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T Handle Allen Key Sets

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William Harvey 108/05/2021 09:30:45
25 forum posts

Hi,

I am looking for a decent set of T Handle Allen Keys for use with our Warco WM180 Lathe.

The allen keys supplied appear to be 2 - 6mm along with a 2.5mm?

Any recommended suppliers / sets?

Many thanks

Chris Evans 608/05/2021 09:40:19
avatar
1923 forum posts

I have a cheapish "Draper" set on the wall behind my lathe. Main sizes used are 2.5 5 and 6mm. The set goes up to 10mm. No issues with them in 8 or 9 years of use.

Andrew Tinsley08/05/2021 09:54:18
1418 forum posts

I use an Aldi el cheapo set and they have been excellent so far.

Andrew.

William Harvey 108/05/2021 10:08:05
25 forum posts

Hi,

I have found these and these.

Both seem OK?

Mike Poole08/05/2021 10:30:22
avatar
Moderator
2989 forum posts
71 photos

Eklind and Bondhus are my favourite brands, unfortunately they are not cheap but they are good.

Mike

ega08/05/2021 10:38:45
2140 forum posts
176 photos

I like the Bondhus ball-ended drivers.

Vintage Unbrako seem good quality.

Bill Phinn08/05/2021 11:18:51
512 forum posts
81 photos

The Park Tool "P wrenches" I've had for many years are good quality. They have ball ends. Kennedy Pro-Torq T-handled hexagon ball drivers also seem decent quality.

Faithfull and Neilsen are an unknown quantity to me. They could well be quite serviceable, like a Toolstation set of hex keys I bought about 18 years ago, or they could be like the Tesco set someone once bought me that I think were made of old Camembert.

John Billard 108/05/2021 12:26:45
88 forum posts

MSC Industrial have them on offer at the moment, an 8 piece set for £16.99. Plus VAT and carriage. Order for the next day. They are US made and good quality.

John B

Dr. MC Black08/05/2021 17:45:40
228 forum posts
1 photos

I had a set of T-handled Hex Wrenches from a local firm in Standon (which has now closed its Trade Counter and only supplies by Mail Order).

I found that one of the handles turned but NOT the hex shaft - so I took it back where it was refubded without argument.

I also have a set from Aldi - and they have NOT let me down yet.

MC

ega08/05/2021 18:29:12
2140 forum posts
176 photos
Posted by Dr. MC Black on 08/05/2021 17:45:40:

I had a set of T-handled Hex Wrenches from a local firm in Standon (which has now closed its Trade Counter and only supplies by Mail Order).

I found that one of the handles turned but NOT the hex shaft - so I took it back where it was refubded without argument.

...

I admit to being surprised by this unfortunate experience as my impression was that these "tee handled" tools are essentially ordinary Allen wrenches wrapped in a plastic tee-shaped handle so that the hex shaft is obliged to turn with the handle.

Can you comment?

Bill Phinn08/05/2021 18:44:27
512 forum posts
81 photos
Posted by ega on 08/05/2021 18:29:12:

Can you comment?

I suspect MC is talking about the type of T handle wrench that has only one business end, i.e. at the foot of the T. Presumably these do not always have the short arm of an ordinary allen wrench hiding somewhat redundantly inside the plastic handle.

Come to think of it, if I'm right, I'd be interested to know what they do have.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 08/05/2021 18:49:10

Frances IoM08/05/2021 18:50:23
1118 forum posts
27 photos
the only allen key that is used most of the time is the 6mm for the tool post - just buy a couple of these and paint in fluorescent colours (mine are lime green) because unless you are one of the 10% who always replace a tool in its recognised place you will need to pick it out among the swarf.
One of the things I have meant to do for a long time is to replace the cap heads, which gather swarf, with square head screws
Dr. MC Black08/05/2021 19:02:04
228 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Bill Phinn on 08/05/2021 18:44:27:
Posted by ega on 08/05/2021 18:29:12:

Can you comment?

I suspect MC is talking about the type of T handle wrench that has only one business end, i.e. at the foot of the T. Presumably these do not always have the short arm of an ordinary allen wrench hiding somewhat redundantly inside the plastic handle.

Come to think of it, if I'm right, I'd be interested to know what they do have.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 08/05/2021 18:49:10

I think they must have had a metal shank inside a moulded plastic handle but they were returned to the company and I did not take any apart to investigate the construction.

The set currently offered have the "short end" poking out of the handle so presumably have an Allan key hidden inside the plastic.

MC

Bob Stevenson08/05/2021 21:44:04
514 forum posts
7 photos

When I aquired my WM180 three years ago I bought a set by 'Silverline' comprising 10 hex T handles from 2 to 10mm including 2.5, 4.5 & 5.5mm I don't normally use/need the 9 & 10mm.

Silverline is a low/mid price supplier but the T handles have been completely excellent and live under my bench for use on WM180 and several other tools/machines.........The only thing I don't really like is that they are blue!!

Dr. MC Black08/05/2021 23:33:09
228 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Bob Stevenson on 08/05/2021 21:44:04:
The only thing I don't really like is that they are blue!!

I think that blue is "Silverline's colour"

My Aldi (or was it Lidl) set have red handles but I used a silver coloured marker to put codes on the handles so I can easily see which is which.

I made a stand for them by boring holes into a length of 2 x 2 (or should that be 50 x 50mm) wood. That sits in a cupboard under my bandsaw.

Bob Stevenson09/05/2021 07:47:55
514 forum posts
7 photos

Dr Black........you have reminded me that I should have mentioned that the Silverline hex’s come with a folded steel rack which has slotted eye-holes so can be readily unclipped from bench and taken to car or washing machine etc

Anthony Knights09/05/2021 08:19:21
509 forum posts
209 photos

I made my set myself (because I could).t handle wrenches.jpg

Journeyman09/05/2021 09:38:33
avatar
984 forum posts
182 photos
Posted by Anthony Knights on 09/05/2021 08:19:21:

I made my set myself (because I could).

That's a neat idea. How did you secure the hex key into the handle? Would make a good beginners project.

John

ega09/05/2021 10:04:59
2140 forum posts
176 photos
Posted by Dr. MC Black on 08/05/2021 19:02:04:
Posted by Bill Phinn on 08/05/2021 18:44:27:
Posted by ega on 08/05/2021 18:29:12:

Can you comment?

I suspect MC is talking about the type of T handle wrench that has only one business end, i.e. at the foot of the T. Presumably these do not always have the short arm of an ordinary allen wrench hiding somewhat redundantly inside the plastic handle.

Come to think of it, if I'm right, I'd be interested to know what they do have.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 08/05/2021 18:49:10

I think they must have had a metal shank inside a moulded plastic handle but they were returned to the company and I did not take any apart to investigate the construction.

The set currently offered have the "short end" poking out of the handle so presumably have an Allan key hidden inside the plastic.

MC

Thank you both.

Clearly, there is more than one way to make these; the screwdriver type, which I favour for light work, obviously has the shank moulded into the handle and, of course, no short leg. I have one or two vintage Unbrako brand tees with forged handles and the shank located by a set screw in a hex recess in the forging; not pretty but they are strong.

For a cheap, simple tool however the standard Allen key takes some beating.

Dr. MC Black09/05/2021 10:49:08
228 forum posts
1 photos

I have some Ball-ended Bondhus ones of the Screwdriver Type which I use for my Taig Lathe (which uses strange American size screws). I find then excellent. But they were expensive!

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