by Victor Wanchena
The ironic part about great inventions is that they are often very simple in the way they address a problem. This month’s great idea is as simple and as handy as sliced bread or the Pak-Lite (see Gear World in MMM issue #85). The Hexhold is an ingenious invention for holding nuts and bolts in confined spaces. Invented and produced by our good friends and subjects of the crown in Essex, UK.
The concept is very simple. The Hexhold is a stamped, spring steel device you slip on the end of your finger. The end of it is formed to hold a nut or bolt. This allows you to hold a nut or bolt in any area you can reach, but may be too cramped to fit a full sized wrench. This is invaluable with small nuts that need to be started in areas you can reach but can’t see. Or maybe a wrench fits, but you keep dropping the nut. The Hexhold puts nuts and bolts securely on the end of your finger, instead of bouncing into an inaccessible crevice or skittering across the garage floor.
The Hexhold kit comes with a selection of five sizes, in a handy case that keeps them organized. The metric kit includes: 5.5, 7, 8, 10, 13mm, and standard includes: 1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16 inches. The toughest thing about using the Hexhold is remembering to use them. I’d be knee-deep in a project and struggling to get a nut, buried around 5 corners, then suddenly realize I have those funny British wrenches to try. I really found them handy when doing something where I was starting a nut on a bolt. To use just choose the right size, slip the Hexhold on a finger, and push nut into the head of the Hexhold. They’re made to grip the nut or bolt so you can’t lose it on the way to it’s intended home. The only limitation is that they are not intended to be used when you’re tightening the other side with a power tool. I imagine injury could result if you don’t heed that warning.
The maker of Hexhold claims they have been tested through 200,000 cycles without failure. I chose not to test mine as thoroughly, but was impressed with the quality. The tough part for US consumers is currently we must purchase them online via the Hexhold website www.hexhold.com. They are priced at 24.49UK with shipping, which converts to $39.00 US. A little steep for a set of specialty wrenches, but I asked myself how much would I pay if didn’t have to struggle with a hard to reach nut. It was worth at least $5 to save me 15 minutes of sweating and swearing. So if I use the Hexholds eight times they’ll have paid for themselves.