Balldrivers / Hex Keys
This balldriver tool kit, available in both imperial and metric sizes, offers a wide range of the most commonly used balldriver and hex key sizes and houses them in a convenient stand. The stand is precision-machined and labeled with a discrete location for each balldriver and hex key. The wide base provides stability and easy placement anywhere in the lab.
Imperial balldrivers have a yellow handle, while metric balldrivers have a red handle. All balldrivers have a high-strength alloy steel blade.
Among the most essential general-purpose tools in any optics laboratory, balldrivers provide compatibility with standard socket head cap screws, which are used for clamping and fastening and with a host of optomechanical actuating devices.
Unlike standard hex wrenches, the unique hex ball design of the balldriver tip allows them to operate at angles, which is ideal for hard-to-reach places. Imperial balldrivers have a yellow handle, while metric ballrdivers have a red handle. All balldrivers have a high-strength alloy steel blade. The BD-3/16L and BD-5ML have an extra long 8" (20.3 cm) shaft with an overall length of 11" (27.9 cm), including handle.
Balldrivers can be purchased individually or in kits.
BD-KIT includes the following imperial balldriver sizes: 0.050", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", and 3/16".
BD-KIT/M includes the following metric balldriver sizes: 1.5 mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm, and 5 mm.
BT17(/M) Organizer is Ideal for Temporary Storage of Ø1/2" Post-Mounted Components
This benchtop and table organizer saves time and protects mounted optics by providing a temporary storage area on an optical table.
BT17: This organizer comes with a complete set of imperial hex balldrivers (0.050", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", and 3/16") as well as two dropper bottles with acetone and methanol labels (chemicals not included).
BT17/M: This organizer comes with a complete set of metric hex balldrivers (1.5 mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm, and 5 mm) as well as two dropper bottles with acetone and methanol labels (chemicals not included).
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Use one bit to push another bit out of the handle.
These Interchangeable Balldriver Sets are 8" (20.3 cm) long from the tip of the bit to the end of the handle, and have 3" (7.5 cm) long steel alloy bits. The bit selection in each set was specially chosen to fit the most common hex sizes used in Thorlabs' products. Unlike standard hex wrenches, the unique hex ball design of the balldriver tip allows it to operate at angles, which is ideal for hard-to-reach places.
The MBD set contains 7 interchangeable bits in the following sizes: 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", and 3/16". Six of these bits are stored securely in the yellow handle, while the 7th is kept inside the shaft, ready for use. The MBD/M contains 6 interchangeable bits in the following sizes: 2 mm, 2.5 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, and 6 mm. Please note that you should not store all 6 bits in the red handle at the same time. One bit should always be kept in the shaft so that the others can be removed with ease.
To change a bit, firmly pull the bit out of the shaft. Insert the top of the bit that was just removed into the hole on the bottom of the handle that houses the bit you would like to use next. Tightly grip the handle and push the old bit into the hole, which will cause the new bit to come out of a hole located at the base of the shaft, as indicated by the arrow in the photo to the right. Pull out the new bit, and slide the old one the rest of the way in.
The TC4 Tool Caddy is a great balldriver kit organizer that offers a convenient storage area and bolts directly to an optical table. The caddy includes balldrivers and hex wrenches in the following sizes:
TC4: 0.05", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", and 3/16"
TC4/M: 1.5 mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm, and 5 mm
Hex Key Thumbscrews allow for quick, low-profile adjustment of hex-driven actuators, cap screws, and setscrews. Unlike balldrivers, they can be left in the screw's hex socket between adjustments for convenience.
The 5/64" size is especially useful for adjusting our hex-driven kinematic mounts (see photo to the right). In addition, this size is fully compatible with M2 hex sockets.
An 8-32 setscrew (5/64" hex) secures the replaceable hex bit, which can be reversed if the tip is stripped. Contact Tech Support to order replacement hex key bits.
These Hex Driver Bit Kits are compatible with our TD24 and TD75 torque drivers as well as traditional 1/4" socket wrenches. The hex sizes available correspond with many of the hex screws used across our product lines. Each bit is engraved with the hex size as seen in the photo to the right.
In keeping with our "green" initiative, we have ceased to supply hex keys with most of our optomech and cage system products. We now offer these key sets in packs of 10 at a small charge.
HK050: Set of ten 0.05" hex keys mainly for use with 4-40 setscrews in our cage plate series.
564HK: Set of ten 5/64" (2 mm) hex keys used in many optomechanical applications.