Many of us have a love/hate relationship with IKEA furniture - there’s no doubt that the price is unbeatable, and the quality you get in return is pretty good. However, building said IKEA furniture can often be a long and lengthy task; putting flat-pack together isn’t something that *anyone* really looks forward to.
Perhaps one of the main pain points with assembling IKEA furniture is having to screw everything in with the super awkward Allen key that often comes with your new flatpack purchase. Many of us will waste hours, if not days, turning that Allen key incessantly (and slowly) until the piece is built.
But according to one viral TikTok video, there is another way! DIY and woodworking expert Nick Starrett shared that one very simple IKEA hack can make the whole experience of building your furniture *much* easier.
TikTok hack to make building IKEA furniture easier
The TikTok video, which has received over 31,000 likes, shares that the key to this trick lies in the Allen key or Allen wrench that was likely included with your IKEA purchase. Nick says that, if you got one with your purchase, or you have one already at home that you use for building any flatpack furniture (such as your classic IKEA dupes), you can actually cut this to make for a much easier DIY project.
Nick suggests that for this hack, you can cut off the rounded top of the Allen key, so that it is now a straight ‘wrench’ rather than a rounded one.
Of course, this isn’t something you’ll likely be able to achieve with regular household scissors, so experts generally advise using bolt cutters (safely of course!) for this job.
Once this is done, Nick advises grabbing an electric drill, and simply placing what remains of the Allen key into the drill.
Demonstrating the results, he then shows how easy it is to use the Allen key now that it is attached to your electric drill - and that rather than spending hours turning the key manually, you can simply install your IKEA screws in just minutes.
And it’s as easy as that! We can’t believe we didn’t know this sooner…
However, a couple of people within the comment section noted that you may want to keep a regular (e.g. not cut) Allen key spare too, when assembling your IKEA furniture.
This is because you may have to deal with some more awkward sections of assembly, where your electric drill may not fit – in which case, you'll need the much smaller, normal Allen key to help you do the job.
You should also exercise some serious caution when cutting an Allen key, and make sure you have the proper tools for the job. If you're in any doubt or are a novice DIYer, head to a DIY/hardware store for their advice on how to cut your Allen wrench or you can pick up an Allen Key bit set on Amazon that has been specifically designed to use with a drill.
That aside, we'd say this is a pretty brilliant DIY hack for self-assembling furniture, and should the often tiresome and time-consuming process much quicker, and easier.
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Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine.
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