Whether you're a bike owner, a mechanic, a DIY enthusiast, an engineer, or just anyone who's ever had to tighten or loosen fasteners, a set of hex keys is an essential tool for you.
These hexagonal-shaped keys are also known as Hex wrenches, Allen wrenches, or even Allen keys. They allow you to tighten and loosen bolts and nuts hassle-free.
We've compiled a list of the best hex key sets that you must check out. You'll also know the factors that you need to consider before you decide on a set of hex keys.
Let's find out what makes these sets the best in the market.
11 Best Hex Key Sets in 2020
In this section, we'll break down the specifics of each of the sets, so you know which one meets your requirements.
1. Olsa Tools Professional Grade Hex Key Set (Metric)
This Olsa Tools Professional Grade hex key set combines durability and function to provide you with quality wrenches. The one thing that's very important in tools like these is rust-resistance.
These wrenches are made with heat-treated steel and have a chrome finish. This will help in preventing rust and ensures high durability. They're strong and reliable against any and every type of work.
You'll also be getting a folding case where you'll store the wrenches. This storage case opens flat, and you can access and replace these wrenches very easily. They'll also fit in any tool bag without taking up too much space.
For areas that are hard to read, these wrenches have ball ends. They'll allow you fasten hex bolts anywhere up to 25-degree angle. The set includes wrenches of metric sizes 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm.
These keys are extra-long, giving you additional power and torque for heavy-duty work, and the sizes are written in such a way that you won't have to squint your eyes every time you want a wrench.
Its extractor tip is a patented design by Olsa and can easily remove 80% of rounded hex bolts and screws.
2. WORKPRO Allen Wrench Set
If you're looking for both metric and SAE sizes for your hex key set, then check this one out. It has 18 pieces of wrenches with 9 SAE sized wrenches and the rest in metric sizes.
You can use this on cars, bikes, furniture, or any type of machinery because it has all the standard sizes that can handle most, if not all, socket cap screws. Nut driver sets are also helpful for mechanics but with this 18-piece Allen wrench set, you won't fall behind in any work.
This thing is made with chrome vanadium heat-treated steel. It won't rust and will last you a long time. The red and blue color not only makes them appealing but also makes it easy to identify which one is SAE and which one is metric.
Once you've picked the color, the sizes are written in high visibility so that you can choose your wrench easily and keep them appropriately organized. It comes packed in an ABS hard hinged case that can be opened completely flat, so it's easy to access and replace the wrenches.
The ends of these keys are sizes so precisely that they fit into any fastener smoothly. This helps to reduce the wearing of the wrench and also the damaging of the fastener head.
3. TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set, 30-Piece
If you think 18 pieces are just not going to cut it for you, then you'll love this one. It has 30 pieces of hex keys. Fifteen pieces will be of the long pattern, inch system, and fifteen will be the short pattern metric system.
When you've got such a wide range of sizes of wrenches, you can be assured that you'll find the perfect one for your work.
Made with heat-treated steel, you'll get a sturdy construction and high durability. Its black oxide finish gives it an added advantage of not rusting or chipping off. This means it won't change the size for that precise fit on your fasteners.
What's great about this product is that you're getting both the short and long-armed wrenches. The long ones allow for better reach and torque while the shorter ones are good for leverage. Fasteners will not be damaged as they are chamfered and will slide smoothly into place.
The storage case is hinged and opens flat. This means you can get them and put them away easily. You can also hang up the storage case on the wall of your workshop if you don't want to overload the toolbox.
4. TEKTON Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set, 26-Piece
We've got another hex key set from Tekton that's reliable and has a wide range of sizes. This set has 26 pieces, which include all the standard hex keys that you'll need. Tekton makes quality products for both professionals and the general public.
This one is perfect for someone who doesn't need to use specialist tools but requires hex keys regularly. These 26 wrenches come in inches and metric. There are 14 hex keys in inches and 13 in metric sizes.
They're packed in a uniquely designed color-coded case. Each type is separated so it's easy to use and keep organized. This hinged case can also be opened flat. It eliminates the need to carry around a heavy box case.
These wrenches are made from heat-treated steel and have a black oxide finish just like the previous Tekton set we reviewed. This makes the wrenches durable, rust-resistant, and harder to get damaged.
The hex keys have chamfered ball ends, meaning you'll get up to a 25-degree angle when inserting, which makes it easy to reach when there are obstructions. Chamfered ends also ensure that you'll get a snug fit preventing any damage to the fastener.
5. AmazonBasics Hex Key Allen Wrench Set with Ball End
This next one is pretty popular among customers who are just DIY enthusiasts and experts. Like the last one, it offers 26 pieces of hex keys that will fit into any conventional fastener. With this set, you can do pretty much any type of work you want to do.
They come in both metric and standard sizes which will fit most screws and bolts with hexagonal socket style heads.
The chrome- vanadium steel makes it durable and sturdy under heavy-duty force. And with the black oxide finish, you can be assured of its corrosion resistance. They're also blasted with sand, making them smooth to the touch.
One thing that's essential for a hex key is extended reach. The long arm wrenches offer you that feature where you can exert maximum torque. These wrenches also have beveled ends with which you can easily insert the hex key into the head of the fastener.
Storing it is also comfortable in its hinged storage cases. The metric and standard have separate cases for easy identification. You can fold it in half to store them away or open it flat for easy access.
The markings on them are visible either in inches or mm, and the separate slot for each wrench also makes it easy to identify and find the size you need.
6. REXBETI Hex Key Allen Wrench Set
Another popular choice is the Rexbetu Hex Keyset, which comes with a T-handle for increased strength and power.
So far, we've seen hex keys made of chrome-vanadium steel, but this one here uses S-2 steel that promises to give more torque and better hardness than chrome-vanadium steel.
You'll be getting a free T-handle with the set of wrenches. This makes your life much easier when you're tightening and loosening fasteners. It'll help you grip onto the wrenches more comfortably and tightly, thus significantly increasing your turning power.
There are regular and ball-ended ends of these wrenches. These ball-ended ends allow you to screw a socket cap up to a 25-degree angle in an entry. They are very helpful when you need to fasten something in a hard to reach the spot.
Two sets of SAE and metric each containing 13 wrenches of different sizes and lengths. The long-armed hex keys are especially helpful when you're trying to reach difficult spots. It also gives better leverage and torque.
The SAE and metric come in separate plastic cases as they're easy to identify, and they're also in different colors; the SAE wrenches are dyed black while the metric ones are their original steel color.
7. Stanley STHT71839 Folding Metric and Sae Hex Keys, 2-Pack
Let's move onto something a little different in looks and appearance. The Stanley folding hex keys come in a thick shaft that doubles as a handle. You can put it in your pocket and be off. Stanley's 170 years of experience in the industry assures you premium quality products that perform well beyond expectations.
In this set, you'll get eight metric size keys, and nine SAE sized keys that'll fit the most common hex bolts. Both a professional and a DIY enthusiast will find use out of it. The wrenches in this Stanley set all have chamfered ends, which means you can insert the hex keys into fasteners easily and without damaging the heads.
It has visible size markings, so no need to try all of them before you find the one you're looking for. They're also designed with rubber grips that'll help you grab onto the keys properly without slipping. Its long arms with the rubber grip allow you to apply a higher torque more easily.
Stanley's distinctive yellow body stands out that features composite construction that's highly durable. Whether you're looking to fix your bicycle or set up IKEA furniture, this little tool will come in handy.
8. DEWALT Hex Key Set, SAE, Folding/Locking, 8 Keys (DWHT70262M)
DEWALT needs no introduction, and when you pair it with such a competitive price, you might as well be looking at the best Allen key set. Because of the brand name, you know you'll be getting quality products no matter what you choose to buy.
This set has eight hex keys that are permanently attached. They'll fold out of their shaft when you want to use them. To make sure you get the maximum value out of this set, it includes the most used SAE sizes.
The wrenches fold out and lock at three positions: 90°, 135°, and 180°. This means it won't keep folding back, or your grip on it will be much more durable. Locking it is also very easy, just push on the locking button once you fold out to your desired position.
Picking the right hex key is also easy as there are visible marking of the sizes on each of the keys. No need to pull out each one to find the correct fit.
This is a set of hex keys that's durable and reliable. The grip on it is convenient and ergonomic since you use the whole body as a handle, not like the individual hex keys that might create pressure points when you use them.
9. Bondhus 20199 Balldriver L-Wrench DoublePK, 10999 1.5-10mm & 10937 0.050-3/8"
When it comes to hex keys or Allen keys, you really can't go wrong with a Bondhus set. This one on our list of best hex wrench sets is a popular and go-to choice of anyone in need of Allen wrenches.
Made with Protanium steel, it'll be hard to find a sturdier set of hex keys than this Bondhus set. This is the perfect set for you if you need to make regular repairs that require maximum torque. They won't bend or break under heavy pressure.
Another vital thing to know is whether your steel tools are rust-resistant. Well, this thing is finished with a ProGuard that makes it five times more effective against rust build-up. You can be assured of its long durability and that it'll last you a long time without compromising on the quality and performance of the wrenches.
The set comes in a user-friendly case and contains metric and SAE sizes that'll fit most hex bolts. It also boasts original ball-ended L-wrenches that'll help you save time and energy when working with hard to reach spots.
A truly unique product that performs excellently with each wrench and has the trust of those who use it. Made in the USA, so you know the materials are top-notch and you won't be disappointed with the quality.
10. Lichamp 18-Piece Hex Key Set, Long Arm Ball End Allen Key Set
This colorful set of wrenches includes 18 pieces of Allen keys, 9 of which are metric sizes, and the other 9 SAE sized. These sizes are the most common ones used, so we're sure you'll find the right fit for your work from this set.
Built with chrome vanadium metal of the highest quality and advanced treatment of heat, this wrench will last you quite a long time. It has anti-rust and anti-corrosion properties that protect it from wear.
When you're working with hard to reach angles, this set will come in handy as it contains wrenches that are crafted with a ball end. This allows the user to get access to an up to 25-degree angle when working with socket cap screws. It'll also help you to adjust in whichever angle is most convenient.
The chamfered ends of the wrenches allow for smoother insertion into fasteners, thus making sure that there's no damage done and extending the life of the tools. You'll be getting medium and long-armed hex keys that'll give you maximum torque and easy reach for difficult spots.
These wrenches are in different colors, making it easier for you to identify which size you need. And the surface has a slip-resistant texture allowing you comfortable and firm grip even with dirty and greasy hands.
11. HORUSDY Hex Key Set, Allen Wrench Set Inch/Metric 30-Piece
Horusdy hex key set is the last one on our list. It's made with heat-treated chrome-vanadium steel, which ensures longevity and has a black oxide finish, which prevents rust build-up.
The set contains a total of 30 pieces of long and short, inch and metric sized wrenches. Fifteen long arm SAE sized wrenches that'll help you reach those tricky spots. The other fifteen short arm metric keys are excellent when it comes to higher leverage.
There are times when we all face those stubborn bolts that just refuse to move an inch. For those stubborn fixings, these hex keys have the usual drive end on all the keys, both short and long. It'll give you higher leverage for those tight fittings.
The 30 sizes all cover the hexagonal socket screws allowing you to take on any type of work without a worry. One of the highest numbers of wrenches in one set, it offers a wide range of sizes in both metric and SAE.
For easy selection, Horusdy has marked the keys in visible markings. The case it comes in organizes the keys neatly, and it can even be hung on the wall because of the hole the storage case has.
What to Look for Before Buying?
We've informed you of the best hex keys out there, but which one js the perfect one for you? To make the right decision, you need to keep the following factors on your mind before making a choice.
Type of Hex Key
There are different types of hex keys, and although they perform more or less the same job, each has its merits and demerits. For example, L-shaped hex keys allow for better reach in tougher spots while the T-handle key is more ergonomic and is mostly used by motorsports.
If you want more comfort when working with a hex key, then you can choose a P-handle wrench that is far easier and comfortable to handle. A folding type of hex key set will be very convenient if you want something the size of a Swiss knife to carry around in your pocket.
The durability of workshop tools is not just important because of the price and value but because you don't want it to break down when you're in the middle of your task.
Most wrenches are made of steel and have a black oxide or zinc plated finish. The chrome-plated finish is more durable than any other type as they help reduce friction between the key and the fastener.
Length of Keys
The length of the hex keys is also an essential factor to consider when deciding on a set.
If you're looking for wrenches that can give you high torque, then go for the long arm wrenches. They're also essential if you're working on a task that has accessibility difficulty. Shorter wrenches are excellent for better leverage and small spaces where you can't fit the long ones.
It's crucial that you can read the size markings on the wrenches and without any difficulty. Because the sizes are very close to each other and a lot of the sets contain both metric and SAE sizes, you might end up fumbling around for the right one if the size markings are not clear.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How many sizes of hex keys are there?
Hex keys come in different sizes. Different sets of different models and brands contain a different number of wrenches.
What are the common sizes of hex keys?
There are two methods of measuring the key size: metric and SAE. Some of the most common sizes in metric are 0.7mm, 0.9mm, 1.3mm, 1.5mm, 2.5mm, 5.5mm, 6.0mm, 8.0mm, 10.0mm. Some of the common SAE sizes are .028", .035", .050", 1/8", 5/32", 3/8".
What is a ball end hex key?
The end of a ball end hex key is ball-shaped. It makes it easy to insert the wrench in the fastener easily.
What is the difference between hex keys and Allen keys?
There is no difference between these two. They refer to the same tool. Hex key, Allen key, and Allen wrench are all used to describe the same L-shaped tool used on bolt and screw with hexagonal heads. Besides hex keys, you will find hexagonal heads also in Torx sets.
Why are hex keys sometimes called Allen keys or Allen wrenches?
It comes from the founder of the company that specialized in producing hex keys and screws. The founder's name was William G. Allen, and the company's name was Allen Manufacturing Company.
Hex keys are an essential tool in a workshop or if you're into fixing things around the house. A good set of hex keys will make your task easier and smoother.
We're sure you'll find the perfect one for you in our list of the best hex key sets.