My chain broke so I decided I'd fix it. Don't have a tool to take apart the chain so I tried hammer and a nail over a wrench to no avail. Messed up the chain pretty bad too. enter image description here

Is there such a chain where these are welded? I smashed this thing with a hammer as hard as I could right in the center with a nail and it didn't even so much as budge.

Also I think my chain is a power link if that makes a difference enter image description here

I will get a dedicated tool but I'm just baffled at that.

Do I get a new chain or just sever a couple links and get replacement pin?

  • 2
    Using a hammer and nail is like taking a tooth pick to a sword fight. You could hit them all day an nothing would happen to the chain (can't say what happens to knuckles and fingers). You need chain tool to reinsert the pin anyway. How old is the chain? If its worn it should be replaced, in fact, its better to replace it.
    – mattnz
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 3:15
  • 1
    I bet you bent and blunted the nail, and probably made an impression on your wooden work bench! A chain pin needs continuously-applied pressure to get it moving. A punch is like kicking a ball uphill... it will roll back down. Likewise you might displace the pin, but it will come straight back as soon as the impulse from the hammer is removed. The better chains have a "mushroom" effect on the outside of the chain pins, for added strength, so yes they are peened over on more expensive chains. Reuse your master link, buy a new chain.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 7:36
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    As all my male ancestors have said (on both sides) "New Job New Tool" The tool for this job is a chain tool. Just buy one. For opening the master link you can use an old brake/gear cable inner wire, no need for special pliers for that task.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 7:50
  • For this you need the proper tool. Someone with skill, a decent anvil-like object, and a small nail-set style punch could disassemble the chain without too much mangling, but reassembling would still be near to impossible. And at this point the chain is so damaged that you likely need a new one (if only because you've lost a couple of links and the old chain is now too short). But you need the tool to cut the new chain to length. (And don't throw out the old chain until you've counted the links in it so you know how long to make the new one.) Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 11:44
  • @DanielRHicks. To insert the pin back I simply use a side pliers. Then few hits on it to put the pin in the middle. Thou I never successed to open the chain without the removal tool.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


I'd get a new chain and use a chain tool next time.

The links have rivets in them which are hard to push out without a chain tool (and other tools can weaken the chain leading to failure, especially with a cockamamie way like you're trying). Given that a cheap chain tool is 10-15 dollars it's a worthy investment relative to the cost of a replacement chain.

In the second picture, the second vertical link from the top is a quick link. You push the plates together (perpendicular to the table) and then push them in opposite directions (parallel to the table in the direction of the chain).

You will need a chain tool anyway when you get your new chain in order to size it appropriately; this link will give you appropriate directions. And if you have to install a special rivet (e.g. Shimano) to close the chain, you'll need a tool (*).

(*) On lower speed chains / old days, people used to push the rivet out partially then re push it back in to close the chain. It is now recommended to use the special closing rivet or a quick link, depending on what the chain manufacturer suggests.

  • 2
    +1 for the word cockamamie :) I knew it was ridiculous, kind of just experimenting repairs on my old bike so I don't do that to my new one Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 3:27
  • 1
    +1 for acknowledging Shimano chain requirement. SRAM chain always include quick detach link for free XD .
    – mootmoot
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 8:31

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