The next thing to consider is keeping your hex keys organized. Does your hex key set have a case where the correct wrench will only fit into the right place? Is each hex key labeled with its name, size, and system? You don’t want to use a 2mm wrench when you need a 1/16 SAE one; you might strip the bolt you’re trying to loosen! Don’t worry: Every product we found has the size and system written on the side of the wrench.
Finally, we have measurements. Do you need a MM (metric) set, an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) set or both? We’ve chosen three products that include both types, so you don’t have to choose! Whether your project uses millimeters or inches, we have the toolset for you.
The most useful type of hex wrenches have three key features: They are L-shaped, long-armed, and ball-ended. The L-shape and long arm give the hex key better reach and better grip to tighten or loosen joints. The ball end allows you to fit the wrench in when the bolt is at an odd angle.
Another reason to use L-shaped wrenches is that unlike the folding hex key set, they allow you to move your wrench into joints that have obstructions or weird angles, and you can use the long or short end of the wrench to suit the position of the bolt and what direction you need it to turn.
Best 36-piece Set
This set gives you every hex key you will ever need, with 18 SAE and 18 MM sizes in both long arm and short arm forms. Be sure you’ll never confuse your wrenches again. The dimensions are marked on each wrench. They are made from industrial-strength carbon steel, and you can quickly tell your SAE and MM keys apart by their chrome and black oxide finishes.
Best 26-piece Set
With this 26-piece set, you have all of the most common SAE and MM hex keys you need for your projects. The ball end design of these wrenches lets you reach around obstructions with an entry angle up to 25 degrees for those hard-to-reach bolts.
This kit was designed with practicality in mind. The storage case opens flat, making it easier to find and replace the right hex key, and it’s color-coded, so you always know if you have an SAE or MM wrench in your hand.
Best Heat-treated Steel
This is the set for you if you work on a lot of projects. Made from heat-treated S2 steel for strength and performance, these are stronger than the standard chrome vanadium steel hex wrenches you’ve used before. The bonus T-handle is included and helps reduce pressure points during regular use. It adds comfort and torque when you’re working on stubborn tight or loose fasteners.
Picking the right hex key set for your toolbox involves more than looking for the best price. You need to consider several factors when choosing the right set for you. Do you need a set that will fit in your tool bag in the back of your car, or a heavy-duty set that will stand up to daily use with your woodworking projects? Do you need the most common sizes, or do you need a full set for every possible project?
Keep in mind that each of these sets is color-coordinated by sizes and the cases and wrenches have their dimensions written on them. We’ve selected a variety of wrench sets for you to choose for your home projects.