Non vex brand vex axles

Hi, I was wondering what type of coating if any the vex axles have. I found this at home depot and it looks similar. Thanks for the help!

The vex axles are just steel key stock with rounded corners. As long as you check the number of the steel to make sure it is the same as the type of steel vex uses any key stock of the right dimensions should work if you file down the corners.


Just a reminder its not technically legal, however no one will ever notice

Why would it not be technically legal if it is identical?

None of the stock would be rounded in the same way.

I would use caution with this, especially if you are applying any torque at all. Vex shafts are easy enough to bend, but these are even less dense. They are lighter by 16.667% for the same length. Not that heavier automatically means stronger, but I would be concerned about something with that much of a difference. That also makes it definately not legal.

Also keystock doesn’t (generally) come coated with the nickel coating the VEX shafts have. Good luck finding another source that has that, I’ve never been able to.

Isn’t it a zinc plating, as stated here?

If so, wouldn’t this (assuming the edges are filed down and the steel is the same) be identical?

When shafts were out of stock for far too many weeks a few season ago we tried this but they did not fit nearly as well. Not sure if tolerances on what we bought were worse or what.

Why buy it for $4 when you can make it yourself for $60. . .

The HS axles are a custom for VEX- not just square bar or keystock. I’ve looked in all my sources for an industry-standard equivalent, and there just isn’t one (in real-life, I’m a manufacturing engineer for a major steel company, so I have plenty of “industry sources”). Unless you happen to have a drawbench and tooling handy, they only way you’ll make HS shafts with enough precision to work in the bearings will be to turn 1/4" cold-drawn steel bar on a lathe, then zinc plate it when you’re done to make it “identical”

Correct, I misspoke.

However I have tried ordering that same part number before but the tolerance sizing on it just didn’t similar enough to the VEX shafts. Everything I’ve tried has been either oversized to the point where I had to file down the corners a ton to so undersized they just weren’t usable.

The 12" shafts from VEX cost $2.25 each ($9 for a pack of 4) and are in stock. Why mess around with a substitute?

I see. I ordered some and discovered they were too large, but didn’t get a chance to try filing/grinding them down.

Speed between order and delivery. Our district is notoriously slow at processing POs, but I’ve heard that McMaster will, within reason, ship before receiving payment. So, I was hoping the McMaster product would work for us.

this is a gray zone since the part appears to be identical but might have different characteristics, at the end of the day it’s up to the inspector

Because if the proper key stock was considered legal it would definitely be a cost savings…