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Hex Drivers

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Nigel Heather01/05/2019 14:33:34
242 forum posts
7 photos

Can anyone recommend some decent but reasonably priced hex drivers.

I actually have a set of Bondhaus, ball ended drivers which should be fine but noticed when building my latest helicopter the smaller ones 1.5mm and 2.0mm would spin when the bolt started to tighten. At first I thought I had chewed the head, but using my traditional allen keys (straight end) revealed that the bolts were fine.

So looking for a reasonably priced but decent set. Wary of eBay unbranded incase the tips are soft. Looked at recommendation on US dominated sites and they recommend ones at £50 which is too much.

Anyone tried the Align or Fastrax ones - they come in around the £20 mark.

And actually looking for straight end rather than ball-end this time.



Don Fry01/05/2019 14:43:15
4557 forum posts
54 photos

Why not go to a "proper" tool supplier, and just replace the ones you have worn. When my dad was around, issued with a new apprentice, he would get him to buy a solid tool case, a set of cheap sockets, spanners, and the ones that break, wear out, replace with Britool or the like. If you are like me I only use the smallest three hex bits in a typical set.

Denis Watkins01/05/2019 15:11:34
4632 forum posts
129 photos


Do a good range of hex drivers

Next day post

Bert01/05/2019 15:16:34
520 forum posts
10 photos

If you want good hex keys you need to get some from Wera, a small set will set you back about £20 - £25, but really good tools are never cheap.


Plummet01/05/2019 15:43:04
1419 forum posts
41 photos

Another vote for Modelfixings.

But I have found that the Aldi or Lidl special buy tools seem to be good and good value.

Try a good local engineers supplies merchant.


Martin Harris01/05/2019 15:58:50
9502 forum posts
256 photos

Many of the sets have shafts retained by socket screws. Buy a set with decent quality handles if yours aren't like this and if the hex shafts leave a little to be desired, replace with long hex keys from a reputable supplier with the angled end ground off.

I suspect that all ball ended drivers do wear eventually and I've replaced my most used size by this method.

P.S. I bought a fairly cheap plain ended set for the flight box recently from Banggood - the shafts seem OK so far but the nice looking anodised aluminium handles are hollow so in use they feel like they are made of plastic after the solid handles of my "workshop" set - and lack a cross hole for a T bar. After a few uses, there is no sign of any marking to the Ti (looking?) finish where they contact the fasteners so fingers crossed...

Peter Miller01/05/2019 18:22:43
11368 forum posts
1342 photos
10 articles

IT is a sad fact of life that hex keys will always wear out. I worked in a big factory which did injection and blow moulding of plastic.

The engineers stores would always supply Allen keys on request because they knew that they wore out and that includes up to large ones. I had some up 3/8" in my tool box and we used even bigger ones.

I still have a tobacco tin with a lot of my old ones.

dave windymiller01/05/2019 19:59:52
113 forum posts
149 photos

I often use a 1/16 hex key instead of a 1.5mm hex in m3 grub screws as they are a few thou bigger and less likely to slip. Where possible i also change short m3 grubs (say 3mm long) for 4 or 5mm which have deep holes and more surface area for the key to grip!

Bruce Collinson01/05/2019 20:22:20
562 forum posts

+ 1 for Wera. Like OP, I’ve found slight wear arising in the driver, ball ended type in smaller sizes and I suppose I’ll replace them, like for like. However Wera also do a set of more conventional L-shaped Allen keys with a ball end on the long leg and a hi-tec key on the short end, looks like a Torx but isn’t. They have been beyond price and come out for anything serious. You get the best of both worlds.

I also have some Bondhaus drivers and prefer Wera. Ditto for screwdrivers.


Dad_flyer01/05/2019 21:19:11
316 forum posts
317 photos

I use hex ball-drivers quite a bit at work. The Bahco grey ones have nice handles and don't wear badly - but some have broken the ball off the 2mm size. They don't come in 1.5 mm and smaller, we have Wera for that, excellent but more expensive. I think I was not able to find 1/16th in either Bahco or Wera, so have Wiha picofinish.

All come as singles, so you only have to replace what you need.

Bruce Collinson02/05/2019 15:17:34
562 forum posts

Spooky. Big Brother must now be hacking my Amazon thingy too. What popped onto my screen but an invitation to buy a set of the aforementioned Wera hex keys, £22 delivered tomorrow. Having already endorsed these so thoroughly I couldn't resist them. One will now be permanently in the flight box instead of always in the wrong place.


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