I need to buy the tool to undo star tips. Should I buy the Allen key type star tip set or should I buy the extensions for my ratchet? Which is likely to be more convenient/useful, I imagine both will be as effective as achieving the same ends?

  • I have always bought the ratchet drive tips myself.
    – Moab
    Aug 31, 2020 at 20:37
  • A picture of the items you are describing might be useful Allen (hex) keys are distinctly different from torx (star). Also, ratchets have many different extensions. Usually in the automotive world a ratchet extension extends the square drive of the ratchet, and you put a socket or bit of your choice onto the end of it. See this image for the difference between Allen and Torx heads. d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/tDfLiEsPM1EXpUm1.medium Sep 1, 2020 at 1:47
  • FYI - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives
    – Alaska Man
    Sep 1, 2020 at 19:06

2 Answers 2


I assume that when you write "Allen key type star tip set" you mean those L-shaped Torx keys.

Both work, it only depends on your preferences.

  • The L-shaped keys are a good compromise for a tight budget, but have their drawbacks as you can only use them directly on the location of the bolt. So no extension, no ratchet, no torque wrench and no impact gun.
  • The socket extensions are, in my opinion, fine for larger bolts (>=6mm). You can combine them with an extension, a torque wrench, a ratchet or, in case of the impact sockets, an impact gun.
  • Another alternative, not mentioned by you, are the screwdriver-style Torx drivers. Those are preferable for the smaller bolts, as you won't be able to turn larger bolts, but allow very comfortable wrenching on the smaller ones.

I, personally, prefer the more expensive solution: Sockets and screwdrivers. After all, if you expand your hobby you need every variant: The larger sockets, the small ones, the female Torx variants, the long extended ones, the ability to attach a torque wrench, perhaps one fine day you buy an impact gun.

Picture: My Torx collection.

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Allen is different from Torx; both are necessary.That means you need both tool sets to properly work on equipment.


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