Choosing the best Allen wrench set can often be a confusing task, especially with the numerous options available on the market. We've taken the time to thoroughly review the top Allen wrench sets of 2023 to help guide your purchasing decision. This review covers various factors such as build quality, range of sizes, ease of use, and additional features that might make one set stand out over another.
What are Hex Keys?
Hex keys are L-shaped tools with a hexagonal shape at one or both ends. They are designed to drive bolts and screws with a hexagonal socket. These tools are especially useful in reaching screws in tight spaces where traditional screwdrivers might not work. Hex keys are used in a variety of applications, including furniture assembly, bicycle maintenance, and electronics repair.
What to Look for When Buying a Hex Key Set
When shopping for a hex key set, it's essential to consider the following:
Metric and SAE Sizes
Hex keys come in two standard measurement systems: Standard American Equivalent (SAE) and metric. While SAE sizes are measured in inches, metric sizes are measured in millimeters. Depending on the bolts and screws you'll be working with, you might need one or both types of sets.
Material and Durability
The best hex keys are typically made of high-grade, heat-treated steel or chrome vanadium steel for maximum strength and durability. The material should be resistant to rust and corrosion. The keys should have a good amount of torsion strength to withstand the torque applied during use.
Comfort and Ergonomics
Some hex keys come with ergonomic handles that offer a comfortable grip, reducing hand fatigue during prolonged use. These handles can also provide better leverage, making it easier to turn stubborn bolts and screws.
Some hex keys feature a ball-end design. This allows the user to insert the key into the screw or bolt at an angle, which can be particularly useful when working in tight spaces.
Case or Holder
A well-organized case or holder is essential for keeping your hex keys in order and easily accessible. Look for sets that come with durable, well-marked cases that allow for easy identification of each key size.
Top Allen Wrench Sets of 2023
After considering the above factors, here are some of the top Allen Wrench Sets available in 2023:
1. Bondhus 20199 Balldriver L-Wrench Double Pack
The Bondhus 20199 Balldriver L-Wrench Double Pack is a top choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. The set includes 22 pieces ranging from .050" to 3/8" and 1.5mm to 10mm. Each wrench is made from Bondhus' exclusive Protanium steel, making them up to 20% stronger than competitor wrenches.
The Balldriver tips provide angled entry up to 25 degrees, greatly enhancing ease of use in hard-to-reach places. The set also comes with a convenient storage case that keeps all the wrenches organized and readily accessible. Additionally, Bondhus provides a lifetime warranty, ensuring that this set will be a long-lasting addition to your toolbox.
- The ball-end design allows for high torque transmission and 360 degree accessibility to tight spaces
- The L-wrench handles provide excellent leverage for increased torque
- The included sizes (5/32" and 3/16") accommodate many common fasteners
- The bits are made of hardened alloy steel for strength and durability
- The handles have ridges for improved grip and control
- Bondhus tools are known for their value and reliability
- The set only includes two sizes, limiting versatility for other hex fasteners
- The handles are basic L-wrench styles, not ergonomic for maximum comfort
- The set does not come with a storage case for organizing the keys
- Bondhus is not a premium brand, so the tools may not be as durable as high-end options
- The bits are not marked for easy identification of size
2. TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set
The TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set offers a great combination of quality, range, and affordability. This 30-piece set includes 15 metric sizes and 15 SAE sizes, ensuring you have the right tool for almost any job.
The black-oxide finish on these wrenches not only adds to their durability but also helps prevent corrosion. Each wrench has chamfered ends that help guide the wrench for a smooth, easy insertion into fasteners. One notable feature of this set is the storage case: the wrenches are neatly organized and snap securely into place, making them easy to find and hard to lose.
- TEKTON tools are known for their value and reliability. The hex keys are likely to provide long-lasting performance
- The set includes 17 of the most commonly used hex key sizes from 0.050" to 1/2". This provides good versatility for a wide range of tasks
- The bits are precision machined from chrome vanadium steel for strength, hardness and corrosion resistance
- TEKTON offers a lifetime warranty against defects, so broken hex keys can be replaced
- The handles are rugged L-wrench styles for improved leverage and control
- The handles are basic L-wrenches, not ergonomic designs for maximum comfort
- There is no protective storage case included with this set
- TEKTON is not a premium brand like Wera or Wiha, so the quality may not be quite as high
- The set is not the most affordable option. Cheaper hex key sets are available
- The L-wrench handles add bulk and can be unwieldy with larger sizes
3. Craftsman Hex Key Set
Craftsman is a well-known name in tools, and their Hex Key Set is another high-quality offering. This 28-piece set includes 14 metric and 14 SAE sizes. Each wrench is made from durable alloy steel, ensuring long-lasting performance.
The Craftsman Hex Key Set features a caddy with marked slots for each wrench, making it easy to identify and select the right size. The caddy also has a handle for easy transportation. The Craftsman set is a solid choice for those looking for a reliable, easy-to-use set of Allen wrenches.
- Craftsman tools are known for their durability and reliability
- They come in a range of sizes to accommodate most common screw and bolt sizes
- The bits have thick, triple chrome-plated surfaces to resist wear and corrosion
- Craftsman offers a lifetime warranty on their tools
- Made of typical steel
- The tolerances are not as tight as you get with high-end hex key sets
- They are not the cheapest option
4. Wera 05073593001 Hex-Plus 950 PKL/9 Multicolor L-key Set
The Wera 05073593001 Hex-Plus 950 PKL/9 Multicolor L-key Set stands out for its unique design and high-quality construction. The set includes 9 keys, with metric sizes ranging from 1.5mm to 10mm.
Each key features a Hex-Plus profile, which prevents the rounding of hex socket screws by providing more surface contact. The keys are made from high-quality steel and have a smooth, corrosion-resistant finish. The color-coded, easy-to-grip plastic sleeves make it easy to find the right wrench quickly.
The Wera set also includes a durable clip for easy storage and transport. While this set may not have as many sizes as others, the quality and design make it a top choice for professionals and serious DIYers.
- Made from chrome vanadium steel
- Design of the L-key handles optimizes torque transmission with the bits recessed in the handles
- The L-key handles have an ergonomic shape with non-slip gripping zones for comfort and control
- Laser etched size markings on the bits make it easy to identify the correct size quickly
- Wera tools are known for their high quality, precision and durability
- More expensive compared to basic hex key sets
- Design of the L-keys is not as compact as T-handle or ball-end hex keys
- Storage case included is basic and not as protective as some high-end options
5. Klein Tools 70550 Hex Key Set
The Klein Tools 70550 Hex Key Set is a versatile, 11-piece set that includes sizes ranging from 5/64" to 3/8". Klein Tools is renowned for its quality, and this set lives up to that reputation.
Each wrench is made from high-quality alloy steel, providing durability and strength. The long arm design provides extra reach and a greater torque, while the short arm side allows for more leverage and control. All the keys are housed in a sturdy carrier, which is marked with the size of each key for easy identification.
While the set isn't as extensive as others, the quality of the tools and the brand reputation make this a worthy investment for any toolbox.
- Klein tools are known for their durability and longevity. The hex keys are likely to last a long time
- They come with tough, impact-resistant handles for withstanding shocks and drops
- The set includes 10 of the most commonly used hex key sizes. It provides good versatility for most tasks
- The bits are precision machined from heat-treated steel for strength and accurate fit
- Klein offers a lifetime warranty on their tools, so any defective hex keys can be replaced
- The handles are basic L-shaped styles, not ergonomic designs for extra comfort
- The set does not come with a protective storage case. The keys have to be stored individually
- The manufacturing tolerances may not be as precise compared to higher-end hex key sets
- They are not the most affordable option. Cheaper hex key sets are available
- The impact-resistant handles add bulk and weight, making the keys less compact
Each of these Allen wrench sets brings something unique to the table in terms of design, quality, and range of sizes. The Bondhus 20199 is an excellent choice for its strength and angled entry, while the TEKTON set offers a broad range of sizes at a very affordable price. For those who value brand reputation, the Craftsman and Klein Tools sets are solid choices. Finally, the Wera 05073593001 stands out for its innovative design and high-quality construction.
Ultimately, the best Allen wrench set for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. By considering the factors such as the range of sizes, build quality, and additional features, you can find the set that best suits your needs.