Substitute Tool for IKEA Malm Bed Frame and Desk

I’m in the process of moving to Cambridge, MA and was in dire need of a special tool used to take apart IKEA furniture, in particular the Malm style IKEA bed frame.

IKEA Malm Bed Frame Tool Hex Wrench
IKEA Malm Bed Frame Tool Hex Wrench

My brother, the IKEA furniture assembly master specifically said, “Do not lose this tool, we will need it when you want to move again.” Alas, I think it got packed somewhere.  So we needed a replacement or substitute.

The first trick was finding what the tool was called, because it is not a standard hand tool.  It apparently this Z-shaped tool does not have a name, but instead a number, which is 113453.

There isn’t much info on the web about the tool, original IKEA tool, but something that is repeated is that 113453 is shaped specifically to make assembly of IKEA furniture and thus no alternative or substitute tool works as well.

Alternative to IKEA’s 113453 Z-Shaped Wrench

The good news is that the 113453 IKEA wrench used to assemble and disassemble the Malm Bed frame is actually a 13mm wrench.  That’s right, the tool is a metric 13 milimeter wrench.  You can go down to your local hardware store and pick up just this wrench and use it to take apart IKEA stuff.

That’s about it.  Sometimes having the right tool (or substitute) is all you need to get the job done.

Hopefully this post saved you some time and money.  Feel free to post a reply if it did!


  1. Did you by chance have to take apart the IKEA Bertil Chairs (if you have them)? I’m trying to take mine across the country and the diagrams on the IKEA website don’t match my chair !(@*#. Thanks.

  2. Haha.

    I’ve learned from my past errors to DUCT TAPE the Ikea tool somewhere right on the offending piece of furniture. It will there forever (or until you move).

    Glad you found a solution.

  3. Hey dude,

    Thanks so much for this post. I reluctantly googled ‘Ikea 113453’ in desperation and your site came right up. Now I am sorted.

    United in Ikea-furniture-frustation…


    Melbourne, Australia

  4. Oh my gosh! Thank you! I have movers coming in a few hours and I haven’t disassembled the bed yet! I thought I’d be able to take it apart with a regular screwdriver but of course it wouldn’t be that easy. Luckily there is a Home Depot right up the road!

    Thank you!!

  5. Thank you! This was so helpful! I bought this bed off my friend, and couldn’t figure out how to take it apart. You’re a lifesaver!

  6. Thank you! Moving tomorrow and had a minor panic when I couldn’t find the tool that came with our Malm beds. You saved me some time and looking stupid and clueless at the hardware store.

    Boston, MA

  7. Thanks for this! I just purchased this bed frame from craigslist from a girl in my next town and I’m going to pick it up tomorrow. I have no idea if she still has the tool so this is a huge help!

  8. Thanks so much for the tip! Was searching the IKEA website for something to point me in the right direction to find this stupid tool. Same situation – moving and no idea where the tool is. Thank you Google and thank you Rob! 🙂

  9. Bless you! I lost my wrench and called Ikea to purchase a new one. They DON’T sell them! I figured I would have to buy a new bed to obtain another key. Thank you for the article.

  10. Thanks Rob for publishing this information! IKEA’s assembly pictograms on its website are less than useful when trying to determining what size nut is used for the cam fastener.

    You deserve a bro hug bump ala

  11. OMG thank you so much, I’ve been pulling my hair out all morning trying to stick sockets and stuff in there. Heading to the hardware store now 😀

  12. Thank you so much…
    I also have headache to find this IKEA tool. Now, I am fine to disassemble my bed.

    Thanks again… : D

  13. Thank you!! I couldn’t find that stupid wrench and I didn’t want to assemble something not structurally sound for my little one. Thanks again!!

  14. My daughter is moving today and she told me the tool was in her apt…she was wrong. Headed out to the hardware store. THANK YOU!!!

  15. Old post but many thanks for putting it up – i typed “Malm spanner” into google and this came right at the top, exactly what I was looking for – cheers !!!

  16. Haha! I’ve owned a few IKEA beds, bloody easy to assemble – if you have the original tool . . . or an Allen wrench set (for older Malm’s) and a 13mm wrench or socket.

    I’m concerned that soooo many people had a hard time trying to figure this out (best comment so far was the hack saw one, LMBO!!!). Guess that’s why I still have a job.

    An open-ended or “box” wrench works best (typically looks like >——0 – an open U shape on one end and a closed circle on the other.)

    Hear ye, Hear ye all ye serf’s to IKEA furniture – when you re-assemble your bed in its/your new place, heed the advice of fmed the Wise (above) and DUCT TAPE the tool to the underside of the bed. If you don’t have the tool, go right now (don’t pass GO, don’t collect $200, go DIRECTLY) to your local hardware store and buy a 13mm wrench OR go to your nearest IKEA store to the Returns or Customer Service dept and politely ask for one of these tools. Depending on how you ask for it (politely, nicely, etc.) they may either charge you a few bucks for it or just plain GIVE it to you. Because (say it with me, yes, go ahead, out loud) “you never know what you can get unless/until you ask”.

  17. Thank you soo much! I was about to sell the bedframe because i couldn’t de-assemble it. I drove to a hardware store a quarter of a mile away, and picked up a $6 tool that took care of business. Was a breeze after that… thanks so much!

  18. i had the same problem and just considered driving an hour to the next ikea store and picking on dup and then i found your post …..thank you for posting this !!!!!!!!!

  19. Thanks for this post! Moving… lost the same piece, found this, went to Home Depot and got a 13mm wrench for $2 – $3 and it did the job.

  20. What a lifesaver! IKEA was not at all helpful. Besides offering a downloadable instruction page for me to use for my disassembly and to give to the new owner picking up my gracious donation tomorrow, along with a bunch of real unassemble-able furniture. THANK U!

  21. Thank you so much! I have a Malm queen and we’re upgrading it to a king and I need to take apart the old one but of course the stupid wrench was nowhere to be found. 10 seconds of googling with the part number from the assembly instructions and I found the size I can now go buy at walmart. Thank you!

  22. Been looking for this information all day. Even IKEA couldn’t help. Thanks for the info.
    IKEA should take ownership of this problem — as in put the mm sizes on the assembly instructions.

  23. Thank you for posting this information! It really saved me when I was trying to disassemble my IKEA bed at the last minute.

  24. You’re awesome. My roommate moved out, left this bed, and I couldn’t take it apart! But grabbed this wrench at home depot for < $3 and took it apart easy peasy. You're the man.

  25. Thanks so much for this clear, concise and satisfying post!

    Things like IKEA instructions, specialty wrenches and having to assemble IKEA furniture can make one frustrated by humanity.
    Posts like this that make one believe there is hope for humans after all!

  26. Awesome! Thank you! Why Ikea don’t list the size of their Hex Nut is beyond me. Even the part doesn’t have a dimension on their site.

  27. Don’t know if this blog is still running but I thought I’d let you know you’re still helping people out! I thought I’d have to buy and expensive socket wrench set to get it sorted, your post saved me some dosh!!

  28. Hey Jam, I am not sure on this. If you find out there is a minimum length, please post here and I’ll add it to this entry. -rob

  29. Thanks for a very useful (and practical) tip on IKEA assembly or disassembly… you save my day greatly..

  30. If you still live in the Boston area, I’d like to buy you a beer! Time and money saved! Years later!

  31. Here I am, 8 years after you posted this, moving from Boston up to Cambridge, with a half-dissassembled bed. You just saved me! Thank you!!!

  32. thanks so much for your advice. couldn’t find anything (tools or otherwise) in the household to solve the problem of the missing ikea tool

  33. SOO happy this was posted and still on the web! Thanks for making it easier for those us who bought their Malm bed on Craigslist!

  34. Dude, movers coming at 10:30 AM tomorrow morning and I would have been absolutely screwed without this helpful article. You made the world a better place! Thanks!!!

  35. Wow! I couldn’t find my tool and here’s your article! Made it before the store closed too. Thank you sooooo much!

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