Good quality hex keys


Ian

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Has anyone got a recommendation for good quality hex keys? I've got a Wera ball-end hex key set at the moment, and it's the best I've found, but I still find that some of the smaller size keys don't last for very long.

When I buy some replacements, I'd be tempted to try something else and see how it performs - if there are any suggestions here.

I really wish Torx screws were more widely used, as I find they don't round half as easily.
 
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Hi,

I think Wera are about as good as you'll get Ian; I've got lots of assorted makes and there seems little in them regarding quality; on the standard hex keys though are you aware you can carefully grind away the damaged end? Care is needed not to overheat the key end whilst grinding or the key will prove useless and this extends the key life? I've even used Poundland keys; it's important though to select the correct snugly fitting key because near enough is a sure way to trouble. I dislike the hinged handles with assorted keys which pop out these being a real nuisance to handle.

Over 40 years ago my biker chums and I used to exchange cross head machine screws in the crankcase and gearbox covers with new socket screws and we used to make our own paper gaskets using brown wrapping paper tapping with a spanner to cut perfectly fitting gaskets.

Perhaps you could obtain a selection of common size Torx screw but buy these extra long then you can cut them to length; I seldom come across these though.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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The Allen brand has been around so long and is so ubiquitous to hex wrenches here in the states that most times the hex wrench is called an Allen wrench. As for the very small sizes, I buy them on line by the dozen and throw them out when they bend or strip.
 

Ian

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I hadn't thought about grinding key to "renew" it - that's a good tip! It won't work my my ball-end ones, but I've got plenty of standard ones where this will be useful.

Yep, they're often called Allen keys here in the UK too @Silentrunning... however I can't actually find any of them for sale in the UK by this company, as it's more or less used as a generic name here.

I may just try some Wera standard hex keys and see how they fare.
 
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I sharpen screwdrivers but cannot say I have ever chased an allen wrench. I will say that the bicycle and firearms industries use them a great deal and they are pretty good. I have both types and they hold up as a harder alloy against the more common metals found in standard mechanic kits. I suppose a certain safety is found in a metal that gives, rather than snaps, if they are used a great deal.
 

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