Hex Key vs Allen Wrench – Are Hex and Allen Key Same Things?

Hex key and Allen wrench these two tools you may see at least once in your regular life, and maybe many will be familiar with them. However, if you look closely at both hex key and allen wrench tools at least once, you may see that the two devices are the same.

So if the two tools look the same, what is the difference between a hex key and an allen wrench? Is a hex key an allen key? There are also many more questions in your mind that are confusing you.

Well, no more confusing; in this article, we have come up with answers to all your hex key vs allen wrench related questions. And this article will help you know more about using the hex key and allen wrench and learning more about them in more depth. So let’s get started.

What is the Difference Between Hex Key vs Allen Wrench

The hex key and allen wrench are the most used tools in the motor industry; many of us think these two tools are different. But in reality, these two tools are the same; basically, the name of a tool is known in two ways.

If we look at its previous history, we can see that the hex key appeared around 1800 to be used with other tools in the field of repairing various industrial machinery.

Allen Manufacturing Company began building hex keys in the US around 1910, and they later renamed the tool on their organization name Allen Wrench.

Hex keys are known as Allen wrench at different times. The primary function of the two tools is to tighten and loosen small nuts and bolts of other materials. And there is no difference between the two tools.

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However, there are hex/allen wrenches of different designs that have been designed for various specific work fields. So let’s get familiarised with some of the hex/allen wrenches.

Types of Hex Key

Hex Key vs Allen Wrench

You can see different sizes and different styles of Hex key or Allen wrench in different functions. The main reason is to find the best comfortable hex key according to your project. Below we have highlighted a few types of hex keys so that you can easily get informed about them.

L-Style Hex Wrench

The most common model of Hex key or Allen wrench is L style. Its design is much like the L shape so that it can be easily set with other tools as well as work by hand and with the help of power tools.

You can see the most L-shaped hex key or allen wrench in the market, and all types of mechanics have this kind of tool. It is much easier to use. Usually, you can see a 1.5mm to 10mm in size L style hex wrench.

P-Handle Hex Wrench

The P handle Allen wrench is very popular, especially for professional work; it looks a lot like a big L shape, but it has a grip to handle it comfortably. It is designed for professional-level work, which makes it look like a P design. For which it is easily known as a P handle hex/allen wrench.

T-Handle Allen Wrench

The T-handle Allen wrench tool is very popular in the automotive and motorsport field, and it is designed in a great way so that it can produce torque ideally. The reason behind its name being T handle is the same reason as the previous Allen wrench. 

Its shape is very similar to the T design, and a comfortable grip is provided at the top so that it can easily produce pressure in the field of tightening and loosening of motorcycle repairing parts.

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Folding Hex Key

After hearing the folding name, you may have already recognized what kind of design this hex key is. It is designed like a folding army swiss knife and has different sizes of hex keys that will help you a lot in using it in different places. It is also designed to be portable so that you can easily transport it with you.

Hex Key or Allen Wrench Features

Hex Key vs Allen Wrench

The Hex/Allen wrench has many common features that make it one of the best tools in the motor and automotive industry. Some of its great features are highlighted below.


The Hex key is a very durable tool made with hardened and tempered chrome vanadium steel, which makes it highly durable for any hard work. Even if you give higher pressure in the field of its use, you can ensure that there is no chance of breaking. It is also designed in such a way that it can be easily used in any kind of space.


Hex/Allen wrench comes in many sizes and variety; its size range is usually from 7mm to 22mm or 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch. 

Multiple Tools

Hex/Allen wrench is a very budget-friendly tool; that’s why you can get multiple tools of different sizes together at a low price. It is also very easy to use; you can effortlessly get the best torque output with less force.


You may already know that the allen/hex wrench is a very popular portable tool set, especially for bike maintenance. It is very helpful in repairing different sizes of bike parts and various problems in tight spaces.

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In addition, it is a very useful tool for use in the field of repairing various small engine parts of cars and motor vehicles.

It also helps a lot in the field of various screw tightening and loosening of furniture. Also, the hex/allen wrench is an excellent tool for daily small repairing, tightening and loosening tasks.

Pros and Cons

Hex Key:


  • Cost-effective and widely available in hardware stores.
  • Comes in various sizes, providing versatility for different applications.
  • Suitable for general-purpose tasks and occasional use.


  • Some low-quality hex keys may be prone to bending or breaking with excessive force.
  • Lacks the precision and durability of higher-quality tools.

Allen Wrench:


  • Branded versions (Allen wrenches) are often of higher quality and more durable.
  • Less likely to bend or deform under heavy torque.
  • The preferred choice for professionals or heavy-duty applications.


  • Branded versions may be more expensive compared to generic hex keys.
  • For casual users, the added quality may not be necessary.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, you have been able to clarify what is the difference between hex key vs allen wrench through this article. If we are simply answering, it’s actually the same tools, just different names. 

It is a perfect choice, especially when working in tight spaces. With the help of its different sizes and types you can use it in various applications.

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