I have a bike with a sram Cassette and a bike with (i think) a shimano freewheel. According to https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/43506/38471 and other sources, in text atleast the two tools to remove them seem similar. If I were to get the smaller tool would it be reasonably compatible with both? I may need to remove the freewheel perhaps only once and I am seeing if I can use the same tool for both.

I understand that officially they need two tools. But they seem to have very similar parameters, hence the question.

  • @Swifty ah I guess I missread the linked answer.
    – Karthik T
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 10:01
  • 1
    easily done, I've now deleted that comment to avoid confusion!
    – Swifty
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 10:07

2 Answers 2


The freewheel tool is of a smaller diameter to a cassette tool but the splines don’t fit the cassette lockring because the spline dimensions (width) don't match, as seen in this photo of the freewheel tool viewed through the back of a cassette lockring. The lockring is resting on the tool without engaging:

Freewheel tool vs cassette lockring

So you can’t use one tool for both, and modifying one to do so would be ineffective, I expect it would slip under torque.

Whilst it might be possible, depending on tool & lockring tolerances, to hammer the freewheel tool into a cassette lockring, I wouldn't do that myself; the correct tool doesn't cost a great deal and saves damaging tools/parts.

  • Great photo, very obvious how bad the idea is... That gap looks so much bigger than 0.4 mm though..
    – Karthik T
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 10:00
  • @KarthikT It was a good idea, it just doesn’t work in practice. The gap is probably more than 0.4 mm (or 0.2mm each side) because that is the difference mentioned in another question about 2 tool diameters and here we’re comparing a tool with a lockring, there’s probably also a fair amount of tolerance in the depth of the lockring recess
    – Swifty
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 18:12
  • Fair point. I presumed it should be flush, but need not be.
    – Karthik T
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 8:00
  • I own both types of tools but I simply can't get what were are looking at in the photo. I also do not get the hammering. If it is smaller diameter, it should be possible to insert it freely. And that also is what seems to happen. Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 12:21

This confuses me a bit. I find that my Park Tools Fr 1.3 will fit TIGHTLY in a Shimano cassette lockring. I can gently tap it snugly in but alas it doesn't seat well enough to be able to overcome a fully torqued lockring. Ya'll are talking like the freewheel tool is too small for the lockring.

While it's ridiculous to save 7 or 8 bucks by not also getting the cassette tool for cassette removal, the freewheel tool will work for cassettes: in a pinch and with considerable risk of damage to tool and lockring cuz the tool must be firmly tapped into the lockring to seat well enough to put power into to the removal.

Apologies for this "answer.". Foolish but doable.

  • 1
    You’re right, the freewheel tool is of a smaller overall diameter, but the reason it doesn’t fit into the splines of the cassette lockring is because of the interference between the corners of the two sets of splines. In my photo, the lockring is resting on top of the tool. Your tool tolerances might vary and allow you to tap it in, but you’re right about the risks. I expect people do do it, but I’ll add to my answer why I think it’s not ideal
    – Swifty
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 8:17

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