We have written about special hex keys and drivers many times before. Klein’s Journeyman sets have large L-wrenches and cushion grip handles. PB Swiss’s new inch sets (and even more metric sets) are rainbow color-coded. Wiha’s MagicRing hex keys have fastener retention clips. Astro Pneumatics’ have male and female hex tips for 3-in-1 versatility.
These Mayhew Select hex keys are unique in how they’re twisted all the way through. Prior to heat treatment, Mayhew twists the shanks of these S2 tool steel hex keys. This is supposed to increase the torque capacity of the hex keys.
Twisting the shafts of the hex keys prior to heat treatment *should* improve the hex keys’ resistance to torsion forces. Or at least it should raise the amount of torque that would cause the hex keys to deform, break, or otherwise fail.
When turning a stubborn fastener with straight hex keys, excess energy is going to be converted and lost either through damage to the fastener, or through flex of the hex key shaft. Since these Mayhew hex keys are twisted, there should be strong internal forces that try to resist additional twisting or flexing in any direction.
What this means is that Mayhew’s Select twisted hex keys should remain straighter, stronger, and more rigid at higher torque levels.
In theory, there are some advantages to these twisted hex keys, but it’s hard to say whether users will really benefit from the twisted design in practice. Still, these look like very interesting and decent hex keys that are affordably priced.
The hex keys are color-coded orange for inch and red for metric, and all action areas are manganese-phosphate-coated for wear resistance.
Both sets come with 9 sizes and a holder. They’re priced in the $20-25 range (each), and are made in the USA*.
*There has been 1 report that these are no longer made in the USA.