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Hex Wrench Set

Old 01-14-21, 04:25 PM
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Eric F
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Hex Wrench Set

I'm looking to upgrade my mish-mash collection of L-pattern and Y-pattern wrenches. What hex wrenches do you prefer (not Park Tool)? I'm leaning towards T-handle sets from either Bondhus or Eklind. I'm also considering a T-handle bit driver with a set of hex bits.
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Old 01-14-21, 04:49 PM
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T-handle hex drivers are nice, but many times when working as a machinist, the T-handle wrenches just wouldn't fit because they were too tall or the other side of the T was blocked by whatever was being worked on. More often than not we always grabbed the L shaped hex keys. Might not be as much conflict on a bike. But you only need two or three sizes.

As for what brands? I'd be happy with any that is a known tool brand name.
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Old 01-14-21, 04:53 PM
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For L wrenches, PB Swiss, Silca or Wera are all excellent options. For T handles, Beta and PB Swiss are my top choices but if I was putting on a wall in a shop I would probably go Park Tool in this instance their new T handles are quite nice actually.

Always get the best Hex wrenches you can. Bondhus and Eklind aren't bad tools but aren't as nice as some of the other stuff out there and not what I would want in my normal usage. For a travel kit that I use infrequently fine but having used and owning really top end hex stuff I wouldn't want to go back.

If you are looking for a screwdriver style Wera makes a really nice one or if you get a bit and socket set the Snap-On swivel head ratchet is awesome and well worth it. Wera also makes one of those and is probably also good but the Snap-On is truly a nice tool.
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Old 01-14-21, 05:03 PM
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Buy quality.
L's don't come in a lot of different shapes, but an extra long version may be handy for 6mm and larger. Also less convenient if the extra length gets in the way.
I also have a 3/8" drive set.
I was "gifted" A "Y" type that I'll grab if I'm just going over rack/fender bolts. The easily accessible stuff.
Using the "other" end of the "L" allows one to "spin in" screws that one would use a screw driver type.

Much depends on how much you use them and where.
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Old 01-14-21, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
T-handle hex drivers are nice, but many times when working as a machinist, the T-handle wrenches just wouldn't fit because they were too tall or the other side of the T was blocked by whatever was being worked on. More often than not we always grabbed the L shaped hex keys. Might not be as much conflict on a bike. But you only need two or three sizes.

As for what brands? I'd be happy with any that is a known tool brand name.
I will always have L keys around if I need them. Definitely leaning towards T-handles. 2mm-10mm covers everything on all of my bikes. I have other options, too (1/4" drive socket set with a variety of handles and extensions.)

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
For L wrenches, PB Swiss, Silca or Wera are all excellent options. For T handles, Beta and PB Swiss are my top choices but if I was putting on a wall in a shop I would probably go Park Tool in this instance their new T handles are quite nice actually.

Always get the best Hex wrenches you can. Bondhus and Eklind aren't bad tools but aren't as nice as some of the other stuff out there and not what I would want in my normal usage. For a travel kit that I use infrequently fine but having used and owning really top end hex stuff I wouldn't want to go back.

If you are looking for a screwdriver style Wera makes a really nice one or if you get a bit and socket set the Snap-On swivel head ratchet is awesome and well worth it. Wera also makes one of those and is probably also good but the Snap-On is truly a nice tool.
Thanks for the info. Part of my reason for not going with Park is budget. Some of those other brands you mention make Park look like a bargain. For a pro using tools every day, I'm sure the high-quality stuff is great. From what I can tell, Bondhus and Eklind look like they hit a sweet spot of quality and price for my needs in my home shop. $40-ish for a 2mm-10mm T-handle set is kind of what I'm looking at.
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Old 01-14-21, 06:12 PM
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Well, that ended quickly. Nashbar/Performance has the Feedback Sports T-handle set for $40. Done.
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Old 01-14-21, 06:25 PM
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Elkind - Don't recommend. Not the same quality. One mark of good quality is the chamfer at the tips. Elkind just shears the ends on every one that I have seen..
Bondhus - Least expensive of the "quality" tools. Good Value. I have the Gold Guard and the standard black oxide. I like the GG better.
Wiha - Good value for upscale tools. I have this long-arm Chrome set currently $27 https://www.kctoolco.com/wiha-66994-...ey-metric-set/
Wera - I find them excellent, some people dislike for smaller sizes. Color coding is excellent. I picked up two sets of these when they were $25 before Christmas. https://www.kctoolco.com/wera-073593...-key-clip-set/
Beta T-handle - Also expensive, but excellent. I recommend these if you want t-handle. I have found a couple to be a little bit big on the "long end", such that they don't fully seat in the fastener. If I need the "long end" to be in the fastener, I want a ball-end anyway.
PB Swiss - Money is no object and you want the best. I haven't seen these for less than $100 for the set and I am satisfied with Wiha and Wera.
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Old 01-14-21, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Well, that ended quickly. Nashbar/Performance has the Feedback Sports T-handle set for $40. Done.
I bought the Feedback t-handles but returned them because the T doesn't slide. That was a deal-breaker for me, but may not bother you.

I replaced them with the Beta, but that purchase is not for the faint of heart.
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Old 01-14-21, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Well, that ended quickly. Nashbar/Performance has the Feedback Sports T-handle set for $40. Done.
You can get the bondhus set for that, and they're much nicer. And american made.
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Old 01-14-21, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I will always have L keys around if I need them. Definitely leaning towards T-handles. 2mm-10mm covers everything on all of my bikes. I have other options, too (1/4" drive socket set with a variety of handles and extensions.)



Thanks for the info. Part of my reason for not going with Park is budget. Some of those other brands you mention make Park look like a bargain. For a pro using tools every day, I'm sure the high-quality stuff is great. From what I can tell, Bondhus and Eklind look like they hit a sweet spot of quality and price for my needs in my home shop. $40-ish for a 2mm-10mm T-handle set is kind of what I'm looking at.
The thing with Hex wrenches is they are not a specific tool and have many uses and are probably the most used tools out there. Getting the absolute best in those is not going to set you back a huge ton especially in terms of usage and longevity. The cheap stuff just isn't worth it pro or not.
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Old 01-14-21, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
I bought the Feedback t-handles but returned them because the T doesn't slide. That was a deal-breaker for me, but may not bother you.

I replaced them with the Beta, but that purchase is not for the faint of heart.
I was looking for sliding T-handles, ideally, but I think these will be okay. I was looking at other non-sliding T configurations, as well.
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Old 01-14-21, 10:01 PM
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I do happen to like the simple Eklind folding sets, just for making it hard to misplace the smaller bits and throwing in my sag bag for a ride. But they are not a substitute for also having a good set of L wrenches.
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Old 01-15-21, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I was looking for sliding T-handles, ideally, but I think these will be okay. I was looking at other non-sliding T configurations, as well.
Ultimately, with tools,it is what you get to do with them that is the greatest thing. I have a cheap 1/4" sliding T-bar, Snap on extensions and cheap set of hex bit sockets, and a tobacco tin of L-shaped Allen keys, which have taken me from mechanic, to R&D aeronautical engineer and to working in the back of my garage on cheap step-thru folders. Ah, we have done some amazing engineering together, and I hope for the same for you.
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Old 01-15-21, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Geepig View Post
Ultimately, with tools,it is what you get to do with them that is the greatest thing. I have a cheap 1/4" sliding T-bar, Snap on extensions and cheap set of hex bit sockets, and a tobacco tin of L-shaped Allen keys, which have taken me from mechanic, to R&D aeronautical engineer and to working in the back of my garage on cheap step-thru folders. Ah, we have done some amazing engineering together, and I hope for the same for you.
At my age, I'm not going down any new career paths, but I agree that it's what you do with them that matters. A big part of my tool collection is old Craftsman stuff that belonged to my father. He did much more interesting things with his tools than I have, or ever will, with mine.
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Old 01-15-21, 11:17 AM
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Oh, whether T-handle or L shaped hex, you might consider getting some with the speed ball end. I found those very useful for tight places where you can't get the tool directly in-line with the socket of the bolt. They aren't a replacement though. I wouldn't use a speed ball end in places where I need extremely high torque on the bolts. But they are great to get you to that point, then you can switch. But I can't think of any place on a bike that has that high a torque recommendation at the moment.
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Old 01-15-21, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The thing with Hex wrenches is they are not a specific tool and have many uses and are probably the most used tools out there. Getting the absolute best in those is not going to set you back a huge ton especially in terms of usage and longevity. The cheap stuff just isn't worth it pro or not.
My use of hex wrenches extends very little beyond wrenching on my own bikes or building IKEA furniture. I've gotten along pretty well with my current mish-mash of stuff collected over the years (going back to stuff that was my dad's). I'm pretty confident that the Feedback T-handle set will be a fun and sufficient upgrade to my bike tools. Thanks for your info. I always appreciate expanding my knowledge.
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Old 01-15-21, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Oh, whether T-handle or L shaped hex, you might consider getting some with the speed ball end. I found those very useful for tight places where you can't get the tool directly in-line with the socket of the bolt. They aren't a replacement though. I wouldn't use a speed ball end in places where I need extremely high torque on the bolts. But they are great to get you to that point, then you can switch. But I can't think of any place on a bike that has that high a torque recommendation at the moment.
I was looking at some ball-end options, too, but ultimately decided on the Feedback Sports T-handle set. For $40 (usually $120-$130), I had a hard time passing it up, and 2mm-6mm hex, plus T25 is a perfect set for my needs. For larger sizes, I have a couple of 8mm and 10mm options that I'm happy with. Next time I get the bug to buy more tools, maybe I'll get a ball-end hex set.
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Old 01-15-21, 01:52 PM
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Love my Pittsburgh T handle hex wrenches. Been using this set for several years now.

https://www.harborfreight.com/metric...-pc-69370.html
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Old 01-16-21, 07:53 PM
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I have switched from mostly L wrenches I am now using hex bits from Craftsman and Bluepoint. I get much better traction from a ratchet and extension when needed. And they take up less space in the tool box. Smiles, MH
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Old 01-16-21, 11:30 PM
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I buy L handle Allen wrenches by the handful here in Cambodia, the end gets a bit round, it gets cut off and beveled a bit. I have full sized L wrenches that I cut to fit every tool on each of my bikes. A decent strong set can be had here for $8, individual wrench is .50 cents to $1
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Old 01-17-21, 08:37 AM
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Buy the Park Tool set already! Great tools! Easy to find Park Tool blue! Great holder! A great way to start your “Bicycle Tool” tool set...your specific, go to bicycle tools only...
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Old 01-17-21, 02:52 PM
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I had bought this Bondhus set last month. This is a solid tool set and wasn't expecting it to be so well built for only $30 and free shipping via Amazon Prime. I had read somewhere that Bondhus is who made the Park tools, which to me makes this even a better deal.

Bondhus Tool, click here
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Old 01-18-21, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by billnuke1 View Post
Buy the Park Tool set already! Great tools! Easy to find Park Tool blue! Great holder! A great way to start your “Bicycle Tool” tool set...your specific, go to bicycle tools only...
I decided on the Feedback Sports T-handle set, primarily because I found it for $40 (usually $120-130). The Bondhus set would have been my alternate pick. I'm not starting my bicycle tool set, just upgrading one small portion of my toolbox.
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Old 01-18-21, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
I had bought this Bondhus set last month. This is a solid tool set and wasn't expecting it to be so well built for only $30 and free shipping via Amazon Prime. I had read somewhere that Bondhus is who made the Park tools, which to me makes this even a better deal.

Bondhus Tool, click here
I have also read that Bondhus makes some of the Park Tool stuff, but have not idea if that's really true. I suspect that much of Park's stuff is private labeled from a variety of good-quality manufacturers.
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Old 01-18-21, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I have also read that Bondhus makes some of the Park Tool stuff, but have not idea if that's really true. I suspect that much of Park's stuff is private labeled from a variety of good-quality manufacturers.

Just checked and found that Bike Radar does confirm that Bondhus makes tools for Park Tools and other companies like Snap On.

Bike Radar Article, click here

BUT, this article was from 2017. So can't guarantee that this has changed.
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