This Nm to ft-lbs converter is a simple tool that converts between four different units of torque. We will teach how to convert newton-meters to foot pounds and provide you with handy conversion tables, where you can look up any value you need.

Read on to learn why we need to use these units in the first place, how to convert between them, and why the kg-cm unit of torque doesn't make much sense!

What do Nm and ft-lbs measure?

Newton-meters (Nm for short) and foot-pounds (ft-lbs) are units of torque, also called the moment of force or the rotational force. Torque measures the tendency of an object to rotate if you apply some force to it.

Imagine an object, such as a lever, that has one fixed point. We will call that stationary point the pivot point. If you start pushing or pulling the lever in a straight line, the object will begin to rotate around that pivot point. The further from the pivot point you apply the force, the bigger the rotation.

The product of the force you apply and the distance from the pivot point is called torque. If you're a fan of the SI unit system, you will probably measure it in newton-meters. If, however, you use the FPS (foot-pound-second) system, you might be more familiar with the unit of foot-pounds.

💡 Remember that foot pounds and pounds-force are not the same unit, although their symbols are quite similar. You can express torque in foot pounds (ft-lbs), but not in pounds-force (lbf) - that is a measure of force.

How to convert newton-meters to foot-pounds?

The conversion from Nm to ft-lbs is very simple. You can, of course, use our torque conversion calculator, but it's straightforward to calculate it by hand, too! All you need to remember is that 1 Nm is equal to 0.7376 ft-lbs.

The conversion table below might come in handy, should you need to convert the most fundamental values of torque. If your value doesn't appear in the table, you might want to give our Nm to ft-lbs conversion calculator a try!

Newton-meters Foot-pounds
1 Nm 0.738 ft-lbs
2 Nm 1.475 ft-lbs
5 Nm 3.688 ft-lbs
10 Nm 7.376 ft-lbs
20 Nm 14.751 ft-lbs
25 Nm 18.439 ft-lbs
30 Nm 22.127 ft-lbs
35 Nm 25.815 ft-lbs
40 Nm 29.502 ft-lbs
50 Nm 36.878 ft-lbs
100 Nm 73.756 ft-lbs

How to convert ft-lbs to Nm?

If you're trying the opposite torque units conversion, don't worry: it's equally simple! This time, all you need to know is that 1 ft-lb is equivalent to 1.3558 Nm. This means that to convert from foot-pounds to newton-meters, you need to multiply the value you have by the factor of 1.3558.

For your convenience, we have prepared a table with the simplest conversions listed out. If your value doesn't appear in this table, go ahead and input it into the second field of our Nm to ft-lbs converter!

Foot-pounds Newton-meters
1 ft-lbs 1.356 Nm
2 ft-lbs 2.712 Nm
5 ft-lbs 6.779 Nm
10 ft-lbs 13.558 Nm
20 ft-lbs 27.116 Nm
25 ft-lbs 33.895 Nm
30 ft-lbs 40.675 Nm
35 ft-lbs 47.454 Nm
40 ft-lbs 54.233 Nm
50 ft-lbs 67.791 Nm
100 ft-lbs 135.582 Nm

Torque conversion calculator: example of use

Let's imagine you're working with gears. You're setting up a gear train consisting of three different wheels and you want the output torque to be equal to 12 ft-lbs. Unfortunately, the dynamometer you have displays the measured value in newton-meters only. What should the reading of the dynamometer be?

  1. Check which unit you're working with. You know the value is 12 ft-lbs.

  2. You also know that one ft-lb is equivalent to 1.3558 Nm.

  3. All you have to do is multiply these two values:

    12 * 1.3558 = 16.27 Nm

  4. The dynamometer needs to display a value of 16.27 Nm.

You can also use our Nm to ft-lbs converter to save some time!

Other units of torque - kg-cm to Nm and J/rad to Nm

Even though the most popular units displayed on a torque wrench are Nm and ft-lbs, there are also other units you might find quite handy. Our calculator will automatically convert any value you input into two additional units: kg-cm and J/rad.

  • kg-cm are units of torque that, interestingly, we usually write down with improper notation. You probably noticed that when you try to convert kg-cm to any other SI units, you will get a different unit than that for newtons multiplied by meters! To make this notation correct, you should add a letter F, writing down kgF-cm. In this situation, kgF means kilograms of force, which are simply kilograms multiplied by the gravitational acceleration, g.

    If you want to convert kg-cm to Nm, all you need to do is multiply the first value by 0.09807 - one-hundredth of the gravitational acceleration of Earth:

    1 kg-cm = 0.09807 Nm = 0.07233 ft-lbs

  • J/rad are also alternative units of torque, commonly used when you need the value of torque in calculations of work or power. These units are equivalent to Nm:

    1 J/rad = 1 Nm = 0.738 ft-lbs

Bogna Szyk
Other torque units
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