If you've ever had to put together a piece of furniture, you've likely encountered today's featured tool...the allen wrench.
An allen wrench is a special "L" shaped six-sided wrench, coming in various sizes, that fits into a recessed hexagonal socket hole in the end of an allen bolt. These guys come in very handy when you have a tight space that you need to get to OR when you need to use a lot of force and pressure.
The first time I saw them in my toolbox, I was confused about how often I'd really use them. But, being an avid DIYer, I have owned many random pieces of furniture that have come in a kit and required me to put them together. And let's face it, just about every early piece of furniture I owned came from IKEA, where they LOVE to send you home with a heavy box and lots of little pieces. I don't know who decided to create the allen wrench or bolt, probably just some guy that we'll call "Allen", but you can bet that he made his goldmine off of these crazy instruments.
Owning your own set of allen wrenches is always a good idea, too, because many times, when using a lot of force, an allen wrench can get stripped. Most of the DIY kits come with one, but I always like to have a back up. And mine came in handy this week when I received my new étagère for the living room. LOTS of allen bolts and one pitiful allen wrench. But you know what, I got the job down all by myself...with the help of Allen!