Allen Keys or Hex Keys (due to their shape) originated from a Hartford, Connecticut based manufacturer, and have since become synonymous with the general household tool box and self-erect furniture as one of the most commonly used general purpose wrenches. The length and thickness of the key will determine how much power or torque can be created .These hexagonal shaped keys are extremely versatile and are used to drive screws, bolts and fastenings found to erect furniture, shelving, bicycles, and allow speedy adjustments or removal of the fastening. Often in furniture mounting, recessed heads or headless screws are preferred for their discreet finish, and the Allen key is the perfect tool to put these in place. Their L Shape allows the user to gain plenty of purchase and allows the operator to take full advantage of the reach of the Allen key.
Allen Keys are available as sets often found attached to a key ring to ensure they are not lost and so that is easy to find the right sized Allen key fit for purpose. Sometimes they are included in the purchase of equipment or furniture for ease of construction and maintenance.
Different Types of Allen Key
Regular Allen Keys come in a range of standard sizes and are often found in sets of 6 to 8 keys with flat ends.
Ball end Hex Keys are a variant which allows the Allen key wrench to be used at an angle but since the Allen key shaft is narrowed to make the ball ending, they have weaker torque properties.
Center pin reject Allen Keys have a built in security feature which includes a pin in the center to prevent standard hex keys from working so that fasteners cannot be removed without the correct key.
What type of Screws work with Allen Keys?
- Socket Head cap screws
- Button Head Socket Screws
- Grub screws
- Countersunk socket screws