What are Hexagon and Torx Keys?
Hexagon and Torx keys are simple tools designed for turning their corresponding fasteners. No matter whether you are a professional or a keen DIYer, having both a hexagon and torx key close to hand at all times can ensure that you’re not slowed down when you come across a fastener.
What is a Hexagon Key?
A hexagon key is for tightening and undoing fasteners – bolts and screws – that have hexagonal (six-sided) indents, or recesses, in their heads.
These are known as “in-hex” (short for internal hexagon) heads. Whilst they may occasionally be available individually, they are more generally sold as sets, with different types available for various circumstances.
Why are they called a Hexagon Key?
Hexagon keys get their name from the hexagonal cross-section of the bar from which they are made. This shape fits into the fastener which is to be turned, just like a key fits into a lock.
What is a Torx Key?
A Torx key is for tightening and undoing fasteners – bolts and screws – that have Torx (six-pointed, star-like) indents, or recesses, in their heads.
While Torx keys may occasionally be available individually, they are more generally sold as sets, with different types available for various circumstances.
Other Named for Hexagon and Torx Keys
Hexagon keys are also known by several other names including hex key, hex wrench, Allen key, and Allen wrench. Torx is a brand name trademark for fastener heads and keys that have a six-point, star-like pattern.
The generic name given to Torx fasteners and keys by ISO (the International Organisation for Standardisation – or more information see What standards are associated with Torx and hex keys?) is hexalobular, although virtually no one uses this name.
Instead they will more commonly be referred to by the generic terms “star” or “six-point”.
What is the difference between a Hexagon and Torx Key?
Torx keys at first glance look very similar to hex keys. However, Torx keys have a six-pointed star-like shape, instead of the six flat sides of a hex key.
Unlike hex keys, which usually have a hexagonal cross-section along their entire length, Torx keys frequently have a circular cross-section, with the Torx shape only appearing at the ends of the tool.