Author Topic: TSO customer preference question: Hex Driver - Ball or straight Hex  (Read 2284 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TSO_Products

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 294
    • TSO Products LLC
Hello FOG - listening to customer as we do, we ask for your input regarding the 3mm and 5mm Hex Drivers we supply with our tools.

Request for responses from FOG readers:

TSO's applications involve occasional or frequent adjusting or tightening do not require maximum torque tightening of the socket head fasteners used in the following tools:

Which Hex Driver style do you prefer:
          Ball Hex Driver________

          Straight Hex Driver____


As you know, TSO listens.

The only problems we have seen in the past was a supplier mix up in the 3mm blade diameter.
We have taken steps to standardize our smaller fasteners to work with 3mm hex drivers on all smaller fasteners but tooling custom fasteners not available commercially.  We will develop several upgrade options in the fourth Quarter 2020 for tools already in customer hands.

GRS-16 series Guide Rail Squares
MTR-18 and PTR-18 Triangles
TPG-series Parallel Guides, FlipStops and TPG Adapters
DBF-45 series BigFoot


We look forward to your quick responses!

Hans and Eric

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Chris Cianci

  • Posts: 100
Ball hex driver for me,
I love your products and service and your relentless commitment to help us
Best

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4820
Ball

Offline knuckles

  • Posts: 16
Ball.

Offline doug H

  • Posts: 24
Ball hex

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 93
Ball hex, like the nice 3mm one that comes with the Festool MFS 400 & 700.
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline vkumar

  • Posts: 514
Ball Hex
Vijay Kumar

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 97
Ball hex.  I wish the Incra products came with ball hex.  Because they are imperial hex keys, I have a difficult time finding ball hex replacements.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7511
+8 ball hex

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 667
„Ball“ hex driver here as well.

From the German perspective, I can recommend the Wera ones.
Festool is shipping „Witte“ drivers with the MFS for example, but I have already broken a couple of those and replaced them with Weras which have been feeling studier and held up to the use better.

I‘m sure you will pick quality, as always! :)

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 1226
Ball of course  [wink]

T-Shape or Hand-Grip medium length
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 12:29 PM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 334
Hans and Eric,

I generally prefer ball hex drivers, but think 3mm ball head might be on the small side.

I have a set of metric and imperial T-handle hex ball drivers that I prefer over the ones that come with other products.    For example, Bondhus 13187 Set of 8 Balldriver and Hex T-handles

I note that while all of the sizes above 3mm are ball ends, 3mm and below are straight.   I assume that the ball ends in small sizes are too weak.

Hope this is helpful.

Bob
 

Offline vkumar

  • Posts: 514
Excellent point @rmhinden . Didn't think of the fact that 3mm is quite small.
Vijay Kumar

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4820
3mm is small but Hans says the torque required is low.

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 155
@MikeGE: I had the same problem with SAE Allen keys in Europe. A couple of years ago I bought a SAE set from Tengtools and I am very glad with them. Maybe you can get those in Germany?

https://tengtoolsusa.com/collections/hex-tx-keys/products/teng-tools-tthex7af-7-piece-t-handle-af-sae-hex-key-set

I know Wiha have SAE sized Inbusschlüssel as well. See

https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Wiha-72596-Hex-SAE-Pieces/dp/B01BXBWXW2

and

https://www.amazon.de/Wiha-35393-Pieces-Torx-Hex/dp/B003N9B6BC/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=sechskant+SAE&qid=1594227683&s=diy&sr=1-4


Offline TSO_Products

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 294
    • TSO Products LLC
Terrific responses!  very much appreciated

we look for more data and any reports of difficulty tracing to the 3mm Ball in particular other than the manufacturer's size mistake or other manufacturing defect.

We specifically do not want to provide T-handle Drivers:
T-handles are slower to make multiple turns with
T-handles provide the ability for greater un-needed torque application which is undesirable

Hans

PS: Forggot to mention the GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector also uses the 3mm Hex Driver

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 839
3mm allen/hex is very small.  The problem is they strip out when going to torque on the fastener. It's one of the reasons torx exist. Which for anything really should be the answer.  On small sizes they are far more durable and is one of the reasons basically everything mass produced anymore uses torx on small screws.

Ball ends at 3mm and down being hard to find it understandable, you will be really asking to strip the allen socket.

Torx patents have expired and fastener standards bodies have now adopted them, thus they are no longer a special or expensive fastener.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 03:34 PM by DeformedTree »

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 93
I don't call 3mm small. With a good quality driver there shouldn't be any issues. If there are then its being over torqued I would say. A 3mm key will be for a small screw, which means low torque applications.

Or possibly the screw is made of poor material.

I agree with TSO stating that T-handles are not recommended.

Anyone who has the Festool MFS set will know that the ball ended driver is essential to tighten the screws.
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Roachmill

  • Posts: 219
Balls are best (when you're not straining them).

Thanks for letting me type that!

Offline Dusty.Tools

  • Posts: 289
    • Dusty.Tools
TSO customer preference question: Hex Driver - Ball or straight Hex
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2020, 02:39 PM »
I have a kit of 2/2.5/3/4mm Ball head Wera for my 3D printer. No complaints at all, so I would definitely vote for ball.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 03:32 PM by Dusty.Tools »
@dusty.tools

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 930
Ball in general, but I assume you would combine our input with your own usability testing :) .  On a 3mm hex driver, quality of steel might make a bigger difference than for the 5mm driver.


Thanks for asking!

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 839
The too much torque is just something that is hard to control,  a M4 screw only gets torqued to a few ft-lb (I know, unit mixing), so it's so easy to over torque without even trying.  The Hex design doesn't scale down well to handle this. TSO is right to not want to offer something that lets people good a good wrenching on it.

An M4 screw with torx takes a T-20,  this is what we use on impact drivers putting in wood screws.  It's a big difference, you won't damage the screw easy.

Obviously anything is better than a flat or a Phillips, but now, even hex/allen is a bit annoying verses a torx/star.   


Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 873
With how many times I have seen stripped out hex head bolts, my recommendation would be for a straight hex key for the masses. Unless there is an odd angle I personally never grab a ball hex. Even then I will often break it loose with a straight hex, then switch to a ball hex. Just seen too many people over tighten and strip hex head bolts trying to remove them.

Quality of tools usually means everything and definitely comes into play with hex keys. Snap-on's hex keys can twist and distort even though they are super hard. I would not expect TSO to supply Snap-on quality hex keys, but I also wouldn't expect to see junk.

Although for screws torx is king, as far as tool strength, one is more likely to break a torx over a hex head. I myself have had to warranty far more torx bits, then hex.

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
Probably silly, but how about none?

Most of us have one (guessing). Make it optional and let customer pick if he needs one and if so which type.

My guess, lots of these “supplied” tools endup unused.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 839
Probably silly, but how about none?

Most of us have one (guessing). Make it optional and let customer pick if he needs one and if so which type.

My guess, lots of these “supplied” tools endup unused.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wait, are you saying you don't solely used the stamped sheet metal "wrench" that comes with a product?  How do you know you want damage things if you don't use it?

Also, post like yours could cause mass panic at the Ikea Wrench factory.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 234
There have been plenty of responses, but I'll add my preference which is Ball.

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
LOL.

I think they go on strike!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 169
With how many times I have seen stripped out hex head bolts, my recommendation would be for a straight hex key for the masses. Unless there is an odd angle I personally never grab a ball hex. Even then I will often break it loose with a straight hex, then switch to a ball hex. Just seen too many people over tighten and strip hex head bolts trying to remove them.


I pretty much agree with Peter C. The ball drive is great when need to come at an angle but, more often than not, unnecessary. I generally use T-handle drivers and wish that more of mine didn’t have the ball-end.

I do think, however, that the ball-type end goes well with the screwdriver type handle.
Clint

Offline jgt1942nc

  • Posts: 15
I have better results with the ball.

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 35
My guess, lots of these “supplied” tools endup unused.

While this is undoubtedly true, I will say that I do actually use the supplied TSO driver that came with my guide rail connectors, simply because it's convenient to leave it sitting right in the systainer alongside the guide rail squares and other accessories. Prevents me from having to walk over to the tool cabinet and fish out a hex wrench set just to quickly tighten a few screws that are all the same size for the same purpose.