Complete your projects with ease using our durable Hex Key Wrenches from Albany County Fasteners. Also known as Allen Keys or hex tools, these L-shaped hex keys provide maximum turning force in tight spaces. The short arm offers high torque while the long arm reaches recessed fasteners with ease. Our Ergonomic T-Handle Hex Wrench Sets add comfort for repetitive tasks. Whether you need metric or SAE sizes, our hex wrenches fit socket head cap screws on bikes, motors, furniture and more. Shop our full selection of hex key sets at Albany County Fasteners to find the perfect hex tools for assembling and tightening all your projects. Our Allen keys provide versatility, strength and precision fastening for DIYers and professionals alike. Shop our Allen keys and hex tools now at Albany County Fasteners!
For the best selection of high-quality Allen wrenches and hex key sets, look no further than Albany County Fasteners. Discover the right Allen wrench for your needs today!
Not sure what material you need? Check out our Material Guide to find the right material for your needs!
What Are Allen Wrenches?
Allen wrenches, also known as hex keys or hex wrenches, are L-shaped tools used to drive fasteners with hexagonal drives, such as socket head cap screws, set screws, and hex bolts.
Key Features and Benefits
Compact L-shape fits in tight spaces: The short and long arms allow Allen wrenches to fit into confined areas where other wrench types won't work.
Durable and reusable construction: If an end becomes damaged, you can cut it off and continue using the tool.
6 contact surfaces prevent rounding or slipping: More contact points distribute force and torque compared to 4-point or single-point drives.
Entire wrench serves as the drive portion: No separate removable bits or ends to deal with.
Short arm provides high torque : The short side gives greater torque for tightening or loosening stubborn fasteners.
Long arm reaches recessed fasteners: The longer arm can access socket screws deep in recessed holes.
Only tool for driving headless set screwsAllen wrenches are required for engaging and turning set screws.
Hex Key vs Allen Wrench
Hex key and Allen wrench refer to the same style of tool. Hex key is the generic term while Allen wrench refers to the original brand name.
Hex key: Generic name for an L-shaped hexagonal wrench.
Allen wrench: Brand name for the hex wrench invented and patented by the Allen Manufacturing Company in 1910.
While Allen wrench is trademarked, hex key has become the commonly used generic term. However, Allen wrench remains in widespread use as well. Both terms refer to the same 6-sided, L-shaped tool used for tightening hex socket screws and bolts.
There is no functional difference between a hex key vs Allen wrench. The same sizing standards apply. Both feature two ends, with one for reach and one for torque. And the quality and construction are identical between hex keys and Allen wrenches from the same manufacturer.
The takeaway is that hex key and Allen wrench are interchangeable names. If a product says hex key, Allen wrench or Allen key, it is referring to the same versatile, L-shaped hexagonal driver tool. Both terms encompass the same high-quality wrenches and sets available from reputable brands like Albany County Fasteners.
Applications and Uses
Allen wrenches are ubiquitous across many industries:
Bicycle mechanics: Used for adjusting brakes, derailleurs, and other components where space is limited.
Automotive: - Ideal for assembling and servicing auto machinery where hex socket drive screws are prevalent.
Aviation: Necessary for maintenance and repair of aircraft equipment full of hex fasteners.
Furniture assembly: Included in most DIY furniture kits to install the various internal hex screws.
Electronics : Tiny Allen wrenches are commonly used for the small hex screws in consumer electronics.
And countless other uses!: Any application using socket head cap screws requires Allen wrenches.
Sizes and Types
Sized by diameter from 0.028" to over 1": Proper sizing is critical to prevent round off or damage.
Metric and standard sizes: Covering all typical metric socket cap screw sizes and standard fractions.
Individual Allen wrenches: Single L-shaped wrenches sold individually.
Complete wrench sets: Kits with a range of metric and/or SAE wrench sizes.
Ergonomic T-handle sets: Offer improved grip and torque for repetitive tasks.
Proper sizing is critical: Ensures optimal fit and prevents slippage & damage.
T-handle sets excel for workshops: The grip makes them ideal for assembling and disassembling machinery.
Buy quality wrenches from reputable brands: Invest in durable chrome vanadium or chrome molybdenum alloys.
Consider storage options like pouches: Allows for organization and portability of your Allen wrench sets.
Allen Wrench FAQs
Why called Allen wrenches? Named after the Allen Manufacturing Company which first patented and popularized them.
What's another name? Hex key and hex wrench are common generic names.
How to identify size? The size in inches or mm is stamped on the shorter arm.
Can other tools substitute? Slotted screwdrivers may work in a pinch but aren't recommended.
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