For many decades, I have never had an allen wrench break. Bend, yes, but
But yesterday, in trying to remove a reluctant wood(!) screw, I had an 1/8th
inch allen wrench snap, and I wasn't even using a "cheater." Poked a hole in
my finger, it did.
The particular allen wrench, from a company who shall remain nameless (Task
Force - Lowes house brand), just smooth broke!
I went out to the truck and retrieved my traveling allen wrench set (I think
the set cost about three bucks from Harbor Freight) and removed the target
screw with no problem.
The problem wrench was part of an eight-wrench set configured in sort of a
Swiss Army Knife rendition. You "open" the desired wrench and twist away.
The long end of each wrench is formed into a loop so that it can be attached
to a small shaft on the "knife."
I suspect that the annealing process necessary to form the loop made the
steel more brittle than an allen wrench should be, and that's the reason the
Whatever the cause, I plan to see whether Lowe's has a lifetime guarantee on
hand tools - like Harbor Freight - or whether in that regard their tools are