Long allen sockets

hi all,

i need a set of metric long reach allen type sockets for motorcycle work. gearwrench has a set of ball end type allens for $50 at amazon


i am a little unsure about putting a bunch of torque on ball on end type allens. i susepct some of these bolts have been in there for a while and the heat has probably made them reluctant to be removed. sure i could try to add an extension to my regular 3/8" drive metric, allen, socket set but this is an excuse to buy new tools.

does anyone have any real world experience with the ball end type allen sockets for motorcycle use?


Realistically I’d be more concerned about striping the bolt heads than snapping the ball head, Gearwrench has a lifetime warranty.

I agree that you are not likely to snap the ball head - but might bugger up the socket screw if you put a lot of torque on the screw off-axis and the ball head slips out. The idea of the ball head is that it gives you a bit of flexibility in mating the tool to the socket-head screw. Lots of sets seem to share this design including cheaper sets sold at HD (Husky) and Lowes (Kobalt) or more expensive SK and Proto sets.


A Proto set has straight tips:


A less expensive Tekton set also has straight tips;


as does this even cheaper Neiko set:


I have snapped ball-ends off of both cheap and quality versions using a bit handle; smaller sizes don’t tolerate much abuse. Larger sizes will tolerate some, but you will probably still be susceptible to breaking them with a ratchet. Unless I need the ball end because of the location, I reach for the straight style first. I have had decent luck with Tekton stuff from Amazon. Same with Neiko. It’s generally about in par with some of Harbor Freight’s better stuff.

I don’t buy the ball ends unless it’s to supplement the straight bits. I’ve snapped off the ball end on these Taiwanese bits, and I suspect he same would have happened with quality bits. They aren’t designed to take a lot of torque.

THANKS to all of you guys for your answers. i worried about the strength of the ball end type units but if i don’t use them it means removing part of the fairing on the bike. i was trying to avoid the extra labor but now i realize that it would be wiser to spend the time doing that rather than risk bunging up the socket head bolt or snapping off a ball end tool. i am going to buy a set each of the regular style metric and sae allens and i will take the fairing off.

again - much thanks