You probably already know what an Allen wrench is and what you can do with it. The automobile industry has used this tool since the 1800s. Although it wasn’t known as a hex key back then, it still got the job done.
Whether you’re a professional mechanic trying to get the job done, or you just want to fix something for a small project, getting a hex key for yourself is crucial. That’s why we’ve brought together some of the finest to help you pick the best Allen wrench set.
These tools can boost your productivity and help you reach corners you’ve never reached before. Once you’ve gotten a hold of a set like this, every nook and cranny will live in fear.
Working in the mechanical or automotive industry is not the only use for them. You can screw in the smallest of hexagonal bolts with the hex keys.
Our Top 5 Picks
- TEKTON Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set
- Amazon Basics Hex Key
- TEKTON 30-Piece Key Wrench Set
- Stanley – Folding Metric and Sae Hex Keys
- PRO BIKE TOOL Allen Key – Ball End Set
4 Interesting Facts about Hex Keys
Not everyone knows this, but there are quite a few interesting pointers related to hex keys. Let’s dive into some of them before you buy your next best hex key set.
- They Have Six Points of Contact
You might have been wondering why the tools were called “hex” keys. Well, the word hex comes from “the number 6,” if you were confused.
So, why 6? The reason why they called it a hex key is because the tool grabs the screws with 6 points of contact. This is a pretty special type of system that had been deemed quite useful back in the 1800s.
- Invented in the 1800s
If you’ve ever wondered how old these tools are, you’ll be struck with a surprise. Some of the hex keys go back to the 1800s. Yes, they are that old!
It’s not every day that you need to interact with the history of hex keys, but it’s kind of interesting. Well, obviously, they weren’t called hex keys back then. And there isn’t any solid evidence that proves that they’re this old.
But they’ve been called the Allen wrench after Mr. William Allen of the Allen Manufacturing Company. This is the company that first commercialized these little beasts and made a fortune.
- The Smallest Wrench
Another interesting fact about hex keys that you might not know is that they are the smallest of wrenches. Yep, that’s right; these little puppies can screw in the hardest of bolts regardless of their size.
A set of hex keys might weigh a lot along with the carrying case, but the form factor makes it completely worth it to work with. You can even try and fit the largest of the standard sizes into your pockets.
- They Can Fit Easily
The last fact that we’ll be talking about today is how hex keys fit seamlessly. One of the primary reasons for their use is the form factor. They can easily fit into the toughest of nooks and crannies.
Larger tools like socket wrenches and screwdrivers struggle a lot when squeezing into tight spots. But the hex keys make it look like child’s play.
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but some furniture comes with hex keys. Especially when it comes to furniture that requires assembly, you can use the small keys on the fasteners to get your job done quicker.
10 Best Allen Wrench Sets To Buy
Now that you know why you should opt for hex keys, let’s dive into the world of the finest of the bunch.
1. TEKTON Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set
Let’s start with one of the most popular choices in the market. This set from TEKTON has been a true fan favorite for a while now. And just like any other TEKTON tool, this one proves its value.
You can get this with or without the start key set, but the latter option will, of course, cost a bit more. With the ball ends on the hex keys, you can expect up to a 25-degree angle of entry.
The bent angle makes it so much easier to work in tight spaces. An exciting part about these keys is that they have chamfered ends. So the ends fit perfectly into the hexagonal bolts, and you don’t have to worry about wear.
You might notice the black finish on the keys. That’s just a coating of black oxide, which prevents corrosion.
- Includes 13-pc. ball end inch hex key wrenches: 3/64, 1/16, 5/64,...
- Ball ends allow up to a 25-degree entry angle to reach around...
- Chamfered, straight ends offer a snug fit and insert smoothly...
- Comes with a corrosion-resistant coating
- Provides an extended reach
- Boasts chamfered ends for reduced wear
- Sports a 25-degree working angle
- Could have had a bit more grip
2. Bondhus 20199 Balldriver L-Wrench DoublePK
Here, we have this fabulous set of hex keys from Bondhus. They don’t kid around when it comes to professional-grade tools. And, this hex key set proves just that!
The Protanium steel build gives it one of the finest build qualities. And just like our first choice on the list, this also comes with the 25-degree working angle to make your job a whole lot easier.
You can expect all the standard sizes on the set, along with some other unconventional sizes. Availability of all sizes from 1.5mm to 10mm is truly a blessing.
With the traditional L-handle wrench style, you can expect the most efficient torque. And you can even reach the blind locations more easily with this set of hex keys.
If you’re worried about corrosion or rust, then don’t fret. Bondhus has you covered with their ProGuard finish. This is a unique coating that keeps your tool rust-free.
- Angle entry up to 25 degrees on sizes 0.050, 1/16, 5/64, 3/32,...
- The original Balldriver L-wrenches save time in hard to reach and...
- Tools are Made in the USA with Bondhus proprietary Protanium...
- Protanium steel makes it stronger
- ProGuard finish prevents rust
- Up to 25-degree working angle
- L-handle saves time and increases efficiency
- Size not engraved on the handles
3. AmazonBasics Hex Key Allen Wrench Set
You can’t go wrong with a product from Amazon Basics, and it’s the same case with this Hex key set. This 26-piece set will provide you a great bang for your buck.
When it comes to customizability, you can opt to get this one with a start key set or a thread locker. And, if you want, you can pick just the hex key set only.
Amazon Basics made sure to make this tool durable with chrome vanadium steel. And you get this one with both metric and standard sizes.
But you won’t be able to see the vanadium steel due to the black oxide finish on top. This coating will help prevent the formation of rust. The surface is also sandblasted to make it smoother.
The whole set weighs just shy of 2 lbs, which can actually be considered lightweight. And if you’re worried about the working angle, you can expect 25-degrees with this one too.
Are you having an issue with reach? This one will solve your troubles with the extended reach, too. It also adds to the torque and leverage.
- 26-piece long-arm hex key set for quickly tightening or loosening...
- Made of chrome-vanadium steel for rugged strength; black oxide...
- Long-arm design provides extended reach and enhanced leverage and...
- 26-piece set for quick operation
- Boasts a chrome vanadium steel build
- Comes with a black oxide coating, prevents rust
- Up to 25-degree working angle
- Shipped with excessive machine oil applied
4. Stanley STHT71839 – Best Folding Hex Key Set
If you’re looking for a foldable option on the list, this one from Stanley might just be what you need. And Stanley made sure not to make it overly expensive, too. Their products offer immense value for money.
Whether you just want a hex key set for a small home project, or you’re a professional who’s looking for a new set, this one with a composite construction might catch your eyes.
Get the finest grip with the rubber side inserts. Working in tight spaces has never been easier. Some tools fail to mark the sizes on the sides. So, it gets confusing when you’re new to the job.
But the markings on the sides of the hex key set make it quite easy to work with. It’s a two-pack set, and the whole package weighs just shy of (??)350 lbs. So, if a lightweight hex key set is what you want, you can invest in this one.
- Durable composite construction
- Rubber side inserts for secure grip
- Size markings for easy identification
- Durable stainless steel build
- Lightweight, easy to operate
- Rubber grips make it secure
- Both SAE and Metric sizes available
- The handle might seem a bit thick to work with
5. Tarvol Allen Wrench Set
Tarvol doesn’t kid around with their professional tools. And it’s the same with this hex key set. This set of 10 wrenches makes sure you get the best of all worlds. Let’s see how!
The SAE standard sizes include all the common hex keys that you might ever need. You’ll get both the 1/16 and the 3/8 key, and eight others in between.
If you’re concerned about durability, rest assured that this one is enforced with carbon strength steel. But you won’t be able to see the steel because of the black oxide coating on top.
A big problem with small hex keys like these is that you easily lose them or you forget where you’ve kept them. Tarvol manages to reduce your stress by making a keyring style holder for the hex keys.
Whether you’re trying to fix your kid’s bike, or you’re working on a professional project, this set of hex keys will get the job done. This could actually be the best bike Allen wrench set.
- 10 PIECE SAE HEX KEY (ALLEN WRENCH) SET - 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 1/8,...
- CARBON STRENTH STEEL - Heavy Duty in Black Oxide Finish
- CONVENT KEY RING - Never Lose a Wrench Again, Convenient Key Ring...
- Durable carbon steel build
- Black oxide coating for preventing corrosion
- Key ring-like mechanism for not losing keys
- Perfect for small and big projects
- Spring holders could have been more durable
6. TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set, 30-Piece
At number six, we got this humungous set of hex keys from TEKTON. You might not have heard about them, but they’ve turned the game around with their high-performance tools.
You can stick to just the hex key set or pair it up with an Original Cold Weld Epoxy. Now, this is a deal worth looking into.
The most exciting part would be that the set has a total of 30 pieces. This can easily become overwhelming very quickly.
TEKTON has a reputation for getting the sizes perfect. Their measurements are on point, and with the chamfered ends, you can expect the keys to fit tightly into the fastener heads.
If you just can’t stand the growth of rust or corrosion on your tools, TEKTON has you covered. The black oxide coating on top of the metal prevents corrosion quite well.
- Includes 15-pc. long pattern hex key wrenches: 0.028, 0.035,...
- Precisely sized, chamfered, straight ends offer a snug fit and...
- Black oxide finish protects against corrosion without added...
- Coated with a layer of black oxide for rust prevention
- Extended arm provides better reach
- Comes with a hinged case
- Sizes marked accurately
- The case is not very durable
7. Lichamp 18-Piece Hex Key Set – Best Long Arm Allen Key Set
If you’re a fan of colorful tools, you’ll definitely enjoy using this hex key set from Lichamp. Apart from the colors, they also provide a solid performance with their tools. Let’s get into the details.
Sometimes people want to dive right into the build quality. Well, you’ll be glad to know that this set of hex keys are forged with chrome vanadium steel of the finest quality.
The keys are treated with an intense heat treatment process that ensures that the keys remain safe from rust formation. You can use this set for the next few years.
If the working angle is a big concern for you, don’t fret because you can work in the tightest angles with the 25-degree rated working angle of this set of hex keys. You can get to those hard to reach spots a lot more easily.
Since it comes with a total of 18 pieces, we can safely say that you don’t need to go out looking for an extra key. The most common and standard key sizes are all here for you.
- 1 ) SUPERIOR QUALITY: Forged from high-quality chrome vanadium...
- 2 ) BALL END DESIGN: Designed with a ball end to access socket...
- 3 ) COMPLETE SIZES: 18 pc long arm ball end hex key wrenches...
- Made with durable chrome vanadium steel
- Great rust and corrosion resistance
- Textured surface for slip resistance
- Up to 25-degree working angle
- Heavy-duty work may cause stress
8. SILCA HX-ONE Home Essential KIT
Now, let’s move on to a hex key set from a company called SILCA. Yeah, you might not have heard about them since they’re pretty new to the game.
But their tools speak for them, and boy do they speak well! Let’s feast our eyes on this beast of a hex key set.
The most common sized hex keys are included in this kit, even though they aren’t many. You get the standard eight sizes from 2-10mm.
If you choose this one, the first thing that’ll pop out will surely be the wooden case. Its minimal, hinged, and strongly built. Apart from that, it’s also CNC machined, which is a nice touch.
A cool trick about this one is that it can turn the 6mm key into a ¼-inch driver. Now, that’s something to check out for yourself!
You’ll also get some flat and Phillips head bits in the carrying case too, so you can see that this is pretty well equipped.
- Set of S-2 Steel Hex keys - 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10mm
- Proprietary 17-4 magnetic driver adaptor turns 6mm hex key into...
- Flat head bits - #0.5 and #1 and Phillips head bits - #1 and #2
- Extra-long wrenches for better reach
- Durable build with alloy steel and titanium
- Comes with Phillips and flat head bits
- CNC machined wooden case for carrying
- A bit on the heavier side
9. XtremepowerUS 45pcs SAE Metric Hex Key Set
If the last folding hex key set didn’t catch your eye, you might want to take a glance at this powerful alternative. XtremepowerUS has made sure to make this a high-performance tool for professionals.
You’ll get all the hex keys and the folding handle in a leather bag for safekeeping. The pack includes a long Allen wrench set and a small Allen wrench set. They both come in SAE and metric standards, so you don’t have to worry.
The best part about this hex key set is definitely the foldable handles. All you have to do is load up the handle with the keys and fold it in. What you get is a compact form factor with all your necessary keys.
But there is a bummer that we’ve found out, though. The entire package weighs around 3 lbs., which is pretty high compared to the other choices on the list.
- Long Arm SAE: 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32",...
- Short Metric: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 5.5mm,...
- Folding SAE Hex Set Includes: 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 1/8", 5/32",...
- Offers a leather carrying case
- Equipped with foldable handles
- Comes in both SAE and metric standards
- Durable steel build
- Rust might build up over time
10. PRO BIKE TOOL Hex Wrench Set – Best Allen wrench Set for Bikes
Let’s end this list with a banger. It’s time to feature a hex key set from a brand that’s been on the rise for quite a long time now. And this product certainly delivers.
If durability is something you admire, then rest easy because this one has a chromium-vanadium build, which is built to last.
It’s the perfect choice for bikers who need to keep a hex key set in their vehicles for quick and easy fixes. The Allen wrench kit is compact enough to fit in almost any storage case.
You get all the standard sized keys to get you through any emergency. And they’re L shaped, which makes it easier to generate more torque.
Applying slight pressure will give you miraculous results with these hex keys. The leverage you get will be enough to get you through small and medium projects.
- Essential Bike & Home Maintenance - All riders, whether beginner...
- Great Leverage - Shop quality long L-shaped hex wrenches have...
- Built to Last, Strong & Robust - Made from very hard Chromium...
- Durable chromium-vanadium steel build
- Comes with a tool organizer
- Portable and compact
- Extended reach with good leverage
- Not suitable for heavy-duty projects
How to Choose The Best Hex Key Sets – Buying Guide
With the reviews out of the way, let’s look at a few factors you should consider before purchasing an Allen wrench set.
The Number of Compartments
As almost all the hex key kits in this list come with a carrying case, you need to worry about the compartment number when you’re shopping.
Some cases don’t have a lot of compartments, while others do. If you truly need that additional space, you should opt for one with more compartments.
Design is one of the things that a lot of people skip when it comes to hex keys. Some would say that the ball end Allen wrenches have the best design, while others would disagree.
Another thing to consider before going out to purchase a set of hex keys is the size. All of them come in different sizes but it’s you who needs to choose which size suits you best. If you want something compact, check out the foldable options.
When you’re working as a professional in the mechanical or automobile industry, you’ve got to keep the portability factor in mind.
Most of the sets on our list come with a carrying case. Whether they’re made of wood, plastic, or even leather, they serve the same purpose. And that’s to make them portable. So, pick one that you’ll be able to carry easily from one place to another.
Stainless steel is something that is common in these Allen wrenches. All the best hex wrench sets have a durable build.
You can either get chromium-vanadium steel or Protanium steel from them. But you can’t see the steel due to the black oxide coating most of the time.
The prices of hex keys from different brands vary quite a lot. And the more well-known brands charge extra just for the brand value that they’ve created.
So, pick wisely and see if it suits your budget. You can get most of these for around $15, while the premium ones will set you back over a hundred bucks.
This is also another factor to take into account when you’re on the hunt for a new complete Allen wrench set. Normally, you shouldn’t opt for a set that doesn’t come with a warranty.
It’s important that you take a hex key set that offers at least a one year warranty. You never know when a grip might fall off, or the entire wrench might break.
So, it’s essential to keep this in mind when you’re buying. But that doesn’t mean that a set without a warranty is bound to break. These things can give you over five years of service if you’re careful.
FAQs on Allen Wrench Sets
1. What is an Allen Wrench, actually?
The tool is practically just like any other tool with a lot of versatility. It can drive in hexagonal screws and bolts.
Most of the hex keys that you see come with a uni-body design. That means only a single piece of the rod is used to make the entire key.
These keys have unequal arms. You need to hold the long arm to get more leverage and higher torque while screwing. All the keys are uniquely designed to fit perfectly into the screws.
2. Who Invented the Allen wrench?
Allen wrenches, or hex keys were invented back in the first decade of the eighteenth century. They got the name from their inventor, Mr. William G. Allen. Then, the Allen Manufacturing company started selling them with the same name.
3. Why is It Called an Allen Wrench?
Hex keys or Allen Wrenches were named after William G. Allen of the Allen Manufacturing Company. Both the terms “Allen Key” and “Allen Wrench” were derived from his name. Thus, it’s called an Allen Wrench.
4. What are The Different Types of Allen Wrenches?
Well, you might not have known about this, but there are actually quite a lot of different types of hex keys. Most of the differences arise due to the shape of the handle.
On the basis of the type of handle, the hex keys can be T-handle, P-handle, and L-style. Other types include the folding hex keys, ratcheting drivers, torque wrenches, and ball hex sets.
Whether you’re looking for the best T handle hex key set or an L handle one, you can’t go wrong with either.
5. Is There Any Difference Between a Hex And an Allen Wrench?
Well, technically, there is no difference between the two. Both the terms are used interchangeably, and you can refer to them as either when you’re using these.
But some people might recognize these as Allen wrenches, while others might be a bit more familiar with the term hex keys.
Finding the best Allen wrench set can easily become a daunting task. But you certainly need to go through a list of the top ones to figure out which one should be good for you.
Check out all the hex keys on the list and see if they suit your budget. All of these are designed for professional use, so keep that in mind while making your decision.
Whether you want a hex key set for personal or professional use, try to pick the best one by comparing the features. All of the wrenches here are packed with features.
Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API