- What is a Hex Key?
Hex keys, or also commonly known as “Allen Wrench or Allen Key” is a small handheld tool that’s used for fastening bolts and screws that have a hexagonal socket. They come in different sizes but all of them have the same hexagon-shaped tip. Out of all the types of wrenches, they are often the cheapest and usually come in a set of multiple sizes.
- Why is it also called “Allen Key”?
Somewhere around 1910, a US company called the Allen Manufacturing Company was the first to secure the Allen Key trademark. Today, it is the Apex Tool Group that manufactures Allen-branded products, but others make hexagon-shaped tips without the brand name. They are designed in L-key, T-handle, folding styles, and even others for some job applications.
- What are the uses of a Hex Key?
As stated above, hex keys are used for fastening bolts and screws with a hexagonal socket. They are a very straightforward and easy-to-use kind of hand tool. All you have to do is insert the correct size head of the hex key into the fastener head, and turn it. Hex keys are most often used for repairing bicycles, furniture, electronics, and also for some heavy tools and machines.
- What are the common types of Hex Key?
- L-Style Allen Wrench – This is a very common type of Allen key. It comes in multiple sizes and is in an L shape to provide more leverage when turning. Also, its shape helps you reach tight spots and is easy to control when inserted.
- T-Handle Key – This is popular in motorsport applications, because T-handle acts as a balanced weight to help you spin the wrench faster, while allows enough leverage for general functions.
- Folding Hex Key – This is a tool that every bicycle and motorcycle enthusiasts love to have. That’s because it has multiple hex keys attached in one foldable storage like a swiss army knife. Some have 9 different sizes of hex keys which makes them convenient. They can vary if they are in metric or imperial sizes, but because of their price, many people have both!
Not Your Average Wrench
By now, you should already know that hex keys are very functional and come in many uses. Aside from L-style, T-handle, and folding hex keys, there are more types you can choose from. However, before buying any of them, make sure to know what type of hex socket you need for the job. It’s also important to look for high-quality hex keys even if it will cost you more. That’s because hex keys should be durable enough for multiple uses and can be kept for a longer period of time.