Hex keys, also known as Allen keys or wrenches in the United Kingdom and other countries, are fairly simple hand tools from the spanner and socket family that are used to tighten and loosen hexagonal bolts and other suitable fasteners. They were invented by Frank A. Allen who was an American tool maker. The first hex key designed by Mr. Allen was made of steel with a rubber handle in 1919.
Hex keys are used to engage and disengage nuts and other similar fasteners that have six equidistant holes. Because these keys can be used on both male and female types of fasteners, they are useful for allowing users to connect or disconnect any type of bolt from its corresponding nut. This is particularly useful when working with different sizes of bolts or fasteners.
An Allen key, commonly known as a Hex key, is a kind of wrench. This is a compact handheld tool for twisting hexagonal socketed bolts and screws. The name "Allen" comes from the company that invented it: Allen Manufacturing Company, now part of SKF USA.
These tools are used to assemble or disassemble objects whose holes are all or mostly hexagonal. Examples include wheels, gears, and motor parts. They are also used by mechanics and hobbyists who work with hex-shaped fasteners such as nuts and washers.
Allen keys come in several sizes, but only six common sizes are generally available. These are listed below along with their corresponding dimensions: 1/4", 3/8", 5/16", 7/16", and 1/2". Some manufacturers may produce additional sizes but these are not common.
The most common use for an Allen key is to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts. As the name suggests, these tools can also be used to engage other hexagonal shapes, such as those found on some motorcycle parts. However, a set of special wrenches is required for some types of fastener, such as piano hinges or machine screw threads.
Allen keys are easy to use and durable. They are also inexpensive.
A hex key, often known as an Allen key, is a straightforward tool for driving bolts and screws having hexagonal sockets in their heads. There is a wide range of keys available, from normal keys in chrome vanadium steel to extra-long keys with ballpoint heads in chrome molybdenum steel. Keys can also be made of other materials such as titanium, carbon fiber, and polyoxymethylene (POM).
The name "hex key" comes from the six corners on each side of the head. A flat-head screwdriver works by applying force to the center of the head. A hex key works on all types of screws, because the tool fits into the hole of the screw, not just the center. The term "hex nut" is used interchangeably with "hex bolt".
Hex keys are commonly used by mechanics and hobbyists when working with hand tools. They are also useful for driving sheet metal screws or for manipulating small parts. A set of six keys covers most common size nuts and bolts.
Hex keys are available in different lengths for reaching various distances within your work area. Extra-long keys are necessary for driving large bolts or when working from a standing position. These keys are also good for driving sheet metal screws or for manipulating heavy objects.
Short keys are useful for operating close-by bolts with small diameters. Longer keys can reach farther away if needed.
A hex key, often known as an Allen key, is a basic tool for driving bolts and screws having hexagonal sockets in their heads. The tool is often made of a single length of hexagonal strong steel rod bent into a "L" shape with unequal arms, having blunt ends that are supposed to fit snugly into the screw's socket. One end is slightly longer than the other so that it can be easily inserted into the socket of the screw being used.
Hex keys are used instead of a drill because they can be used on both smooth and threaded screws, while a standard drill bit is only suitable for one type of fastening material. However, if a standard drill bit is replaced with a fastener with different thread dimensions, such as a self-tapping screw, then it would be necessary to use a special spade drill bit to create the hole for the screw.
The hex key is most commonly seen mounted in a toolbox along with other tools for tightening/loosening nuts and bolts. However, it can also be found in tool kits for use at home or work. These are usually sold in sets including a small, medium, and large size key for driving 1-3/4", 1/2", and 3/4" bolts or screws.
Hex keys come in several sizes for driving various types of screws. The smallest size is usually called a "1/4 inch key" and it is used for driving 1/4"-20 screws.