Wera Tools is a brand passionate about creating high quality tools with a rebellious spirit. Their website and slogan are blasted with their “Be a Tool Rebel,” mantra and from the pictures of their dedicated team of employees, it seems they truly live what they sell. If you have not heard of them before, Wera is a German tool manufacturer with a huge offering of bad ass tools. Wouldn’t you know it, the precise eye for detail that we all tease Germans for is readily apparent, even in these “simple” hex wrenches.
What led me to spending this much money on a set of hexes? Well, I had owned the same set of old Park Tools T-handle hex wrenches for nearly ten years, besides disliking the color blue, the wrenches were starting to round, and slip in less than premium cut hardware. I’d been eyeing these Wera wrenches for quite some time on our retail partner, CompetitiveCyclist.com’s website and after about four months I decided it was time to pull the trigger.
Many of you may call hex wrenches Allen wrenches and in some way you would be correct. Much like a person could call a tissue a Kleenex, a hex wrench is regularly called an Allen. Apex tool group owns a company called Allen Hand Tools, which is a brand most famously known for creating hexagonal set screws and wrenches to fasten them. Since they were created by the Allen Tool company, they became known as Allen wrenches or the generic term hex keys. So, if you don’t know, now you know…and knowledge is power.
Wera’s 7-piece kit comes with wrenches from 2.5mm – 10mm. We would love to see a 2mm included.
This seven-piece T-handle Hex-Plus kit oozes refinement and if that statement makes you laugh well, you are not entirely alone, but chances are you are not the person that would be spending over $100 on a set of hex wrenches. We were honestly a bit unsure as to what would justify the high price tag and while we still think it is pretty high there is no denying the ergonomic feel, finish, and performance of these tools is unlike any other Allen’s we have used. Granted we are not World Cup mechanics and have not grabbed all that many elite hex keys, but we would wager these are up there with the best.
Top of the line tools come with top-of-the-line features like color coded numbers and circles on top of the tool’s handle to easily spot them on the rack or while lying on your tool bench. Each type of tool from Torq to hex to sockets have their own color with the number clearly printed inside that colored circle on the handle. Speaking of the handle, it is a large ergonomically shaped paddle that allows for a very natural grasp in multiple different hand positions. The combination of the handle shape and the strength and quality of the tool allowed us to loosen and tighten hardware in ways our worn-out Park tool simply would not have. Another feature that allows us to really loosen up those tight bolts is Wera’s Hex-Plus bits. Their Hex-Plus tools have larger contact surfaces which help prevent the damaging and rounding of edges and corners.
Something else we love about our new Wera T-handle hex wrenches is tool’s retention system. Near the end of the long arm there is a small detent-style ball that keeps hardware on the tool making removal an installation of bolts a breeze. This fascinating system slides into the tool and then pops out once inside the head of the bolt and holds it in place securely.
Over the last few months, we have built numerous test bikes torn them down to be shipped back to companies and done countless wheel and tire swaps. During that period, we have had several different hands using these tools and they have all commented on how nice they feel and how well they fit each bolt. While we understand the tools are brand new compared to a decade old set, we have used plenty of new Allen wrenches over the years and these fit the widest variety of hardware well, are cut nicely and hold hardware better than anything we have used. And to help preserve your investment, Wera has given the tools a special surface treatment that is highly corrosion resistant.
The bolt retention system almost justifies the purchase price alone! No more dropping shock or linkage bolts!
The price tag on Wera’s T-handle Hex-Plus wrench set may cause a few casual tinkerers to pause, and rightfully so. When Harbor Freight sells a complete set for a fraction of the price, you could probably replace them three times before getting to the break-even point on a set of Wera tools. But not everyone shops for tools at Harbor Freight and if you are someone who loves the feeling of a high-quality tool in your hand, are regularly working on bikes or just want the benefit of a neatly labeled, super comfortable hex wrench, then do yourself a favor and swoop these up! It took us a long time to pull the trigger, and while we could still be spinning our old worn-out hexes, there is something special about grabbing up a quality piece like these and going to work. Plus, the fact we’ve not dropped a single linkage bolt, or shock bolt in a hard-to-reach spot has made the purchase well worth it alone! Life’s too short to have crappy tools, go for it. Our only real wish is that we think the kit should come with eight tools, so we could have a 2mm as well.
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.