Whenever you want to do a DIY project or a home improvement, the Allen wrench is amongst the most used tools. Allen wrenches are an all-purpose, industry-standard tool that is used for a variety of purposes. Also referred to as Hex key, this wrench is mostly employed for hex wrench tightening. They are available in several sizes and shapes, but the most common shape is the hexagonal head with a slotted shaft and a slotted handle. They could be powered to used for drilling or used by hand along with impact drivers. This Allen wrench suits inside a hexagonal recess which is usually found in circumstances when there is no clearance space. The slotted shaft makes it possible to turn two different-sized screws at one time without having to switch tools. Allen wrenches are commonly used in automotive repair as well as household home repairs. They can also be used for electrical work for screws with rounded heads or sockets where the screw cannot be turned by hand.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Are Allen wrenches and Hex keys the same?
- How do I know what size Allen wrench I need?
- What can I use instead of an Allen wrench?
- What should be taken into consideration when purchasing an Allen Wrench?
- Top 3 Best Allen Wrench Sets in 2021
Are Allen wrenches and Hex keys the same?
Short answer – yes. Just like Allen wrenches, Hex keys are also used for loosening or tightening bolts, screws, and nuts.
What’s the difference between Hex Keys and Allen wrenches? There is essentially none except Allen wrenches have special features like knobs that assist in tightening parts with less effort, helping them reach tighter spaces more easily.
A Hex key’s hexagonal ends are what give it its name. Whereas the name Allen wrench was given to it because of the man who created it.
But they are essentially the same tool and the two names for these inexpensive bits of kit are often used interchangeably.
It’s important to know the different types of hex keys and Allen wrenches to use them correctly. Let’s go over them now.
L-Style Allen wrench
L-Style Allen wrench features an ergonomic design and a dry grip. The wrench is perfect for those who are looking for maximum comfort while working on car repairs.
The L-Style Allen wrench uses a unique design that can help it stand out from competitors. It uses ergonomics to provide the user with maximum comfort and it also has a dry grip which makes it easier to handle when you’re using tools in the rain or at night.
Folding Hex key
Folding Hex keys are a multipurpose tool that has more than one use. The most important reason for their popularity is the fact that they can be used in a variety of ways.
- A hex key with a square head can be used to remove bolts, screws, and other small fasteners.
- A hex key with wire cutters at the end can be used to cut through wire or cable ties without hurting anything else nearby.
- A hex key with a hook on one side can be placed in a hole and then lifted up to free whatever is stuck there. The hook is also helpful when you need something moved or lifted but don’t have enough leverage available.
P-Handle Allen wrenches have a range of benefits. They can help you loosen a bolt in difficult-to-reach areas, ensure that you don’t over-tighten your fasteners with the torque control dials on the handles, and provide some extra leverage when it is needed.
A P-handle Allen wrench can also be used as an alternative to a socket wrench when working in tight spaces where using sockets would be unsafe.
Allen Screwdriver is a tool that is designed to make screws easier to screw into any material such as wood, metal, plastic, etc.
It has a rubber grip which makes it easy to hold on to and the torque ranging from 0-350 in steps of 10lbs. It also has an LED light which helps you get the job done in dark situations or when working with power tools like drills or saws.
These wrenches make it easier to maintain bike breaks. Most often, you will find these kinds of wrenches in sizes ranging from 1.5mm to 5mm.
T-Handle wrenches have been used in various industries for many decades, including automotive, construction, and power tool applications.
Most T-Handle wrenches have six tines on one side of the jaw with a hexagonal or square head on the other side. However, there are many variations in design.
This type is probably most familiar to people who are in the motorsports industry. The design allows for the wrench to be able to be spun quickly and with good leverage. These wrenches are quickly gaining popularity with bike mechanics as well.
The Ratcheting Drivers wrench is a highly versatile tool that works with your vehicle’s lug nuts. It provides the right torque and tightens evenly, saving drivers time from having to repeat the process over and over.
The Ratcheting Drivers wrench is a must-have in any professional’s toolbox, even if they only use it for occasional use. Its features make it more than just a socket wrench – it has eight degrees of ratcheting for increased torque and speed.
How do I know what size Allen wrench I need?
The size of a wrench is determined by the number of threads that are on the metal head. The longer the threads, the larger the wrench.
A good reference to help you determine what size Allen wrench you need is a socket set. It will have an “mm” scale on one side and a US standard scale on another.
When working on a project that involves any sort of home improvement, it is important to have the right size Allen wrench for the job to avoid any type of damage or over-tightening.
If your project involves building something new, then you will most likely need a deep socket wrench or socket set as well as an adjustable wrench to accomplish your task properly without damaging anything or bending parts. You will also likely need a ratchet set if your project requires more than one repetitive motion.
Most Allen wrenches should have the size clearly stamped on them, but if not, you should be able to find it using an Allen wrench or hex key chart.
This will go a long way in helping you choose what size Allen wrench you need.
What can I use instead of an Allen wrench?
You can use a tweezer to tighten the nuts and bolts in tight spaces. The flat tips can easily get through the tight spaces and you don’t have to worry about them slipping out of your hand.
If you are looking for a tool that can tighten nuts and bolts on its own, you could use a torque wrench. This is more durable than an Allen wrench because it has a ratcheting mechanism that automatically adds pressure as it goes around the nut or bolt.
Some people find Allen wrenches difficult to use and that is when they start looking for alternative options like using nail clippers with the flat edge instead of using an Allen wrench.
The flat end of the nail clipper can be pressed on any surface without slipping off thanks to its sharp edges. It is safer than using your fingers and can be gripped better by those whose hands are more delicate than others due to age or injuries.
What should be taken into consideration when purchasing an Allen Wrench?
Understand which size of Allen wrench you need. It need not be the exact size at all times. It should do the job adequately and should be helpful. The measure of an Allen Wrench is done by employing the Society of Automotive Engineers or SAEs measuring inch system. It is also referred to as metric or the imperial system. The kinds of wrenches are however not interchangeable.
When you are using them and not folding them, the standard should fit into tighter and normal space. T-handled types permit a larger torque amount, however, it needs a lot more clearance space.
You can use these wrenches infrequently. They are made out of carbon steel and are affordable. They feature a finish that is non-chamfered. It should fit your needs. A chrome finish is resistant to corrosion.
Top 3 Best Allen Wrench Sets in 2021
1. EPAuto Allen
Having the necessary equipment to keep your truck, automobile, motorcycle, and bicycle secure is a priority when it comes to appreciating the time on the road. It’s why the EPAuto Hex Key Allen Wrench Set, is preferred. This is made up of Allen wrenches used in vehicle maintenance. Every wrench is neatly labeled in the plastic storage container EPAuto provides with each sale, as well as the set includes 15 short arm metric wrenches plus 15 long arm imperial wrenches. These wrenches are built corrosion-resistant and treated with the heat made of a steel alloy of chrome vanadium material and finished with a black oxide coating.
- 15 times metric of long arms.
- They are from 0.28 to 3 to 8 inches.
- The brief arm is from 0.7mm-10mm.
- This is resistant to corrosion with an end made of black oxide.
- There are 30 items in this hex key wrench.
- They are sturdy which are created out of handled and hardened metal alloy made of chrome vanadium.
- The storage is simple.
- The case is hinged and opens flat.
- The case permits access right away to wrenches.
- The Allen wrench is designed for purpose of automotive.
- It is stored within a plastic case that is hinged and has clear size markings.
- It is finished with black oxide which is resistant to corrosion.
- The case is not strong to hold the hex wrench in place.
- The hold is quite loose that if dropped they just pop out flying.
2. TEKTON Hex Key Wrench
The Tekton Allen Wrench Hex Key Set is one of those rare occasions when affordability, as well as quality, collide. The set is split into 15 lengthy arm imperial wrenches as well as 15 small arm metric wrenches and is stored in a plastic hinged container with distinct size markings to every wrench. The beveled end of every wrench is designed to perfectly slot into bolts with relatively little effort from the one using it. The package comes with the most popular sizes for tightening and releasing socket cap screws. Every wrench is comprised of heat-treated steel with such a black oxide coating to prevent corrosion as well as chipping with time, even when used often.
- With no additional plating to flake off under high-stress contact, the black oxide finish guards against corrosion.
- Precisely chamfered, proportioned, straighter ends provide a comfortable fit and slot smoothly into the fastening head, reducing wear.
- The hinged storage box opens flat, allowing it easier to pull wrenches in and out.
- Longarm/short arm design gives you more reach on one end and more leverage on the other.
- Easy-to-read sizes are labeled on the box for convenient size selection.
- They have a wonderful heft with them and are strong, not twisting or bending while removing old Allen Keys again for the choke mechanism.
- They’re well-made, and the case is well-designed, making it simple to remove and replace the wrenches.
- Wrenches were a perfect match for the bolt/screw.
- Smaller wrenches are powerful enough to set a solid grip without breaking and bending.
- Every wrench has its labeled slot in the case, plus they lock in place thus you won’t lose them when you place them back.
- The case is quite inexpensive, and the lower sizes are extremely fragile.
- Because of the black plastic angle with the lettering written on it, the case is difficult to use.
- This kit appears and feels quite low-cost.
3. Amazon Basics Hex Key
Amazon Basics is quickly establishing a reputation for producing high-quality, low-cost products, as well as its Allen Wrench Hex Key set is no exception. 13 wrenches having imperial measurements, as well as 13 wrenches using metric measurements, are included in the 26-piece set. Within the plastic cases, all sets are neatly labeled. The long arm form of the wrenches offers the area required to boost torque, as well as the beveled ends, make it easier for users to enter the wrench also when sight is limited. The Basic Amazon wrench set, such as the Rexbeti, has a ball-end that enables a 25-degree angled insertion.
- Manufactured from metal like chrome-vanadium for durability; black oxide end for corrosion resistance; blasted with sand for a smooth surface.
- The design with a ball-end allows for a maximum entry angle of 25 degrees, making it easy to reach around obstacles.
- Long-arm hex key set with 26 pieces for quickly tightening or releasing fasteners; standard and metric sizes.
- The long-arm design allows for greater reach, leverage, as well as torque, while the beveled ends ensure a secure grip. simple insertion.
- 2 hinged storage cases with dedicated slots as well as clear dimension marks; supported by an Amazon Basics 1-year limited guarantee.
- Comes in imperial and metric sizes
- The ball end framework permit users to get about obstructions.
- The set can arrive with an oil smell.
- There was a film on the wrenches.
Due to their versatility, Allen wrenches have become essential tools for DIYers. With a wide assortment of sizes and a diverse range of uses in a variety of tasks, these wrenches are one of the most versatile tools on the market. The curved framework of the Allen wrench, which permits for enough leverage in a compact space, performs considerably better as compared to a Phillips screwdriver, which makes it easy for customers to provide the pressure required to tight as well as relax the wrenches.
The use of Allen wrenches is widespread in many different areas including automotive repairs, construction site equipment maintenance, marine crafts, electrical installations, and farm machinery.
It is important to learn how to properly handle the Allen wrench so that you can avoid injury or damaging your property when using this tool incorrectly.
We hope this article has helped you decide in choosing your next Allen wrench.