What is a double ended radiator key?

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 Parts of a double-ended radiator key 
 Double-ended radiator key 

The parts of a double-ended radiator key are:


  • Handle

  • 'Hex' end for internal hexagon valve tails

  • Grooves in the hex end for valves that have internal lugs rather than internal hexagon shapes

  • Square profiled end for fixing and removing bleed plugs and blanking plugs

  • A hole in the end of the square profile to give clearance to the bleed screw when working with bleed plugs

 Double-ended radiator key 

A double-ended radiator key has a 10mm square on one end for installation of 1/2 inch air vent plugs and half-inch blanking plugs.


A blanking plug simply plugs, or blanks off, one of the top two tappings - internally threaded holes into which valves can be fitted - of a radiator.

 Square end of double-ended radiator key 

The square end is often described as a 'machined' end. 'Machined' means the square shape has been made by milling the end with a machine, rather than it being cast or moulded  in that shape.

 Hex end of double-ended radiator key 

The other, hexagonal (six-sided), end of the double ended key is for the installation and removal of radiator valve tails which have a hexagonal (six-sided) internal shape.

 Allen or hex radiator key with grooves 

Some radiator valves have internal lugs - small projections like studs that provide the grip for a spanner. The double-ended key has grooves along its valve-tail end for the removal of this kind of tail.


For step-by-step guides to using this and some other keys, see:   How to fit and remove blanking plugs and bleed plugsand  How to fit and remove valve tails

 Double-ended radiator key 

This key is usually made of high tensile steel which is galvanised or zinc coated for corrosion protection.

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