When it comes to tools, there are often different names for the same thing. One such example is the hex key and the Allen key. Are they really the same thing, or is there a difference between the two? Let's dive in and find out!
What is a Hex Key?
A hex key, also known as a L-key, hex wrench or an Allen wrench, is a small handheld tool used to tighten or loosen screws and bolts with hexagonal sockets. It typically has a long, L-shaped design with a hexagonal-shaped tip at one or both ends. The hex key is commonly used in various applications, including furniture assembly, bicycle repairs, and DIY projects.
What is an Allen Key?
An Allen key is simply another name for a hex key. The term "Allen key" originated from the Allen Manufacturing Company, which first introduced this type of tool in the early 1900s. The company's founder, William G. Allen, patented the hex socket design that is now commonly associated with hex keys. Over time, the term "Allen key" became synonymous with hex keys, even though it is technically a brand name.
So, Are They the Same?
Yes, a hex key and an Allen key are essentially the same thing. Both terms refer to the same type of tool with a hexagonal-shaped tip. The only difference lies in the name itself. Some people may prefer to use the term "hex key," while others may use "Allen key." However, regardless of the name, the tool's function and design remain unchanged.
Why the Confusion About the Keys?
The confusion between hex keys and Allen keys arises from the widespread use of the term "Allen key" as a generic name for this type of tool. Many people are unaware that "Allen key" is actually a brand name and not a generic term. As a result, the two names have become interchangeable in everyday language.
Conclusion; Hex Key vs. Allen Key
So, the next time you come to pick up a key from your hex key set or Allen key set, remember that they are one and the same. Whether you call it a hex key or an Allen key, this versatile tool will help you tackle various projects with ease. Don't let the different names confuse you – embrace the power of the hex key and get ready to conquer your next DIY adventure!