Units of Torque

Last Updated: April 25, 2024

Units of Torque

Torque is a fundamental concept in physics and engineering, describing the rotational force applied to an object. It is a measure of how much a force acting on an object causes that object to rotate. The point where the force is applied is crucial in determining the amount of torque.

What are Units of Torque?

Units of torque play a critical role in various fields such as mechanical engineering, physics, and automotive design. They are fundamental in quantifying the rotational force applied to objects.

SI Unit of Torque

newton meter (N·m)

The newton meter (N·m) stands as the official SI unit for measuring torque. It quantifies the rotational force when a force of one newton is applied perpendicularly to a moment arm that extends one meter from the rotation axis.

CGS Unit of Torque

dyne-centimeter (dyn·cm)

In the Centimeter GramSecond(CGS) system, the unit of torque is known as the dyne-centimeter (dyn·cm). This unit measures the torque resulting from a force of one dyne applied perpendicularly to a lever arm one centimeter long.

Formula of Torque

The formula for torque (τ) can be expressed simply as:

  • 𝜏 is the torque,
  • 𝑟 is the length of the lever arm (radius),
  • 𝐹 is the force applied perpendicular to the lever arm.

List of Torque Units

Newton MeterN·m

Newton Meter (N·m)

1 N·m = 1 N × 1 m

The Newton Meter is the SI unit of torque, named for Sir Isaac Newton. It measures the torque resulting from a force of one newton applied perpendicularly to a point one meter from the pivot point. It is universally used in science and engineering to specify rotational force.

Pound-foot (lb-ft)

1 lb-ft = 1 lb × 1 ft

This unit is widely used in the United States, particularly in automotive and mechanical engineering. It represents the torque produced by one pound-force acting at a radius of one foot from the center of rotation.

Dyne-centimeter (dyn·cm)

1 dyn·cm = 1 dyn × 1 cm

A dyne-centimeter is the CGS unit of torque. It measures the torque resulting from a force of one dyne applied at a radius of one centimeter from the rotation axis, often used in physics to describe small-scale rotational forces.

Kilogram-meter (kg·m)

1 kg·m = 1 kg × 9.8 m/s² × 1 m

This unit measures torque using the metric system, where one kilogram-force meter is the torque produced by one kilogram-force acting at a lever arm one meter long.

Pound-inch (lb-in)

1 lb-in = 1 lb × 1 in

The pound-inch is another imperial unit of torque, commonly used in various applications requiring finer measurements than pound-feet, such as in small machinery or aviation.

Conversion of Torque Units

Conversion of Torque Units

Here’s a table format for different units of torque, showing conversion factors between common units like Newton Meters, Pound-feet, Dyne-centimeters, and Kilogram-meters:

Torque UnitNewton Meter (N·m)Pound-foot (lb-ft)Dyne-centimeter (dyn·cm)Kilogram-meter (kg·m)
Newton Meter (N·m)00.73761.0E+70.102
Pound-foot (lb-ft)1.355801.3558E+70.1383
Dyne-centimeter (dyn·cm)1.0E-77.37562E-801.01972E-6
Kilogram-meter (kg·m)9.806657.233019.80665E+70

Newton Meter to Pound-foot

  • Conversion: 1 lb-ft = 1.35582 N·m
  • Example: To convert 100 Newton Meters to Pound-feet:
  • 100 N·m / 1.35582 = 73.76 lb-ft

Newton Meter to Dyne-centimeter

  • Conversion: 1 N·m = 1.0E+7 dyn·cm
  • Example: To convert 50 Newton Meters to Dyne-centimeters:
  • 50 N·m × 1.0E+7 = 5.0E+8 dyn·cm

Newton Meter to Kilogram-meter

  • Conversion: 1 N·m = 0.10197 kg·m
  • Example: To convert 30 Newton Meters to Kilogram-meters:
  • 30 N·m × 0.10197 = 3.0591 kg·m

Pound-foot to Newton Meter

  • Conversion: 1 lb-ft = 1.35582 N·m
  • Example: To convert 45 Pound-feet to Newton Meters:
  • 45 lb-ft × 1.35582 = 61.012 N·m

Pound-foot to Dyne-centimeter

  • Conversion: 1 lb-ft = 1.38255E+7 dyn·cm
  • Example: To convert 20 Pound-feet to Dyne-centimeters:
  • 20 lb-ft × 1.38255E+7 = 2.7651E+8 dyn·cm

Pound-foot to Kilogram-meter

  • Conversion: 1 lb-ft = 0.138255 kg·m
  • Example: To convert 15 Pound-feet to Kilogram-meters:
  • 15 lb-ft × 0.138255 = 2.073825 kg·m

Dyne-centimeter to Newton Meter

  • Conversion: 1 dyn·cm = 1.0E-7 N·m
  • Example: To convert 5.0E+8 Dyne-centimeters to Newton Meters:
  • 5.0E+8 dyn·cm × 1.0E-7 = 50 N·m

Dyne-centimeter to Pound-foot

  • Conversion: 1 dyn·cm = 7.37562E-8 lb-ft
  • Example: To convert 2.0E+8 Dyne-centimeters to Pound-feet:
  • 2.0E+8 dyn·cm × 7.37562E-8 = 14.75124 lb-ft

Dyne-centimeter to Kilogram-meter

  • Conversion: 1 dyn·cm = 1.01972E-6 kg·m
  • Example: To convert 1.0E+9 Dyne-centimeters to Kilogram-meters:
  • 1.0E+9 dyn·cm × 1.01972E-6 = 1019.72 kg·m

Kilogram-meter to Newton Meter

  • Conversion: 1 kg·m = 9.80665 N·m
  • Example: To convert 3 Kilogram-meters to Newton Meters:
  • 3 kg·m × 9.80665 = 29.42 N·m

Kilogram-meter to Pound-foot

  • Conversion: 1 kg·m = 7.23301 lb-ft
  • Example: To convert 5 Kilogram-meters to Pound-feet:
  • 5 kg·m × 7.23301 = 36.16505 lb-ft

Kilogram-meter to Dyne-centimeter

  • Conversion: 1 kg·m = 9.80665E+7 dyn·cm
  • Example: To convert 2 Kilogram-meters to Dyne-centimeters:
  • 2 kg·m × 9.80665E+7 = 1.96133E+8 dyn·cm


What is the measurement of torque?

Torque measures the rotational force applied around a pivot point, calculated as the product of force and the perpendicular distance from the pivot.

What is torque measured in US units called?

In US units, torque is commonly measured in pound-feet (lb-ft).

Does horsepower equal torque?

Horsepower does not equal torque; rather, horsepower quantifies the rate at which work is done, incorporating both torque and rotational speed in its calculation.

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