I have a relatively expensive 1/2-inch torque wrench. Not all of my sockets are 1/2" and many of them are smaller. Is there any problem with using a socket adapter, so I can use my 1/2-inch torque wrench with smaller sockets?

  • 1
    Do you mean 1/4" Torque wrench?
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 26, 2015 at 18:49
  • I am sorry, just edited and corrected my question. The correct size is 1/2".
    – Allan Xu
    Oct 26, 2015 at 22:46

2 Answers 2


There is no problem using an adapter with your 1/2" torque wrench to be able to work with the size of socket you need. This will in no way affect torque settings or anything of that nature. You will most likely never have an issue with the socket itself, but more likely with the adapter failing first ... if anything were to fail at all.

You do, however, need to be aware that most smaller bolts will have a torque value which will fall below the minimum torque value the wrench can be set to. Many of these will be in the inch-pound range instead of the pound-feet range.

  • Thank you @Paulster2. So the smaller sockets won't change the torque, no conversion required right?
    – Allan Xu
    Oct 27, 2015 at 3:12
  • 1
    @AllanXu : No conversion required, but the useful torque range is something to watch out for. As Paulster2 mentions, a 1/2" torque wrench is not very useful for low torque values. The scale of my 1/2" torque wrench goes down to 9 Nm but it overestimates torque when set to 10 Nm (which can result in sheared bolts and stripped threads). My 1/4" torque wrench didn't suffer nearly as much from this. Of course, there are other factors that could explain these differences (build quality, calibration drift, etc.) but in general the size of the drive will govern the suitable torque tightening range.
    – Zaid
    Oct 27, 2015 at 10:03
  • Thanks @ziad for confirming. My torque wrench range is the 20-250-foot pound. I wanted to use it to tight a bolt using a 3/8" socket with the 30-foot pound. According to the discussion in this post, I should be okay with my torque wrench right?
    – Allan Xu
    Oct 27, 2015 at 15:00
  • 1
    @AllanXu that's around 40 Nm. Should be fine for a 1/2" drive torque wrench
    – Zaid
    Oct 27, 2015 at 17:49

1/4in is the smallest size drivers normally come in.

The only problem I've found with using an adapter that converts to a size smaller than the driver is when you have to put huge loads on the wrench. Sometimes when this happens, it can break the wall of the smaller socket or break the square part of the adapter off.

Just make sure your sockets and adapter seem strong enough to handle the task at hand. For example, You probably don't want to put all your weight on a 1/4in adapter/socket with a 2ft handle.

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