Milwaukee is coming out with new folding hex and Torx key sets.
The new folding hex key sets are designed to provide users with the easiest key access while wearing gloves.
Features include access zones, elevated keys, high contrast size markings, chamfered tool ends, rust and corrosion-resistant black oxide finish, and a full metal body for greater durability and to withstand high torque.
Each fold-out tool can rotate 270° for greater access and torque delivery in tight spaces.
There will be 3 tools – metric, SAE, and Torx.
The metric folding hex key set (48-22-2182) features 8 sizes – 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm.
The SAE folding hex key set (48-22-2181) features 9 sizes – 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″.
There will be a 2pc bundle (48-22-2183) with SAE and metric folding hex key sets.
The folding Torx key set (48-22-2184) features 8 sizes – T9, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, T40.
Pricing: $16.97, $29.97 for the SAE + metric 2pc set
ETA: February 2023
The metal body is a welcome feature, as is the tool access notch.
The “elevated keys” aspect should also help with tool retrieval.
From the product images, it looks like the pivots have hex-recess fasteners, which I take as an indication they can potentially be loosened or tightened up over time.
The metal body, easier-access tools, clear markings – and color coded to tell the folding tool sets apart from each – all seem like compelling features.
The pricing seems a bit high – for folding hex key sets – but could be justified if the quality and user experience are a step or two above others currently on the market.
If you cannot justify the $17 price tag for individual tool sets, take a look at Bondhus. I prefer standard L-shaped Allen keys or T-handle hex wrenches, but folding hex key sets are convenient at times, not to mention comfortably pocketable.
Bondhus sets are typically priced at $6 – 8.
It’s not a new concept, for folding hex key sets to have metal housings, although all of the ones I’ve seen resemble the Klein Tools set shown here.
I have been hesitant to try “classic” styles of folding hex key sets like this, based on memorably poor experiences with my father’s tools when I was younger.
The Klein Tools folding hex key sets are typically $8 – $10.
Who are these for?
Milwaukee Tool depicts their new folding hex and Torx key sets being used for a wide range of tasks, and by users with both bare and gloves hands.
They show the tools being used on plumbing fixtures, bathroom hardware, hand rails, industrial applications, control panels, and even in attaching a belt clip to an M18 drill or driver.
Generally, folding hex key sets are useful when you need or want a range of sizes in a pocketable package. The housings can also serve as more comfortable handles for higher torque delivery.
What’s your take on the new Milwaukee folding hex and Torx key sets, or folding tool sets in general?