Classic hex key or as it may also be called the Allen wrench is a very common handy tool. It is a typically L-shaped tool that has a hexagonal socket this socket is how it gets its name ‘hex key’. The Allen wrench is hence a perfect tool to fit screws with six sided heads. Owing to its ease of use, furniture designers tend to use screws and bolts easily fitted with this wrench. Moreover, bicycles and motorbikes mechanics also make extensive use of Allen wrench.
Types of Allen wrenches
The size of Allen wrenches is critical. This corresponds with the type of screw head you are dealing with. The size is measured as across-flats (AF), this means the size between the two opposite flats of the hex key. Various sizes of the Allen wrench key range from 1.5 mm to 10mm. In inches, the most common sizes are 3/16 in, 3/8 in, 5/32 in and 1/4-inch.
Uses of Allen wrench
If you want to assemble a piece of furniture you bought, or fix up an issue with your bike, Allen wrench can be your best buddy. The long L arm of the wrench gives you ease of handling, Additionally the wrench is a favourite because it reaches to tricky positions and places your bolts might be fit in. The long arm gives essential torque and you can do the job easily.
Whether you have just shopped from IKEA or have a petty plumbing to do, there are some tips you have to keep in mind for using the Allen wrench.
- Choosing the correct size of wrench
This is really essential. The size of the wrench should be relative to the size of the bolt you want to tighten or loosen. It is advisable to keep with yourself a set of different sizes of wrenches so that you can operate on different sizes of bolts and the Allen wrench is a cheap tool. You do not have to spend a lot to buy an essential set of Allen wrench.
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- Shape of the Allen wrench
If you do not have particularly a lot of experience with tools, you may find handling of the wrench frustrating especially for longer period of time but that should not worry you.
- T shaped Allen wrench
The Allen wrench has another feature that makes it an easy tool to use, it also comes in a T shape. This means that for those of you who have a hard time grasping tools, the T shaped wrench can provide more stability and improved handling/leverage. Hence, the job can be sped up with the use of a T shaped wrench.
- P handle Allen wrench
Another evolved Allen wrench is the one with a P handle. This wrench has been more in use of professional workshop workers recently. The reason is that it has benefits of both the L and T shaped versions. While it can be difficult to make the T wrench do the job in certain places, P handle wrench takes care of this issue. And it also provides improved leverage as compared to the L shaped version.
- Rotation rule
Many of you may already be aware of this rule. But if you wish to tighten a bolt or a nut, carefully place the wrench key into the screw head. After that, rotate the wrench in a clockwise direction if you want to tighten the screw. If you wish to loosen it, rotate the wrench in a counter -clockwise direction.