Not all fasteners require the use of a screwdriver to install or remove. There are different types of fasteners. While fasteners with a slotted or Philips head typically require a screwdriver, those with a hexagonal recess only require a hex key. Hex keys are simple, manually operated tools that are used to install and remove fasteners with a hexagonal recess. Below are five benefits of using hex keys.
#1) Allows for High Torque
With their hexagonal shape, hex keys allow for high torque. Torque is the turning force of an object or tool. Whether you’re trying to install or remove a fastener, you’ll have to place a hex key into the fastener’s head, followed by turning it. Hey keys, however, feature a hexagonal shape that matches that of the fastener’s head. They will grip the fastener’s head on six surfaces so that you can easily turn them.
#2) Requires Minimal Clearance
You don’t need much space to use hex keys. They are small tools that can require less clearance than traditional screwdrivers and wrenches. Most hex keys, in fact, feature two arms. They have a long arm and a short arm, both of which are hexagonal. While the long arm allows for greater torque, the short arm will accommodate smaller spaces.
#3) Protects Fasteners From Damage
Hex keys won’t damage the fasteners with which they are used. As previously mentioned, they are designed to grip the head of fasteners on six surfaces. Hexagons have side sides. Therefore, hex keys have six points of contact. This means they’ll distribute the torque equally across six surfaces while subsequently protecting the head from damage. Hex keys are also manually operated. Powered tools carry a greater risk of damage to fasteners. With manually operated tools like hex keys, there’s little or no risk of damage to fasteners.
#4) Can Be Reconditioned
Hex keys can even be reconditioned. Over time, the end of a hex key’s long arm or short arm may wear out. Rather than featuring a sharp hexagonal shape, the end may be smooth. If this occurs, reconditioning may restore the hex key. The worn end of the hex key can be the grinding down, thus restoring it to its original and sharp hexagonal shape.
Of course, hex keys are inexpensive. They are simple tools constructed of solid pieces of metal. Some of them are made of stainless steel, whereas other hex keys are made of carbon steel. Regardless, hex keys typically cost less than traditional screwdrivers and wrenches.