Instead of the L-shaped handle, you may obtain an Allen wrench with a T-shaped handle. The T-handle Allen wrench functions similarly to the L-handle Allen wrench; it only has a different grip. You may also purchase a ball hex wrench, which is a sort of Allen wrench with a horizontal head shaped like a ball at one end. This tool is useful for making adjustments to bearings and similar parts where a vertical hole is not available.
There are two types of T-handle Allen wrenches: left-hand and right-hand. Left-hand T-wrenches have their large flat face opposite the thumb hole. Right-hand T-wrenches have their large face next to the thumb hole. Either type of T-handle can be used as a regular Allen wrench by rotating it counterclockwise or clockwise to engage a single set of holes. However, because the direction in which they must be rotated is reversed, left-hand T-wrenches cannot be converted into right-hand T-wrenches and vice versa.
A second type of T-handle Allen wrench has a small hole near its center point through which a rod extends. When this type of T-handle is turned, the rod rotates which in turn turns the head of the bolt or other device being adjusted. This tool is useful for engaging small holes or spaces that a standard Allen wrench could not reach.
A third type of T-handle Allen wrench has a square head instead of a ball shape.
While there are many alternatives on the market, a 1.5–10mm L-shaped Allen wrench is an excellent bargain.
One of the easiest wrenches to use is an Allen wrench. The Allen wrench is a compact six-sided L-shaped wrench. A hexagon may be seen in a cross-section of the Allen wrench. Because the Allen wrench has such a unique form, it can only be used with objects that are specifically made for it. However, because it is such a common tool, third party manufacturers have produced replacement parts that will work with other tools.
The Allen key is a small, thin metal key with Allen screws on one end and a flat blade on the other. It can be bought in sets of four or five keys. Each key fits into a corresponding hole in an object that needs fixing. You simply match up the holes on the object with the holes in the key set until there is a match, then turn the key in the hole to tighten the object down. The Allen key is very useful for fixing objects that don't have standard sizes of holes; for example, it can be used to fix taps to toilets.
Allen wrenches and keys are named after George Frederick Allen who invented them in 1869.
Small flat-headed screwdrivers may sometimes be used as an allen wrench by inserting the end into the socket and using the screwdriver's two edges as leverage in the hole to spin it. Use a broader flathead screwdriver to fit a wider socket on a bolt or nut.
A crescent wrench is useful for making adjustments while standing up, since its small size makes it easy to handle with one hand. It comes in various sizes from 1/4 inch to 4 inches, so it can be used on bolts from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch in diameter.
A standard adjustable wrench is useful for making large adjustments and for working with heavy nuts and bolts. They are available in sets including open and closed faces, so they can be used on holes of different sizes.
An extension handle allows you to get more distance between your hands when turning a nut or bolt. They come in lengths of 6 to 40 inches, depending on the model.
A magnetic pickup tool is useful for removing nuts and bolts without damaging your workpiece. They are available in different strengths ranging from low power tools that can lift bolts off of concrete to high strength models capable of lifting 500 pounds.
A ratchet is a tool that allows you to turn a bolt or nut in one direction only, while keeping it locked in another direction.