Wiha Tools ErgoStar Automatic Fast Open Ball End Hex Key - Tool Time

A tool package that’s too cool to ignore.

Wiha Tools ErgoStar Automatic Fast Open Ball End Hex Key - Tool Time

Wiha Tools ErgoStar Automatic Fast Open Ball End Hex Key - Tool Time

Every once in a while, I find a tool that, in itself, is nothing special, but the package or device that houses the tool is just too cool to ignore. And that's what we have here with the ErgoStar Automatic Fast Open Ball End Hex Key set (part #66996; $16.99) from Wiha tools (www.wihatools.com). It's a 9-piece metric set of chrome-vanadium-molybdenum-steel "Allen" keys ranging in size from 1.5mm to 10mm. The hex keys themselves are rugged, high-quality, well-made tools but otherwise are nothing earth-shattering or particularly newsworthy.

What is quite clever, though, is the key holder. Anyone who has ever removed an Allen wrench from one of those typical two-sided plastic holders knows that unless you are extracting the largest one on either side, you first have to pivot one or more (or all) of the others out of the way to make clearance for the one you want.

But not with this holder. To remove any of the tools that are located below the two larger ones, you merely put the tip of your finger on the outer end of either of those uppermost keys and just swivel it outward. Thanks to a little mechanism inside the holder, this simple, easy movement not only causes all the tools in that side of the holder to pivot outward as far as 90 degrees, it does likewise to those in the other half, as well, re-aiming each set 180 degrees from the other. Then, because of the way the individual keys are staged in the holder, you can remove any one of them without disturbing the others. When you’re finished, just replace the key in its slot and reverse the procedure, swiveling both sides back together again. Once the Wiha key set is folded back into the “closed” position, it takes up no more room in a toolbox than a conventional set in a similar plastic holder.