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how torque wrenches work dial type 3-d view torque gauge handle square drive for sockets top view upper arm pivot point lower arm gear rack dial gear for gauge square drive attached to lower arm spring spring stopper on upper arm mechanical top view torque disadvantages of the dial type torque wrench are very similar to those of a beam type torque wrench constant torque must be applied to read the scale and it can be difficult for human muscles to apply an accurate constant torque as torque is applied to the handle the spring is compressed between the upper arm and the lower arm which causes the gear rack to move and rotate the gear attached to the dial gauge the amount the spring is compressed is proportionate to the amount of torque applied the dial gauge reflects the amount of torque applied by the graduations on its face