An Allen key is a tool that can be used daily. It has a lot of names, the most common being hex key and Allen wrench. It is a six-headed tool used as a driver for screws, bolts and other fasteners that are designed to fit in the tool. The Allen company from Hartford, Connecticut is the manufacturer of Allen keys.
The tool also comes in different shapes and sizes. The most popular is L-shape. L-shaped wrenches are used to take advantage of the wrench’s reach while using the longer arm. On the other hand, it can make use of its torque capabilities while using the shorter arm of the L-shape. There are also some Allen keys that come with a ball end on the longer arm. This allows the wrench to be used from odd angles. The ball end should not be used for torque as it can easily slip and damage the fastener and subsequently, the tool itself.
Allen Key Sizes
The size of Allen keys are measured from one flat side to the other. Metric and standard sizes are available in extremely small sizes. Other drivers are simply not capable of accommodating smaller sizes. An Allen key is advantageous because of its contact points. The six sides in contact with the bolt or screw will ensure plenty of surface area to turn the screw in a very effective manner.
The Allen key is also very versatile and works well with recessed screw heads, headless screws, as well as high-profile screw heads. Another good thing about Allen keys is that they are very affordable. This is also the reason why more and more consumers are buying the tool. They are also bundled with products that require minor assembly. Many of them come in specialty sizes.
You don’t have to worry about those hexagonal screws anymore because you now have the ability to attach and detach screws easily. You can find Allen keys in many hardware stores and other tool stores.
How to Use an Allen key?
- Place the short end of the L-shape into the drive and use the long end as the lever to turn the screw.
- Hold the short end loosely with one hand to keep the key steady in the drive and turn the long end with the other hand.
- Turn clockwise to tighten and counterclockwise to loosen it.