Easy to use and one of the most well-known fasteners, Allen Wrenches, also called hex keys, Allen keys, or hex wrenches, are six-sided wrenches designed to drive an internal hexagonal drive style. The L shape of these wrenches is one of their most recognizable features. These six-sided L shape wrenches have many benefits making them the tool of choice for many who use socket cap screws. Due to most hex keys' similar look, most find a labeled set to be the most efficient. The term "Allen" is from a manufacturing company that makes these wrenches, with the generic term for an Allen wrench being "hex key."
The short side of a hex wrench is used when more torque is required, and the longer side is for length. The long side is often used to fasten socket cap screws in deep recessed holes the short side cannot reach. A benefit of this style of Allen wrench is that the entire tool is shaped as the drive. If one of the ends wears down from use, it can be cut off, and the tool can be used again.
Simple light tool
6 contact surfaces
Drive recess is internally housed protecting it from harm
Fit in tight places
Due to the nature of hex keys, they are also the only drive style used with headless screws (set screws). L shaped hex keys are extremely light tools that can fit into very tight spacing. This has made them exceedingly popular on bicycles, motorcycles, and in furniture sets alike. Often, furniture manufacturers will make all connections use the same size socket cap screw, so you only need one size wrench. Bicycle enthusiasts often carry a set of hex wrenches with them for on the go repairs.
Many varieties of hex wrenches are available, and choosing the right kind will make jobs significantly easier. Albany County Fasteners carries individual Allen Wrenches, Allen Wrench Sets, and T Handle Hex Key Sets. T handle sets are excellent for shops and on equipment where a lot of room is available. They offer a comfortable ergonomic grip to make installation and removal of socket head screws easy.
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