The Pro Bike Universal Chain Tool Breaker has been made with solid metal. It is also compatible with 8-speed, 9-speed and 10-speed chains so that it fits most modern bikes today. It gives you adequate leverage when you want to repair or replace chains. Sometimes the solution to a problem is merely to replace a pin or a link.
Our step-up pick is the Park Mini Brute 1-10sp Chain Tool which is ideal for 3/32 inch chains and it has a fine thread pin screw action to make it easy to attach and detach chains. Great for repair, this handy product gets the job done and can be used in an emergency situation while up in the wilderness, mountains or anywhere you might end up. Sometimes the only way back is by bicycle.
The budget pick is the Oumers Universal Splitter and is great with its pin loosening shelf that is handy along with its chain hook to make link re-chaining easier. Great for road bikes and the like, you can remove and install chain pins with less effort with the rubber grip.
What is a bike chain tool?
The bicycle has many important parts to make it move forward. The chain is the driving force that connects your pedal to the back of the wheel to make the wheels turn and make you go forward.
It is important to take care of your parts, especially the chain, because it is the most used mechanical part that you would encounter. The chain can be of different lengths depending on the type of bicycle that you have but it is important to keep it oiled when it gets rusty so that you can avoid running into problems later when you are cycling.
Chains also have chain rings that can have important differences. Single crank bicycles have one chain ring while double and triple crank bikes have two and three chain rings on their design. Picking bicycles with the necessary number of chain rings can actually affect performance. This is important for professionals.
The chain has different parts that make it run smoothly. The side plate sandwiches the internal parts such as the bushing or rollers and the link, which connects one chain plate to another to form a series of connections that make up the chain. The rivet or pin is used to connect the sandwiched parts together.
The chain tool has two main purposes: either to break a long chain or to join two chains together. You may want to break a long chain if you want to fit a chain to smaller bikes or need to repair a chain by disassembling it. you may want to use the chain tool to join two chains together to form longer chains for bigger bikes and/or custom builds.
Breaking a chain with a chain tool is rather simple. You just position it to wherever rivet you want to unlink and then screw it gently to push the rivet off the link. In this way, you can detach both sides of the chain from each other. Be careful not to go all the way to not lose the chain’s pin.
A chain link might be stiff due to many reasons, especially if the chain you attach is new or needs a little oiling. Chain links can be loosened from their stiffness with the use of a bike chain tool to slightly bend it, or you can also use your hand to slightly bend the joint to make it more flexible.
Below are a variety of products which are specifically designed to service whatever chain you need to be serviced. Whichever way the pin needs to be pushed out to break the chain depends on the chain which fits your machine. Pick the one you’ll need for the best results.
The Pro Universal Chain Tool Breaker is our best product, which has an ergonomic handle for making it easy to use.
With its powerful pushing action, it can push away any stubborn chain pin.
Flaws but Not Dealbreakers
While not a deal-breaker, the Pro Universal Chain Tool Breaker is not really compatible with lower speed chains, hence it is mostly meant for bikes with 8 speed and above. Nonetheless, most bikes today have that kind of speed so there is nothing to worry about, and you can always purchase a lower-priced model for different speeds. There is also an 11-speed version available for the product, anyway.
The Park Mini Brute 1-10sp Chain Tool is our step-up pick, which fits 1-speed up to 10-speed chains. Great for bikes of all ages and all styles, this tool can be essential in your travel tool kit with your bicycle because it is small and light.
The Oumers Universal Splitter is our budget pick, working well on most 7-speed to 10-speed chains with its universal design. It can break or re-chain any chain and it has a generally compact design for the road for making emergency repairs.
Best Product that is Universal
The Topeak Universal Chain Tool is a CrMo chain tool that works on a universal scale. It gives you an easier chain repair over cheap ones out there and it makes it easy to line up with the pin if you have an Allen wrench. It has a removable handle for you to customize your chain and is also a basic chain tool.
It can easily break a standard chain with minimal effort and is also a small and light tool to carry while travelling. Great for all single speed chains, this tool comes with a handle for your extra chain pins as well. It is a good addition in your toolbox as a 2-piece tool that is easy to use.
With its durable CrMo head, this tool gives you sufficient grip to work on stubborn links and it can also be used with an Allen wrench. The tool fits comfortably in your hand due to its size yet it is smooth functioning overall. It can also work on most multi-speed chains for bikes and you can carry it while riding without bulkiness.
It has a chain hook as well so you can feel at ease while re-linking or unlinking or while during end assembly. As a pin tool for bicycle chains, it has a logical design and can work on up to 10-speed chains. This easy to use chain pin breaker is beginner-friendly and will help you assemble the sections of your chain with a little extra leverage.
Best Tools that has a Chain Links Wear Indicator
The Oumers 2-in-1Tool+Chain Checker is a dual tool that also comes with a chain wear indicator. Great for 6-speed to 10-speed chains, the tool is sufficient for home bikechain repair needs or when you need to remove and install chain pins manually.
Best Product that is a Splitter
Pedro’s Six-Pack Chain Tool 6 Functions is one of the great steel chain tools to have with your machine because of its various functions. You can also be truing wheels with this awesome product and it can also work on BMX chains. For those who needed a chain tool when they are mountain biking, this is a good tool to have.
It comes with spoke wrenches and a flat screwdriver so it is much like a bike multi-tool that can also be used to replace your bike chain. It is a decent portable chain tool that will work on 1-speed through 11-speed chains out there. It also includes a 5mm hex Allen key wrench for convenience.
As a very compact chain tool for your machine, it is handy to have in case something happens to your bike chain and you are out in the mountains. Removing the chain and putting it back will be easier with this super handy chain tool that can be carried anywhere.
Best Product for Single Speed Chains
The ATLIN Bicycle Chain Breaker Splitter Tool is a tool that can be used for single speed chains. However, it is also ideal for 7-speed to 10-speed bike chains.
Best Product in the form of Pliers
The BIKE HAND Bicycle Chain Quick Link Tool is a pliers type tool that can be used to open and close the chain master link of most bike chains. It can be a good addition to any repair tool kit and it makes it easy to remove chains. Quick link chains don’t need pin punching tools, but this tool is a great addition to help to keep the end of a non-quick link chain close to insert a pin.
Best Tools for BMX Bikes
The CFIKTE Bicycle Chain Pin Remover Tool is a BMX tool that can work on 8-speed up to 10-speed bike chains and can be great for emergency use. Handling BMX chains easily, it makes it simple to remove and install chain pins.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the different parts of a bicycle chain?
A: The bicycle chain is an important part of the bike because it transfers motion from the pedal to the back of the bicycle. Without the chain, you can’t move the bike even with its pedals. There are different parts of a bicycle chain that you should know about:
The first part is the side plate, which is the one that covers all of the internal components.
The rivet or pin is the part of the bicycle chain that attaches two side plates. Think of it as a screw o a nail that puts together two side plates side by side to form a part of the chain. There is also a Shimano special pin that can be seen on some bikes today.
The link of the bicycle chain is what links one side plate to another side plate in a series of links to make a whole chain.
Last, but not the least, the bushing or rollers are the ones that are sandwiched between two side plates and attached by the pin or rivet.
Q: How do I break the chain of a bicycle with one of these chain tools?
A: To use a chain tool, the following steps are the recommended way.
First, you want to decide where to break the chain. The chain tool has a punch clear that you will unscrew so that you can position it to your chain’s slot. It can be any part of the chain. The main goal is to basically fit the punch into one of the circular links of the chain to drive out the rivet or push the pin in the centre.
Second, you will now try to break the chain by screwing the punch to break the link by pushing the pin. This screwing mechanism pushes the rivet further and further until you set the chain link free. However, do not go all the way when you push the pin so that it will not fall apart and you won’t lose it.
After you have pushed the pin towards near the end, you can just unscrew the chain tool then flex the chain link so that it will easily break apart. Congratulations, you just broke a chain! Re-attaching the chain works in a similar manner but in reverse, and can also be done with the tool.
Before putting the chain back, take each end and align the links back in place. With the help of your option on the variety of chain tools, link the ends back together again with your tool to push the pin back to place.
Q: What should I do if my chain link is stiff?
A: You can use the tool to loosen the chain so that it will move normally like the other chain links. To do this, you can just put the chain on the upper cradle and turn it with the tool if it is a link with two cradles. However, if your chain only has one cradle, you can just manually bend it by the hand to make it similar to the rest of the chain links. Stiff links will jump on gears and the pin or link problem can be ended by your chain tool.
Q: What is a chain cleaner and why is it important?
A: A chain cleaner is a special bike cleaning fluid that is meant for chains to make them less stiff when you use them a lot. When you apply this cleaner, make sure that it is not too much or else it can cause trouble to your bike chain in general.
Q: What is chain stretch and what do I do about it?
A: The chain stretch is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to excessive use.
When you do encounter stretch, or when your chains eventually get spaces between the chain links, it is time for a replacement. To know if your chain is almost at the point of replacement, you can use a special tool that indicates recommended limits. The spaces between the links of a new chain are much smaller than the links of a stretched chain.
Q: What is the master link in a bicycle chain?
A: The master link is a part of the bicycle chain that allows you to easily disassemble the chain when needed. Most newer bicycle chains have a master link. If it does, you should use master link pliers instead of a chain tool that pushes the pin away.
Q: What sizes of chains are available out there for a bicycle?
A: The chain size of a bicycle roughly depends on the type of bicycle and the design of its mechanics. It is always good to spare some of the links for future use as a link or a pin or two might just be the end solution to a broken link. It might be that a new chain fits way too snug for you to fit it your self and an extra link could help you out until professional help is available.
Q: What types of bike lubricants for chains are out there in the market?
A: Bike chains can get gritty if you do not lubricate them for a long time. If you are going to buy a bike lubricant that is specifically for your bike chain, you should get one that can withstand bad weather. They can either be dry or wet depending on the application that you need. Some are also wax-based when it comes down to their formulation.
Q: Why should I dry my bike before using?
A: Excess water can get into the bike parts and the mechanical parts and can cause corrosion or gritty chain actions.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Pro Bike Universal Chain Tool Breaker is our best product with a Cr-Mo push thread bolt and works on most modern, multi-speed bikes today. Above is a variety of chain tools which can push out a chain pin or put the chain back together, but in the end, you should pick the one tool which fits your needs best.
Chains which are regularly serviced last longer and when having the bike tools to do this one service regularly, the links will last longer before a new chain will be needed. Chain tools are generally way cheaper than buying a new chain. Whether or nor a quick link chain is fitted, the rest of the chain will need to be repaired with replacing a pin or two. All these tools will solve a pin problem.