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Bondhus Tee Handle sets - which ones?

Alan H

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#1
I am going to upgrade my hex T handles. From my research here and elsewhere, Bondhus is what I have settled on. I will buy two sets, metric and SAE. They have lots of options to choose from.

So now to decide:
  1. Ball or hex end? (Leaning to plain hex end for strength - got other ball ends when needed.)
  2. Lengths - graduated, 6", or 9"? (EDIT: Ball ends only come in graduated sets)
  3. Set with stand or without? Are their stands worth having? To buy a set with a stand is likely the answer since they will be more available and therefore cheaper.

Feedback and/or advice would be appreciated.
 
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Bill Gruby

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#2
IMHO the Ball End is just as strong as plain hex end. The plus side being able to angle the wrench. As far as the stands go, I seldom put them away quickly so you know what comes next. LOL Don't go cheaper if you don't have to. I've see cheap sets that were soft.

"Billy G"
 

chips&more

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#3
To avoid any regert (sorry, I was eating a Milky Way!:)). Just buy ALL the options. The sets are not that much and each variety has its advantages and disadvantages…Dave
 
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woodchucker

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#5
Ball, if you are going to need more torque take out a regular allen key.
I like the stand. I keep mine in the stand, or at the machine. Machines that I use them at all the time have dedicated T's, but I like the stand so that when I need to go working on something I'll take the stand with me.
 

Alan H

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#6
Ball, if you are going to need more torque take out a regular allen key.
I like the stand. I keep mine in the stand, or at the machine. Machines that I use them at all the time have dedicated T's, but I like the stand so that when I need to go working on something I'll take the stand with me.
Jeff, I discovered that the ball end sets only come in graduated lengths. Has that bothered you or is it a plus?

1508259186496.png
 

4gsr

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#7
I prefer the non-ball ended tee handle wrenches. A ball end tee handle will not stand up straight in a socket when you need it to do so. It wants to fall down when using it. I like the ball end screw drivers they came out with first years ago and still can get. I have my dad's set he used, still holding up good!
 

woodchucker

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#8
the reason for that is torque I believe. The lighter duty would snap or twist if you over torqued them, so they are the length that will provide the correct amount of torque to protect the tool and possibly the head of the socket itself (if tightening).

I have not been bothered by it.

What I am curious about is the finish. Does anyone feel the titanium are the way to go over the black oxide? You didn't ask, so I figured I would ;)
 

Alan H

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#9
. . . . . . . Does anyone feel the titanium are the way to go over the black oxide? You didn't ask, so I figured I would ;)
Jeff, I didn't see that option on their website for T Handles. I could have missed it.
 

mark_f

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#10
I prefer to have both straight and ball ends. The balls will snap under high torque. That is where the straight come in.

I was taught a trick many moons ago by a machinist. It does work most of the time. To remove a stuck set screw or SHCS, use a regular long arm allen wrench. With the wrench inserted in the fastener, using light bouncing raps on the wrench with a ball peen hammer, after several times, the fastener will come loose.
I have found this to work most of the time without damage to the wrench or fastener.
 

Bob La Londe

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#11
Ball end are very handy. However, and I am sure somebody will disagree, the square ends will lock up a little better when you really have to twist on one. That being said, if you really have torque on a fastener get out your L handle set or your socket drive set. I've got so darn many hex keys its nuts.

A little trick. When you have to really torque on a fastener go through all your hex keys that are close and find the one that is the absolute tightest fit, but still goes in without pounding on it. Do not torque on it with one that's "close enough." I have an tire drawer full of hex keys along with several full sets around the shop. Some just work better for some jobs than others. They are not all perfectly consistent from one to the next. Neither are the machine screws.
 

Bob La Londe

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#12
P.S. I have a set of Bundhus ball nose screw driver handle hex keys that are probably my favorites when I do not need the extra leverage of a t-handle. I have broken the ball off of a couple, but I just touched them up on the belt sander and they still work great as square end.
 

mikey

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#13
So now to decide:
  1. Ball or hex end? (Leaning to plain hex end for strength - got other ball ends when needed.)
  2. Lengths - graduated, 6", or 9"? (EDIT: Ball ends only come in graduated sets)
  3. Set with stand or without? Are their stands worth having? To buy a set with a stand is likely the answer since they will be more available and therefore cheaper.
1. T-handle wrenches are good for access to low-torque fasteners so I prefer a ball. For high-torque fasteners, I prefer a standard hex but I use the L-shaped ones or a hex socket for this, not a T-handle. All too often (obstructions, etc), a hex wrench won't fit square enough to prevent stripping so a ball is definitely more useful. Changing gears on my lathe comes to mind.

2. I have graduated Bondous sets and find them a bit twisty but since I'm typically using a ball head, this is appropriate. On my Hex wrenches, I like them short and stiff.

3. None of my sets have a stand but my next set will. I need to get off my lazy butt and make me some. Stands keep things organized; I would opt for one if you can.
 

woodchucker

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#14
Jeff, I didn't see that option on their website for T Handles. I could have missed it.
I think I jumped the gun, I saw protanium and thought it was a titanium choice. I guess they are all black oxide like mine.
The regular ball ends wrenches do come in multiple finishes though.
 

darkzero

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#15
I prefer the non-ball ended tee handle wrenches. A ball end tee handle will not stand up straight in a socket when you need it to do so. It wants to fall down when using it. I like the ball end screw drivers they came out with first years ago and still can get. I have my dad's set he used, still holding up good!
Same here, I prefer non-ball end for t-handles for the exact same reasons. I only use ball ends when I need the advantage of them. That's not often so I have a Bondus L wrench set for those. I hate ball end t-handles that won't stand up straight. I also don't like extended reach t-handles either. Rarely do I need them for reach, I need them more for torque & when they are too long they twist easier, not a permanent twist unless youbgot cheap ones, but it affects the performance of them.

Not the case anymore at home but when in worked in automotive we snapped the ball ends off quite often. Our Snap On guy used to yell at us but he still replaced them for us.

There's a joke about the ball ends:

Dad: Son I fixed all your allen wrenches.
Son: (confused as he just bought them) Why what was wrong with them?
Dad: Someone rounded off all the tips so I fixed them for you by grinding all the rounded ends off. Now they have new tips.
 

Silverbullet

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#16
If you really need torque don't use your tee handle type , there great for general use with ball or not. But if you have stuck set screws and bolts buy a complete set of 3/8" square drive Allen head hex drive. They have them with and without ball ends also. If you brake or twist one off simply insert a replacement . I can't even tell you how many sets or hex drive wrenches I own. And now it's torx bits male and female SAFTEY and normal . You will find what you need using them , if you need to reach at an angle , ball styles best . But get what you want I have a set of 9" tee handle with metal stand there my first go too. They also are over forty years old . If I have a tear down I use the socket wrench styles the plus for this I can use a hammer style impact tool to remove stubborn set screws.
 

4gsr

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#17
Talking about removing those stubborn set screws and cap screws, here's my arsenal of tools I use.
The long hex shank ones work like a charm and I haven't yet tore one of them up. Even using cheaters for leverage. They came from Harbor Freight!
Some of the 3/8" drive hex sockets I bought over 40 years ago at the local auto supply, no name brand, have been thru all sorts of scenarios. The 3/16 and 1/8 hex has been replaced several times with cut off Allen wrenches. I have others, too. Now back to Tee handle hex wrenches.
 

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Alan H

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#18
Ken
I have some socket sets as well and they sure are good when you need them.
 

gr8legs

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#19
I recently purchased a couple of sets of Bondhus Allen wrenches that came with plastic racks.

IMHO It is a royal pain in the patooski to replace a wrench back into the rack since the wrenches are quite close together and you're shooting for dead center on a target 6 to 9 inches away with poor sight lines. It takes me sometimes 10-15 seconds of fumbling to get the little buggers back into their holder.

I am going to toss out the plastic racks and make a U-bracket or flat bracket with suitable holes to hold the wrenches as soon as I get a round tuit.

I don't need the aggravation!

Stu
 

Alan H

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#21
Okay - thanks for all the feedback on this big purchasing decision!

I have lots of ball ends in regular keys, so I bought the regular tips, graduated length sets in SAE and metric. My expectations are low on the included plastic stands. I will keep looking for decent storage racks to buy or make.

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hman

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#22
I suppose you could improve the stand by adding a piece of ¾" plywood to the bottom, to give it some weight. Then look at the holes the wrenches go into. It liiks like they have some kind of shallow counterbore or countersink. Perhaps you could countersink a bit deeper with a narrow angle (90º or less) countersink. This would make it easier to return the wrenches to their storage holes.
 
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