• Beta Allen Wrenches

    Kart Review Score: 8.75

    TheDoctor
    Brand: BETA
    Price: £35 Inc VAT
    Retailer: Tool Academy (Ebay Seller)

    First Impressions:
    The packaging these wrenches come in is really nothing special, you don’t get any kind of protective plastic case that you may get with tools such as Clarke or Halfords. It’s a box, plain and simple. You quickly look past the packaging and toss it aside

    Beta are well known in motorsport circles and have long since been the tool supplier to none other than Ferrari. So the pedigree is there no doubt. The orange plastic handles are attractive enough and certainly make them easy to find in even the most disorganised toolboxes. But how do they perform?

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    General Use/Observations:
    Lets start with the handles, whilst they appear to be quite bulky and easy to handle they’re strangely uncomfortable to hold and use. The plastic is hard which of course is bound to help with durability but also over time can cause discomfort whilst in use.

    The handles are labelled with the size of each wrench, in this particular set they are; 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm. Frustratingly the 7mm wrench which is used for OTK king pin bolts is not included in this set and had to bought separately.

    The large 8mm wrench used almost solely for the engine clamp bolts is very sturdy, little or no flex can be detected whilst in use and when posed with a overtightened foe the wrench is long enough in order to gain enough torque to tease out bolts tightened to death by the most over-zealous Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonating mechanics.

    The tips of each wrench are chromium plated to prevent corrosion, this appears hard enough and there are no signs so far of any premature wear. The larger tips seem to fit snugly in the sizes for which they are specified and only a small amount of movement can be detected even in worn bolt heads.
    There are however some small issues with these wrenches, firstly the handles stain with grime and oil. Whilst its something that over time will happen to any tool, the orange plastic handles seem to almost absorb the grease and oil and are difficult to clean. This for the enthusiastic mechanic who perhaps enjoys naming his spanners will cause irritation, for most normal sane people this won't be an issue.

    The handles are also an issue compared to a simple T bar when it comes to confined spaces. Take a sprocket carrier bolt for example, whilst the bolt should never be over tightened enough to require the wrench to be used at 90 degrees for more torque it can over time become difficult to remove and the handle in this position will allow very little movement and can often get stuck. You can quickly feel frustrated if this happens.

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    The smaller wrenches do lack a robust feeling that is prevalent with the larger wrenches, there is a feeling that if you pull too hard it will snap in half. However once again if a bolt with a 2.5mm head is tight enough that you need to crank on the handle then its most likely been abused at some point. However the lack of confidence in the stiffness is a worry. Fitments of the smaller wrenches in the bolt heads is also slightly worse than the larger versions which leads to you closing your eyes in worry every time you attempt to loosen anything.


    Summary
    So are these tools up to scratch? Well they aren't as cheap as your Halfords or Machine Mart versions, but for the very small price difference they are a great mid range tool. If you don’t want to re-mortgage your house for a set of wrenches then these will tick the box. The lack of strength to the smaller wrenches is slightly disappointing and I do worry slightly that the fitments for the smaller sizes appears to be slightly poor also and may over time damage the bolt head or the wrench itself.

    A carry case would also have been a nice addition although I guess that's what toolboxes are for!

    Pros

    • Overall Quality
    • Solid tips
    • Corrosion Protection


    Cons

    • Handle size can mean limitations in confined spaces
    • Absorb oil and grease
    • Flexibility and fitments of smaller wrenches

    Scoring

    Value: 7
    Quality: 10
    Performance: 10
    Ease of Use: 8

    Kart Review Score: 8.75

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