a while to get a hole drilled. If you change to gear 2 the force goes down but the speed goes up. In gear 2, drilling the same size hole as in gear 1 starts off being much quicker until the drill bit gets stuck!

If you have a choice of cordless power tools with similar size batteries and similar size and weight, how do you decide which is for you? How do you compare power tool torque?

Try considering what you want from your power tool: what are you going to use it for most of the time? Are you going to be drilling lots of large holes and only occasional small holes or vice versa, or driving lots of large screws and only a few small screws or vice versa? Also, will you need to use the power tool one handed? If yes, do you want one that’s comfortable or one that’s heavy, causes fatigue and can wrench your wrist?

Mid torque power tool systems such as KwikPro Gold and Silver are highly versatile, ideal for most jobs, can be used one handed and are easy to carry, including hands-free with the unique KwikBeltTM toolbelt.

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