What is the difference between Hex, Allen and Torx keys?
When it comes to working with screws and bolts, having the right tools is essential. Hex, Allen, and Torx keys are commonly used for this purpose, but what sets them apart? In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between these three types of tools and when to use each one.
What is a Hex Key?
A hex key, also known as a hex wrench or Allen wrench, is a simple yet versatile tool. It features a six-sided, hexagonal-shaped tip that fits into the corresponding hexagonal socket of a screw or bolt head. Hex keys are commonly used in furniture assembly, bicycle repairs, and various other applications.
What is an Allen Key?
Allen key is actually just another name for a hex key. The term "Allen" comes from the Allen Manufacturing Company, which first introduced this type of tool in the early 1900s. Over time, the name "Allen key" became synonymous with hex keys.
What is a Torx Key?
A Torx key, also known as a star key or star wrench, is a tool with a six-pointed star-shaped tip. Unlike hex keys, Torx keys have a more complex design that provides better torque transfer and reduces the risk of cam-out (slippage). Torx keys are commonly used in automotive, electronics, and machinery industries.
Key Differences Between Tools
While both hex and Torx keys serve similar purposes, there are a few key differences between them:
- Shape: Hex keys have a six-sided shape, while Torx keys have a star-shaped design.
- Applications: Hex keys are more commonly used in general applications, such as furniture assembly and bicycle repairs. Torx keys, on the other hand, are often used in industries that require higher torque and precision, such as automotive and electronics.
- Torque Transfer: Due to their design, Torx keys provide better torque transfer and are less likely to slip or strip the screw or bolt head.
- Availability: Hex keys are more widely available and can be found in most hardware stores. Torx keys, while still common, may be less readily available in certain locations.
Which Key Should You Use?
Choosing between a hex key and a Torx key depends on the specific application and the type of screw or bolt you're working with. In general, if you're working on everyday tasks like assembling furniture or tightening bicycle parts, a hex key will suffice. However, if you're dealing with more specialized industries like automotive or electronics, a Torx key may be the better choice.
It's worth noting that some screws and bolts may require a specific type of key, so always check the manufacturer's instructions or consult a professional if you're unsure.
To Conclude The Key Differences
Hex, Allen, and Torx keys are all valuable tools for working with screws and bolts. While hex keys are more commonly used in general applications, Torx keys offer better torque transfer and are often used in specialized industries. By understanding the differences between these tools, you can ensure you have the right key for the job at hand.