Tools: Part 3
I’d very rarely encountered Torx bits until I started working on Aston Martins. They’re used on German cars, and super-tiny ones are used in electronics, but they’re not terribly common on Japanese cars that I used to wrench on all the time. I dealt with them on BMWs, but didn’t work on those cars too often. But with Astons, they’re everywhere.
Torx bits are shaped like a 6-pointed star and are inserted into the head of a Torx bolt (unlike a traditional socket that goes over the head of a standard bolt). Sizing is easy to understand as it starts with a T, followed by a number that gets larger with size. For example, a T10 bit is smaller than a T25 bit.
If you work on an Aston Martin, you will need a set of these. I mentioned on the first page of this article that the 192-piece Dewalt tool set includes a range of Torx bits that will cover most of your needs. If you need to buy a set separately, this 13-piece set from EPAuto has a nice range for a great price.
Security Torx Bits
A variant of Torx bolts are security Torx bolts (also called “tamper proof”). These bolts have a small peg in the center of the head which prevents a standard Torx bit from being able to insert into it.
A security Torx bit has a hole in the center of the 6-pointed “start” so the bit can fit despite the peg. These are not common, and the only ones I’ve encountered are on the MAF sensors. So it’s rare you’ll need a set of security Torx bits, but if you do need them, the job won’t be possible without them.
Standard vs Security Torx Bits
To be honest, you can probably get away with only having security Torx bits if you want to save money. If you want one set of security Torx bits that can do it all, I’d suggest this 13-piece set from Neiko.
The downside is that the security version won’t be as strong as they have the hole in the center, and this could lead to a bit breaking under heavy torque. To be honest, I’ve never had that happen to me and I have used security Torx bits on plenty of standard Torx bolts. It’d take a lot to break one of them so it isn’t something I’ve ever worried about. But it is a concern, so keep that in mind if you only get security Torx bits and forgo the standard version.