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What is the difference between a Chain Splitter and a Chain Tool and a Chain Breaker?

Are they the same thing?

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Most likely the same.

I think there are only really two "chain" tools (i.e. tools with "chain" in their name). One is used to break a chain, and goes by names such as chain splitter or chain breaker. So you'd use this for removing a chain completely off the bike, for example to replace it. You might also want to look at Power Links in this context, as using a Power Link means you can sometimes avoid using a chain splitter altogether (which requires a degree of precision).

Chain Splitter or Breaker

The other is used to hold a freewheel/cassette in place, and is called a chain whip. You'd typically use this in conjunction with a lockring, when you want to remove the freewheel/cassette.

Chain Whip

Unfortunately I've heard both called a "chain tool".

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    There is a "chain breaker" that is like a pair of pliers, vs using the threaded shaft for forcing the pin out. And you need some sort of "chain breaker" even if you use Power Links, et al, since you still have to cut the new chain to length. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 28 '14 at 11:29
  • @DanielRHicks I've edited my answer to highlight your second point - I didn't mean to suggest that power links were a complete alternative. Was unaware of the plier-type tool but am seeing a Park CT-2 - is this the kind of thing you mean? – PeteH Jul 28 '14 at 12:04
  • Yeah, that's one. There are other designs. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 28 '14 at 12:14
  • Also the tools (pliers) to install/remove 10-speed quick links could be referred as chain tools, i guess. Btw, I have only ever seen the second tool referred as 'chain whip' or just 'whip'. – Vorac Jul 28 '14 at 12:32

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