I used three different types of hex tools today – a single hex key size, 2 sizes of T-handle ball hex drivers, and a ball end hex socket.
Yes, a ball hex driver socket.
I bought this socket (Proto, 3/8″ drive, 1/4″ ball hex size) a few months ago for a specific project, and it has come in handy a few times since then. For that project, I had obstructed fasteners (and so only a ball hex driver can be used), but I knew in advance that my Bondhus T-handle ball hex driver was too long.
Additionally, my T-handle driver requires at least a 60° swing, or else I need a lower profile tool. Even the coarsest-tooth ratchet in my toolbox can work with a far smaller swing arc.
I use the ball hex socket every so often, usually with a Wera Zylops flex-head ratchet because of its smaller size, but I have also used it with a sliding handle. The Zyklops is not ideal, as the socket pops off its quick-release ball detent a little too easily.
The one size cost me $12.50, but I can currently find it from other Proto suppliers for around $10 and change. A 7pc inch set can be found for as low as $56 (via Amazon).
There are other makers as well, but I knew this size would see a lot of use, leading me to spring for Proto’s USA-made industrial-grade option. I’d probably go with a less expensive brand for a starter set, upgrading if I used the tools often.
Buy Now(Ball Hex Sockets via Amazon)
Who else uses ball hex driver sockets?