The Best Hex Keys | Review by Wirecutter

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Our choice

Tekton 25282 26 Piece Long Arm Hex Key Set

These hex keys (also known as Allen keys) are ideal for tight spaces, and their easy-to-use housing makes it easy to remove and replace even the smallest keys. Backed by a lifetime warranty.

Purchase options

* At the time of publication, the price was $ 17.

Honestly, most of the real wrenches we tested were of similar quality, so what sets TEKTON apart are the excellent housings (one for metric sizes and one for fractional inch sizes, also known as SAE). Unlike the other units tested, TEKTON housings held the keys tight enough that they did not fall out, but with a grip flexible enough that they were still easily removed. It’s amazing how few sets of keys have passed this basic test.

Beyond that, the TEKTON suitcases were the only ones to open, allowing easy access in particular to the smallest keys (which are the most difficult to take out). TEKTON’s have a longer than normal length and ball-tip design, making them especially useful in tight spaces. The set includes a full selection of metric and SAE sizes (13 each) and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Great too

Bondhus 20199 L-Wrench Double Pack

Bondhus 20199 L-Wrench Double Pack

These are more expensive than our main pick and the case doesn’t bend which can get a bit of a nuisance. Still, they’re better than the other sets we’ve tested.

Purchase options

* At the time of publication, the price was $ 21.

If TEKTON’s aren’t available, we also like the Bondhus 20199 L-Wrench Double Pack (around $ 20). These also have a lifetime warranty and, according to the manufacturer, are made from a proprietary substance called protanium steel, which Bondhus says is 20% stronger than the chrome vanadium that TEKTONs are made of. After testing, we concluded that this extra durability wouldn’t make a difference during standard tasks around the house. Bondhus cases hold keys securely in place but won’t bend, so smaller keys are harder to get out.

Great too

Bondhus 12522 Gorilla Grips

Bondhus 12522 Gorilla Grips

A foldable set can come in handy – easy to carry, hard to lose parts – and this one beat the rest with its low price, comfortable handle, and lifetime warranty.

Purchase options

* At the time of publication, the price was 13 $.

For portability, a set of folding hex keys is nice to have. Our favorites are the Bondhus 12522 Gorilla Grips (around $ 14). They were the cheapest we reviewed, but they had the most comfortable grip and the most useful features. We liked how the wrenches can also be stopped at 90 degrees from the handle, making it easy to loosen or tighten a screw. These are also covered by a lifetime warranty.

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