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Allen Keys

dazz_ni45dazz_ni45 Posts: 468
edited May 2015 in Road buying advice
Need a decent set of Allen keys as my current collection is only succeeding in helping round bolts.

Park Tools PH1 set has been recommended but at £50ish it isn't cheap. Any other recommendations before I push the button?
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  • sungodsungod Posts: 14,375
    these are good...

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/park-tools-prof ... n-key-set/

    ...and much cheaper

    btw if you ever need a set of hex/other bits, these are worth a look...

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-Expert-2 ... B0001K9R6W

    ...mine are in their 6th year and even the most used ones still show no sign of wear/rounding
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • dazz_ni45dazz_ni45 Posts: 468

    Thanks, although are there any recommended manufacturers and I'm not sure what is robust and what isn't
  • dazz_ni45dazz_ni45 Posts: 468
    sungod wrote:
    these are good...

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/park-tools-prof ... n-key-set/

    ...and much cheaper

    btw if you ever need a set of hex/other bits, these are worth a look...

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-Expert-2 ... B0001K9R6W

    ...mine are in their 6th year and even the most used ones still show no sign of wear/rounding

    I had looked at that park tool set, but quite liked the idea of the handle/grip on the PH1 set for a bit extra leverage
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    Halfords professional range have been good for me (motorbike and bike stuff). Have a very good warranty (lifetime?) - which was handy as I broke one doing a motorbike job. BC discount too.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    dazz_ni45 wrote:
    Need a decent set of Allen keys as my current collection is only succeeding in helping round bolts.

    Park Tools PH1 set has been recommended but at £50ish it isn't cheap. Any other recommendations before I push the button?
    If they're for use at home rather than a multitool then I'd stay away from bike shops! You'll get better quality cheaper from a hardware shop or engineering suppliers.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I'd echo some of the comments on here. Best bet is to go to a proper engineering supplies place and ask. There's a lot of really censored stuff out there which is utter rubbish. Buy a good set, look after them, and they'll last longer than you do. Avoid the Y-shaped ones - you just can't turn the things half the time. I have a CK set that I bought so long ago I can't even remember where or when I got them. Great brands are Teng, Facom, Beta, Mac, Snap-On
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • IShaggyIShaggy Posts: 301
    I've been using these the last few years -

    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/TOJWAKHX/ ... wrench-set

    £14.99!

    Yes, they're cheap, but they do the job.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I'd echo some of the comments on here. Best bet is to go to a proper engineering supplies place and ask. There's a lot of really censored stuff out there which is utter rubbish. Buy a good set, look after them, and they'll last longer than you do. Avoid the Y-shaped ones - you just can't turn the things half the time. I have a CK set that I bought so long ago I can't even remember where or when I got them. Great brands are Teng, Facom, Beta, Mac, Snap-On
    Yep, I've a set of Unbrako Allen Keys I bought in 1997 (I bought them for work in my first job out of college). They've had lots of use over the years, initially in work and later for DIY and hobby activities. They're still perfect.
    When something used in the wider world, gets branded for some specific hobby sector, the quality often goes down and the cost invariably goes up.
  • dazz_ni45dazz_ni45 Posts: 468
    An equivalent facom or teng set seem to be around the £40 mark. I can get the Park Tools for around the same (after a bit of searching), but would facom or teng be a better buy in terms of quality?
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    dazz_ni45 wrote:
    An equivalent facom or teng set seem to be around the £40 mark. I can get the Park Tools for around the same (after a bit of searching), but would facom or teng be a better buy in terms of quality?
    I don't know for certain but I suspect they'd be a better buy.
    If Park could make better tools for less than the mainstream guys, they'd have moved into the mainstream!
  • dazz_ni45dazz_ni45 Posts: 468
    Ai_1 wrote:
    dazz_ni45 wrote:
    An equivalent facom or teng set seem to be around the £40 mark. I can get the Park Tools for around the same (after a bit of searching), but would facom or teng be a better buy in terms of quality?
    I don't know for certain but I suspect they'd be a better buy.
    If Park could make better tools for less than the mainstream guys, they'd have moved into the mainstream!

    Good point!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Park make some good stuff and some right censored (eg cassette tools badly designed and made of soft metal) but it's hard to know which is which. I wouldn't pay anywhere near as much for a Park product as a tool made by a proper quality tool manufacturer (which Park are not).
    Faster than a tent.......
  • dazz_ni45dazz_ni45 Posts: 468
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wera-073597-Bal ... 663&sr=8-9

    These seem to get well reviewed. Not the grip I was looking for, but that seems to add another £20ish pounds to the price.
  • bazzer2bazzer2 Posts: 189
    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p83081

    I have these, but curiously, in flashy rainbow colours. Very good fit, finish and quality.

    I've had Rolson, Silverline, Kamasa hex keys before, and these Wera are absolutely the best I've had.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    bazzer2 wrote:
    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p83081

    I have these, but curiously, in flashy rainbow colours. Very good fit, finish and quality.

    I've had Rolson, Silverline, Kamasa hex keys before, and these Wera are absolutely the best I've had.
    Why so many? I hope you keep losing them or needed different sizes, if they're getting worn or distorted then you're the busiest mechanic around or you keep buying rubbish! ;)
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    edited May 2015
    bazzer2 wrote:
    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p83081

    I have these, but curiously, in flashy rainbow colours. Very good fit, finish and quality.

    I've had Rolson, Silverline, Kamasa hex keys before, and these Wera are absolutely the best I've had.

    These are the bi-curious rainbow ones you must be referring to...

    http://www.mpdirect.co.uk/p/52614/wera-hex-key-set-ball-end-set-of-9-15-10mm

    What's daft about all these rainbow kind of sets is they might look nice in the photos but they'd be far better off putting the colours not in order, so the the 2.0mm looks decidedly different in colour to a 2.5mm for example. But, then they'd look censored in marketing photos.
  • Origami02Origami02 Posts: 147
    These are good if the reviews are anything to go on
    http://www.superstarcomponents.com/en/w ... =2#reviews
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    dazz_ni45 wrote:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wera-073597-Ballpoint-Metric-Pieces/dp/B000XUPEDU/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1348520663&sr=8-9

    These seem to get well reviewed. Not the grip I was looking for, but that seems to add another £20ish pounds to the price.

    I mostly use the Wera ones. They're top quality. I find them more versatile than T-handle ones. They make stainless versions which are used for stainless hex (as on bikes). These prevent rusting on the bolts due to scuffing from plain steel.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    Ai_1 wrote:
    bazzer2 wrote:
    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p83081

    I have these, but curiously, in flashy rainbow colours. Very good fit, finish and quality.

    I've had Rolson, Silverline, Kamasa hex keys before, and these Wera are absolutely the best I've had.
    Why so many? I hope you keep losing them or needed different sizes, if they're getting worn or distorted then you're the busiest mechanic around or you keep buying rubbish! ;)

    Buy cheap buy, err, four times... :twisted:
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    jermas wrote:
    dazz_ni45 wrote:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wera-073597-Ballpoint-Metric-Pieces/dp/B000XUPEDU/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1348520663&sr=8-9

    These seem to get well reviewed. Not the grip I was looking for, but that seems to add another £20ish pounds to the price.

    I mostly use the Wera ones. They're top quality. I find them more versatile than T-handle ones. They make stainless versions which are used for stainless hex (as on bikes). These prevent rusting on the bolts due to scuffing from plain steel.
    I'm a bit confused by this!
    Do I understand correctly that the intention as you see it, is to use SS allen keys so that non-SS bolts will not rust?
    If you want to be sure not to get corrosion on the bolts, they need to be stainless bolts. Stainless steel allen keys could damage a bolt head just like plain steel ones, so I don't see how SS allen keys assure you won't get rust on coated bolts. I stand to be corrected but this sounds fishy to me.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I think Wera are a good brand. Maybe a tier down from the Tengs & Facoms of this world but will probably serve you well. With tools, it's always the right thing to buy the best you can afford - especially with something that you're likely to use frequently. I've never once regretted buying a high-quality tool but I have regretted a censored one.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    Do I understand correctly that the intention as you see it, is to use SS allen keys so that non-SS bolts will not rust?
    If you want to be sure not to get corrosion on the bolts, they need to be stainless bolts. Stainless steel allen keys could damage a bolt head just like plain steel ones, so I don't see how SS allen keys assure you won't get rust on coated bolts. I stand to be corrected but this sounds fishy to me.


    No. Plain steel allen keys on stainless bolt heads can cause the bolt head to rust. It's a minor concern though, just cosmetic.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    jermas wrote:
    Do I understand correctly that the intention as you see it, is to use SS allen keys so that non-SS bolts will not rust?
    If you want to be sure not to get corrosion on the bolts, they need to be stainless bolts. Stainless steel allen keys could damage a bolt head just like plain steel ones, so I don't see how SS allen keys assure you won't get rust on coated bolts. I stand to be corrected but this sounds fishy to me.


    No. Plain steel allen keys on stainless bolt heads can cause the bolt head to rust. It's a minor concern though, just cosmetic.

    That's complete nonsense.

    To the OP: the only problems I find with the Wera ones is that the sleeve they are supplied with is not oil resistant, so make sure you clean them off if they get oily or it will swell and fall off, and they are not hex all the way down so you can't cut them down if you need a tiddly one for some reason or want to get a spanner on one. Both these should not really be a concern with bikes though.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    DesWeller wrote:
    jermas wrote:
    Do I understand correctly that the intention as you see it, is to use SS allen keys so that non-SS bolts will not rust?
    If you want to be sure not to get corrosion on the bolts, they need to be stainless bolts. Stainless steel allen keys could damage a bolt head just like plain steel ones, so I don't see how SS allen keys assure you won't get rust on coated bolts. I stand to be corrected but this sounds fishy to me.


    No. Plain steel allen keys on stainless bolt heads can cause the bolt head to rust. It's a minor concern though, just cosmetic.

    That's complete nonsense.

    To the OP: the only problems I find with the Wera ones is that the sleeve they are supplied with is not oil resistant, so make sure you clean them off if they get oily or it will swell and fall off, and they are not hex all the way down so you can't cut them down if you need a tiddly one for some reason or want to get a spanner on one. Both these should not really be a concern with bikes though.


    Not nonsense- FACThttp://www.wera.de/catalog_de.html?L=1&file=/en/root_category_stainless_steel_tools.html
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    You've misread the text. The tool steel will oxidise, not the screw material.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    DesWeller wrote:
    You've misread the text. The tool steel will oxidise, not the screw material.


    Really? I think you need a re-read (extraneous rust). Of course tool steel oxidises -it's steel!
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    Goodness, you're right. I apologise.

    Still requires your tools to be pretty soft/badly looked after though, to come to bits in a hex socket.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • bazzer2bazzer2 Posts: 189
    Ai_1 wrote:
    bazzer2 wrote:
    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p83081

    I have these, but curiously, in flashy rainbow colours. Very good fit, finish and quality.

    I've had Rolson, Silverline, Kamasa hex keys before, and these Wera are absolutely the best I've had.
    Why so many? I hope you keep losing them or needed different sizes, if they're getting worn or distorted then you're the busiest mechanic around or you keep buying rubbish! ;)
    You know what they say, "buy cheap, buy twice". Well, I bought really cheap. :)
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