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Park THH-1 Sliding T-Handle Hex Wrench - is it $130 nice?

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Park THH-1 Sliding T-Handle Hex Wrench - is it $130 nice?

Old 02-17-20, 07:03 PM
  #1  
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Park THH-1 Sliding T-Handle Hex Wrench - is it $130 nice?

I've been using home Depot Hex Wrenches, which are rounding off and decided to look into buying bike-specific hex tools. Hoping those would be made of better material to not round off. Saw that Park has this new set, which looks nice. Seems to be faster too.

Does anyone have it already? And is it $130 nice compared to their regular set for $77?

I know you get what you pay for.
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Old 02-17-20, 09:26 PM
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I've never found park to be anything special when it comes to basic tools. Allen brand has similar wrenches made in the USA and for a good bit less. My go to is bondhus which IMHO is the best brand of hex, made in the USA and as reliable as anything. They've got the best T handles especially with ball ends and I prefer their hex sockets for a lot of things especially paired with a wright ratchet. But I wrench on a lot of things and I like precise industrial quality brands that don't fail.
park wins when it comes to tri-allens, don't know anyone else who does those.
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Old 02-17-20, 09:35 PM
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$77 for a hex wrench set, better have been signed by Eddy's mechanic Oh wait! You're asking about a $130 set...

The more you wrench the more you understand that various versions of the same tool is a handy option. I really like driver handled hex wrenches, ball ended, for a lot of initial steps of assembly. But for final tightening a ball end and a screwdriver handle are not good. On larger fittings the fancy hex wrenches can work really nicely. Some have clearance issues but a sliding handle helps to mitigate this. But on smaller fittings I find the classic "L" wrench can offer the best fit and wrench swing. But of course these work horse wrenches don't get the media attention.

I love good tools. If you were to visit my home shop I suspect you'd better understand from where I come in saying that good tools are worth a lot, Until the cost prevents your widening the options you have. How many other tools that you can use would you be able to buy if you passed on both of these expensive sets? Andy
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Old 02-17-20, 10:30 PM
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Better get both sets... so you can have "P wrenches" and "T wrenches".

Never want to be with the wrong wrench!!!
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Old 02-17-20, 10:45 PM
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The Klein Tools t-handle hex wrenches are pretty nice and significantly less than the Park.Available on Amazon at a fair (imo) price.
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Old 02-17-20, 11:57 PM
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I agree on the multiple sets advice. Iíve got old Craftsman, Bondhus, Park T handle, and Park Y. The Park Y tool is my favorite, and the park t handle set is my least favorite. Just got a set of Wera hex wrenches which are sort of cool because they all have different color sleeves to tell the sizes apart. It never ceases to amaze me how much trouble I have telling a 4 from a 5, and a 5 from a 6.

Iíd skip on the $130 Park set.
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Old 02-18-20, 12:16 AM
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I'm a full time professional bike mechanic. I've never used a sliding T set and I'd be curious to give one a shot--I know a lot of serious race mechanics really like theirs and I can imagine some scenarios where they may provide a valuable increase of speed in a professional setting. Low on my wishlist though--my shop (and my personal home shop) are getting EVT clamps as major upgrades next, as they significantly improve workflow over Park clamps in a professional setting. I have never liked (and have noticed most of my colleagues never like) P handle wrenches 90% of the time. My favorite wrenches are Bondhus extra long L wrenches with ColorBrite coating so I can differentiate sizes slightly faster. Various tests I've seen have shown they have better tolerance and metallurgy than a lot of much more expensive wrenches. For what it's worth standard park wrenches are made by Bondhus and then molded into plastic by Park.
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Old 02-18-20, 09:53 AM
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Thanks for all the comments on this often neglected tool. So i looked at the above tools and think I go with some L-wrenches for now. I like the Wera and Bondhus since they are color-coded. After looking at $130 wrenches the $40 Wera look reasonable :-)

Wera (~$40):
- color-coding is in the rubber. any issues with longevity of that rubber?
- they tout their special "Hex Plus" shape and claim that it prevents socket screw wear. Is there something to it?
- has no long version available, but it isn't clear how the length compares to the 2 Bondhus sizes

Bondhus $15-20 depending on length:
- color coding is on the metal. any issues with longevity of the color?
- any idea what the length is of the 2 sizes (especially to the Wera)?

Assuming either price is OK, which one is really better for difficult bolts and to prevent wear of the bolt?

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 02-18-20 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 02-18-20, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Thanks for all the comments on this often neglected tool. So i looked at the above tools and think I go with some L-wrenches for now. I like the Wera and Bondhus since they are color-coded. After looking at $130 wrenches the $40 Wera look reasonable :-)

Wera (~$40):
- color-coding is in the rubber. any issues with longevity of that rubber?
- they tout their special "Hex Plus" shape and claim that it prevents socket screw wear. Is there something to it?
- has no long version available, but it isn't clear how the length compares to the 2 Bondhus sizes

Bondhus $15-20 depending on length:
- color coding is on the metal. any issues with longevity of the color?
- any idea what the length is of the 2 sizes (especially to the Wera)?

Assuming either price is OK, which one is really better for difficult bolts and to prevent wear of the bolt?

I'd like color coded, Standard vs Metric, but sizes color coded don't seem to be an issue.

It isn't quite clear what "Hex-Plus" means. Gimmick? I suppose I could imagine an improved fit with a slightly oversized wrench, that fit into the hole better due to concave edges?

Easy to read sizes marked on the wrenches (those oversized handles) might be nice. I end up trying to turn the small hex wrenches in the sunlight to try to read the tiny markings.

Keep in mind, smaller wrenches for smaller sizes help you keep from over-torquing small bolts and sheering heads.

As far as color fast, the ends don't make a difference. Then the rest would depend a bit on the coloring process. Plain paint? I wonder if one could do vapor deposited titanium?

Type and hardness of the tool steel is also important, and hard to judge from a photo.

I've also, on occasion, ground off the tip of hex wrenches to remove a worn end, and expose clean metal. The one set with round shanks could probably have the done a single time.
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Old 02-18-20, 12:34 PM
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Park THH-1 Sliding T-Handle Hex Wrench - is it $130 nice?

Yes. Frame it and put it on your mantelpiece. Heirloom for your grand kids. (Don't even think about using them!)
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Old 02-18-20, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It isn't quite clear what "Hex-Plus" means. Gimmick? I suppose I could imagine an improved fit with a slightly oversized wrench, that fit into the hole better due to concave edges?
The hex plus doesn't have the 6 flat sides, but has it shaped so that the force is spread over a larger area. Looks legit, but I'm no expert.



Here a review:

Another Wera review. so there seems to be something to it.

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 02-18-20 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 02-18-20, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

, but sizes color coded don't seem to be an issue.

Easy to read sizes marked on the wrenches (those oversized handles) might be nice. I end up trying to turn the small hex wrenches in the sunlight to try to read the tiny markings..
I don't understand. It sounds to me like you're contradicting yourself.
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Old 02-18-20, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I don't understand. It sounds to me like you're contradicting yourself.
If I end up with loose tools, or a mixed set, I'm peering at the tiny markings to verify sizes, or metric vs standard.

So, color coding 1/16" or 1.5mm only is effective if you know the color codes. Also, note the sets above color-coded the wrenches, but not the holders.

One of the sets above had oversized handles with high-contrast size numbers.



I don't really care about the red, purple, or pink. But, it is somewhat nice to be able to read the size (although, a lot is just use whatever fits).

As I said, I'd be equally happy if all Metric wrenches were red, and all Standard wrenches were yellow.
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Old 02-18-20, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
One of the sets above had oversized handles with high-contrast size numbers.
I don't really care about the red, purple, or pink. But, it is somewhat nice to be able to read the size (although, a lot is just use whatever fits).
Good point, actually having high-contrast large numbers would be good enough.
My current hex wrenches have the size stamped in. i have pretty good light in my garage and good eyes, but it still is difficult to read.
Now if I always could guess the correct bolt size.....
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Old 02-18-20, 04:33 PM
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I can confirm that the Wera hexes are legit...they are they only ones that I've ever used that don't end up destroying bolts.

And I really like the color coding. You learn very quickly which color correlates to which size, so it makes it very easy to grab the one that you need quickly. The only downside to the set is the holder...it's annoying.
So much so that threw it away, and just leave they laid out in my tool box.

I also picked up 1/4in sockets of the most common bike sizes (4,5,6mm, torx 25), so I can use them on a torque wrench. Or with a T-handle if I need the extra reach.
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Old 02-18-20, 05:15 PM
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Hex Plus is a solution to a problem Iíve never had, but I probably have lots of problems I donít even know about!

I used to always wrap a little colored electrical tape around my 4,5, and 6. Yellow, blue, and red. Now my Wera 5 is orange, so Iím screwed!

I agree, the holder for the Wera set will make you mental.

Get the Bondhus!
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Old 02-18-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JacobLee View Post
Hex Plus is a solution to a problem Iíve never had, but I probably have lots of problems I donít even know about!
I can always count on BF to help me find new stuff I didn't know I needed. I probably have a dozen metric hex sets around the house that I've always thought worked perfectly fine and still found myself shopping online for wera hex plus L keys today.
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Old 02-18-20, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post

I know you get what you pay for.
Not in my experience. Some tools are crappy, some are great. Some are high priced, others arenít. Iíve seen good tools at reasonable prices and Iíve seen overpriced stuff.

The one advantage of your Home Depot Allen wrenches is when they wear out you should be able to get them replaced for free.

Park makes some great stuff, some average stuff and some so so stuff. I definitely donít buy Park branded regular hand tools like hammers, screw drivers, etc. Iíve got a set of Park t handle Allen wrenches and I like my color coded cheapies from eBay much better.
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Old 02-18-20, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Not in my experience. Some tools are crappy, some are great. Some are high priced, others arenít. Iíve seen good tools at reasonable prices and Iíve seen overpriced stuff.

The one advantage of your Home Depot Allen wrenches is when they wear out you should be able to get them replaced for free.

Park makes some great stuff, some average stuff and some so so stuff. I definitely donít buy Park branded regular hand tools like hammers, screw drivers, etc. Iíve got a set of Park t handle Allen wrenches and I like my color coded cheapies from eBay much better.
HD may give me a new free tool, but the bolt I stripped is on me. With that said, I ordered the Wera wrenches.
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Old 02-18-20, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Wera (~$40):
- color-coding is in the rubber. any issues with longevity of that rubber?
- they tout their special "Hex Plus" shape and claim that it prevents socket screw wear. Is there something to it?
- has no long version available, but it isn't clear how the length compares to the 2 Bondhus sizes

Bondhus $15-20 depending on length:
- color coding is on the metal. any issues with longevity of the color?
- any idea what the length is of the 2 sizes (especially to the Wera)?
Interesting. Since I normally think of the bolt as a consumable, I worry about the tool wearing down. In truth, both the tool and the bolt are consumables. I'll let you know if the Wera tool you mention is any good. Just got one. Used it once. Excellent hand feel, very attractive, obviously effort went into making it LOOK high quality. We'll see if the metallurgy and heat treat are as good. As for the "Hex Plus" aspect of things it may have some benefit. Not sure yet. One think I DON'T like is that the hex heads are formed from larger diameter round stock. That is, the shaft of the Wera keys are larger that the hex, and larger than other brands. In a situation where you used the tool for 20 years, this might have some benefit wrt fatigue failure. Another benefit is that the Wera keys won't bend as easily as other keys. But I think it might have more of a negative effect on getting into tight spaces. We'll see.

My wife got me a Harbor Fright set, too. I'll compare, but these have a reputation for bending or breaking.

BTW, if its just the tip of a regular hex key that's rounding down, you can fix it up by grinding off a little of the end on a grinding wheel. Do a little at a time, quench in cool water after every little bit your remove (you don't want the steel to get up in the 400į F range and have the temper change). If you keep it cool and grind off the edge flat you have a really nice tool again.

This is, of course, hard to to do with a ball end hex key!

Last, your comparison went from inexpensive to moderately expensive. You didn't mention stupid expensive. Check out PB Swiss stuff. The same key set that I got for 35 bucks, PB Swiss sells for 80 bucks!

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 02-19-20 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 02-18-20, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JacobLee View Post
Hex Plus is a solution to a problem Iíve never had, but I probably have lots of problems I donít even know about!
Then you don't wrench on other people's crap. Work on enough kids bikes where Jr. decided he could fix it first, with dad's cheap SAE close enough fit hex and not certain which way to turn and you've found the problem you've never had or wanted.
If you use a good brand; Bondhus, Park, Wera, Wiha, Allen, etc. and make sure its the right tool properly inserted it isn't a problem you'll have. I never have the problem on my own stuff.

Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Not in my experience. Some tools are crappy, some are great. Some are high priced, others arenít. Iíve seen good tools at reasonable prices and Iíve seen overpriced stuff.

The one advantage of your Home Depot Allen wrenches is when they wear out you should be able to get them replaced for free.
Have you tried returning them to HD? Some tools are wear items and they aren't warrantied against wear.
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Old 02-19-20, 12:07 AM
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[QUOTE=Russ Roth;21333402]Then you don't wrench on other people's crap. Work on enough kids bikes where Jr. decided he could fix it first, with dad's cheap SAE close enough fit hex and not certain which way to turn and you've found the problem you've never had or wanted.

Ha! Yeah, itís been a while since I had to tune a Hotrock. I remember when the shop I worked at hired a new head mechanic who had just been laid off from a job as an aircraft mechanic. He came through and tossed all of the hex wrenches and screwdrivers in the scrap bin and replaced them all with new ones. I thought he was nuts, but soon realized he was right.
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Old 02-19-20, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Thanks for all the comments on this often neglected tool. So i looked at the above tools and think I go with some L-wrenches for now. I like the Wera and Bondhus since they are color-coded.
I've seen a few references stating that the Park wrenches are manufactured by Bondhus.
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Old 02-19-20, 09:32 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
I'm a full time professional bike mechanic. I've never used a sliding T set and I'd be curious to give one a shot--I know a lot of serious race mechanics really like theirs and I can imagine some scenarios where they may provide a valuable increase of speed in a professional setting. [...] I have never liked (and have noticed most of my colleagues never like) P handle wrenches 90% of the time. My favorite wrenches are Bondhus extra long L wrenches with ColorBrite coating so I can differentiate sizes slightly faster. Various tests I've seen have shown they have better tolerance and metallurgy than a lot of much more expensive wrenches.
These are useful comments - most of us don't have the depth of this experience. Thx.

Originally Posted by cpach View Post
Low on my wishlist though--my shop (and my personal home shop) are getting EVT clamps as major upgrades next, as they significantly improve workflow over Park clamps in a professional setting.
Looked those up. They look nice. But I will note that EVT sells a wheel dishing tool ... for $550! The clamps are a little dear but you'd probably make up that cost difference in a month of use at the shop. But these days one of the things about repair stands/clamps nowadays is trying to find where to clamp without crushing the CF frame, or denting the aluminum one. Back in my day, you have a 1" steel seat tube for every bike from an Orange Krate to a Paramount or Raleigh Professional. The dang kids these days with their carbon fiber bicycle shoe laces and titanium handlebar plugs!

Originally Posted by cpach View Post
For what it's worth standard park wrenches are made by Bondhus and then molded into plastic by Park.
This actually reassures me. It would be crazy for Park to make their own hex keys. Getting a good mfr (I think Bondhus is that) and rebranding is fine with me.
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Old 02-19-20, 09:53 AM
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The Park sliding t wrenches look good, my lbs has a set. I like the Wiha dual drive T handles the best of the tools that I own. bondhus is okay. I also have the fancy Wera hex-plus L wrenches. I like to use T handles if I can. I start out with screwdriver handled hex wrench if I'm installing a new bolt. The Wera T handles have always been too inconvenient to buy. Weras go for something less than $60 for an 8 piece set. Thinking about getting another set of the hex and the dual drive Torx because I have had to reorganize my shops.
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