How to Use an Allen Wrench

What You'll Need
Allen wrench
Nuts or bolts with hexagonal sockets

An Allen wrench, also known as a "hex key," can prove useful in a variety of projects. If you've ever been curious about how to use this unique tool, read on to learn everything you'll need to know.

Step 1 - Confirm the Size of Your Wrench

Before proceeding to tighten or loosen any hexagonal bolts, make sure that the size of your Allen wrench is relative to that of your bolts. Most Allen wrenches aren't particularly expensive, so if the size of your wrench doesn't measure up to the size of the bolts, you can locate an appropriately-sized Allen wrench at virtually any hardware store.

Step 2 - Tightening and Loosening

If you wish to tighten a bolt, carefully insert the tip of your Allen wrench into the hexagonal cross section of the bolt and proceed to firmly turn the wrench in a clockwise fashion until the bolt has been sufficiently tightened. If you wish to loosen a bolt, insert the tip of your wrench into the bolt's hexagonal cross section and proceed to turn the wrench in a counterclockwise fashion until such time as the bolt is loosened or detached.