Allen keys (also known as Hex keys) are used to tighten or loosen bolts and screws with hexagonal sockets. Allen key sets are widely used for tightening bolts and screws during furniture assembly. They are also used in the bicycle industry to adjust handlebars, seat height, and other bike parts. These tools are used for tightening screws on computer hardware and other electronic devices and tightening fittings and valves in plumbing systems. Extensively used in the automotive sector for engine repairs and adjustments, Allen key sets are also an indispensable part of any DIY projects.
Why do you need an Allen key set in your tool box?
- Versatility: Can be used on a variety of screws and bolts with hexagonal sockets.
- Convenient: Come in sets with multiple sizes, making it easier to find the right tool for the job.
- Precision: The hexagonal shape of the socket allows for precise tightening or loosening.
- Portability: Lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry in a tool kit.
- Cost-effective: Inexpensive compared to other specialised tools.
Here are a few common types of Allen key sets:
- L-shaped: Includes same size heads on each end, allowing the key to be used in either orientation.
- T-Handle: Includes T-shaped handle for added grip and torque.
- Straight: Have a straight and simple shape, as opposed to L-shaped or T-handle wrenches.
- Long Arm: Includes long-arm Allen wrenches for increased reach and leverage.
- Ball End: Includes ball-end Allen wrenches for angled access in tight spaces.
- Folding: Includes compact fold-up sets with multiple wrenches in one tool.
- Ratcheting: Includes ratcheting Allen wrenches for rapid tightening or loosening.
- Power Tool: Includes hex-shank Allen wrenches for use with power drills.
- Precision: Includes mini-Allen wrenches for precise adjustments.
- Multi-Bit: Includes screwdrivers with interchangeable Allen bits.
In this article, we look at the differences between Straight Allen key sets and Ball End Allen key sets. The primary difference between the two is the shape of the end of the tool.
Straight Allen key sets are the most commonly used type. They consist of hexagonal shaped bars with a straight end that fits into the socket of the screw or bolt. These keys are generally more precise and offer more control during tightening or loosening, making them a good choice for applications where accuracy is important. Straight Allen keys are less likely to strip out a screw head.
Ball end Allen key sets, on the other hand, as the name suggests, have a rounded end that can be angled up to 25 degrees. This allows the user to access screws and bolts in hard-to-reach places where a straight end key might not be able to fit. Additionally, the ball end reduces the amount of stress on the key, making it less likely to break, especially in tight spaces. Ball end Allen keys are also ideal for situations where speed and ease of use are important.Both straight and ball end Allen key sets have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two depends on the specific application and personal preference. For precise and accurate tightening and loosening, straight Allen keys are a good choice. For accessing screws and bolts in hard-to-reach places and for faster work, ball end Allen keys are the way to go. Ultimately, the choice between a straight Allen key set and a ball end Allen key set will depend on the specific task at hand and personal preference. Check out a range of options at RS today.