The DIY Guide to Hex Wrenches
As a DIYer, we tend to have a wide range of tools at any given moment… 4 varieties of hammers, 2 screw guns, pry bar, hundreds of screwdrivers, hex wrenches, hand saws, safety equipment, and on and on.
At some point in the past, we needed that one piece for one job. And that was the end of the use for half of the tools.
However, there are some tools that are used in many different jobs – hammer, screwdriver, screw gun, hex/allen wrenches, pry bars.
The hex or allen wrench is one that comes up again and again. Always needing a different size and never remembering to put that one wrench back after using it and it is lost in the abyss of the garage never to be found again.
There are two things to consider when looking at hex wrenches:
While each is important for a different reason, let’s look at each…
Hex wrenches or keys come in dozens of sizes. Initially, there are two things to consider… do you need metric or standard sizes?
The standard sizes typically range from 5/32” to 1/4” sizes. You can find some smaller and some larger, it depends on the task at hand as to what size you need, more on that later.
Metric sizes are similar in size but designed for bolts and screws that are metric measurements.
To figure out which you need, it is best to know what the size is going into it. I’ve purchased a 24 piece set with metric and standard that didn’t have the size I ended up needing.
Read the packaging, take a bolt to the store, try to find out what size you need going into it before purchasing a set.
That being said, many manufacturers are using typical standard or metric sizes. They don’t want you to have to go through the struggle that I went through. Frequently, getting any hex key set will have the size you require.
That brings us to the next point…
Not all hex keys are the same. There are four types you will run across – drill bits, L-wrench, screwdriver and multitool.
The project you are completing will determine which is best. Most projects I run into don’t have more than a handful of hex bolts. While getting the drill bit type is fun, it isn’t really practical for those kinds of projects.
The drill bits are good for huge projects that have dozens of bolts. The risk of stripping is high but the speed could be worthwhile.
The screwdriver type will do the job usually. You just run into an issue where these bolts are not always easy to get to with a straight screwdriver. It isn’t a practical solution when you only have a couple inches to play with.
The L-wrench and multitool function similarly. They both have a bend and come in a variety of sizes in one package. There is one vital difference that comes up… L-wrench sets come with a variety of sizes that you have to remember and stick to putting back every single time you use it. They disappear so easily, you forget where they are, they just get lost.
The multitool is unique in that all the hex wrenches are attached, and you can easily change between sizes in seconds. Simply push one in and pull the next out.
The biggest concern with a multitool is durability. Once one size bends or breaks, the rest feels like a waste. That’s why it is crucial to buy a quality hex key multitool.
You want a multitool that has both metric and standard sizes, is comfortable to use, will hold up to use, and can fit easily inside your work belt.
Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/ offers a high quality hex key set that has 25 different sizes including standard, metric and even star keys. The handle is designed with textured thermoplastic rubber to be comfortable and prevent slipping. The keys are made from CV (chrome vanadium) tool steel to be able to complete the work without any issues.
It is conveniently available on Amazon and can be delivered within a few days.