Those dreadful Allen screws on many cameras

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robert Hart

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Those dreadful Allen screws on many cameras

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 8:04 am

I have found them and cursed them on the SI2K camera, the Metabones Nikon to M4/3 Speedbooster and the Blackmagic camera family. The countersunk variety of these screws are the very worst.

My personal preference for loosening them is to insert the key wrench into the hex hole of the screw as usual. I then press in as firmly as I can, hopefully to relieve just a little of the tension against the threads. I tilt the wrench shaft so that positive engagement in the deepest points of the hex hole occurs at the top and bottom of the hole on opposing sides.

I then use a slight turning motion from my elbow, not from the wrist or fingers, to crack the friction of the screw. I also keep the same sideways pressure exerted into the same portion of the screw as I rotate it so there is reduced chance of slippage. I will then rotate the screw by the same method in a small arc back and forth a few times to polish any remaining thread locker or oxide in the threads.

There should be no rocking or movement of the hex wrench in the hex hole at all or the method will not work. Then using the same tilt and pressure method, I back the screw out patiently in small steps, three or four turns by which time it should become loose enough that normal finger twisting of the wrench is all that is needed to remove the screw.

No warranty of satisfactory performance is made, either express or implied.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: Those dreadful Allen screws on many cameras

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 11:25 am

The reason for many problems with Allen screws are cheap wrenches. Those are made of cheap and soft metal and have wide tolerances.

Since I started to use high quality tools only I never had a problem with Allen screws anymore.
For example those from German manufacturer Wera: ... 01H88FP24/ ... 009ODV0OE/

Hardened tips, high quality materials and low tolerances.
Robert Niessner
Graz / Austria
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Those dreadful Allen screws on many cameras

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 3:13 pm

I agree with Robert,

Allen's are probably the best type of small mechanical fasteners out there. With out seeing your wrenches and screws, id assume the problem is one or more of the following.

  1. poor quality wrenches
  2. poor quality screws
  3. Using the incorrect wrench standard, unified when the screws are metric or vice versa.
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Re: Those dreadful Allen screws on many cameras

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 3:35 pm

I am also in agreement with Robert. I personally have never had any issues with Allen wrenches and screws save for a sink in one of the kitchens of one of my old homes. That was primarily the handle getting loose and having to re-tighten it every once in a while. Either way, it wasn't camera related.
"Movies are not watched. They are an encounter with a life's experience not your own." - Tim Buttner (timbutt2)

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Denny Smith

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Re: Those dreadful Allen screws on many cameras

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 6:50 pm

The only issues I have had were the result of poor wrenches. Thanks Robert for the link for the Wera Allen sets, just what I have been looking for.
Denny Smith
SHA Productions

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