We spent 50 hours researching and testing over 15 different allen wrench sets and found that utility, comfort, and strength were the most important factors for consumers who were shopping for Allen wrench set. TEKTON Allen Wrench Set scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. Tekton is a well-known brand in the tool industry that prides itself on great quality tools just like these Allen wrenches. There are 30 separate wrenches included in this set that are made from steel that has been heat-treated and features a durable, scratch resistant black-oxide finish.
Allen Wrench Set Comparison
|Material||Steel||Vanadium Steel||Steel||Protanium Steel||Vanadium Steel||S2 Steel||Carbon Steel||Vanadium Steel||Steel||Vanadium Steel|
|Finish||Black Oxide||Black Oxide||Black Oxide||Black Oxide||Black Oxide||Chrome / Black Oxide||Chrome / Black Oxide||Black Oxide||Black Oxide||Chrome|
|Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||1||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||1||Limited Lifetime|
Allen Wrench Set Buying Guide
There are several things you want to look out for when it comes to purchasing the best set of allen wrenches you can. We have provided a list of things that you should look for when shopping. Considering these important factors will help ensure that you choose the kind of allen wrenches that will last a long time while performing the way you want them too.
Materials – The material your allen wrenches are made of is one of the most important factors you will consider when shopping around. The better the quality of material the more durable and longer lasting your wrenches will be. Steel the most common and best material for allen wrenches. Look for steel that has been heat-treated for even more strength.
SAE, Inches, or Metric? – The different sizes of allen wrenches are mostly to accommodate the different countries that items will come from. Most people in the US prefer inches since it is the easiest to read and the most well-known measurement.
The length of the key – This is determined by the jobs that you will be performing with your allen wrenches. If you are working on things that are hidden and difficult to reach, long arm keys are much more convenient and easier to use. Long arm wrenches can even be used in smaller spaces with little trouble so if you are only going to choose long OR short, you will get more use from the long.
Types of Allen Wrenches
There are many different types of allen wrenches to choose from. We’ve listed the most common shapes and types of allen wrenches that you can choose from, below. Read this section to understand what is available and the advantages and uses for each.
L- Shaped – This is the most common type of allen wrench. It is the standard and can be found easily. L-shaped allen wrenches offer the ability to easily reach inside tight spots and still allow plenty of leverage. If you are only going to have one set of allen wrenches choose the L shaped. The only negative to the L shaped allen wrench is that it can get uncomfortable if you have to use it for a long time.
T- Handle – The handle allen wrenches are very popular in the automotive and bike industry. The handle itself acts like a weight to help spin the wrench efficiently while still providing plenty of leverage. Many professionals that work on mountain bikes and road bikes are starting to prefer this type of allen wrench over others.
P – Handle – P-handle allen wrenches are very popular due to Pedros, Park Tool and other professional workshops. It is basically an oversized L shaped allen wrench that offers a comfortable grip where the wrench bends so it performs a lot like a T handle allen wrench.
Folding – Folding allen keys or wrenches are very handy and use the handle as storage for the keys so they do not become damaged. It is much like a Swiss Army type of knife that is popular with many people looking for a portable set that is easy to slip into your pockets. There isn’t much leverage or clearance with these allen wrenches but they can come in handy for some jobs if you are away from your main tool box.
Ratchet – The ratchet allen key is a unique style of allen wrench that you many find use for in your tool box. The best ratchet allen wrenches use bits that are replaceable rather than sockets. This keeps the profile of the tool much shallower. Ratchet allen wrenches are a lot faster to use with the exception of having to swap the bits out. An added benefit to ratchet allen keys is that they can also be used in a power drill. As long as they are used properly when inside the drill, there should not be a problem.
Screwdriver – Another handy style of allen wrench is the screwdriver handle style. This is good for tight spots and when low torque is needed. They are not widely needed but having a set for those unexpected jobs where they can come in handy.
Quality is Important
There are tons of options to choose from when it comes to allen wrenches or hex keys as they are also known. One important tip is never to buy cheap wrenches. There are a few types out there that you don’t want to waste money on because they are made cheaply, from cheap materials.
Cheap tools may SEEM appealing at first until you use them. They do not typically have the kind of durability you want in a tool and also lack the tight fit and tolerances you get from a set of quality wrenches.
Using a cheaply made sloppy tool to fix things can result in stripping the bolts. Choosing the wrong tool can result in wasted money and disappointment. It is better to choose a quality set of allen wrenches and protect the things you will be working on than to go for cheap tools now and end up having to replace an expensive bolt that you’ve stripped by using a cheaply made tool.
Pay Attention to the Wear of the Tool
Tools will wear out especially if they are used frequently so you will need to watch out for this and replace them as needed. You will want to pay attention to the tips of each wrench and make sure the edges are sharp. Rounded or burred edges are a good indication that the tool is not as good as you want it to be. If you use them you run the risk of rounding out bolts.
Ball drivers are very common features seen on P and L style allen wrenches and all you to access bolts that are angled. The downside to ball drivers is that there is not as much surface area with each bolt. The danger in this is that you are much more likely to strip the bolt especially under high torque. It is baby to use the square end of the allen wrench for loosening and tightening to avoid problems.
One of the best ways to gain inside knowledge of the allen key set you are interested in is to read what other customers have to say that have purchased and used them. These comments can tell you how well the tools perform, how comfortable they are to use, how easy they are to handle and many other things that will be crucial to making a final decision.
Keep in mind that not everyone will love every product. Less than favorable comments are to be expected. The goal is to find the products that have a large amount of positive comments in comparison to the less favorable ones. Look for high star ratings and lots of customer comments to find the best and most popular brands and products.
Allen wrenches are popular tools that are used for a variety of bike repairs, putting furniture together and many other jobs around the shop, home, or vehicle. They are most commonly used for hidden screws or set screws that aren’t easily seen such as the case is with some bookshelves. When the screw calls for an allen wrench. No other kind of tool will work.
The best allen wrenches for your tool box are the ones that meet your needs the best. This will involve choosing ones that are from well-known and reputable companies that offer quality in construction, in materials, and in performance. Most people have several types of allen wrenches in their tool boxes that can take care of a variety of jobs.
With all of these different types available it helps to know exactly what to look for when you start shopping. This guide and the reviews we have included have been designed to help you identify the right brand and style of allen wrenches. All three of the top rated wrenches will be a great addition to your tool box so you are safe choosing any one of them.
The information you have learned in the buying guide will make the whole shopping process much simpler overall and eliminate the guesswork. This guide is especially important if you don’t know a lot about allen wrenches and want to gain more information about them before you buy. Although they may not be used a lot, it is a sure thing that you will have need for them at some point in time. You will be glad you chose a durable, strong set when you do need them.