Ultrahex or Thunderhex?

We’ve got some of both, but not enough of either for the upcoming season. Which should I buy, in your opinion, and why?

Stick with thunderhex. Ultra hex is a different lower strength alloy. At least that’s what I remember from reading in 2018 summer


6063 vs 7075. Yup.

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It appears that Ultrahex is intended as an element of the REV 5mm hex ecosystem; specifically as a way for teams to adapt 5mm hex shaft parts to 1/2 hex components. So it not really shaft material. It is stock for making (relatively short) shaft adapters.

Thunderhex is shaft material. It can handle a lot more torque without deforming.


Easy choice then, I feel silly even having asked. Thanks y’all, next time I’ll do my homework instead of bugging you

The real answer is it depends on what you are using it for.

Thunderhex is an awesome product if you are using it for drive axles or in a high load gearbox for a climber or catapult or anything that will see a lot of torque or bending loads. It’s also great because you can take advantage of using tunderhex bearings and not have to deal with aligning the hex faces to the bearing and the other advantages of a round bearing. Thunderhex does come at a higher price though, $16 for 3ft because it is a stronger product.

Ultrahex like Richard and others have said is much weaker (6063) but it’s also a lot cheaper. In some applications it will work fine, as part of a conveyor system or intake, ultrahex might be enough. It won’t work with thunderhex bearings but it will work fine with 1/2" hex bearings. It’s also only $7 for 3ft.

If you want even cheaper hex stock especially for prototyping or other low load applications we have had pretty good success with these two stocks from orange aluminum. All the ones we have ordered have been slip fit to normal FRC 1/2" hex bearings and hubs.

6061 1/2" Hex Bar - 6’ - $12.48 - https://www.orangealuminum.com/hex-tubes-and-bars-oa9185-6m.html

6061 1/2" hex tube (1/4" hex ID) - 6’ - $9.36 - https://www.orangealuminum.com/hex-tubes-and-bars-oa9149-6m.html


What’s the advantage of Thunder Hex over regularly half inch hex? It seems like it’d just round out more easily

It’s mostly the advantage of thunderhex bearings and also the #10 thru hole / tap size 1/4-20 hole that is already included. Regular VEX 7075 hex shaft has it’s uses as well, better round out resistance being one of them, especially useful with plastic parts.

Paul explained the reason for Thunderhex in a really nice post a few years ago - ThunderHex Bearing Explained


For FTC: You are correct with UltraHex being a way to adapt 5mm hex into a 1/2 hex environment.

For FRC: Using it for standoffs and cheap/quick prototyping has worked for teams I have been affiliated with before joining REV as well.

2714 used a chunk of UltraHex as standoff material in different contexts.


The biggest immediate benefit we saw was not having to line up the hex bearing rotationally with the hex shaft. Never again will we hear “why isn’t it going in? Ah ■■■■, the bearing in there is rotated, let me reach in and spin it…”

~~edit: Seriously? cra* is censored now?


Ewwww 6063, that stuff is like machining stiff chewing gum.


6063? Just use a saw and a grinder.

The Vex ThunderHex is also handy since it has a 0.2" bore that can be tapped to take a 1/4-20 bolt.

We use thunderhex. We’ll occasionally buy 1/2” hex from our local metal shop, but it is about 0.040 inch larger (and solid, no hole) so it takes a bit of finesse on the belt sander to fit in hex bearings.

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