What is the differences between an Allen key and a Screwdriver?
When it comes to assembling furniture or fixing things around the house, having the right tools is essential. Two common tools that often come in handy are the Allen key and the screwdriver. While they may seem similar, there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics and uses of both the Allen key and the screwdriver.
What is an Allen key?
An Allen key, also known as a hex key or Allen wrench, is a simple tool used to tighten or loosen screws and bolts with hexagonal sockets. It is typically L-shaped and made of steel. The long arm of the key is inserted into the socket, providing leverage to turn the screw or bolt. Allen keys come in various sizes, with the most common being 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm.
What is a screwdriver?
A screwdriver is a hand tool used for driving screws into various materials or removing them. It consists of a handle and a shaft with a tip that fits into the head of a screw. The tip can be flat-bladed (slotted) or cross-shaped (Phillips or Pozidriv). Screwdrivers come in different sizes and types to accommodate different screw heads.
4 differences between Allen keys & screwdrivers
While both the Allen key and the screwdriver are used for similar purposes, there are a few key differences between them:
- Shape: The Allen key has a hexagonal shape, while the screwdriver has a flat or cross-shaped tip.
- Socket type: Allen keys are used with screws or bolts that have hexagonal sockets, whereas screwdrivers are used with screws that have slotted or cross-shaped heads.
- Force application: Allen keys provide more torque due to their longer handles, making them suitable for tightening or loosening screws or bolts that require more force. Screwdrivers, on the other hand, are better suited for screws that require less force.
- Compatibility: While Allen keys are specific to hexagonal sockets, screwdrivers can be used with a variety of screw heads, including slotted, Phillips, and Pozidriv.
Which one should you use?
The choice between an Allen key and a screwdriver depends on the type of screw or bolt you are working with. If the fastener has a hexagonal socket, an Allen key is the appropriate tool to use. On the other hand, if the fastener has a slotted or cross-shaped head, a screwdriver is the tool of choice. It is always important to use the correct tool for the job to ensure proper tightening or loosening of screws and bolts.
While both the Allen key and the screwdriver are essential tools in any toolbox, they have distinct differences in terms of shape, socket type, force application, and compatibility. Understanding these differences will help you choose the right tool for your specific needs, ensuring efficient and effective work.