Why ISO 17025 Accreditation is Important for Torque Tool Calibration

The properly calibrated torque equipment for Installing wind turbines.

Even after all these years in business, there’s something that never fails to amaze us: The lack of understanding some professionals have when it comes to proper torque equipment calibration certification. We’re talking about customers who build ships, install wind turbines, and work on oil refineries, pipelines and other critical industries.

There are far too many contractors at major industrial operations who are willing to accept anyone who puts a sticker on their torque tools and equipment. This is like getting legal advice from your mechanic or going to your barber for an eye-exam: They might get it right, but how do you know? Where’s the accountability?

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What is the Difference Between ISO 17025 and NIST?

iStock_36184626_SMALL.jpgLast month, we took a look at the difference between ISO 17025 accreditation and ISO 9001 certification, and weighed which one was more important.

Today, we’re going to explore another set of certifications: ISO 17025 and certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, otherwise known as NIST.

Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.


We can trace the roots of NIST to the early days of the United States. For decades, an arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury called the Office of Standard Weights and Measures oversaw, as the name suggests, weights and measures.

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Torque Wrench Calibration: ISO 17025 vs ANSI Z540

Torque Wrench CalibrationThe United States uses two national standards for calibration labs: ANSI Z540, which was introduced in 1994, and ISO 17025, which was developed in 1999. 

But what sets them apart? Among the differences are the variations in scope and philosophy. 

ANSI Z540 applies only to calibration labs and stresses calibration as well as verification of measurement and test equipment outside the lab. 

The authors of ISO 17025 wanted to include requirements for calibration and testing labs, by showing that the lab operates in a technically proficient manner under a documented quality system producing accurate results.  

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