- 1 Top 5 Best Allen Keys
- 2 Allen Keys Buyer’s Guide
To find the best Allen keys available, we began our research with the factors that make each tool great – key size, metal finish, and ease of use. Allen keys are available in a variety of sizes, just like any standard screwdriver, so you will need to select the correct Allen key that matches your screw’s socket head. If you’re working with a particularly difficult screw head, or around an angle, some Allen keys include additional features that add to their ease of use. Additionally, special metal finishes can prevent your Allen keys from rusting in the future. Whether you’re looking for the best allen key set for electricians, or just for personal use around the home, we have an option for you.
In our research, we found TEKTON’s Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set to be the best option for consumers. The TEKTON kit features 26 different sized Allen keys down from 3/64-inch up to 3/8-inch, making it perfect for both small and large jobs. The ball end construction and chamfered edges make getting into tight spaces a breeze, while the black oxide finish protects against corrosion. For most customers seeking out an Allen key set, the TEKTON Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set is the best option. Keep on reading to learn which set of Allen keys, also known as hex keys, are the best for you.
Top 5 Best Allen Keys
#1 TEKTON Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set Allen Key
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: This set offers a diversely sized set of Allen Keys, while its construction includes a ball end, which in the end provides an easy-to-use tool that will last for generations.
If you need to get the job done, then TEKTON’s Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set is the perfect option. Including 26 different sized Allen keys ranging from 3/64-inch to 3/8-inch, you can get nearly any job done with this single set. Each Allen key is chamfered at the edges to make your job easier, allowing the key to fit smoothly into screw heads. The ends of each Allen Hex key set also include a ball-end design that allows for use in tight spaces, accessing screws and bolts at up to an angle of 25-degrees.
Bringing the entire wrench set together is its high-quality metal construction featuring a black oxide finishing process that protects against corrosion, so you can ensure that your new tools will last for the foreseeable future. The oxide treatment is a welcomed change from typical plating found on other hex wrenches, which could chip off over time. One item to note is that these Allen keys are quite long and can’t be compacted, so prepare a bit of space in your tool bag. Which is likely already full with the best corded drill and other tools.
#2 TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set, 30-Piece Allen Key
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Allen key set offers a wide selection of sizes down to an impressive .028-inch, tackling the smallest of projects that other sets can’t handle.
TEKON’s Hex Key Wrench Set provides thirty different sized Allen keys down to an astounding 0.28-inch so that you can grapple even the smallest projects you have on your plate. On the higher end, the set can also work on projects up to 3/8-inch, meaning that this Allen key set isn’t just for mini-projects. As with other TEKON products, we are happy to see the company included its black oxide finish to prevent the tools from corroding. This Hex Wrench Set also does good to include size markings for the different metric sizes on the case (since it was last updated) for fast selection. Its got 15 Inch hex key wrenches: 0.028 0.035 0.050 1/16 5/64 3/32 7/64 1/8 9/64 5/32 3/16 7/32 1/4 5/16 and 3/8 inch, and 15 Metric hex key wrenches: 0.7, 0.9, 1.3, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 mm.
We were a bit disappointed to see that this set does not feature ball ends for reaching into tight spaces, but the chamfered ends do help when fitting the keys into small head sockets. This TEKTON kit wins a point for its included carrying case that keeps all Allen keys protected from the environment, but they are still quite lengthy and aren’t a fit-in-the-back-pocket option. Even the best tools aren’t perfect though.
#3 REXBETI Hex Key Allen Wrench Set
Award: Best Versatility
WHY WE LIKE IT: This set allows you to tackle a wide variety of projects thanks to its inclusion of star hex keys, along with a T-handle for better grip when working.
The REKBETI Hex Key Allen Wrench Set is the hardware set to pick up if you’ve got a lot of different projects on hand. Featuring both standard Allen keys and star-shaped Allen keys, the REKBETI kit ensures that you are never caught by surprise. Additionally, the included T-handle easily attaches to any Allen wrench, adding more grip in situations where you need a bit of extra strength. We are also happy to see that the end of each wrench features a ball-shaped key for working at angles of up to 25-degrees.
The REXBETI kit is formed from heat-treated steel for a strong, so you know it will last for ages without worry. As the set includes three different tool collections, ensure that you have room to carry it all around, as the long handles don’t allow the tool to store in tight spaces, unlike say the best magnifying glass.
#4 Bondhus 20399 Ball End L-Wrench DoublePK Allen Key
Award: Best Quality
WHY WE LIKE IT: Long-lasting thanks to its steel construction, and featuring a 14 karat gold plated exterior that prevents corrosion, Bondhus has created an excellent high-quality tool that is made in the USA.
Bondhus impresses us with its 20399 Ball End L-Wrench DoublePK set that features the company’s BriteGuard and GoldGuard technology. Each wrench is formed from steel, allowing it to stand up to excessive torque, and then plated in 14 karat gold to prevent rust and corrosion. Bondhus delivers some of the best quality we have found in our research, and we are thrilled to say that the products are made right here in the USA.
The Bondhus Allen 22 piece key set includes sizes ranging from .050-inches to 3/8-inch and 1.5mm to 10mm for the ability to tackle most projects. As with other long-handled Allen wrenches, the Bondhus 20399 set isn’t extremely portable but will work for most individuals. One factor that you may wish to consider is value, as we did find the Bondhus collection to be more expensive than the majority of the competition offering similar options. Value is important since you are likely buying the best spray paint and other items for your project.
#5 TEKTON Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set Allen Key
Award: Best on a Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: A fantastic Allen key set for those who need to tackle a quick job, offering a corrosion-resistant, 9-piece and 13-piece sets with eyes set on affordability.
This small Allen key set is an excellent choice when it comes down to both quality and affordability. Constructed by TEKTON, each wrench features a black oxide finish that helps to protect against corrosion, so this isn’t a kit that you’ll need to replace any time soon. You won’t be sacrificing comfort either, as the TEKTON set includes ball ends for reaching around obstructions at up to a 25-degree angle. The chamfered ends of each wrench also assist when placing the keys into smaller heads.
Those interested can grab TEKTON’s offering in two different sizes, either a smaller 9-piece or a slightly larger 13-piece set – just check to be sure the size you needed is included if you choose the smaller option. The smaller set stores easily much like the best wire strippers.
How We Decided
With so many different Allen keys available for purchase on the market, we needed to dive into what made an Allen key more than just good, but what made it great; factors such as the included key sizes in a set, the metal finish used, and the overall ease of use attributed to each key. Then we ensured that to make our list of the best hex key sets, each Allen key met a specified minimum requirement, so each would be a delight to use, while also allowing you to accomplish your needed task. If you’re looking to fully complete your toolset, you may want to also take a look at the best socket wrench.
All Allen key sets on our list feature a minimum of nine different sizes, with one kit reaching up to thirty different possibilities; this means that no matter the project you are tackling, big or small, you’ll have an Allen wrench ideally suited for the job. Additionally, each Allen key we selected is made from a premium metal such as steel to prevent warping down the line. If you’re concerned about corrosion, don’t be! Each of our selections features a coating such as a black oxide or actual gold to fend off rust.
When it comes to usability, we ensured that each Allen key was long enough to provide you with proper leverage, a few of our selections even include handle-style tools that can improve your grip when working. Additionally, quite a number of our wrench sets feature ball ends that enable you to work on screws that are in awkward spaces.
Allen Keys Buyer’s Guide
- Key Sizes: When purchasing an Allen key set, ensure that the kit includes the proper sizes for the projects you are working on. Some Allen key sets may consist of mainly large keys, while others will err on the smaller side – be sure your needed requirements are met. When shopping, you can find keys in both metric and SAE imperial measurements.
- Metal Finishes: Tools can be exposed to harsh conditions, and Allen keys are no different. When making your selection, be sure to pick a set that includes an anti-corrosion coating such as an oxide finish or gold. Otherwise, you will quickly find your Allen set needing to be replaced due to inferior materials.
- Ease of Use: When working with your hands, every bit of assistance can help. When purchasing Allen keys, seeking chamfered ends will provide you with an Allen key that will more easily fit into tight screw heads. Additionally, ball ends will allow you to reach around obstructions and turn screws at an angle – essential when working in tight spaces.
Allen Keys FAQs
What are the best Allen wrenches?
According to our research, we found TEKTON’s Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set to be our top pick based on its wide selection of Allen key sizes, corrosion-resistant black oxidized finish, and ball ends that enable working at odd angles.
Is an Allen key a hex key?
Yes, Allen keys can be referred to by multiple names, including hex keys, and Allen wrenches - all are the same simple tool featuring hexagonal tips for removing bolts and screws.
How do you tighten without Allen keys?
While it is possible to tighten a hex screw without an Allen key, it is not recommended as you might damage or strip the screw - causing further problems down the road. In an emergency, you can attempt to use a standard screwdriver, but it is not guaranteed.
Are Torx and Allen keys the same?
No, Allen keys feature a hexagonal head shape while Torx keys feature a star head shape; they are entirely different socket types.
What do you use an Allen key for?
An Allen key is used to remove bolts and screws that features a hexagonal head socket. They are handled the same as a standard flathead or Phillips-head screwdriver.
How do I find my Allen key size?
Most Allen key sets print the size on each key. If the size is not printed on the Allen key, you may have to experiment with a few different keys to see which one will adequately fit for your needed purpose. Ensure the Allen key is snug and does not rotate freely within the screw head, or it may cause damage.
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