I have tried looking around the internet for an answer - but I can only find articles that explain what the clutch on a drill does.

I am very familiar not only with what they do but also with how they operate. I have always wondered, however, what the units for the numbers are. They don't seem to be anything standard.

My drill has a max torque of 725lbf-in. I have tried converting that into all of the different units for torque I can find, but none of them result in a 24 (my max torque setting), or anything in that range.

  • The higher the number on the clutch, the more torque the drill will provide. Dec 13, 2016 at 4:01
  • Did you try to contact the manufacturer? Jul 5, 2017 at 4:06

2 Answers 2


The clutch on a drill or a driver is a very imprecise thing. It just has multiple settings (24 in your case) and often a separate "drill" setting which disables the clutch. Manufacturers don't specify actual torque values for the clutch settings. So the bottom line is you have a black box with 24 settings that gradually increase the torque after reaching which the chuck is disconnected from the motor and you hear the repetitive clicking sound and perhaps you have a "drill" setting with which there's no disconnection.

  • 3
    Turn to 11 for the highest volume, it's more powerful than 10. Just means more or less torque at breakaway. Measuring precise torque requires a torque wrench. Or a very expensive calibrated power tool like used in the aircraft industry. Jan 9, 2013 at 6:38
  • 7
    Not only is it arbitrary, it's probably not linear either. The torque at 16 is unlikely to be twice the torque at 8, and the increase in torque between 2 & 3 is probably not the same as between 17 & 18.
    – bcworkz
    Jan 9, 2013 at 23:24

It's the same system for volume knobs and stovetops.

When getting just the right torque setting is important to you, prepare a few sample works. Tighten one at the lowest torque setting, and turn it up and re-tighten until it breaks. Then take it down a notch and tighten the next sample work. If it breaks take it down and try the next. etc.

Once you know how tight it can go without breaking the samples, take it one notch less torque and do the actual work.

I also suspect the torque output of the limiter at a given number varies depending on the rpm applied by the motor. lower rpm lets more torque through.

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