Saturday, August 11, 2012

IKEA re-invents the Allen Key

Assembling a set of steps from Swedish kit maker Ikea a few days ago, I was surprised to find the first picture on the instructions involved the Allen Key (more correctly called a Hex Head key apparently). This now comes with a hard plastic sleeve that the metal part is fitted in to.

The result is easier to handle and the extra length provides a bit more purchase when trying to screw things firmly home in the woodwork. The "key" clicks in to place nicely. The handle is designed for two different sizes.

I'll toss this into the toolbox for future use. It ought to hold normal Allen keys too, not just the cheapo alloy versions that are found in the box with the bits. That's not a complaint, there's not need to supply a tool that will last longer than the job it's intended for. Only people like me would appreciate the improvement and we've got a set or two of the read keys anyway.

Incidentally, am I the only person who visits a flat-pack furniture shop with gleeful anticipation ? I love putting this stuff together, especially when it's as well designed as the Swedes manage.


Andy from Workshopshed said...

I think you only get that plastic bit with some kits. They are good fun to assemble though

Phil Parker said...

In which case, if you want the plastic bit, you need a Bekvam step stool.

It's a top bit of furniture for no money.

Alex Howell said...

Hi Phil,

I have found article related to IKEA shopping experience to be particularly interesting. Would like to kindly share some details on a new concept that will really make IKEA shoppers lives much easier. MUCH easier.

Sooqini is a new platform that has recently launched in London, has a few thousand users and has been featured in the WSJ, ReutersTV and other journals.

Sooqini is like an "eBay for Anything." Buyers can ask whatever they want, at their price that can be provided by others around them. The buyer chooses the best offer, pays when the job is complete and then exchanges ratings like on eBay.

You can outsource all the IKEA pains to someone else: simply ask for people to drive to IKEA, purchase the flat place furniture, drop it off at your place and then assemble. Pronto! On top of that, the buyer chooses the price he/she wants to pay for the entire service.

You can find more details on

Hope you find this interesting and share this with your readers.



Luke said...

Hi Phil,

Alex's post looks like a bit of advertising junk.

The first time I tried to go to the webpage it tried to down load a browser extension from Chrome (nope, not doing that). Second time my virus checker threw up a warning. Third time the web page redirected itself and then wouldn't load.

Highly suspicious :)