The Main Differences Between Torx and Allen Keys 

 January 10, 2023

Both torx keys and Allen keys make an important addition to your toolbox, supporting a range of professional and household tasks and helping you achieve a consistently high standard of work.

By learning to recognise the main differences between torx and Allen keys, you can develop a stronger understanding of which tools are the right ones for you. This can help you make informed decisions when choosing tools and deciding how to approach new building or repair projects.

Wondering about the differences between torx and Allen keys and how this could affect your work? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is a torx key?

Torx keys are designed with a star-shaped bit, featuring six sides. For this reason, torx keys are often called star screwdrivers, and they are often compatible as part of a drill bit set.

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Also called a torz fastener, torx bit, or torx wrench, torx keys are designed to suit a range of different industries and applications. They are able to work to tighten or loosen fasteners that share their six-sided star-shaped grip.

Most commonly, torx keys are used for automotive applications, where their unique shape is an asset. However, torx keys can also be used in a variety of other tasks where the star shape grip is required.

What is an Allen key?

An Allen key is an L-shaped tool with a hexagonal cross-section. These tools are designed to work with a range of fasteners to tighten and loosen, providing great grip and torque.

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Also known as an Allen wrench, hex key, or hexagonal socket, an Allen key is it a versatile tool suitable for use across a variety of tasks and industries. Allen keys of different sizes can be used diversely to manipulate fasteners with ease.

Generally, Allen keys are used for small-scale industrial projects, as well as automotive repairs and consumer electronic projects. Allen keys are also commonly used for toy assembly and assembling flatpack furniture.

Key differences and similarities

While torx keys and Allen keys are often confused with one another, these are two very different tools.

A torx key has a star shape, while an Allen key has a hexagon shape. This means that both of these keys are designed for use with different fastener types and shapes. Using an Allen key on a torx screw won’t work, and nor can a torx key manipulate a hexagon-shaped screw.

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With this said, both torx and Allen keys perform a similar function, providing grip and torque to manipulate fasteners and using an ergonomic design to make it easier to apply force.

If you want to ensure you always have the tools you need to complete tasks confidently and to the highest possible standard, it’s good idea to ensure that you have a well-equipped set of both torx and Allen keys available. This way, you’ll never be without the tool you need to work with the fasteners at hand.


Do you need great-quality torx or Allen keys? Visit the RS online store, and shop online today!

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