Bicycle Tool Kit: What Is The Best Bike Chain Tool

A bike chain tool is an essential instrument to have in your bicycle tool kit. In fact, regardless of how well you maintain the chain, sooner or later you’ll still have to replace it.

A bike chain tool will help you take off the old chain and replace it with a new one. Our goal is to help you choose the best tool and change the chain like a pro. If you don’t feel like reading, use the links in the table below to jump to our selection of the best bike chain tools on the market.

The chain is one of the most wearable components of a bike. This important part of the system needs special care, such as regular lubrication, and also a periodical replacement.

Some bikes are equipped with quick-release chains that don’t require the use of special tools to take them off or put them on. For all the other types, you’ll have to use a bike chain tool that is designed specifically to break the chain and put it together again. Let’s see how to choose it.

Why You Need A Bike Chain Tool

A bike chain tool is an instrument that has a simple operation. In fact, the tool is made of a punch that is advanced until it reaches the pin holding two chain links together, pushing it out to break the chain. On the other hand, the same tool is also used to link two parts of a chain together, although the operation is, in this case, more complicated.

Most novice cyclists believe that a chain tool is useful only when the chain is worn out and needs to be replaced. However, there are many other reasons why you might need such a tool. For example, you might have to break the chain to shorten its length. You can also use it to join two pieces of chain to obtain a longer chain for bigger bikes.

Regardless the reason, a bike chain tool will help you break and close the chain in the simplest way.

In fact, many suggest that it is possible to use other tools, such as screwdrivers or Allen keys, to break the chain. This is true, but you should consider that all tools that weren’t developed specifically for this purpose might damage this rather delicate component of your bike.

Moreover, a bike chain tool is really easy to use. Learn how to change your bike’s chain in the tutorial below.

How To Change Your Bike’s Chain

  • Check if the chain on your bike has a quick release link. These links are usually colored differently than the other links on the chain for easier identification. If you identify such a link, you’ll not need to use a chain tool.
  • If the chain doesn’t have a quick release link, use a heavy-duty, high-quality bike chain tool to break the chain. Position the tool on one of the links and turn the handle counterclockwise until the pin holding the link is backed off enough to allow you to place the chain link on the outermost slot of the tool.
  • Turn the handle of the tool clockwise until the pin of the tool connects with the end of the bike’s chain pin. Continue turning the handle to push the pin out of its place. Make sure to stop when the pin is halfway through the slot. If it goes out completely, it will be very hard if not impossible to put it back in. At this point, remove the chain tool from the link. You’ll notice that the chain is still linked together but really loose and easy to remove from the gears.
  • Using a new bike chain, place the tool on the link whose pin is still poking out of the inner side. Twist the link and push it until the chain pin goes back into the link, holding the chain together. Make sure the chain link is positioned in the outermost slot and start turning the handle of the tool counterclockwise to push the pin back into the link. Continue turning the handle until the pin pokes out on both sides of the chain.
  • In some cases, the chain should be loosened. To do this, positioned the same chain link you just connected on the inner slot of the tool. Connect the pin of the tool to the pin of the chain and turn the handle gently to loosen the chain link plate. In most cases, it is sufficient to loosen it by a quarter of the turn, but make sure to check how it works before heading on your next adventure.

The Best Bike Chain Tool For Your Bike

1. Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool With Chain Hook

If you are looking for a universal bike chain tool that is durable, well-made, and affordable, then you might be thrilled to find out that the Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool With Chain Hook has all these qualities.

This bike chain tool is easy to use and it has an integrated chain hook designed to hold the chain links together during the assembly. On the other hand, the tool also boasts a reliable chain pin breaker that comes in handy when is time to replace the chain.

Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool With Chain Hook

The smart design of the tool makes it really easy to use both to remove and to reconnect the chain. The tool is universal and suitable for most bikes.

Another great feature is the portable design. This item will occupy a very little space in your tool kit and it fits a backpack or under-the-saddle tool bag.

Things We Liked
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    Maneuverability: this bike chain tool is easy to use and comfortable to handle thanks to the ergonomic, anti-slip grip.
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    Durable: the tool has a metal frame and heavy-duty components. The turning handle is made of durable plastic.
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    Universal: this tool works well on all common bike chains and it is suitable to use on most types of bikes.
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    Compact: the compact design is a big plus, as you will be able to take the tool with you on trips. This is particularly useful for those practicing off-road disciplines.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The tool is definitely not strong enough to be used frequently. It is rather manufactured for occasional use, not for professional purposes.

2. Park Tool CT-3.2 Chain Tool

Park Tool CT-3.2 Chain Tool

Park Tool CT-3.2 Chain Tool is a heavy-duty tool compatible with a wide range of chains and designed to be suitable for frequent use.

In detail, the tool is compatible with 1/8-inch and 3/16-inch single speed chains and also with derailleur chains of bikes with 5 to 12 speeds. Thanks to this characteristic, the chain tool is handy for almost all users.

Durable yet easy to use, the tool is made of heavy-duty cast steel and presents an ergonomic handle that is also made of steel.

A great feature of this bike chain tool is the sliding shelf designed to accommodate any width of the chain, while the attention to detail gives this item the aspect of a professional product.

Things We Liked
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    Compatibility: this bike chain tool is compatible with almost all chain types including single speed chains and derailleur chains.
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    Heavy-duty: the tool is made of cast steel and it is very resistant to frequent use. It can be a good tool for professional use too.
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    Comfortable size: easy to handle, this tool is ideal for both beginners and experienced cyclists. It is also easy to carry in a tool kit.
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    Design: the manufacturer managed to make this chain tool an attractive item thanks to the combination of colors.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The tool is difficult to use for loosening the chain. Considering the price, this aspect of the design could be improved.

3. Luditek Bicycle Chain Splitter Cutter Breaker

Many cyclists prefer investing in bike multi tools to carry with them on the trail, rather than carrying multiple single tools. A bike multi tool that includes a convenient bike chain tool is the Luditek Bicycle Chain Splitter Cutter Breaker.

This product includes 16 bike tools and it is extremely practical. Among the many tools included we have to mention the convenient bike chain tool that is compatible with almost all bike chains found on mountain and road bikes.

Bicycle Chain Splitter Cutter Breaker and 16 in 1 Bike Repair Tool

The chain tool is easy to use while the multi-tool also includes a chain wear checker that will allow you to check the status of the chain and see when it’s the time to change it.

This tool is available at an affordable price and the manufacturer offers a satisfaction guarantee and money-back return.

Things We Liked
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    Multifunctional: this product includes all the necessary bike tools you might need on the go, including a convenient chain tool.
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    Compatibility: another great feature is the compatibility of the chain tool with almost all chain types present on mountain and road bikes.
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    Satisfaction guarantee: the manufacturer offers a 30-days money-back guarantee and accepts a 60-days no-questions-asked return.
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    Chain wear checker: determining when is the time to change the chain is tricky, but this handy tool can help.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The tool is excellent for occasional use but it won’t last the challenges of frequent use.

4. Pro Bike Tool Universal Chain Tool

Universal Chain Tool 8 9 10 Speed

Pro Bike Tool Universal Chain Tool is designed to fit the needs of all cyclists; therefore, whether you’re a professional cyclist, a commuter or only use the bike for leisure purposes, this chain tool promises to deliver unmatched performances.

The chain tool is reliable and built to last. The tool is made of superior cast steel and it boasts a CNC-machined aluminum handle. The pin is made of a Cr-Mo blend designed to deliver a great performance for a long time.

Another feature we like is that the tool is universal and compatible with most chains. This tool, in particular, is ideal to use on derailleur chains designed for bikes with 8,9, or 10 speeds, while another version is compatible even with 11-speeds derailleur chains.

Thanks to the ergonomic handle the tool is comfortable to use, while the compact dimensions make it easy to fit in a bike tool kit.

Things We Liked
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    Powerful action: breaking or reconnecting the chain is a breeze thanks to the smooth and powerful pushing action delivered by the tool.
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    Ergonomic: the tool is designed with an ergonomic handle that makes it really comfortable and easy to use.
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    Oversized lever: to make operation easier, the manufacturer equipped this tool with an oversized lever that is easier to grip and turn.
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    Quality: the tool is made of cast steel, aluminum, and a blend of Cr-Mo that give an increased durability to the construction.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The chain punch is not long enough to be used on 1/8-inch chains. Keep this in mind before buying.

5. Park Tool Mini Chain Brute Chain Tool - CT-5

Lastly, Park Tool Mini Chain Brute Chain Tool - CT-5 is a chain tool that impressed us with its performance and reduced dimensions.

The tool is manufactured in the USA and made of high-quality cast steel. It has a shelf designed to help you loosen tight links and it is compatible with derailleur chains for bikes with 5 to 11 speeds.

Thanks to the really compact dimension, the tool is perfect to carry in a tool kit, while the special V-shaped handle improves grip and will make chain changing a breeze.

Park Tool Mini Chain Brute Chain Tool - CT-5

This chain tool is able to deliver the performances of a professional tool although it comes at a more than affordable price, which is a further advantage.

Things We Liked
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    Shape: the V-shaped handle is ergonomic and very easy to grip. This improves the overall handling of the tool.
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    Made in the USA: the tool is made of the highest quality materials and the fact that is manufactured in the USA is a guarantee that the item complies with the federal regulations regarding safety.
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    Perfect to carry: this tool is compact and really lightweight. It occupies a little space in the tool kit and ideal to take with you at all times.
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    Universal: made to be compatible with 5 to 11 speeds derailleur chains, this tool works well on almost all types of bike chains.
Things We Didn't Like
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    Although the small size is seen as an advantage from many points of view, some cyclists might find this tool awkward to handle.

Conclusion & Final Pick

Choosing the right bike chain tool is often a matter of brand, shape, or compatibility preference. When choosing the best, we considered the compatibility with most types of chains, the overall handling of the tool and its durability.

As a result, the best bike chain tool according to us, is the Park Tool CT-3.2 Chain Tool.

This is a heavy-duty tool compatible with a wide range of chains and designed to be suitable for frequent use. In detail, the tool is compatible with 1/8-inch and 3/16-inch single speed chains and also with derailleur chains of bikes with 5 to 12 speeds. Thanks to this characteristic, the chain tool is handy for almost all users.

Durable yet easy to use, the tool is made of heavy-duty cast steel . The ergonomic handle is also made of steel and represents a further positive feature.

Lastly, the sliding shelf designed to accommodate any width of the chain is another thing we really like.

The tool might be expensive, but investing in the highest quality will pay off. As such, we really recommend this bike chain tool as one of the bests.

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