Best Hex Keys

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 25, 2018
When you need to unscrew those oddly-shaped hex screws, there's no better tool than a hex key. Because, if you damage the drive of a socket with a different instrument, you'll be, well, screwed. Be it screws on the motherboard of your PC or simple bolts of the bicycle breaks, a screwdriver like that is easily the best option for you. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Sizes
Material
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

Plastic sleeves of top-notch quality make it easier to store and hold the keys while tightening or loosening hex screws. The color coding makes it a lot easier to pick the right tool. 

CONS

The printed sizes are all in metric system (you will have to pick the right size for the SAE hex screws).

OUR VERDICT

When it comes to hey keys, there isn't that much room for improvement. But the Wera kit still manages to raise the bar. With this kit, you will be able to work with all standard-sized hex bolts, screws, and sockets, while the industrial-grade steel construction will ensure long service life.

detailed parameters
Type

L-shaped

Sizes

Metric: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 mm

Material

Steel with BlackLaser™ surface treatment

Extras

Hex-Plus™ profile, Ballpoints on long arms, Color-coded plastic sleeves, Holder for easy storage

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The patented Protanium™ high-torque steel makes these wrenches one of the strongest and most versatile tools on the market. The special coating ensures that the keys will stay in a good shape for years to come.

CONS

The markers on the tolls are relatively small and difficult to identify. 

OUR VERDICT

A set of keys that are strong, durable, and easy to use - that's what you get from an allen key set from Bondhus. While the steel itself is quite rigid, the ProGuard™ finish prevents the tools from premature rusting and oxidation.

detailed parameters
Type

L-shaped

Sizes

SAE: 1/20", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"

Metric: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 mm

Material

Protanium™ steel with ProGuard™ finish

Extras

Ballpoints on long arms, Holder for easy storage

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The hinged holders won't just keep all of the tools together but also keep them safe during transportation. The markings on the keys are painted with a special paint that is particularly wear-resistant. 

CONS

The small wrenches are prone to bending and need to be handled with caution.

OUR VERDICT

A budget-friendly model that consists of 26 pieces of various sizes will definitely come in handy if you have a lot of sockets and screws to work on. Moreover, each hex wrench has a ball point that makes it easy to reach sockets from a distance.

detailed parameters
Type

L-shaped

Sizes

SAE: 3/64", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"

Metric: 1.27, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 8, 10 mm

Material

Cr-V steel with black-oxide finish

Extras

Ballpoints on long arms, Holder for easy storage

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The housing of each set incorporates rubberized paddings that ensure a solid grip and traction. The paddings essentially exclude the risk of keys slipping out of the hex screw sockets.

CONS

The design makes it difficult to use the keys in tight spaces. 

OUR VERDICT

The folk at Stanley always know how to make a great tool for an experienced professional. And this model is not an exception. The portable kit can be folded at any time for effortless transportation in a tool belt, case, or box.

detailed parameters
Type

Folding

Sizes

SAE: 5/64"; 3/32"; 7/64"; 1/8"; 9/64"; 5/32"; 3/16"; 7/32", 1/4"

Metric: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 mm

Material

Cr-V steel with black-oxide finish

Extras

Composite construction with rubber side inserts

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The industrial-grade chromium-vanadium steel makes the instruments corrosion- and abrasion-resistant. The special black-oxide finish does not only make the tools look mean but also helps the steel construction battle rust. 

CONS

The holder quality leaves quite a bit to be desired.

OUR VERDICT

The main selling points of this kit are versatility, rigidness, and the number of wrenches available. All of it makes the product a good option for house renovation or fixing your bicycle, among other day-to-day tasks that include hex screws, bolts, and sockets of all sorts.

detailed parameters
Type

L-shaped

Sizes

SAE: 1/20", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"

Metric: 1.27, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 8, 10 mm

Material

Cr-V steel with black-oxide finish

Extras

Ballpoints on long arms, Holder for easy storage

Warranty

1 year

Wera 950 SPKL/9 SM N SB

As Good as It Gets

Unlike the majority of similar models, the set from Wera features color-coded hex keys. With these simple yet handy color markers, you will be able to identify the required key in a matter of seconds, thus speeding up the whole wrenching process.

Designed specifically for the needs of people who work with standard ISO hex screw sockets, each key from the Wera 950 kit does a good job of keeping all of them intact and does not wear off in the process. That being said, there are no SAE-marked wrenches in the package, so you will have to pick the right key for all the non-standard hex screws.

Although the wrenches in the kit are not magnetic, they are quite durable since they are made of steel with a patented BlackLaser™ surface treatment. Additionally, each key has a special ballpoint at the base that can be used to reach the receiver of the hex screws or bolts, mostly thanks to the fact that the ball end lets you approach these fasteners from any angle.

The only real flaw of the wrenches with ball ends like that is their relatively short service life compared to regular keys. Other than that, the Wera 950 is a top-notch wrench set that will be useful for both professionals and DIYers alike, thanks to the convenient ball bearings and overall solid build quality.

Review of Wera 950 SPKL/9 SM N SB Multicolor Hex L-Key Set (9-piece, Metric)

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Bondhus 20199

Metric and SAE Sockets

The L-wrench double pack from Bondhus features 22 hex keys that include 9 units with metric hex markings and 13 keys with imperial (SAE) markings. Although the markings are laser-engraved, they can wear off over time, so it is important to keep them stored inside their respective sockets.

The keys themselves are quite durable, mostly thanks to the special Protanium-grade steel used in their production. In addition to this already strong material, each wrench is covered in ProGuard finish that ensures that the core of the keys does not degrade over time.

That said, you should be careful trying to unscrew the hex screws with tools from this kit. To be more specific, since the wrenches are quite rigid, they can damage the screw texture, especially if you're dealing with cheap screws. So, to prevent this from happening, you should always position the screwdriver the right way and tight enough to the screw tip.

As for the storage means, both sets come in a neatly packaged plastic holsters. These holsters are easy to fit in a toolbox. You can also fix them on a wall near a workbench or in your garage.

All things considered, the hex L-wrench kit from Bondhus will prove to be a great option if you need good, high-quality wrenches for both imperial and metric socket screws.

Review of Bondhus 20199 Hex L-Wrench Double Pack (22-piece, Inch/Metric)

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Tekton 25282

For All of Your Renovation Needs

The 26-piece kit from Tekton features both metric and imperial keys, the keys that will allow you to perform an array of different renovation and repair jobs. Both sets come in a special plastic case that prevents the keys from falling off by holding them inside firmly.

While the larger pieces (both imperial and metric) are marked according to their size, the smaller bits have markings that can be quite hard to read for some users. Which is why you should always remember to put all the keys back into their sockets every time you finish unscrewing the hex bolts. Otherwise, you will have a hard time figuring out which key is the correct one for certain jobs.

The thickness of the steel makes it easier to use the ball bearings at the bottom of each key and allows you to turn them 25 degrees without putting in too much of an effort.

Although the kit is being advertised as a rigid set of tools and it most certainly is, we would recommend being careful with the smaller keys since even the strongest steel can bend if enough force is applied.

Other than that, the plastic case that the keys come in is actually quite thick, so it is important to open them carefully in order to prevent accidental injuries.

In conclusion, the Tekton hex key set will be a good addition to your existing toolset, particularly thanks to a number of various keys of both standard and non-standard sizes.

Review of Tekton 25282 Hex Key Wrench Set (26-piece, Inch/Metric)

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Stanley STHT71839

Traveler's Choice

A portable two-piece kit from Stanley features 17 keys for both imperial and metric systems that utilize hex screws and bolts and will be a good addition to your road toolkit. Now, there are a few things that make this set such a good travel option, so let's cover them one by one.

To start things off, this is a folding hex key set, so it will save a ton of space inside your toolbox, unlike those regular L-key models that occupy quite a bit more room due to their length and width.

On top of that, the key holder features rubberized paddings for an optimal hand grip. The padding makes it a lot easier to turn the key, even if you happen to be standing under a pouring rain. Each wrench is made of chromium-vanadium steel, making the instruments particularly robust. Furthermore, the addition of chromium to the steel alloy improves the durability of the keys. Thanks to that chromium finish, the keys are resistant to corrosion and abrasion.

Again, the folding design makes the set a good particularly great travel kit as it will help you repair your car on the road. So, to wrap things up, you can keep the folding allen wrench set from Stanley inside your car in a glove compartment or as a supplemental toolkit for your motorbike, car, or a bicycle thanks to its versatility and portability.

Review of Stanley STHT71839 Folding Hex Keys (17-piece, Inch/Metric)

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

AmazonBasics AMZ1715

A Kit to Cover Your Hexagon-Shaped Needs

The AMZ1715 hex wrench set from AmazonBasics will help you in a variety of scenarios, from house renovation projects to general-purpose repairs of tools, vehicles, and other kinds of machinery. The set consists of 2 kits of hex keys (imperial and metric), where each kit includes 13 wrenches.

Unlike standard hex wrenches, the keys from AmazonBasics have an extended arm that makes them easier to use on those hard-to-reach sockets. In addition to the extra-long arms, each wrench has a ball end that allows you to use them to unscrew the bolts at a 25° angle. Such an angle offers extra torque and leverage, although it is a bit harder to turn the key that way.

As for the materials, the keys are made out of chromium-vanadium steel with an additional layer of black-oxide on top of it. While the former provides you with extremely durable tools, the latter protects them from oxidation and corrosion.

Steel capabilities aside, the storage clip features hardened plastic, a design solution that ensures that not a single piece from the kit will be lost during transportation.

To sum up, this allen key kit from Amazon is your go-to pick if you need a good set of hex wrenches but don’t want to break a bank at the same time.

Review of AmazonBasics AMZ1715 Hex Key Wrench Set (26-piece, Inch/Metric)

 

What Is a Hex Key?

An allen key, more commonly known as a hex key, is a hand screwdriver that is used on hexagon-based screws, bolts, and sockets. They often come in different sizes but the shape of the screwdriver end is always the same - a hexagon (hence the name).

There are several types of hex keys available on the market today. The first type comes in the shape of an L-key, while the other types are foldable and can be easily carried in a pocket of a carry toolbox. Some keys are simple and don’t use any additional parts but some sets feature wrenches with special ball ends that make it easier to tighten or loosen the screws of your bike, car, or bicycle, saving you a lot of time.

Depending on your needs, you may choose between heavy- and light-duty models. The difference between them is usually the quality of steel used in their production. The heavy-duty models are all-around solid, while the light-duty ones can be used only indoors to prevent them from rust and corrosion.

Of course, not all screws are hexagon-shaped, which is why we thought we might interest you in a multi-tool. And if you have a solid collection of different hand tools, we would recommend our review of tool boxes.

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Publish Date: 2018-10-25 15:05:11