There was a set of instructions with a pair of Shimano quick releases I bought, and a second set in the bike owner's manual. Lots of information about using a quick release.
Both listed the amount of force in foot pounds, which seems impossible to apply in real life. But, the amount of force was also described as "the most" you are able to apply, and "as enough to leave a mark on your hand". Both of those descriptions are more force than most people normally use.
The instructions also mentioned some things I would not have thought about. The dropouts must be in a certain range of thickness for the quick release to grip properly. Hopefully, the bike companies have paid attention to that issue. And, the close lever should be parallel to the seatstay in the back when closed, and parallel to the fork in the front when closed. I guess that is to reduce the chance of the lever getting "hooked" onto something while riding.
When correctly installed a quick release provides a powerful grip on the dropouts. I had been using bolts instead of quick releases in front and back. The constant pounding on broken pavement would cause the rear wheel to get out of alignment and sometimes the tire would rub on one of the chainstays. After I switched the rear wheel to a Shimano quick release and followed the "the most force you are able to apply" rule, I've never had a wheel go off center.