How to Remove Allen Key Bolts

Allen key (also known as hex key) bolts are a common sight in many household and professional applications, from flatpack furniture to automotive parts. They have a hexagonal shape, providing extra grip that protects against unintentional stripping.

Removing Allen key bolts is a simple process, although sometimes, you can come across barriers such as stuck bolts. This article will help you solve these problems and remove Allen key bolts safely every time.

Tools needed to remove Allen key bolts

Before attempting to remove an Allen key bolt from any material, make sure you have the right tools on hand. Your options include:

  • Allen keys: As you might guess, these tools are the most popular choice for removing Allen key bolts. Ensure you have the right size tool for the bolt you’re trying to remove.
  • Hex screwdrivers: Depending on the type of bolt and material you’re working with, a Hex screwdriver may be a better option for loosening the bolt.
  • Pliers: Pliers can be helpful for getting a better grip on the bolt if it’s stuck.
  • Hammer: If the bolt is corroded or jammed, tapping it gently with a hammer can help loosen it.

If you’re working on a large project and need to remove many Allen key bolts, investing in a high-quality set of Allen keys is a smart idea. You can find sets in a range of sizes and designs to suit any application.

Preparing to remove Allen key bolts

To avoid causing damage or injuring yourself, it’s important to prepare the area before attempting to remove Allen key bolts.

  1. Use a wire brush or cloth to remove any dirt or debris around the bolt—this will help you achieve a better grip and prevent scuff damage to the surrounding area.
  2. If the bolt is difficult to turn, try using a lubricant such as penetrating oil or WD-40. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before attempting to remove the bolt.
  3. Take safety precautions such as wearing safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from sharp edges and flying debris (such as wood shavings). If you’re working on a car or heavy machinery, make sure to secure the vehicle and follow all appropriate safety standards.

Removing stuck Allen key bolts

The process for removing stuck Allen key bolts will depend on the material you’re working with and why the bolt is stuck.

Bolts can become stuck for different reasons. The bolt may have been screwed in on an angle, causing the bolt to jam. It could also have been exposed to the elements and developed rust or corrosion, preventing the bolt from sliding out smoothly.

Some options for removing stuck bolts include:

  1. Using a screwdriver or pliers to achieve a stronger grip on the bolt.
  2. Applying more lubricant and waiting a few minutes before attempting to remove the bolt again.
  3. Using an extractor tool, which is designed to grip the bolt head and turn it counterclockwise.


By following these steps, you should have no trouble removing Allen key bolts quickly and easily. Always take your time and be patient to avoid damaging the bolt, the surrounding material, or yourself!