8 Best Hex Key and Allen Wrench Sets (for Professional or DIY Home Use)

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Hex keys, commonly referred to as Allen wrenches, are an essential part of any tool kit, and the best Allen wrench or hex key set will closely match the application you use it for.

Whether you’re working on a car, bicycle, appliance, or computer, putting together an Ikea bookcase, or using a hex key on another tool, you’ll want to select a set that has the most commonly used sizes you require, whether metric, standard, or both.

Comfort, strength and utility are the keys to getting excellent hex keys and at least one of the top rated picks offered here will be exactly what you’re looking for in both performance and design.

Related: Allen Wrench Sizes Chart

Our 8 Favorite Hex Key Sets

 ProductTypePiecesMetric?SAE?Made In
best-hex-key-setPB Swiss ?212LH-10RBL-Key9YesAvailableSwitzerland
allen-wrench-set-for-professionalsWera 05073593001L-Key9YesAvailableCzech Republic
ball-end-hex-key-setWiha 66992L-Key22YesYesGermany
best-hex-key-set-for-the-moneyBondhus 20399L-Key22YesYesUSA
best-t-handle-hex-keysKlein Tools JTH68MT-Handle8YesAvailableSlovenia
made-in-usa-hex-key-setEklind 10222L-Key22YesYesUSA
best-allen-wrench-set-1Tekton 25282L-Key26YesYesChina
folding-hex-keysStanley STHT71839Folding17YesYesTaiwan

Allen Wrench Set Reviews

#1 – PB Swiss Tools ‎212LH-10RB Hex Key Set

best-hex-key-setAsk 10 professionals who use hex keys on a regular basis and they’ll likely tell you that PB Swiss, Wera, or Wiha are the brands to go with. We put PB Swiss at the top of our list when you’re looking for best quality, but any of the three will do.

Getting the right size at a glance is important, which is why this PB Swiss set has a color-coded powder finish and comes with its own plastic case. Each chrome-plated spring steel key has a wide angle 30-degree offset ball end on the long end, which is designed to be more comfortable to hold while still meeting ISO/ANSI requirements.

The 9-piece (made in Switzerland) set will fit hex fasteners measuring 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10mm; and is covered by an unlimited lifetime guarantee.

PB Swiss hex key set review

It’s hard to find fault with this set or its 12-piece SAE equivalent (212ZLH-12 RB). It has a snug fit, high durability, and provides excellent leverage. The color coating may chip under extreme abuse, but provides at-a-glance sizing and can take a decent amount of wear and tear before suffering chips.

While the price may not justify this set for occasional home use, those in the service industry who are looking for a tool they won’t regret buying will be hard pressed to find anything better.

Sizes Included
Metric: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
SAE (sold separately): 1/20″, 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 5/16″

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#2 – Wera 05073593001 Hex Key Set

allen-wrench-set-for-professionalsMuch like the PB Swiss set, this 9-piece L-key set is color-coded and comes with a plastic sleeve. The keys have a Black Laser surface to prevent corrosion and include laser-engraved markings. They’re designed for a snug fit on both the flat and ball ends. The overall shape is designed to be more ergonomic and easier to grip in cold weather.

The biggest draw of this Czech made tool is its non-slip grip. It’s highly resistant to slips or stripping. It has plenty of leverage to get at tough screws.

Unfortunately, the finish doesn’t do a very good job of protecting these tools from rust if not kept dry after use. The metric and its SAE equivalent (05022639001) aren’t covered by any warranty due to Wera classifying them as “consumables”.

While still a top notch set, considering the price and the fact that no warranty is offered, the PB Swiss set is a slightly better option.

Sizes Included
Metric: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
SAE (sold separately): 5/64″, 3/32″, 1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″

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#3 – Wiha 66992 MagicRing Hex Key Set

ball-end-hex-key-setMade in Germany, this impressive 22-piece set covers both metric and SAE sizes, with the larger pieces using a MagicRing feature. The ring provides increased grip on both the flat and ball ends. This feature proves to be very helpful when installing fasteners in a hard to reach area like on a motorcycle or car engine.

There’s some pretty decent retention on the heads, but not as much as one might expect. This is especially true of the MagicRing feature, which some users love and others see no benefit from.

Overall, this is an excellent quality set (which can be said about almost all Wiha tools). Comes with a lifetime warranty.

Sizes Included
Metric: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
SAE: .050″, 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″

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#4 – Bondhus 20399 Ball End Hex Key Set

best-hex-key-set-for-the-moneyOne of the best hex key sets available at any price, the made in the USA Bondhus BriteGuard and GoldGuard Finish 22-piece kit offers a number of innovations that make them easier and more dependable.

The tempered steel is a big plus, allowing you to use more torque without twisting or breaking your wrenches, and forged to resist rounding and stripping.

The patented ball drive means you reach into small spaces that are impossible for traditional L-shaped wrenches and having individual colors for the metric and SAE sizes makes it easy to find the tool you need — even smaller wrenches that don’t have a size printed on the shaft.

There is very little to complain about with a set of Bondhus hex keys. If you were hard pressed to find something, the plastic case could be spruced up a little to provide a better fit for the wrenches and longer use life.

But the tools themselves are manufactured using processes that exceed standards so you won’t find any problems when the work begins.

This set is hard to beat for the money and will make you want to simply throw away the cheap Allen wrenches that came with your first mechanics tool set.

Sizes Included
Metric: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
SAE: .050″, 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″

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#5 – Klein Tools JTH68M Journeyman T-Handle Hex Key Set

best-t-handle-hex-keysKlein Tools is one of our favorite brands and this 8-piece T-handle set is made of treated steel with soft touch grips for improved comfort and has the sizes laser etched along the blade. It’s available in both 6″ and 9″ handle variations.

The hole at the back of these T-handle hex keys makes it easy to hang the tools off of a belt hook or on a rack if you don’t like the included stand. This 8-piece set includes metric sizes while a 10-piece SAE version (JTH610E) is also available.

The name of the game with this set is comfort, and the grips don’t disappoint. The short side is designed to handle a lot of pressure before breaking. Unfortunately, the smaller pieces can still break under heavy use. Check for missing pieces if you order this set online.

It’s worth noting that while most Klein Tools are made in the US, this hex key set is manufactured in Slovenia.

Sizes Included
Metric: 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
SAE (sold separately): 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″

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#6 – Eklind 10222

made-in-usa-hex-key-setLooking for a good, inexpensive hex key set that’s made in the USA? Eklind hex keys fit the bill even though few have probably heard of this brand.

Made with heat-treated alloy steel, this 22-piece collection features a full set of tools in both metric and SAE sizes. The tools are fully tempered for maximum durability. Each set has a blue, size-marked holder for metric keys and a red one for SAE so you can quickly grab the right size.

This is a great choice for DIYers, cyclists, and home mechanics. The price is low but the quality isn’t. The color-coding works well, but only if you keep the tools in their original holders. While the quality is not quite up to par with PB Swiss or Wera standards, this Eklind set is a great choice if you want a full set on a budget.

Sizes Included
Metric: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
SAE: .050″, 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″

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#7 – Tekton 25282 Ball End Hex Key Wrench Set

best-allen-wrench-set-1Tekton tools have a always been a favorite of ours for their combination of good quality and affordable price. This particular 26-piece ball end set is no exception. It allows you to pivot the working end up to 25 degrees to reach places that old-school tools have trouble getting to.

The durable black-oxide finish covers a patented chrome vanadium steel alloy that reduces head wear and prevents bending or breaking. But the feature which makes the Tekton kit one of the top Allen wrench sets is the extra long arm for deeper reach and even more torque.

The case these fine wrenches come in is not sturdy enough for heavy use, but it works well for occasional use and long-term storage, and it even opens flat for easy access to the tools. It’s a good value but one of Tekton’s rare tools that are made in China.

Sizes Included
Metric: 1.27mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
SAE: 3/64″, 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″

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#8 – Stanley STHT71839 Folding Hex Key Sets

folding-hex-keys

For occasional use, the Stanley folding 17-piece hex key set gives you the convenience of easy storage and inclusion of both SAE and Metric sizes which meets ANSI tools specifications.

These wrenches will not take the kind of abuse you can get from some other top ranked Allen wrenches, but they make up for it by offering a lower cost alternative for people who only use Allen wrench sets occasionally, like a typical home user.

The binding mechanism has a tendency to work loose, but you can tighten it with easily using an Allen wrench from the opposing set (SAE tightens the metric set and vice versa). Folding sets are great that you’ll never be hunting for a missing hex key but they are also more cumbersome to use, especially in tight spots.

Sizes Included
Metric: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm
SAE: 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″

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Choosing the Right Hex Key Set

Hex keys follow a simple but precise function. However, you might be a bit confused about the different shapes and design features out there. Read on to learn more about hex keys so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.

Allen Wrench vs Hex Key (What’s the Difference?)

One of the most common sources of confusion for people when they’re first introduced to hex keys is whether or not they should buy a hex key or Allen wrench. In reality, the two are virtually identical and many companies use the terms interchangeably.

The name “Allen” simply refers to a specific brand, which was the very first hex key marketed. It’s similar to how a Shop-Vac is a popular brand of wet/dry vacuum.

Allen Wrench vs Torx (What’s the Difference?)

While they may seem similar at first, hex keys are very different from Torx (a name brand of star key).

Hex keys have hexagonal tips, while the star key has a star-shaped end with a pointed central tip. This makes the latter better for security applications, but less desirable for everyday use.

Types of Hex Keys

There are numerous shapes and types of hex keys, each with their own pros and cons:

L-Shaped

Chances are, this is the shape you think of when someone mentions hex keys. The longer end creates better reach while the shorter end has a better turning arc.

T-Handle

The fulcrum of these hex keys have been modified into a T-shape which has a hex bit on one or both sides. As a general rule, the longer end is longer than a standard L-shape. They’re perfect for automotive work and provide great balance when spinning, although the thicker handle can sometimes get in the way when dealing with tight spaces.

P-Handle

At first glance, this tool could be confused with a T-handle design. However, P-handled keys have a thicker grip and one end of the T-bar has a hole for hanging the tool.

Folding

Imagine a Swiss army knife, but with hex bits instead of other tools and that’s a folding hex set. These are real space savers and you won’t lose individual sizes, but they can also be more awkward to work with.

Ratcheting

These are hex-shaped bits and sockets designed to fit into a socketed screwdriver or onto a socket wrench. As a result, fasteners can be adjusted quicker, but it can be a lot easier to mix up or lose these smaller bits than with a regular hex key.

Hex Screwdriver

Simply put, this is a screwdriver with a hex tip. They’re best reserved for low-torque applications and have superior reach in tight spaces.

Three-Way

These tools have three different key sizes attached to a central, triangular grip. They’re great for when you switch between sizes a lot and are most commonly found as a 4.0–5.0-6.0mm combo. Unfortunately, the usage can be a little limited due to the shape being incompatible with tight spaces.

What is a Ball End Hex Key?

A lot of hex sets feature ball ends on the longer side. These balls may be centered or offset and allow you to slot the key into a screw at multiple angles, while a flat end must be inserted straight into the hole. It’s a great feature to have but likely comes at a higher price.

2 thoughts on “8 Best Hex Key and Allen Wrench Sets (for Professional or DIY Home Use)”

  1. You need to include Wiha I have all of those listed and use them daily, Bondhus are very good but I go for my Wiha first every time, longer length, quality steel and the holder can’t be beat.

    Reply

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