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Fabric Hex Key Set



High-quality set of hex keys at a reasonable price
Easy to use thanks to colour coding
Well built
Ball ends for angled torquing
Torx 25 key is useful
Tricky to remove until the holder 'breaks in'

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Fabric Hex Key Set isn't going to win any prizes for being unique, but what it does offer is an attractive, useful and high-quality array of tools that will enhance any cycling workshop, without costing the earth. You get all the common hex sizes plus a T25 for those pesky star-shaped bolts, ball ends and a tough steel build.

If, like me, you're constantly tinkering with your bikes, a proper hex key set is a huge upgrade over a multi-tool. They come in many varieties, but I favour the simple type that attaches to a holster, allowing easy access in a rush.

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You can easily pick up basic hex keys – and probably have a drawer full of mysterious 'free' ones – so what's Fabric offering for the money? A few things, actually.

While you get the common sizes – 1.5, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10mm – Fabric's set also includes a Torx 25 key. The T25 is one of those fasteners that's pretty common on bikes these days, so it's very useful to have to hand.

2020 Fabric Hex Key Set 3.jpg

Then there's the colour coding, which I'm sure you didn't miss. While not exclusive to this particular set, it's so useful I'm surprised it isn't more common. Though it might seem like a gimmick, it really does make it easy to grab the one you need without constantly having to check its size. It takes a while to get used to, but really does work.

Other niceties include ball ends, which are a must-have when you can't access bolts at the perfect angle, and handles that are both grippy and extra long, so you can reach in past components, cables and frame tubes without blocking your hand. The extra length also gives you useful extra leverage on stubborn or highly torqued bolts.

> Front mech adjustment – get sweet shifting in 7 easy steps

The powder coating is holding up really well despite me regularly dropping them on my garage floor. The same can be said for the hardened vanadium finish on the ends, which still looks as good as new, even on the keys that see the most regular use (cheap keys round off in no time, and damage bolts while they're at it).

Keeping everything in place is a nylon holster, which is nicely finished with the Fabric logo. The only real gripe here is that each key sits quite tightly in the holster, and it's not until you've removed them a good few times that they slot in and out smoothly. This is not uncommon with plastic holders, though.

2020 Fabric Hex Key Set 2.jpg

At £19.99 this isn't the cheapest set out there, but when you consider the performance, build quality and (usefully) eye-catching design, the price is competitive and the value is good. For example, the Pedros L Hex Wrench Set is £29.99, while the Silca HX-Three Travel Essentials is £35,  despite both being regular nine-piece kits – and the Silca not even offering ball ends.

> Beginner's guide to bike tools - get all the vital gear for basic bike maintenance

Multi-tools are great on the roads and trails, but for home maintenance a set of dedicated keys is an absolute boon. Fabric's well-priced Hex Key Set is a great option thanks to the strong build, handy colour-coding, leverage-boosting length and ball-ends for accessing fiddly bolts.


High-quality set of hex keys at a reasonable price

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Make and model: Fabric Hex Key Set

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Fabric says, 'Bring your workshop to life with our new intuitive, colour-coded set of hex and Torx keys. Each tool is individually powder-coated in a unique colour to distinguish between sizes quickly and easily. The hex keys also feature ball ends to speed up essential repairs and adjustments. Engineered from hardened vanadium steel and supplied with a robust nylon holder, our durable tool kit is perfect for at home or on the move.'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Colour-coded tool bits, CNC machined

Tough powder coated finish

Hardened vanadium steel bits

Ball and hex tool ends

Tough nylon holder

Functions: Hex 1.5, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, Torx 25

Width 83mm

Length 235mm

Weight 448g

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Strong, hard metal for reliable wrenching. The powder coating at the bottom of each hex key could have been slightly neater, though – it looks a little unfinished.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

Getting the keys in and out the first few times is quite tough, leading to some minor hand scrapes.

Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The ball ends help by allowing you to work at slight angles in tight spots. The long handle makes it easy to hold each key and apply leverage.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The colour coded handles make it easy to find the right key.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product


How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

A little more expensive than Wiggle's own-brand Lifeline hex key set, but much cheaper than similar products, such as The Park Tool Professional Hex Wrench set (£24.99), the Pedros L Hex Wrench set (£29.99) and the Silca HX-Three Travel Essentials (£35). All of these only have 9 pieces versus the Fabric set's 10, and the Silca set doesn't have ball ends.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is an excellent hex key set that does everything well at a price that's below its competitors, and the colour coding is a neat touch. The addition of a Torx T25 is the icing on the cake.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Steel audax bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,

Add new comment


bobrayner | 3 years ago

A lot of people are recommending Wera, and I'd agree - Wera tools are fantastic. However, if you'd like a compact toolkit for the saddlebag, I can recommend this from Bosch. There are a few different variants, but basically it's a small ratchet wrench which takes quarter-inch hex bits. It has Torx bits and screwdriver bits too; for a few grammes more, you can add a cheap quarter-inch hex bit for any other esoteric component.

Personally, I take it out of the plastic case and put it in a baggie along with tyre-repair patches and things like that. You can fit a comprehensive touring toolkit in a tiny space, it's super light, and it's a fraction of the cost of the Lezyne option.

The  downside is that it's not comfortable for applying massive torque, so you'll still want to keep something with a long lever at home (to deal with a seized pedal &c)


David9694 | 3 years ago
1 like

pretty sure these are the same, right down to the too tight plastic holder, as you get from Lidl for a fiver:


willnottolerate... | 3 years ago

Spend a couple of quid more for a far superior product, Wera hex keys

And yes, they are hex keys. Allen is the manufacturer.

"Originally named Allen Manufacturing Company,[3] the business produced hexagonal set screws and wrenches to fasten them. The terms "Allen wrench" and "Allen key" are derived from the Allen brand name and refer to the generic product category "hex keys". "

leqin replied to willnottolerateracism | 3 years ago
1 like

Wera keys get my vote - by far the best hex keys that money can buy and only to glad I bought my set a good few years ago.

ktache replied to leqin | 3 years ago

I got me a lovely set of Wera Torx keys a year ago, very pleased.

fenix replied to willnottolerateracism | 3 years ago

I did NOT know that !! Thanks !

brooksby replied to willnottolerateracism | 3 years ago
1 like

So "Allen key" is the same thing as Hoovers, Dysons, and Rollerblades? Didn't know that.

henryb replied to willnottolerateracism | 3 years ago

I have those Wera keys and they are very good. The 10mm key is a bit wasted though in my bike maintenance activities...

Drinfinity replied to henryb | 3 years ago
1 like

Some crank extractor bolts are 10mm. SRAM bb30 for example.

fenix | 3 years ago
1 like

Looks good but when did Allen keys become hex keys ? Have I missed the memo ?

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