The 8 Best Allen Wrench Sets of 2023

The Tekton 30-Piece Hex Key Wrench Set is our top choice

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Best Allen Wrench Sets

The Spruce / Jaclyn Mastropasqua

Allen wrenches, also called "hex wrenches," "hex keys," or "Allen keys," are familiar to anyone who has assembled flat-packed furniture. These small hand tools are typically L-shaped pieces of metal, and they are designed for turning screws with hexagonal or star-shaped sockets. However, Allen wrenches and their associated socket screws (also called "hex screws") are used for far more than furniture assembly; these socket-headed screws are widely used not just in the furniture industry, but also in the automotive industry, for bicycle repair and maintenance, on consumer electronics, and for many other industrial purposes where their superior clamping force, as compared to regular screws, is beneficial.

We evaluated Allen wrench sets based on construction, completeness, ease of use, and overall value. Our top choice, the Tekton 30-Piece Hex Wrench Set, has all of the common sizes of both metric and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) hex wrenches and is useful for a wide range of household purposes.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Tekton 30-Piece Hex Key Wrench Set

4.9
TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very complete range of sizes

  • Chamfered ends

  • Steel with black oxide finish

What We Don't Like
  • Case doesn't always hold the wrenches securely

This sturdy set of Allen wrenches from Tekton includes the full range of commonly used sizes for both metric and SAE. Made of steel with a black oxide finish, the wrenches will hold up to rigorous use without damage, and they won't slip even when you need to apply a fair amount of torque to turn a tight screw. The ends of both the short and long sides are chamfered for the most precise fit, so you won't struggle to fit the wrench into the screw socket.

The set includes metric sizes 0.7, 0.9, 1.3, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 mm. The SAE sizes are 0.028, 0.035, 0.050, 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inch. The smallest sizes are not marked, but the larger wrenches have their sizes clearly marked on the tools, making it easier to find the one you need. The SAE wrenches are longer than the metric wrenches, which also helps differentiate among them. As with most hex wrench sets, the larger sizes are longer than the smaller sizes, which gives you a better grip when applying more force to turn larger screws.

The set comes with a plastic storage case that opens flat for easy access to the wrenches. The case is clearly marked with each wrench size, further helping you to quickly find the tool you need. Whether for around-the-house use, assembling furniture, working on the car, or even professional use, you are unlikely to need a hex wrench that isn't included in this 30-piece set.

Price at time of publish: $14

Set Size: 30 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric and SAE | Handle Style: L-shaped | Ball End: No

Best Budget

Horusdy 30-Piece Hex Key Set

HORUSDY 30-Piece Hex Key Set,

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very complete range of sizes

  • Includes T handle

  • Labeled storage case

What We Don't Like
  • Not chamfered

  • Case doesn't always hold wrenches securely

The Horusdy 30-Piece Hex Key Set includes all of the commonly used metric and SAE sizes, so you'll be able to tackle most common projects that require a hex wrench, including furniture assembly, tightening loose screws around the house or garage, and automotive or motorcycle repairs. While not as precisely chamfered as our top pick, this set is a very good value, and it is made of steel with a black oxide finish for extra durability. It includes a plastic, ergonomic handle that can be used in a horizontal or vertical position with any of the hex wrenches to make it easier to apply sufficient torque to turn tight screws, and to lessen any strain on your hands.

The set includes metric sizes 10mm, 8mm, 7mm, 6mm, 5.5mm, 5mm, 4.5mm, 4mm, 3mm, 2.5mm, 2mm, 1.5mm, 1.3mm, 0.9mm, and 0.7mm. The SAE sizes include 3/8, 5/16, 1/4, 7/32, 3/16, 5/32, 9/64, 1/8, 7/64, 3/32, 5/64, 1/16, 0.05, 0.035, and 0.028 inch. As with most hex wrench sets, the SAE tools are longer than the metric tools, and the larger sizes are bigger than the smaller wrenches. The set also includes a plastic storage case with each wrench size clearly marked, so you'll be able to easily find the one you need.

Price at time of publish: $11

Set Size: 30 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric and SAE | Handle Style: L-shaped | Ball End: No

Best Foldable

Texas Best Folding Hex Key Set

Folding Hex Key Set

Texas Best

What We Like
  • Easy to store

  • Includes most common sizes

  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Can be tricky to use in tight spaces

A folding set of hex wrenches can be very convenient, especially if you need a variety of sizes throughout your project. This set of steel folding hex wrenches from Texas Best includes two separate tools: One yellow set of metric wrenches in sizes 1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm, 4.0mm, 5.0mm, 6.0mm, and 8.0mm, and one red set of SAE wrenches in sizes 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, and 1/4 inch. All of the wrenches have their size clearly marked on the tool handle and pull out easily for use.

As with any set of folding Allen wrenches, it can be trickier to use these in tight or awkward spots, as the handle of the tool can get in the way of your reach, and the wrenches themselves are not as long as the typical individual wrench. Still, these are undeniably handy for most common DIY projects, such as assembling furniture or tightening loose screws on chairs, tables, and other household objects. Plus, it's very easy to store these in a drawer or your tool box.

Price at time of publish: $14

Set Size: 17 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric and SAE | Handle Style: Folding | Ball End: No

Best for Bicycles

Park Tool AWS-11 Fold-Up Hex Wrench Set

Park Tool AWS-11 Fold-Up Hex Wrench Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Chamfered end

  • Most useful sizes for bicycle repair

What We Don't Like
  • Might be too heavy for some cyclists to carry with them on the road

Whether you ride a bicycle for pleasure around town, commuting to work, or for long rides on the weekends, it's essential to keep your bicycle in peak operating condition for safety and a more comfortable ride. For cyclists who want to keep a set of hex wrenches specifically designed for bikes on hand, we recommend the Park Tool AWS-11 folding set, which is sturdy industrial tool steel for extra durability. There are only metric sizes 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 & 10 mm included, as that's all you need for bicycle maintenance and repair.

Each of the wrenches has a chamfered end for precision and to prevent the chance of slips. The tool's handle helps you grip the wrench firmly so you can easily apply as much torque as you need without hurting your hands. Measuring 4.5 inches by 1.6 inches by 1 inch, and weighing just under 7 ounces, you can easily tote this set in your bike pack for on-the-road repairs, or keep it in your tool box at home for more leisurely maintenance sessions.

Price at time of publish: $15

Set Size: 6 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric | Handle Style: Folding | Ball End: No

Best for Around the House

Amazon Basics 26-Piece Hex Key Set

Amazon Basics Hex Key Allen Wrench Set with Ball End

Amazon

What We Like
  • Ball end

  • Chrome-vanadium steel

What We Don't Like
  • Some complaints of receiving wrenches covered with oil

Made of chrome-vanadium steel with a black oxide finish, this set of 26 hex keys in all the common metric and SAE sizes is perfect for those around-the-house projects, such as assembling flat-packed furniture, tightening loose hexagonal screws on furnishings, working on cars or motorcycles, or repairing large appliances. These Allen wrenches have ball ends on the long side, which allows you to turn the screw with the wrench at a slight angle, rather than the upright position required by straight-end hex wrenches. This makes it much easier to access screws in awkward or difficult-to-access spots.

The set includes metric sizes 1.27, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 8, and 10 mm. The SAE sizes include 0.05, 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inch. Each set has a hinged plastic holder with clearly marked sizes to keep your hex wrenches neatly stored and to make it easy to find the size you need. This reasonably priced set of Allen wrenches is a worthy addition to your home tool collection.

Price at time of publish: $17

Set Size: 26 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric and SAE | Handle Style: L-shaped | Ball End: Yes

Best for Car Repair

LEXIVON Master Wrench Key Set

LEXIVON Master Wrench Key Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Chamfered on one end, ball end on the other

  • Includes Torx wrenches

  • Very strong construction

  • Size laser-etched on each wrench

What We Don't Like
  • Not extra-long, which can be an issue for some automotive uses

Made of industrial-grade alloy steel with a manganese phosphate coating, this set of professional-quality hex wrenches includes metric, SAE, and Torx (star) sizes. Torx screws, which have star-shaped sockets on their heads, rather than the hexagonal sockets found on other hex screws, are commonly used in many types of vehicles, including cars and motorcycles. They are also often used for consumer electronics, such as laptops and computer components. All of the included hex wrenches are chamfered on the short end for extra precision and have a ball end on the long side of the tool, which allows you to hold the wrench at up to a 25-degree angle when accessing an awkwardly placed fastener.

The 13 included metric sizes are 1.27, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 8, and 10 mm. The 13 included SAE sizes are 0.05, 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inch. There are nine Torx wrenches in sizes T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, T40, T45, and T50. Every wrench has its size clearly laser-etched on the center of the tool. Each of the three types of wrenches has its own hinged storage case, which is also clearly marked with the wrench sizes.

Price at time of publish: $30

Set Size: 35 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric, SAE, and Torx | Handle Style: L-shaped | Ball End: Yes

Best T-Handle

Craftsman T-Handle 14-Piece Hex Key Set

CRAFTSMAN Hex Key Set, 14-Key

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comfortable handle is easy to grip

  • Useful for reaching into tight spots

What We Don't Like
  • Case is not well designed

T-handled hex keys allow you to apply quite a bit more force when turning tight screws, and are also a little longer than regular hex wrenches, which is useful when accessing deep or awkward fasteners. This type of handle is a popular option for carpentry, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work, as well as large DIY projects. This set of 14 black-oxide-coated steel hex wrenches includes metric sizes 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 mm and SAE sizes 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32 and 1/4 inch. All are easy to use, thanks to their comfort-grip handles.

Each wrench has its size printed on the handle. The two storage cases keep your Allen wrenches neatly organized, but on the downside, they do not have sizes marked at each tool's slot. Still, it's easy to read the sizes on the wrench handles, so it's not a chore to quickly select the size you need. While somewhat more expensive than L-shaped hex wrenches, this is a great set if your work or hobbies require regular turning of hex screws.

Price at time of publish: $32

Set Size: 14 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric and SAE | Handle Style: T-shaped | Ball End: No

Best Professional

Wera Tools 9-Piece Long-Arm Hex Key Set

Wera Tools 05073593001 950 SPKL

Amazon

What We Like
  • Chamfered on one end, ball at the other

  • Coated for protection against rust

  • Color coded

What We Don't Like
  • Relatively expensive

  • Longer length might be a pro or a con, depending on your use

This professional set of metric hex wrenches is made of alloy steel with a thermoplastic sleeve—this makes it easier to grip the wrench, and it reduces the chances of rust or damage to the tool. Each wrench is brightly colored, which helps differentiate the sizes and helps make them easier to find when dropped. These Allen wrenches are designed to tolerate considerably more torque than most other brands, making them well-suited for work in the trades, including mechanics, plumbing, carpentry, millwork, or similar professions that need reliable tools to withstand rough working conditions.

The set includes nine metric wrenches in sizes 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 mm. Each is clearly marked with its size. The wrenches have ball ends on the long end, which allows you to drive screws in awkward or hard-to-access spots. The short end is chamfered for the utmost precision. The set includes a plastic clip-style holder that unfolds for easy access to the tools and won't take up too much space in your tool box.

Price at time of publish: $45

Set Size: 9 wrenches | Unit of Measure: Metric | Handle Style: L-shaped | Ball End: Yes

Final Verdict

If you want a very complete, sturdy, and versatile set of Allen wrenches in all of the most common metric and SAE sizes, then it’s hard to go wrong with our top choice, the Tekton 30-Piece Hex Key Wrench Set. But if you prefer a folding set of Allen wrenches, rather than the usual L-shaped tools, then we recommend the Texas Best Folding Hex Key Set.

What to Look for in Allen Wrench Sets

Allen wrenches, or "hex wrenches," aren’t particularly complicated hand tools. Most resemble an L-shaped piece of metal; either end can be fit into the corresponding size hexagonal nut to tighten or loosen the fastener. Thanks to the six sides of the hexagon, these wrenches apply even pressure to the fastener and are very unlikely to slip or to strip the nut, both of which can be issues with regular screwdrivers. 

Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing a set of Allen wrenches.

Unit of Measurement

There are two basic units of measure used for hex wrenches: metric and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which is also called "standard." SAE hex wrenches are sized in fractions of inches. While metric sizes are the most often used for common tasks such as assembling furniture or doing automotive work, there are times when SAE sizes are called for. That is why it’s a good idea to choose a set that includes wrenches in both units of measure.

Included Sizes

Allen wrenches come in a wide range of sizes, both in metric and in SAE measurements. That’s why these tools usually come in sets with five or more wrenches in various sizes for both systems of measurement. For general purposes, when working with SAE sizes, the 5/32 inch, 3/16 inch and 1/4 inch wrenches are some of the most often used. However, the full range of common SAE hex wrenches runs from 0.028 inch to 3/8 inch.

In the metric sizes, the full range of common sizes runs from 0.7 mm to 10 mm, but the most often used are generally 2.5 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, and 10 mm.

While there are hex wrenches that are larger and smaller than the common sizes listed above, they are usually for specialized purposes that the average DIYer is unlikely to face.

Handle Style

The most common hex wrench is the L-shaped tool. However, there are also hex wrenches with a T-shaped handle. This gives a better grip on the wrench and makes it easier to apply more force while turning the screw. P-handles are basically L-handles with extra cushioning for a better grip, and they are most often found on hex wrench sets intended for work on bicycles.

Folding hex wrenches are also quite popular. These wrench sets are something like a pocket knife in design. You fold out the specific wrench that you want to use, leaving the rest folded into the handle. Folding hex wrenches are convenient, because they are easily stored in a tool box and are harder to lose than individual wrenches, but generally, you can't apply quite as much torque as with a L-shaped or T-shaped hex wrench, and it can be harder to fit them into awkward or tight spots.

Material

The majority of Allen wrenches are made of carbon steel or alloy steel. Some heavy-duty sets, however, are made of vanadium steel, which is especially well suited to automotive or other industrial tasks.

Ball-End Wrenches

Most hex wrenches are straight, but you’ll find some sets with a slight ball at the longer end of the tool. These are especially useful when you need to reach into an awkward spot to reach the screw, as the ball lets you turn the wrench while holding it at a slight angle, usually up to 30 degrees. With a standard straight hex wrench, the tool must be straight in the screw socket in order to turn it effectively.

FAQ
  • Can you use a metric hex wrench for SAE screws or vice versa?

    Generally, the hexagonal screws that require the use of a hex wrench are very precise, and it will be difficult to turn the screw effectively with the wrong-sized tool.

  • Can you use a hex wrench in an electric drill?

    There are electric drill attachments made for holding a hex wrench, but be very careful when using the tool in this fashion. While it is nearly impossible to strip a hexagonal screw when turning a hex wrench by hand, you can strip or damage the screw with the superior force of a drill. If you must use an electric drill with your hex wrench, be sure to set the clutch to the lowest setting, so as to exert the least torque, and drill at a very slow speed, releasing the drill as soon as the screw is tight.

  • Which side of the hex wrench do you use?

    Most hex wrenches are L-shaped, and both ends are sized to fit into the corresponding hexagonal screw. As a general rule, using the long side of the tool to turn the screw makes it easier to reach into tight spaces, such as underneath a chair, but using the short side of the tool gives you better leverage when you need to apply more force.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Michelle Ullman is the home improvement/tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs around the house and yard.

For this roundup, she considered dozens of Allen wrench sets, evaluating each for effectiveness, weight, versatility, ergonomics, and overall value. She also considered feedback from customers, both positive and negative.