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Old 12-06-10, 10:00 AM   #1
LindaSmith
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P handle and T handled hex wrench sets - what's the difference?

I was walking through the mechanics area of our local bike shop (SW London, UK) with my husband and he pointed at some tools and said "you could get some double handle bike tools for me for Christmas".

I know nothing about bike tools, but I don't want to go back and ask my husband exactly what he wants or there will be no element of surprise (and believe me, if I get get him the right tools he will be surprised).

I've searched on the net and found Lifeline T handle hex wrench sets and Park tools P handle hex wrench sets and they look like the sort of thing that my husband pointed at(!).

a) are T handle and P handle tools 'double handle' bike tools?
b) what's the difference between T handle and P handle (apart from price - P handle ones seem to be three times the price)?
c) which should I get?
d) are there any other bike tools that a keen amateur mechanic would like for Christmas? He's not a beginner - he's quite a competent mechanic and does the bike mechanics of our tri club's cycle coach's bike (who's pretty fussy who touches his bike)

If it makes any difference, my husband is left-handed and he will want good quality tools and is a road cyclist/triathlete.

Any advice would be most welcome! Thanks.
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Old 12-06-10, 11:38 AM   #2
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one has a fancier molded handle?
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Old 12-06-10, 12:14 PM   #3
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I have a set of Park P-handle wrenches. They work well.

I am sure any other brand with a similar handle would work just as well...BUT here are a couple of things to consider:

1. Is your husband extermely frugal? If not spend the extra money on the Parks...they are a well known brand and he will appreciate that as a gift.

2. Park has excellent customer support. Most of my tools are Park and when I have had any issues or questions their customer service department has always been very helpful. Mark and Dan at Park are top notch people who not only care about their company but about the people who keep their company in business. I can not speak highly enough about my positive experience dealing with them and their company.

That being said...the P-handle type tools are good but sometimes a normal "L" shaped allen wrench is necessary to fit into tight spaces. My recommendation is to get him a set of both. Park makes a set of each.

Other tools that are nice to have that you might condiser:
4th hand tool
TS-2 Truing stand
Wheel dishing gage
Deraileur hanger alignment tool
Good set of dial calipers
Dropout alignment tools
Torque wrench (Park makes two of them for different ranges of torque value)
Tool tray for repair stand (if he has a repair stand)


This is a list of the things that many home mechanics often would like but don't really need ,so oftentimes don't buy them unless they have a lot of extra cash lying around. They are all nice to have items and everything on the list can be found under the Park brand except the dial calipers.

-j
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Old 12-06-10, 12:31 PM   #4
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A T handle Hex wrench Has 'T' handle, and ONE wrench (coming out of the handle at a right angle). A P handle hex wrench has a handle that is shaped similarly, but has TWO wrenches--one like the T handle (at right angle), and one in-line with the handle. After using both, I am partial to 'P' handles--a little more versatile, in my opinion.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LindaSmith View Post
b) what's the difference between T handle and P handle (apart from price - P handle ones seem to be three times the price)?
The standard T-handle has a small T which won't let you apply enough torque to tight bolts.

Park's P-handle also has a small stub of hex wrench sticking out of the handle, so when the bolt is tight you can use the long part as a handle to gain leverage instead of getting a conventional Allen key out of your tool box.

So the 'P' is more convenient.
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Old 12-06-10, 01:14 PM   #6
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Regular allen L wrench + a Crescent wrench has been adequate for me...
when more torque is needed.
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Old 12-06-10, 01:35 PM   #7
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Bondhus claims their T handle, which is all steel and welded, can be used to get a "flywheel" effect when spinning fasteners in and out. Could be an advantage if you were doing a bunch of fasteners every day. I use a set of ball end hex keys that came with metric and standard keys in an organizer that also a "universl" handle that can be added to any key if extra torque is needed. I purchased mine from Home Depot.
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Old 12-06-10, 02:22 PM   #8
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Regular allen L wrench + a Crescent wrench has been adequate for me...
when more torque is needed.
Uh, she's not buying them for you.
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Old 12-10-10, 05:58 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the replies. Really helpful!

Linda
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Old 12-10-10, 08:44 AM   #10
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OH this is a P handle. looks like a regular allen wrench with a fancy plastic handle. now if they were color coded some how I could understand it



what is the little 'nub' for?
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Old 12-10-10, 09:35 AM   #11
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OH this is a P handle. looks like a regular allen wrench with a fancy plastic handle. now if they were color coded some how I could understand it



what is the little 'nub' for?
I presume you are refering to the "little nub" at the end of the long leg of the wrench. It's a hexagonal "ball end", the same size as the wrench but allows the wrench to enter the socket in the bolt at somewhat of an angle. That gives you access to bolts that are not accessable at exactly 90.

The ball end isn't as strong and doesn't get as good a purchase on the bolt as a plain hex but makes up for it in convenience. If you need a lot of torque, standard hex at the end of the handle can be used and the long leg used as a longer lever.
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Old 12-10-10, 06:02 PM   #12
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OH no I know what that is for. I was thinking of the nub on the handle. it looks like it has black spot on on it in the pic but I think it is hollow.

personally I can see that this wrench is any better than a standard long handle Bondhus style wrench
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Old 12-10-10, 07:17 PM   #13
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OH no I know what that is for. I was thinking of the nub on the handle. it looks like it has black spot on on it in the pic but I think it is hollow.

personally I can see that this wrench is any better than a standard long handle Bondhus style wrench
the short side of a p handle is a bit longer than a tradtional L wrench.
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Old 12-10-10, 07:38 PM   #14
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the short side of a p handle is a bit longer than a tradtional L wrench.
I don't think that's what she's asking about either. There is a black circle on the handle opposite the hex stub and I think that's what she's questioning. I can't tell if it's just a black plastic insert or a hole in the handle to hang the tool from. I'd have to see one of these things in the "flesh" to tell for sure what it is.
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Old 12-11-10, 10:20 AM   #15
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Whether it is a hole or a 'logo', the stub is there to give the user a little more grip for tightening. With the hand on the handle, the thumb, when placed on the 'stub' gives the user a little more force to tighten a screw.
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Old 12-11-10, 10:48 AM   #16
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Here is something he will really love I know I do its an adjustable Torque Control Newton Meter Drivers great for bikes the #28554 2.0 to 8.0 Nm perfect for bikes and needed with it are Wiha 28581 Bit Holder Adapter For 1/4-Inch Drive Bits & Wiha 28582 Square Drive Adapter For 1/4-Inch Sockets.

You can get it for a great price on Amazon
Wiha 28554 TorqueVario $72 40% off make sure its the #28554 handle

From the same place you can get both of the adapters below for about $7 each 21% off
Wiha 28581 Bit Holder Adapter For 1/4-Inch Drive Bits and Wiha 28582 Square Drive Adapter For 1/4-Inch Sockets
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Old 12-11-10, 04:52 PM   #17
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The black spot you are all referring to is a actually a hole in the handle for hanging on a peg board, clipping together, or anything else creative you can think of using it for. I have a set of these.

I like them, but they are expensive compared to just a bondhus tip L-shaped allen wrench. The nice thing about them is the long length...it helps when you have access a screw/bolt at an awkward angle.

The blue handle is marked on one side with the size. It would be nicer though if they were color coded. This is easy to accomplish by marking them with a little nail polish if you can steal some from your wife/kid/girlfriend/etc.

-j
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Old 12-11-10, 08:20 PM   #18
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Linda, I'm surprised he laid this one on you. Tools are very personal things to toolheads and any mistake leads to disappointment and a return/exchange. Get him a generous gift certificate from the store in question so he can buy what he wants. bk
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Old 12-12-10, 01:30 AM   #19
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Get the Park Tools P handles for him. I'm also a very serious amateur mechanic, who has many tools, but I don't have a set of those, but have always looked at them thinking that they are nice, but couldn't justify the cost to myself. They would therefore be the perfect Christmas present for me, I hope/expect your husband will feel the same way.

Have a great Christmas!
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Old 12-12-10, 09:15 AM   #20
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The black spot you are all referring to is a actually a hole in the handle for hanging on a peg board, clipping together, or anything else creative you can think of using it for. I have a set of these.
-j
OH a hole to hang them. well I agree with you I like the regular Bondhus wrenches because at the first signs of wear I toss them.
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