13 Different Types of Allen Keys Explained

Different Types of Allen Keys
Photo by Ralphs_Fotos

Which Allen Keys are available in their various forms? Finally, you have arrived at the perfect place to acquire information on the different types of Allen keys on the market.

Simple tools like an Allen key or a wrench are all you need to make quick work of any home repair project.

As the proverb goes, the looks of something may be deceiving, and an Allen key might not look like much of a tool at first glance. It is not simply a piece of metal that has an L shape.

Don’t let the simple appearance of the Allen key or wrench deceive you; it’s a powerful hand tool that’s capable of exerting an incredible amount of torque.

It might surprise you that every tool collection requires at least one Allen key set.

Because of the hexagonal cross-section of their heads, hex keys and hex-key wrenches are the tools of choice for machine screws with hexagonal recesses. Another term for Allen keys and wrenches.

Many mechanical devices, from do-it-yourself furniture and motorcycle engines to bicycles, are beginning to use hexalobular fasteners.

This article will explain the different types of Allen Keys and wrenches, covering the great variety of each type and the applications for which people can use it to help you make the right choice.

What is the Function of an Allen Key?

Although Allen keys are similar to screwdrivers and wrenches, there are a few significant operational variations between the three tools.

You can put them to use by turning a pin and then inserting one of the ends into a fastener with a hexagonal socket head. This will allow you to use them.

You can tighten the fastener if you turn the Allen key clockwise, but if you turn it in the other direction, you can remove or loosen it.

If you take a closer look at a regular Allen key, you’ll see that one of the sides is significantly longer than the other.

This is so because the longer side of an Allen key is used to turn it.

The lengths of the key’s left and right halves are varied, giving Allen keys the appearance of a letter.

With an Allen key, you can tighten or loosen nuts and bolts.

If you turn the long arm in a clockwise direction, you will generate more torque, enabling you to put or remove fasteners that would have been tough to do otherwise in a much simpler manner.

On the other hand, if you turn the short arm in a clockwise orientation, you can fit the Allen key into spaces that are otherwise difficult to access.

Benefits of the Different Types of Allen Keys

Allen Keys offers a simple and basic solution for installing or removing fasteners with a hexagonal socket shape-like head.

They do not use any power tools, and you do not even require a particular bit for them to function properly.

Consequently, when it comes to installing and removing supported fasteners, they are one of the most user-friendly pieces of equipment currently on the market.

Because Allen keys come in a variety of shapes and sizes, it is impossible to strip the fasteners out of their holes mistakenly.

In addition, they can “grip” the fasteners more effectively than other common screwdrivers and wrenches because they work with hexagonal fasteners.

This is due to the hexagonal shape of the fasteners used with them.

Therefore, the fasteners will not be stripped during either the installation or removal process because of their massive holding action.

Allen keys are so cheap that you will see them in the packaging of do-it-yourself products.

In many cases, such as when purchasing new furniture, you will receive other accessories.

The Allen keys needed to assemble the furniture are provided for the customer’s convenience.

In addition, users can further secure the product’s components using the Allen keys that come with the packing.

The Background of Allen Keys

Before we discuss the different types of Allen Keys, you must have some background knowledge regarding the evolution of this one-of-a-kind key or wrench.

When W.G. Allen first released a safety set of wrenches to people in the early 1900s, it was the first time people used Allen wrenches in a patented application. It was named after W.G. Allen, who invented them.

Furthermore, the first wrenches manufactured on a large scale for commercial sale did not exist until 1910. Consequently, the term “Allen wrench” came into being.

He laid the groundwork for what would later become the Allen Manufacturing Company by founding the Allen Manufacturing Company, which was its predecessor.

The well-respected Apex Tool Group is currently managing it, and they urge people to refer to it by its more popular name, ‘Hex key.’

Different Types of Allen Keys

If you were curious about how many different types of Allen wrenches there are, the answer is a significant number of kinds.

They are, in fact, attainable in several forms and designs, rendering them appropriate for various purposes.

Others are acceptable for use in metric systems, while others are meant to function well with traditional fasteners (Society of Automotive Engineers). Some are designed to operate well with conventional fasteners.

When looking at specific Allen wrenches, look for a color-coding system that will allow you to quickly establish whether they are metric or standard.

1. Torque Wrench

It is an essential component of any workshop, particularly when working with sensitive components, and it is of utmost significance when dealing with electronics.

It is important to keep this in mind. However, torque wrenches cannot serve as a viable replacement for matching hex wrenches.

2. Allen Screwdriver

If your task calls for a small amount of torque and a limited amount of clearance, having this tool within arm’s length could be helpful.

It is necessary to have an Allen screwdriver set on hand to adjust the levers on a disc brake or any other lever.

In addition, the size ranges from 1.5 mm to 5 mm, which you will encounter most frequently.

3. Adjustable Allen

The adjustable Allen Key is one of the different types of Allen Keys. It is a multifunctional device termed a network wrench.

The adjustable Allen Key works well with metric and standard fasteners and has many applications.

It has a solid jaw at the top position of the wrench that acts as the point of the adjustable jaw, in addition to a jaw that modifies the size of the wrench.

There are three distinct types of adjustable wrenches on the market today. People can use these wrenches to loosen or tighten angled nuts or screws (200mm, 300mm, and 250mm).

These wrenches see regular use in the hands of car mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and people who put together furniture and their cars.

In addition, people choose it depending on the nut size, and one cannot use it in the opposite way.

Finally, the fact that it has a box end on one side and an open end on the other makes it a versatile instrument that People may use in two distinct ways.

The box end consists of a closed ring with internal diameters that vary depending on the Allen wrench size.

Therefore, the size of the Allen wrench determines the size of the box end.

4. Open-end Allen

The box end of this multipurpose tool gives a firm grip around bolts and nuts, while the open end makes it easy to loosen and tighten bolts in remote locations.

For instance, combination Allen wrenches are typically utilized in bicycle maintenance because they are designed as single-piece instruments with two ends that people can use interchangeably.

Open-end Allen wrenches are helpful for confined project areas inaccessible to wider or thicker wrenches. This is because open-end Allen wrenches have two ends that People can use interchangeably.

A further possibility is that the holes on the opposite sides of the nuts and bolts will be different sizes.

Flipping the wrench over to utilize the other side provides a firm grip on whatever you’re fixing, thanks to the U-shape-like aperture on both ends.

5. Socket

An Allen socket wrench is a type of wrench for spinning fasteners. It has a hollow cylinder affixed to the end of the handle.

In addition, people can adjust it by sliding it over the bolts and nuts, which can either tighten or loosen it. Compared to the other variations of Allen Keys, It’s a common one to employ.

Because its sockets may be removed, socket wrenches can work with a wide range of different-sized objects.

People also refer to these instruments as ratchet wrenches, providing a degree of productivity and velocity that cannot be equal by any other tool on the market. In addition to this, they are beneficial from a lot of other points of view.

6. Crowfoot

Because The Wrench lacks both a shaft and a handle, the only visible distinction between it and a box-end or open-end wrench is that it has a closed end, whereas The Wrench does not have one.

In addition, it has a hole in the back of the wrench’s mouth where it can be accessed whenever needed.

Crowfoot Allen wrenches give a tight fit because it is used on the side of a bolt or nut instead of on the top of the bolt or nut like socket wrenches.

As a consequence of this, they are an ideal alternative for locations with restricted space.

In addition, a crowfoot wrench could come in handy for adjusting valves and other fittings, such as the clutch or the brake, in addition to the power steering and the ABS modulators.

The mechanics in the Aviary Department utilize this type of wrench daily, if not more frequently.

In addition, they are utilized in conjunction with ratchet handles or torque wrench handles when performing their respective functions.

7. T-Handle

T-handle is a variety of Allen Keys, frequently used in the racing industry, enabling you to spin the wrench in a flash while bringing in appropriate leverage for everyday use.

This form of Allen Key is one of the many various sorts of Allen Keys. This fashion is also applied rather frequently.

The Capri Sliding Hex Wrench’s L-like structure is feasible by the sliding mechanism inherent in the tool’s construction.

In the field of bicycle repair, wrenches that have T-handles are becoming an increasingly familiar sight.

8. P-Handle

P-handle wrenches are essentially oversized versions of their L-shaped counterparts among the different types of Allen keys.

In addition to the advantages of T-handle wrenches, P-handle wrenches have a comfortable and stable grip.

Because of this, you’ll find these wrenches in a wide variety of professional workshops across the country.

9. Folding Hex Key

Folding Hex wrenches, in contrast to ordinary Allen wrenches, have their heads kept safely within the tool’s handle, making it nearly difficult to misplace one of these wrenches.

Their spectacular rise in popularity among riders of motorcycles and cyclists can be partially attributed to this trait.

Additionally, it unfolds 90 degrees from the handle used to store it to get the most torque.

Allen Keys come in various shapes and sizes; one of those variations is the folding Hex key.

10. Ball Hexagonal

Ball Due to the ball-shaped head in the corners of the small gaps, hex wrench sets can enter limited spaces that their L-shaped counterparts cannot. Because of this, they are different from the rest of the companies in their industry.

11. Ring for Keys

This item is a simple hex in the shape of an L with a spring-loaded clip that secures it to a key ring. You can use it to keep track of your keys.

A Key Ring set is inexpensive and gives you the added convenience of being able to put it in your vehicle.

However, if you want to use the key longer, you must remove it from the retaining clip first. In addition, you need to depress and turn the key to produce a replacement.

12. Hex Ratcheting Ratchet

Compared to the speed obtained with normal Allen wrenches, the speed people can accomplish with ratcheting hex wrenches, which are also one of the different types of Allen Keys, is significantly higher.

In addition, they are suitable for use with sockets, and the addition of screwdriver bits further contributes to the expansion of their functional repertoire.

Electric drill drivers make use of the bits that come attached to ratcheting hex wrenches. People can purchase these pieces in a wide variety of distinct varieties.

Consequently, they have solidified their position as the gold standard in the business community for individuals who work with rotor bolts.

13. L-Style

Because it is a standard Allen wrench, you should have no difficulties getting it online or at a hardware store. However, if you do have problems, please let us know.

The L-style Allen Key, one of the many types of Allen Keys, is an incredible powerhouse for reaching limited locations and providing control when needed.

This would be a wonderful choice for you to go with if you are trying to finish off a set that you already have.

Even though a wide variety of options are available to consumers today, purchasing a 1.5-10mm L-shaped Allen wrench will result in the greatest return on your financial investment.


Now that you know the different types of Allen Keys, how to use them, and other pertinent information, selecting the appropriate Allen wrenches for your do-it-yourself projects will be much simpler.

This is because you will be familiar with the different Allen Keys types; therefore, if you want to make the most of the benefits these helpful devices offer, You can get yours as soon as possible so that you can use it for as long as possible.

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