How Do You Remove Allen Screws Without Allen Keys

How Do You Remove Allen Screws Without Allen Keys

Allen screws aren’t always that popular. If your work involves fixing bikes and machines or assembling furniture, be prepared for them to appear a lot more often.

For this reason, it is a good idea to keep a set of Allen keys and hex wrenches on hand, just in case you encounter an Allen screw.

However, you may not always have a set of Allen keys on hand when you do finally come across an Allen screw.

If this has happened to you, then you don’t need to worry, there are a couple of alternatives you can try.

We have put together this guide to let you know how you can remove Allen screws when you don’t have any Allen keys on hand.

What Is An Allen Bolt Or Screw?

How Do You Remove Allen Screws Without AllenKeys

A screw fastener having a hexagonal groove on the head is known as an Allen screw or bolt.

Allen bolts or screws have corners inside the head, as opposed to conventional bolts, which have corners on the outside.

Due to having 6 sides, Allen screws are also known as hex screws. The grooves on the screw and key provide you with the best grip possible.

Additionally, hexagons resist distortion under force and pressure, which makes them better than other designs.

So now you know why Allen screws have 6 sides, in case you were wondering.

If the screw had less or more than 6 sides, it would readily distort the screw. Or the screw could get rounded out very easily.

What Is An Allen Key?

How Do You Remove Allen Screws Without Allen Keys (1)

Nothing about an Allen key resembles a standard wrench. It has an L-shape and resembles a hex key, which is another name for this tool.

There are various sizes of this tool, which makes it very versatile as well. Sometimes, if the key can fit, it can be used instead of a normal screwdriver.

The former Allen Manufacturing Company, which was based in Hartford, Connecticut, trademark and registered their products.

Thus, the hex key became the Allen key or the Allen wrench. All these names are still used, which can be confusing for some people.

However, they are all referring to the exact same tool.

Removing Allen Screws Without A Allen Key

There are a couple of ways to remove an Allen screw without an Allen key.

However, if you do have an Allen key, we have discussed how you can remove an Allen screw with this tool further in the article.

Flat Screwdriver

Allen screws can be installed or removed using a flat screwdriver. The screwdriver, however, needs to have a wide blade which will fit firmly between the opposing corners of the Allen screw’s head.

To stop the blade from sliding while it is inside the Allen screw head, you can cover the blade using a rubber glove.

Which then results in a non-slip grip that enables you to apply as much pressure as possible to remove the Allen screw.

Locking Pliers

How Do You Remove AllenScrewsWithout AllenKeys

Locking pliers are different from regular pliers. You don’t need to constantly hold the handles tight in order for them to grab. They will tightly lock without releasing.

Simply grasp the fastener’s head and turn it clockwise to tighten the screw, or turn it counterclockwise to loosen it.

You have the option of holding the screw’s complete head or just one side of the internal and outer surface of the Allen screw.

Slotted Screwdriver Or A Hacksaw Blade

By using a rotary tool kit or hacksaw blade, you can carve a groove on the screw head if the screwdriver does not fit into the Allen screw head hole.

If the screw head is poking out, then use a hacksaw. Although, if the Allen screw is hidden, a Dremel tool is a better option.

The Allen screw is driven by inserting the slotted screwdriver blade into the cut you made in the screw head and turning it either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Torque Wrench Or Key

Torque keys can be used just like Allen keys to tighten and loosen fasteners, such as bolts and screws.

In addition to that, A torque wrench is another tool to use if you happen to have lost or not have the right sized Allen key that you need.

To protect and keep safe people when performing tasks like changing a tire or other maintenance, such as industrial repairs.

A torque wrench is used to monitor and apply a precise torque to a fastener, such as a bolt or nut. Thus, it can be used to apply or remove an Allen screw as well.

Ratchet Or Socket Wrench

An example of a ratchet tool is a socket wrench, which has a number of removable sockets that may be used to tighten and loosen nuts of various sizes.

If you have a socket that will fit into your Allen screw head, then you can use this if you don’t have an Allen key nearby.

Open Ended Or Combination Wrench

An open-ended or combination wrench may also be used instead of an Allen key to complete the task.

A combination wrench has one open end and a socket style wrench on the other.

This type of wrench will fit around the exterior of the screw head, and you turn either clockwise or anticlockwise to either tighten or remove the screw.

How To Remove A Allen Screw Without Allen Key

How Do You Remove AllenScrews Without AllenKeys

An Allen key is the most effective tool for removing Allen screws. A shank with six sides known as an Allen key or key is used to drive hex screws.

For various screw diameters, they are available in various sizes.

With an Allen key, you may install or remove a bolt by choosing the appropriate Allen key size from your set and inserting it into the Allen screw’s socket.

It should be quite a tight fit with little room for the wrench inside the screw head. To install or remove the screw, turn the key in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

Allen wrenches often have an L-shape, with one side being shorter than the other.

Ideally, the shorter side of the Allen key should be used in order to maximize leverage when using the longer side.

Although, you can use the shorter side as the handle if you are working in a very confined area.

However, if you don’t have an Allen key, then you can use the methods we have outlined above.


As you can see, if you happen to find yourself in the situation when you need to remove an Allen screw, and you don’t have an Allen key on hand.

Then there are various other tools that you can use instead.

It is important to remember that you don’t want to force anything into the screw’s head, otherwise you could cause more damage to the screw.

We hope this article has been helpful. Now you should be able to remove any Allen screw without an Allen key.


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