Mick F wrote:Ok then, it was 7mm .................. but WHY?
Good question with appropriate emphasis.
I know nowhere in Paris, a fair-sized town, that stocks a 7 mm Allen key. None of the big-box hardware stores do. The small car-parts shops don’t either. You’d need to find a specialist tool supplier or something.
Of course it’s easy enough to order online.
This size, 7 mm (and the 3.5 mm that was mentioned upthread), is a so-called second-choice size. It’s not included in first-choice sets because the size increments are chosen so that for every fastener, there’s clearly only one size that will both fit and engage the flats. Any size too small is intended to spin harmlessly in the head of the fastener. Careless mechanics might otherwise use a size too small and, finding some engagement, wreck the fastener head or tool or both.
I’ve come across dumb sizes on car brakes, too. Actually, cars in general have got out of hand. You need just about every whole-number metric size of hex socket and spanner from about 8 to 19 mm, and that’s before you get into the big stuff like axle nuts, hex-socket heads in bizarro sizes as discussed, Torx, External Torx just to be awkward, triple square / XZN (are they even strictly the same?), and other whacky spline stuff. You’d think we were driving race cars by all this theoretical optimisation. The Germans are the worst as usual.