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I bought the cheapest chain breaker, XLC 10EUR, and its head got loose on the first try (maybe due to my poor handling or it is not well-done product).

I was on the journey and had to get it so did not have time to investigate for better long-term option. This reply raised the issue again, here.

The shop-keeper said that he used some very expensive tool because it "is much better in everything but for great price tag". Which durable chain breaker would you suggest to replace XLC? And if you have tips not to break it, please, do not hesitate to contain.

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    I'm very happy with my Park chain tool CT-5. I haven't had it long enough to say if it's durable, but it seems to be very solid and well-made. In general, you can't go wrong with Park Tool products; I have several of them and like them. Feb 16, 2011 at 5:10
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    I agree with Neil, park tool products have always worked well for me. I actually bought the park tool starter kit, which has almost all the tools you need to maintain bikes.
    – Benson
    Feb 16, 2011 at 23:36

4 Answers 4

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I use a park tool breaker in the shop, but when I'm on the road it's nice to have something very small and light. The Cutter Shorty is a packable bike tool that includes a chain breaker. While not quite as easy to use as a park tool, it's perfect for packing with you. That and a spare master link, and you're set.

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  • why would you choose a Cutter Shorty? It is a good idea to have a chain breaker with master links but what is the main intrinsic factor? Is it the weight, size or something else? Look I can get a chain breaker with a cheap chinese multitool, see my reply. I don't like its size and feel it a bit bloated but it is cheap and seems durable. Don't you need anymore tools in a multitool?
    – user652
    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:55
  • I found the Shorty really inexpensively on chainlove.com. It was cheap and is well built. I really don't like cheap tools, because if your tool breaks on you, you're hosed. I think it's worth looking for something high quality with all the features you need for a reasonable price. I can't definitively say cutter's stuff is best, but it's certainly good.
    – Benson
    Feb 17, 2011 at 21:27
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Park Tool manufactures tools for professional bicycle mechanics, so you can expect a quality product from them. But you should not be afraid from unknown brands or used tools.

I also suggest reading this article: The difference between a good chain tool and a cheap chain tool

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If by head is meant the little pin that is used to push out the rivet, I don't think there's much to worry about.

In my shed, I have a no-name brand Cyclo Rivoli-style tool with a wobbly "head" that I've been using for three decades without issue. It takes a few seconds to properly align it on the end of a rivet but otherwise performs fine.

Currently, a cheap XLC model is their TO-S25. XLC clearly expect the pins may need replacing, as they offer spares for it, as do many other manufacturers for at least some of their models (e.g. Birzman, Park, Pedro, Topeak, etc)


I keep a Pedro's Six-Pack in my bike EDC (which I hope never to need). I chose it mainly because I like how it feels in the hand. It's 58g without the gumpf and doubles as a decent spoke key.

Pedro's doesn't sell spare pins for this model but I emailed them out of curiosity just now and they were fairly confident it will take the Topeak spare.

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  • Looking today (2024-03-01), it seems Pedro's now sell spare pins!
    – jhnc
    Mar 1 at 23:09
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The pins of the breaker are replaceable. Often one or two are included but with the cheaper breaker may not be any.

Buy a breaker having pins that are replaceable and available on the market. They may be more expensive but then breaking a pin is not a big deal. ParkTool is one of the companies making such breakers.

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