Torque is a unit of measurement that expresses the amount of work done. It can be listed in foot-pounds, Newton meters, or Joules.

For example, imagine using a wrench with a 2 ft. handle. You apply 50 lbs. of force to the handle. You are applying 100 ft.-lbs. of torque. (50 lbs. x 2 ft. = 100 ft.-lbs.)

When an engine is listed at 200 ft.-lbs. of torque, it means 200 lbs. of force applied to a 1 ft. lever would be needed to stop its rotation.

How is it measured?

  • Engine specs will list peak torque at a specific rpm.
  • A dynamometer (dyno) measures the amount of torque an engine applies.
  • The formula to calculate torque is:

(5,252 x Horsepower) ÷ rpm = Torque

For example, if an engine has 240 hp at 3,880 rpm, it would be:

(5,252 x 240) ÷ 3,880 = 325 ft.-lbs.


  • The difference between torque and Horsepower is that:
    • Torque explains how MUCH has been accomplished.
    • Horsepower explains how FAST it's done.
Related Products: Engine Assemblies, Other Engines & Components