Allen keys

RyanW

The abominable Bikeman
Location
Ashford, Kent
Hey,

I have gone thought about 3 sets of allen keys in 6 months, they just fall apart. Does anyone know what type to get that dont act like they are made from break sticks?

I see vandium, hardened steel, galvanised. Any advice?

Or should i just bulk buy 20 sets?
 
OP
RyanW

RyanW

The abominable Bikeman
Location
Ashford, Kent
also is a hex key and allen key the same thing? or is one 6 one 8 sided as thought?
 

battered

Über Member
Allen is a brand. Hex keys are generic. It's like vacuum cleaner vs Hoover.

If you buy genuine Allen keys they will last longer than you. £2 sets are fairly poor.

Chr-vanadium tools are generally good. I choose hex keys withn ball ends so you can get wiggle room, they cost £8-10 for a set covering 2mm to 10mm. I have a few cheaper but OK ones in teh travelling toolkit.
 

battered

Über Member
tundragumski said:
Park Tools make the best ones - cheap ones are shite, as are all cheap tools. Don't waste your money on cheap tools!
No longer true. Some cheap tools are shite. Some are OK, some a re very very good. Now that everything comes out of China it's easy for the manufacturers to knock out the same stuff to everyone, badge it accordingly and to hell with the price ultimately paid. It makes for some real bargains.

I've had tools from Lidl and Aldi that are great. Use them regularly on biikes and cars without incident. A mate who ran a business making clean rooms in factories used to equip his vans with cheap angle grinders, £5 a time from the supermarket. His reasoning was that the fitters knocked hell out of them all day every day, the expensive ones lasted 2 years and cost £80. A rebuild was £50. Cheap ones lasted 6 months to a year for £5.

Those Screwfix keys look great for the workshop. At £20 they should be, that's a pro price. I'd have something more portable to take out.
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
Tools out of Aldi and Lidl are generally pretty good quality and excellent value for money.

I broke a Draper spanner trying to uncrew a very corroded stud on a 40 yo tractor. I was able to unscrew it with a spanner that came out of Lidl for a fraction of the price.

Where cheap spanners in particular can fall down is not usually in their strength but in the way they fit the nut.
 

upsidedown

Waiting for the great leap forward
Location
The middle bit
I have a set of Bondhus allen keys, used them regulalry for the last ten years and they are as good as new. Not cheap but worth every penny.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
I've just phased out my worn, bent, just plain past it, Park Tools ball head Allen keys in favour of Halford own brand ones. They come in a drum/cylinder style holder and are pretty damned robust based on usage to date.
 
When I was doing low loader work, I went to the old Triumph factory in Hinkley. Loading up the old workbenches, I noticed one of them still had a toolbox in the cupboard. Upon investigating, I found a complete tool kit including a set of very good quality ball end Allen keys. I asked around the staff to see whose it might be but was told to stick it in my cab and forget about it. I'm still using them now, ten years on.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
I have a park tools fold out hex key set (looks like a swiss army knife). Cost a couple of quid, its perfectly fine. No need for anything more costly. Any "real" hex key set will do, its the out of a cracker/poundshop items you want to skip.

You shouldnt be tightening things up with a 6ft bar over the end of the hex key for uber leverage, hand tight is all you need so you shouldnt go stripping or twisting or snapping hex keys.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
Rob3rt said:
I have a park tools fold out hex key set (looks like a swiss army knife). Cost a couple of quid, its perfectly fine. No need for anything more costly. Any "real" hex key set will do, its the out of a cracker/poundshop items you want to skip.

You shouldnt be tightening things up with a 6ft bar over the end of the hex key for uber leverage, hand tight is all you need so you shouldnt go stripping or twisting or snapping hex keys.
I've never damaged a hex key, or, iirc, any other tool, tightening something. Trying to undo things is another matter. I've ripped a ball end off a Draper ball end allen key on a siezed seat clamp bolt (who uses a steel bolt with an ali 'nut' for pity's sake?) and twisted several others on similarly siezed parts without ever using more leverage than the arm strength and weight wot Ma Nature gave me.
 
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