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Most of us are familiar with the small, L-shaped tools known as hex keys or Allen wrenches. With a hexagonal cross-section, a hex key is used to manually drive bolts and screws into materials that feature a corresponding hexagonal-shaped head. Available in a diverse variety of sizes, it's easy to find a hex key, torx key or spline key that fits your specific needs. Pick up additional hand tools and equipment to tackle any job that comes your way.
It's extremely important that a hex key is made strong to resist breaking off in a screw or bolt head. Most hex keys are constructed from nickel-chrome-alloy steel for a high level of torque strength and some are heat-treated for additional damage resistance. Look for a hex key with a rust-resistant finish to prevent corrosion in moisture-rich environments. The corners of a hex key are precision-formed and made to be sharp and accurate to prevent blunt edges and ensure a proper fit in a compatible screw or bolt.
The L-shaped design of a hex key provides a convenient place to put your hand while applying torque, but for greater control and comfort, choose a hex key with a T-shaped handle. T-shaped handles provide more surface area, allowing you to establish more leverage while turning. A cushioned T-shaped handle keeps fingers comfortable while applying pressure.
Hex keys come in many different sizes, often in sets, to work with a variety of screws and bolts. Choose a torx key for handling screws with a 6-pointed, star-shaped head. Choose a spline key to fit corresponding gears. If you need to work with many different types of screws, consider choosing a hex key folding set, which keeps a number of hex keys all in one neat storage unit.