True to size Allen Key sets.. do they exist?

SkyScrapin

Strictly Offensive Kit
Supporter
Commercial Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Jan 31, 2010
2,552
2,446
Dallas, TX
strictlyoffensivekit.com
All of the 4-5 sets I have seem to be made in Chynah and are slightly off in size making it even easier to jack up an allen key bolt head. I'm tired of these junkers. Need something that will hold-up over time and offered in a short and longer configuration.

Who makes a solid true to size American made, ratchet or T-handle, Allen Key sets? What about Torx?

Thanks,
Preston
 

CNJarvis

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Jan 8, 2014
126
41
OKC
Look to Eklind and Bondhus for US made allen wrenches. If you like the Snap On screwdrivers, look at Williams Industrial Tools (made by Snap On)This is one area that I wouldn't necessarily restrict my choices to made in USA. I really like my Felo drivers and they make excellent allen wrenches as well.

Of course the most accurately sized tools mean nothing if the fastener isn't to spec. Tolerance stacking will come into play too.
 

SkyScrapin

Strictly Offensive Kit
Supporter
Commercial Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Jan 31, 2010
2,552
2,446
Dallas, TX
strictlyoffensivekit.com
Look to Eklind and Bondhus for US made allen wrenches. If you like the Snap On screwdrivers, look at Williams Industrial Tools (made by Snap On)This is one area that I wouldn't necessarily restrict my choices to made in USA. I really like my Felo drivers and they make excellent allen wrenches as well.

Of course the most accurately sized tools mean nothing if the fastener isn't to spec. Tolerance stacking will come into play too.

Good point. I'm sure the fasteners are also incorrect. Frustrating when it comes to these little tiny sizes.

TY for the recommendations.

snap on

same goes for screw drivers

Love Snap On products. Will see what they offer. Thanks.

Preston
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vivacious Stallion

Threadcutter308

Mr. Sugar Tits to you
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 13, 2017
10,024
18,091
An Island in warshington
Look to Eklind and Bondhus for US made allen wrenches. If you like the Snap On screwdrivers, look at Williams Industrial Tools (made by Snap On)This is one area that I wouldn't necessarily restrict my choices to made in USA. I really like my Felo drivers and they make excellent allen wrenches as well.

Of course the most accurately sized tools mean nothing if the fastener isn't to spec. Tolerance stacking will come into play too.
Unless something has changed, the Bondhus' that I have had have all been excellent. They could have offshored them, it's been a few years since I've bought them. Which, as I think about it, is testimonial in and of itself.
Give Bondhus a shot.
 

Barryd

Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 18, 2018
172
66
Another vote Eklind and Bondhus. Been using their T-handles and L-keys for years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Simonsza1

Baron23

Check 6
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Mar 19, 2020
    2,618
    2,754
    69
    Maryland
    I have Bondhus in ASE and metric and have found them to be excellent and no complaints...and you won't have to sell a kidney to afford them ala' Snap-on.

    And, they are made in USA:

    "Bondhus Corporation is located in Monticello, Minnesota - USA; about 40 minutes from Minneapolis. Bondhus employees are proud of our Company and the tools we make. Our Ball, Hex, and TORX® tools are made in our Monticello manufacturing facility, just across the street from the Mighty Mississippi River."
     

    CA48

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 17, 2010
    101
    31
    Texas
    I’ve had good luck with Bondhus & Craftsman. I was trying to loosen a small Allen screw on one of my Neil Jones sizing dies one time with a small craftsman Allen wrench and thought I had it but was very hard to turn. Turns out the set screw never moved. I just twisted the Allen wrench head about 5 times and it never deformed at the tip or broke just looks like wrought iron fluting.
     

    Bradu

    Full Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 24, 2011
    3,273
    1,393
    IL
    I prefer snap on but wera or wiha make a good product. If you have fasteners with messed up heads, get the Mac rbrt bit set. They have a different design and will save your ass.
     

    Matches Malone

    Jihad Joe
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 6, 2017
    821
    852
    Your moms bed
    All of the 4-5 sets I have seem to be made in Chynah and are slightly off in size making it even easier to jack up an allen key bolt head. I'm tired of these junkers. Need something that will hold-up over time and offered in a short and longer configuration.

    Who makes a solid true to size American made, ratchet or T-handle, Allen Key sets? What about Torx?

    Thanks,
    Preston
    This video might be for you.

     

    Im2bent

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 30, 2020
    1,296
    1,530
    This video might be for you.

    Saw these on "How its Made" ( I love that show). Manufacturing process was very impressive to me. So impressive I looked em up to buy....they are verrrrry proud of those babies. Too proud for a poors like me. So I will stick with my Elkind and Bondhus and my old school when they used to be made in the U.S. Craftsman.
     

    Herb Stoner

    Public Nuisance
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 13, 2019
    325
    258
    Two Places at Once
    Good point. I'm sure the fasteners are also incorrect. Frustrating when it comes to these little tiny sizes.

    TY for the recommendations.



    Love Snap On products. Will see what they offer. Thanks.

    Preston
    I have a set of Snap On T-handle allen wrenches I bought in the past couple of years. While I have not found them to be oddly sized, I was a little dissapointed with the over quality and appearance. I grew up with Snap-On tools and have many - they are usually beautifully made and clearly have a finer fit and finish than many tools. These do not.
     

    Hobo Hilton

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 4, 2011
    2,025
    2,153
    70
    Pacific Northwest
    My 2 cents - Start scrounging around the estate sales. IMHO there is nothing made today that has the quality of what was made 50 years ago. You may not find an entire set (in the bag) but you can find some quality tools at garage sale prices. Take an empty, metal hex key case with you so you are not guessing at sizes. No telling what else you might find.

     

    db2000

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 27, 2020
    2,189
    1,415
    Has anyone noticed the fasteners varying widely once you have exact wrenches? Especially curious about common ones we see in scope mounts. Thanks 🍻
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Hobo Hilton

    MNTC

    Big Game Hunter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 29, 2017
    3,522
    2,393
    Colorado
    Snap On AWS13 is the best set I've used to date. Haven't twisted one of these when many others have failed. Worth the 40-50 bucks.
     

    Attachments

    • 20220111_181229.jpg
      20220111_181229.jpg
      181.7 KB · Views: 18

    chevy_man

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 25, 2019
    2,053
    1,761
    Bondhus have proven tougher than snap-on to me. Snap-on does exchange them though.


    I'm currently looking at the Wiha torque screwdriver and bits. Mostly for work, but they'll come out of the truck at home I'm sure.
    Wiha 28595 Torque Screwdriver and Bits Box Set 10-50 in-lbs., 53 Pieces
     

    427Cobra

    Lt. Colonel
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 24, 2005
    5,855
    242
    Sanger, TEXAS!
    Ok so you acquire Allen’s of perfect size, what about the Chicomm fasteners, everything has a plus or minus, just because you buy so called quality tools doesn’t mean shit if the fasteners are out of spec.
     

    E. Bryant

    STABILITRAK ACTIVE
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Oct 25, 2010
    4,217
    4,797
    MI
    Ok so you acquire Allen’s of perfect size, what about the Chicomm fasteners, everything has a plus or minus, just because you buy so called quality tools doesn’t mean shit if the fasteners are out of spec.

    If you're doing this type of work in a serious fashion, you keep a small assortment of fasteners from Holo-Krome or Unbreako to replace the butter-soft out-of-spec crap included by some manufacturers:


    If someone brings you crap, then you can play the "try 'em all" game with every random hex key in your junk drawer before rounding out the hex socket anyways and restoring to a thread extractor.

    We buy quality bits because we control the variables that we can control, even if sometime else a half-world away doesn't care about specs. It's what adults do.

    I like Wiha and Wera stuff for small bench work (cycling, guns, electronics, etc.). You'd find some S&K bits in my automotive box, although virtually no one sells that brand around here anymore. The Mountz bits included with Borka kits are very good. Chapman makes good bits for a fair price, but theirs have a weird knurled end which works with their ratchet and drivers but doesn't play nice with everything else.
     

    MinnesotaMulisha

    They call me "Baby Ruth."
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 30, 2013
    4,583
    6,617
    Solid Ground
    I’ve been turning wrenches for twenty years.
    I started off with a set of Bondhus hex keys and I’d still have them if I hadn’t lost a few along the way.
    I do have a few Wera and Wiha sets for when I need a hex bit, but when it comes to a wrench, Bondhus all day long.
    Friends have bought the Eklind and I just don’t see the comparison. The ends are soft and end up rounding off.
     

    308pirate

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 25, 2017
    18,419
    27,023
    All of the 4-5 sets I have seem to be made in Chynah and are slightly off in size making it even easier to jack up an allen key bolt head. I'm tired of these junkers. Need something that will hold-up over time and offered in a short and longer configuration.

    Who makes a solid true to size American made, ratchet or T-handle, Allen Key sets? What about Torx?

    Thanks,
    Preston

    Wiha

    Made in Germany. All you need to know.
     

    LeftyJason

    Thumbnail-les
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 8, 2017
    2,792
    4,180
    35
    Kaysville Utah
    I like the wiha for bits but haven't gotten their Allen sets yet. Saw one of the maintenance guys at work had the wiha ergostar holder and it is amazing. Bought one for metric and sae.
     

    Cynical

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 14, 2010
    219
    94
     
    • Like
    Reactions: powerspc

    chevy_man

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 25, 2019
    2,053
    1,761
    My 2 cents - Start scrounging around the estate sales. IMHO there is nothing made today that has the quality of what was made 50 years ago. You may not find an entire set (in the bag) but you can find some quality tools at garage sale prices. Take an empty, metal hex key case with you so you are not guessing at sizes. No telling what else you might find.


    Snap-on is much better than it ever was.

    Craftsman was good, then garbage, now it's ok but mostly Tiwanese and Chinese manufactured.


    SK tool is still producing top notch stuff without the tool truck pricing. Lots of my stuff that I know I need but have time to order is SK.

    Milwaukee's stuff comes from China, and their ratchets are better than any Craftsman I've used. I still go to my Mac or snap-on in the garage, but the service truck got Milwaukee because they're not bad.
     

    TxWelder35

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Oct 17, 2018
    2,786
    4,112
    DFW
    I’ve gotten some great deals on tools on eBay and other garage/mechanic type forums. I’ve bought most of my snap on sockets for the same price as new Chinesium.

    A lot of times if I need a tool And happen to see a snap on truck parked somewhere I’ll pull up and knock on the door. There are a lot of them around this area, just keep your eye out.

    Like anything else in life, buy something made in a 1st world country and it will be much better than anything made by commies.
     

    TxWelder35

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Oct 17, 2018
    2,786
    4,112
    DFW
    Craftsman was good, then garbage, now it's ok but mostly Tiwanese and Chinese manufactured.
    Craftsman is building a new manufacturing hub in Fort Worth, it was suppose to be operational last year but it appears the coof has slowed them down.
     

    TxWelder35

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Oct 17, 2018
    2,786
    4,112
    DFW
    Fixed it for you.
    But is it still rape if you like it?

    I’ve bought plenty on the trucks, don’t regret any of it. I have long forgotten about the money spent. My kids will have lots of good shit when I die, and not a pile of junk

    I mean we buy $700 barrels every year that burn out and a minimum of $1 down range range every trigger pull. Is a $100 ratchet that can be passed down to your kids really that absurd?
     

    powerspc

    두려움없이
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 15, 2018
    823
    1,856

    ++1 for Chapman, I don't think they make the traditional "L" shaped keys, but they make the bits, etc. Everything they make is beautifully done and everything they make is made here in the U.S.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Cynical

    GrumpyOleFart

    Sardaukar are sissies
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Sep 18, 2020
    2,487
    3,464
    Perth, Western Australia
    But is it still rape if you like it?

    I’ve bought plenty on the trucks, don’t regret any of it. I have long forgotten about the money spent. My kids will have lots of good shit when I die, and not a pile of junk

    I mean we buy $700 barrels every year that burn out and a minimum of $1 down range range every trigger pull. Is a $100 ratchet that can be passed down to your kids really that absurd?
    It's when the little turds "borrow" them from your kit, and either misplace or keep them....
    Sad thing for your kids to die before you.
     

    chevy_man

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 25, 2019
    2,053
    1,761
    I just saw a little multi pack of Wiha bits at Lowes the other day for like $9. Seemed too cheap to be Wiha, compared to their online prices. Are they branching out into low grade big box stuff now too?

    General rule of thumb is don't buy it at the box store if it's too cheap. I know they get their own part number on certain power tools.

    Find a tool store. Acme tool is amazing, and always normal prices. Not a whole lot of sales, but never crazy high like some dedicated tool stores.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Gustav7

    Kiba

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 13, 2011
    1,396
    393
    Central Valley, CA
    I've tried all the usual suspects for screwdriver style hex drivers and L keys... Wiha, Wera, Bondhus, PB swiss, Snap-On, etc. Of those I'm partial to Wiha for the smaller size hex and torx drivers, but they're not perfect.

    For larger socket head hardware they're OK, but for standard sizes 3/32" and smaller and metric sizes 3mm and smaller, all of the above brands seem to fit a little loose and are prone to stripping out the heads of the screws especially if they were overtightened or had thread locker applied.

    In my experience none of the L-key or screwdriver style wrenches from any of those above companies hold a candle to what's available on the RC Car market for the smaller hardware. RC stuff uses a lot of small diameter socket head screws that are easily rounded out with poorly fitting wrenches, and several companies make excellent ground steel wrenches-- MIP being my favorite. The MIP wrenches are ground tool steel bits that are ground precisely to fit very tightly into the socket head on the screw and are heat treated to have hard enough surfaces so they don't round at the corners, but not so hard they'll shatter with a lot of torque-- they'll back out small allen screws even with loctite applied that would easily strip with a standard sloppy fitting L-key. They're not so hard they'll shatter if you apply a lot of torque to them, but I don't suggest dropping them tip first as they can break if dropped.

    Pick up a set and you pretty much won't worry about stripping out smaller hex head screws again. They're about $15 each, but worth every penny. I used to strip out hardware on my RC stuff on a regular basis using bondhus L-keys and Wiha drivers and then cuss having to extract the rounded screws (especially 0.050" set screws)... no longer an issue with the MIP drivers, they just work.


    Hudy makes excellent hex drivers too.
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: E. Bryant