Whether you know them as hex keys, hex wrenches, Allen keys, or Allen wrenches, these small tools remain a must-have for any engineer, mechanic, bike owner, Do-It-Yourselfer or anyone whose work often deals with tightening and loosening fasteners.
As the name goes, hex keys feature a hexagonal shape that allows them to tighten and brake hex bolts and nuts loose with ease. The small yet handy tool comes with two sides; one shorter than the other.
The L-shape allows the user to maximize leverage for easy fastening and loosening of bolts while the multiple sizes tackle fasteners of different sizes. And since dealing with a rounded-off fastener can be a nightmare, it’s very important to ensure that you choose the right hex key set for your project.
In this content, we have compiled this year’s top options on the market that will get the job done correctly without damaging the bolt or compromising the integrity of the tool.
11 Best Hex Key Sets
#1 Olsa Tools Hex Allen Key Set
Starting our top-notch review, this set is among the markets top options that will leave you satisfied with its performance. The premium-grade set comes with heat-treated steel construction that offers industrial strength and durability. The rugged construction implies that the tool will tackle even the most stubborn fastening projects and still come out in great shape.
A premium chrome finish covers the steel construction to prevent the piece from catching rust. The durable case nests all the pieces so that you don’t have to store each piece separately in a large toolbox. The case features hinges that allow it to open wide for easy access of the wrenches while the size marks on the case are highly visible so that you will never pick the wrong piece for the project.
The metric set constitutes of 9 pieces; 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10 mm. The multiple sizes handle different bolt sizes letting you approach every project with confidence. The ball-bearing end allows for better access in tight spaces. Also, these pieces employ a long design that gives the user maximum torque. This feature means that using this set for your project will require less effort as compared to when using some options the market offers.
- The holder makes it easy to carry the set to a job site.
- The ball end is a plus.
- The long handle provides more torque.
- The nine pieces may not suit all the projects.
#2 WORKPRO Allen Wrench Set, 18-piece Hex Key Set
Whether you want it for use in cars, machinery, bikes, or furniture, this set contains the most common sizes that handle most socket cap screws. In fact, the entire set consists of 18 pieces; 9 SAE-sized pieces and the remaining nine pieces metric, to ensure that the specially designed fasteners will never slow you down.
The set comes with chrome vanadium steel construction. This solid construction will not only offer exceptional durability but also withstand the harshest elements of the outdoor space. The red and blue spray coat makes the pieces aesthetically appealing and prevents them from catching rust. Also, the two finishes make it easy for the user to differentiate the SAE wrenches from the metric wrenches while the high-visibility sizes marked on the case and wrenches keep you organized.
The durable case offers storage for all the pieces when in transportation or when not in use and makes it easy to identify a missing piece. The end of every piece is designed with great precision to ensure that the wrench slides easily into fasteners with minimum wear and without stripping the bolts. The long and medium arms offer extra torque and make it easy to handle fasteners in the hard-to-reach areas.
- The solid case opens flat.
- The ends are burr free.
- The wrenches are strong and durable.
- The red and blue finish comes off pretty easy.
#3 TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set
There is much to love about this hex key wrench set. For example, the set comes with 30 pieces of Allen wrenches; 15 customary and 15 metric hex wrenches. The many sizes mean that the chances of including the ideal tool for your project are very high. Therefore, if you usually come across a wide range of hex bolts in your project, picking this set will be a wise idea.
Just like the before models on the list, these Allen wrenches come with rugged heat-treated steel construction for maximum strength and added durability. Black-oxide finish covers the steel construction to protect it from catching rust and other effects. Furthermore, the chamfered ends grip the bolts nicely and will not compromise their integrity as some models would. The precisely-designed ends will also not wear quickly to give you years of service.
These Allen wrenches come in a handy case that offers convenient storage and makes it easy to carry the wrenches to the job site. The hinged case will open flat to allow the user to pick the needed wrench with ease. Also, the wrench sizes are indicated on the case to save time when picking the ideal size for the work. The case also has a hole that allows you to hang it on the wall so that it doesn’t have to take space on the already heavily-loaded toolbox.
The longer arms of this set mean that they will work even in the hard-to-reach areas and gives greater torque to reduce to make fastening and loosening bolts a breeze.
- They have a nice heft.
- The price is good.
- It is a complete set.
- The smaller wrenches are not straight.
#4 TEKTON Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set
Also coming from Tekton, this is yet another hex key set you can count on to deliver value for your money. However, unlike the earlier sibling that comes with 30 pieces, this set equips 26 pieces. The wrenches are of common sizes which mean that it will be hard for you to miss the right size for your application.
The chrome vanadium steel construction means that you can count on this set to serve you for years to come. The black-oxide finish will not give in to corrosion and or chip off even when under high-stress contact. The chamfered straight ends do not wear easily and provide a snug fit to ensure that it does not round off the fastener.
The L-design implies that the longer arm gives extra reach while the shorter arm provides maximum leverage, making the project easy and more fun. Also, this set doesn’t come with storage boxes. Well, the major reason is to save time since you won’t need to open and close the box when picking or returning a piece. Instead, the set arrives in a color-coded housing that allows for instant identification of sizes. The hinged housing opens flat so that you can pick or return a wrench in no time.
- The ball end allows access at an angle.
- The wrench holders are nice.
- The set contains both metric and standard Allen wrenches.
- The size markings on the housing wear off fairly easily.
#5 AmazonBasics Hex Key / Allen Wrench Set with Ball End
Just like the preceding model, this set comes with 26 pieces of Allen wrenches. With this number, you are sure that it will work in nearly any hex bolt you come across in your operations. The pieces come in both standard and metric measurements for increased user convenience.
The keys are of rugged chrome-vanadium steel, which means that they will not bend even under heavy applications. I mean, the solid construction will stand up to daily abuse in a busy job site. Also, each unit is sandblasted to ensure a smooth surface that will interact nicely with the palm even under heavy pressure.
The black oxide finish elevates the beauty of the set and resists corrosion. The ball-end design provides a better reach around obstructions while the beveled ends allow you to smoothly insert the tool into a hex bolt. The metric and standard versions come in separate holders to keep you organized.
The holders feature clear size markings that make it easy to pick the size you need from the rest. Also, the storage rack employs hinge-design that lays it flat when you need to access any tool. The case also features marked slots to ensure that every wrench remains contained in its own slot.
- They have a ball-end design.
- The price is attractive.
- The holders keep them organized.
- It may wear with regular heavy use.
#6 REXBETI Hex Key Allen Wrench Set
This premium set contains 26 pieces of durably-constructed wrenches. The heat-treated S2 Steel construction lets you buy the set with confidence that it will provide ultimate strength and great performance. In fact, this type of construction is more solid than the conventional chrome vanadium steel to suit the more demanding applications.
The set includes one universal T-head handle that attaches to one end of the hex wrench easily to allow you to tighten and loosen bolts quickly. The ergonomic handle also reduces pressure points on the palm that come along with extended use. The wrenches feature a regular end and a ball-end to ensure that the hard to reach spots will never limit you again.
The two plastic cases are made with durability in mind and keep all the pieces neatly put when not in use. In fact, one case holds the metric pieces while the other offers storage to the metric wrenches. The storage case also makes it easy to move the set when not in use. For easy access of the wrenches, the holder features easy-to-read size markings on every slot.
- It employs a long-arm design.
- The included handle lets you apply more torque with ease.
- The case is labeled.
- It would be better if the set came with instructions on how to insert the handle into the tool.
#7 Stanley STHT71839 Folding Metric and Sae Hex Keys
The history of this top manufacturer dates back to over 170 years ago. And yes, having been in the industry for nearly two centuries, Stanley hardly disappoints its customers when it comes to product quality. Therefore, if you are in the lookout for a premium-quality hex set that will deliver great performance for years to come, going by the Stanley STHT71839 Folding Metric and SAE Hex Keys would be a good idea.
The set comes with nine SAE key sizes and eight metric sizes that suit most hex bolts. Therefore, whether you are a dedicated DIY’er or a professional contractor, you can trust this set to handle just about any hex key you come across in your operations. Each piece of this set features chamfered edges to ensure effortless insertion of the wrench. Each key comes with size markings which mean that you don’t have to try out several keys when searching for the right one for your project.
The rubber inserts provide excellent grip to allow the user to tighten or loosen screws much better and faster. The longer arms together with the ergonomic grip let you apply great torque with ease.
- The 17 pieces suit most applications.
- The handle offers a comfortable grip.
- The price is affordable.
- The construction isn’t the best.
#8 DEWALT DWHT70262M Folding Locking Hex Key Set
If you are looking for the best deal in the market, then, you should not look beyond the DEWALT DWHT70262M Folding Locking Hex Key Set. In fact, the set comes with approximately half the price of the closely-priced competitor. And yes, coming from Dewalt, quality of these tools should not be a point of doubt.
The set includes 8 permanently-attached hex keys that fold out at the body end when you need to use them. In other words, if you want a unique set, this could be just the right set for you! The 8 keys are of commonly used sizes to ensure that you get maximum value from this option. The wrenches lock at three positions; 900, 1350, and 1800 to provide maximum convenience to the user. Locking the keys at your ideal angle is pretty straightforward; all it takes is a push of the locking button! The size markings around each hex key indicate that you will never pick the wrong tool for the project!
All the hex keys are durably constructed to allow for heavy applications. And since the body serves as the grip, this product guarantees to provide ergonomic grip, unlike the individual hex keys that develop pressure points with prolonged use. However, the large size of the grip together with the shorter side of the hex keys signifies that the set may not be the best option especially if you want to work on bolts in the hard-to-reach spaces.
- The lock function is reliable.
- It offers a comfortable grip.
- It is ruggedly built.
- It is quite hefty since all the keys are attached permanently to the body.
#9 Bondhus 20199 Balldriver L-Wrench Double Pack
It doesn’t matter the type of repair you are targeting, provided that you are in need of a hex key that can support maximum torque, Bondhus 20199 is probably the most ideal choice for you. And since it is made in the United States, you can buy with the peace of mind that the quality will not disappoint.
These Allen wrenches are made with Protanium steel that makes it 20% stronger than the competition. The extra-rugged construction also means that even the smallest wrench sizes will not bend even when you apply massive torque. Furthermore, the pieces feature ProGuard, which is five times more effective in protecting the tools from rust. I mean, with this hex key set, rust and other effects resulting from harsh conditions do not stand a chance. The superior protection together with the more solid construction ensures that the tools will deliver up-to-par performance for years to come.
The set contains both the metric and standard hex wrench sizes ranging from 1.5mm-10mm and 0.05 inches to 3/8 inches respectively. The ball joint will save you time when handling blind spots and the hard-to-access places.
- It is made in the USA.
- It comes with high-quality storage racks.
- It is perfect for hard angles.
- The price of the set is slightly high.
#10 Lichamp 18-Piece Hex Key Set (8211)
As the name suggests, this set comes with 18 hex keys. Of the 18 pieces, 9 pieces come in the most common metric sizes while the other 9 are in the most popular standard sizes. With this number, we can confidently claim that this set is engineered for multiple uses. Therefore, you can use it to handle most household chores such as the installation of handles, furniture assembly, bike assembly and repair, equipment repair, and many other applications where you are likely to come across hex bolts.
The wrenches of this set are forged from the durable chrome vanadium steel material and passed through an improved heat treatment process to ensure longer service life than most of the options from the competitors. The solid construction features anti-corrosion and anti-rust properties to ensure that the integrity of the tool does not get compromised by the harsh conditions the Mother Nature dictates.
The ball-end design enables the use of these wrenches up to 250 entry angle to ensure wider access of screws even in the confined spots. Each Allen has a different color to make it easy to spot your ideal size at a glance so that you pick the right tool without having to read the sizes.
- The colors make it easy to identify.
- They come with a nice weight.
- The set comes with two holders.
- The hinges of the case may come apart.
#11 HORUSDY Hex Key Set, Allen Wrench Set Inch
The hex keys of this set are of heat-treated steel that can handle heavy tasks. The black-oxide prevents rust to elongate the service life of the set. The piece contains 30 pieces of wrenches; 15 pieces for long reach and 15 short keys that provide greater leverage. In other words, the hexagonal keys of this option come with both standard and metric measurement to ensure maximum user convenience.
The 30 sizes cover all the hexagonal socket screws letting you tackle any bolt with confidence. And since the set comes with the highest number of keys in our list, it’s easy for one to think that it costs more than every other option in our compilation. Surprisingly, this set comes with a very affordable price, making it an ideal option for anyone operating within a small budget.
The sizes are marked on each wrench and can be read easily from a distance. Furthermore, this set arrives in a durable case that features slots to keep each tool contained in its own place. The case allows for easy access to every piece and looks great. Generally, considering the quality of the keys and that of the case, this set would serve as a perfect gift for a male friend especially those that deal with installation and repairs.
- The 30 sizes handle any hex bolt.
- The price is a real bargain.
- It does not catch rust.
- The 5mm is slightly oversized and does not fit perfectly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Question 1: Why should I buy a ball-end hex key?
Answer: When buying a hex key set, getting the one with ball end is an advantage since it allows for easy insertion of the end into the receiving slot. Also, the ball-end hexagonal key allows you to reach the fastener at an angle making it easy to work on hard-to-reach hex screws.
Question 2: What sizes do Allen keys come in?
Answer: Hex keys are available in different sizes. Since different sets may contain a different number of hex keys, the sizes may differ from one set to the other. However, the common size for Allen keys are; .028″,.035″,.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″ for the SAE while the metric sizes involve; 0.7mm, 0.9mm, 1.3mm, 1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm, 4.0mm, 4.5mm, 5.0mm, 5.5mm, 6.0mm, 7.0mm, 8.0mm, and 10.0mm. Before you buy a set, ensure that it contains your ideal size(s) since using the wrong size may damage the fasteners.
Question 3: Why is it called an Allen key?
Answer: The name ‘Allen’ came about from Allen Manufacturing Company which in turn was named after the founder, William G. Allen. This manufacturer focused on producing hex screws and hex keys to tighten them. Therefore, the name Allen Key and Allen wrench were derived from this brand.
Important Tips When Buying a Hex Key Set:
- More pieces are always a plus. This is because the more the sizes, the more versatile the set is. Also, ensure that the set contains both metric and standard sizes for greater convenience.
- The construction is key. You should only go for the hex keys that have heat-treated construction. This construction offers exceptional strength and will not bend even when you apply great torque.
- Ball-end is an added advantage. The ball-end design makes it easy to access bolts at an angle. This means that you can use it to work on bolts that are in tight spaces.
- A chamfered edge is vital. An Allen key should have chamfered edges to allow for easy insertion of the key without stripping the fasteners.
- Don’t forget the case. Whatever set you choose to buy, ensure that it comes with a sturdy case. The case will let you store all the wrenches together and more organized.
As seen, owning a set of hex key is necessary especially for those that deal with installation and repair works. All the hex key wrenches covered in this context are of great quality and durable. However, I prefer the TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set 25253 since it is ruggedly-constructed, has chamfered edges, features premium finish, and contains 30 pieces of hex keys both metric and standard sizes. HORUSDY Hex Key Set on the other side would be my next alternative since it also offers 30 durably-constructed pieces and a rugged storage case.
Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API