Alternatives for Fender T-Handle Wrench

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassbourne, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    If the hex key isn't slipping, it it isn't rounding the slot. A properly sized round head hex key is fine.
    FRoss6788 and bassbourne like this.
  2. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Actually, I'm okay with modifying tools for a specific purpose, but I make several of them when I do and have 2 in one place at all times. Such as I did with several shortened hex wrenches for this purpose.

    But I was okay with the Fender ball end hex wrench as well. Never had problems with it rounding out the truss rod nut.
    bassbourne and Lownote38 like this.
  3. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I can understand that "feeling" that it exhibits when you use it.

    But a properly-made ball end hex wrench won't round out the head. I've seen much worse damage done when the ever-so-slightly-wrong size regular hex wrench is used. And many occasions of this damage happening.
  4. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    I find that you really have to jam the ball end in there firmly to ensure you get a good grip. Probably going to scuff the pickguard. I got a cheap set of T handle ball end keys at harbor Freight that imo have a meatier ball than the Fender one.

    The routing idea is a good one. I have a Sire P7 and it has a route that allows for normal L shaped allen key in the body and it turns so much more easily than the nut on my American Special P which just has the tiny access point at the heel like you're describing.
    bassbourne likes this.
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Be sure to get a nice smooth one ...
    walterw, JKos, Lownote38 and 4 others like this.
  6. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Lownote38 and RSBBass like this.
  7. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    oops ball end.
  8. Cloven Hoof

    Cloven Hoof Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2021
    20210428_195456.jpg 20210428_195436.jpg 20210428_195408.jpg
    bassbourne and Geri O like this.
  9. larrysb


    Mar 23, 2020
    $ilicon Valley
    The only risk of a ball-end hex wrench is breaking the ball off in the nut. Correctly-sized, it won't damage the nut. That being said, correctly-sized means using an inch-sized wrench with an inch-sized nut, and a metric-sized wrench with a metric nut. Trouble starts with using one that "almost fits" because that's the one you have handy, instead of the one needed.
  10. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    My tech has a lot of bad things to say about the ball end tools. Too easy to strip the nut. He uses Allen keys and mods the tool if necessary. I find the t handles are rough on my hands making it a bit painful to get a good grip on the t handle yet I’ve never had a problem on my old fenders. I have a straight ball end tool shaped like a screw driver handle. That is easier to use and while still a danger, it is better than a t handle. My fav was a nut driver socke with a simple rod welded on but that is for a typical nut ont truss rod.
    Hope my experience helps. Best of luck to ya.
    bassbourne likes this.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    you and @Cloven Hoof would rather modify a $1500 bass than modify a $1 hex wrench?

    just hacksaw off a 3/16" allen key right past the elbow, it'll fit right in and do the job. if you're nervous about losing it then make two

    (not a fan of the ball-end T-handle wrench either, it works but without much leverage or control)
    Geri O, bassbourne, Lownote38 and 3 others like this.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    or, skip all the work and just buy this:

    bassbourne, Lownote38 and Joshua like this.
  13. bassbourne


    Nov 20, 2019
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 30, 2021

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