the toolbox thread

pretty much everyone on the internet has had a parent/grandparent tell them that they should “only buy good tools”, while this probably never happened, it’s still a good idea.

I figure it would be cool to have a thread for tools…as in advice on what is good and what is shit, for both bike and non bike. (i am pre-empting/facilitating the inevitable descent into pun filth)

i’ll start.
FSA Megaexo external BB tool. big, heavy and does what it says it should. the one at work has been used daily for at least 8 years, icecream can attest that it works better than park. if you find one on special buy it. give it to your kids when you stop riding bikes.

does anyone have a recommendation for a quality thread tap ‘wrench’? i have one and it’s shit.

as in a good one of these:

Don’t know about the tap wrench but my recommendation are Knipex “Wire Rope Cutters” - best cable cutters I’ve used, well priced and they last.

sort of like this thread?


Talking about tools. Would very much like an Abbey Tools Crombie Tool.

And a dura ace chainwhip

This thread has potential you’ve posed a good question. The other thread is a bit of a flop I think.

I’m more keen to hear what cool tools AL, WCP, Mike, Spirito (is he still on here?) and et al. have in their workshops and recommend to others.

Maybe let it roll mods?

You realise that was my thread don’t you… :slight_smile:

Asher- subscribed

Yeh, this thread could take a more practical approach. ie what tools do you actually use and recommend.

Yeah I think they’re a bit different browsing the other one.(dreamy vs practical).

Can also confirm da chain whip is the shit. Coupled with hozan lockrings pliers you’re onto a winner.

Papa spirito has the coolest spoke tensionmeter in the world.

my home favs are:

-a square taper tool that locks onto the BB axle making getting stuck BB’s out easier

-my grandads old tiny shifter great for valve cores (MUSA)

-my grandads old stanley knife where the blades are stored in the handle

one of my work fav’s is the cyclus tool for getting old stuck NDS loose BB cups out

Of interest to some people is that Unior tools noew have a distributer in Aus, so most shops can get there tools in, they are kinda like the Euro Parktool but have some good stuff.

A cheap one that just keeps going is:

Good for everything but 11spd campy (well quicklinks are ok)

I must have used mine on 100’s of chains and its fine.

Yeah this is a good thread. That BB tool looks excellent Asher. My Park Tools one snot in its spot, maybe Gus Grumpypants has it? Will look into one of these though.

I don’t actually have that many remarkable tools. I mostly just have standard decent tools. My socket and spanner set is a no-name generic one. I’ve bought Kinchrome 6, 7, 8, and 9mm combination spanners though, and they’re really handy.

My cutters certainly belong in this thread.

Very close to what Dice has, but these are bike specific with nice little crimping teeth for cable ends. Park Tools have nothing on them. Model number is 9561190.

For Mike’s BB suggestion, I got an Icetoolz ST BB tool specifically so I could use a fender washer or two and a crank bolt to keep the tool in place. It’s way better for wrenching on, knowing that it can’t slip out.

Otherwise, I like my new Cyclo cassette lockring tool for similar reasons, and I use that bit of bent coat hanger all the time when I’m splitting/joining chains. I use it with Park Tool quicklink pliers all the time and it’s painless.

The only other thing maybe worth mentioning is the little stool I have on my left as the bike’s in the stand. I got it from someone’s verge and use it for small parts as I’m working. The idea is that it’s cleaned up between jobs. I think it’s very handy. I’ve got a sharpened spoke that lives on it too that I use to flare out cable outers, but it’s handy for a lot of other things too.

Actually, now that I mention it, my new work stand is totally great. It’s so much better than the very good tripod one I was using. It’s freed up heaps of space around the bike, and holds everything so well. I just have to get used to adjusting the locking mechanism.

+1, very very handy.

And I’m waiting for my park cutters to die to get some knipex

You must have gotten the metal ones then. Mine were made of butter.

Mine are from the tool shop down the road. They’re nothing fancy, but fine, like the ones in the bottom of your pic. Small one for bottle cage bosses (tight for space sometimes), and bigger one for pedal taps.

Double banger !
LEZYN External BB and shimano cassette removal tool

+1 for the Shimano track chain whip, nothing compares.

My pic of tools that I’d never want to use other versions of…

I’ll use this about half the time in the workshop. I find it easier because I can push against the bolt, I can also rotate turn the bolt and not feel like I’m only pushing it one way. I hope that makes sense. There’s also an 8/9/10mm socket version, very handy. I’ve used the BBB, Park Tool and Pedro’s versions and find the BBB tri-tool hex ends last the longest.

I find Pedro’s spoke keys to be the most useful as they have the diamond shape, giving four points of force against the nipple. Sadly, against this thread’s purpose, they don’t last as long as others.

The BBB BB tool comes with a piece to screw into the spindle. It doesn’t hold the tool against the BB but it does keep it straight, which has always stopped the tool from slipping for me.

The BBB chain breaker is nice with it’s adjustable width. I had one that was used until the threads wore out over a couple of years of workshop use, maybe 1 or two pins broke in that time.

Links because I couldn’t grab their pics.

That cyclus BB drive side cup removal tool is good MikeD. Its similar to the Campagnolo one, however TACX did an even better version in the 80’s/90’s which has a massive arm off it. I found myself always using breaker bars on my Campagnolo tool, so I could apply more load without wrekcing my dodgy shoulders. But then I lucked out and got the Tacx of an ex-shop owner. Tools are something I have really gotten into over the years as I find myself fiddling with a shitload of older classics. When I get some time, I’ll post up a few cool tools which I use often. Until then, my other most useful tool is something which you should buy once & once only. A Dawn vice!

alright, when i kill the next set of pedros cable cutters i’ll get me a set of knipex ones. also, auna tools looks cool. my kind of shop. shit everywhere.

here’s my shortlist;

Chain Tool: I have one of these.

it spent 5 years in a bike shop and then i claimed it. its awesome. and the handles are wood grain so i feel more bespoke. I also have the campy 11v chain tool which doesn’t excite me at all. overall i still reckon the campy 10v chain tool is the bestest. if i didn’t have the shimano one i’d have the campy one.

Lockring wrench

Blakey got me onto these, basically impossible to make slip, far more confidence inspiring then anything else i’ve used.

Allen Keys - I have a gold coloured bondhus set that cost me $25 5 years ago. still good. bondhus make most of the ball point keys out today anyway.

Other nifty things

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, this is one of the most useful tools i have:

not this actual one, but whatever. its a springbar tool for changing bands on watches. makes cabling (esp campy) a doddle.


useful for everything. $15 on ebay.

vice grips

these are small needle nosed types, don’t generate thaaat much clamping force, but are great when you need a little bit more than a greasy hand can give. i got my one at bunnings for not much.

T-handle Torx

I have this exact one, pretty much essential for the shitty alloy torx bolts on campy levers, good for everything else too.

My cool list.
Shimano FC30 3 piece set.

great retro tools, excellent at headset duties. the pedal wrench is average (the F-off park one is much better at stubborn pedals). if you can pick up a set for not a billion dollars (harder now with the dollar) they’re nice to have.

shiny snap-on shit.
I am not going to lie. I have a thing for shiny Snap-On tools. There is not a chance i use them enough to warrant me owning them, nor am i silly enough to argue that they are the best tools out (their pliers are meh, i have a few and i don’t especially like them), but yeah, i really like them. I have a shallow socket sets in both 3/8" and 1/4" drive and the full hex key socket set (2-11mm mixture of 3/8 and 1/4), all of the bits i got were new, but poorly listed on fleabay and sold for much lower prices than usual.

pk lie spoke wrench

i love the feel of these over the park ones. i’m not a huge wheel builder though and i didn’t have to pay for it. (i have them at work)

My shitlist:
feedback sports digital vernier caliper.
there is nothing actually wrong with it as such, it measures shit and appears to be accurate while doing so, its just of no better quality than the $10 ones on ebay, which sucks because it costs a lot more than the $10 ones on ebay.

Park Tools chain whip. you know, the one that breaks two days after getting it? meh. its easily fixable, and does give good leverage, but much ambivalence.

These are called “Pick Tools” or “Hook and Pick Sets” for those playing at home. Can be got them from Supercheap etc.

And yep. A high quality set of Chrome Vanadium Steel metric ball head Allen/Hex Keys is an investment worth making. I have a set of Pedros branded ones but they are identical to ones made by Bondhus.

And another tool I couldn’t do without is my 3-15Nm 1/4 torque wrench - mines nothing special, just one I picked up from T7 on special.