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Old 05-14-07, 06:48 AM   #1
rjacob
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What kind of cone wrenches do you like?

What kind of cone wrenches do you like? I have a couple Park cone wrenches. But the things are made out of unhardened steel. I worry about them getting messed up when the cones are are really locked in tight! It would be nice to find some cone wrenches made of hardened steel similar to Craftsman wrenches. But Craftsman doesn't seem to make wrenches that thin.
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Old 05-14-07, 07:13 AM   #2
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Ones that work. I've never had issues with the cheapo Performance ones I have. Beat your Park ones into the ground and buy new ones if they round off. I don't know of any better product.
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Old 05-14-07, 08:00 AM   #3
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I use the Bicycle Research cone wrenches that have 13-14 on one end and 15-16 on the other end. They're ok but I'd like something better.
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Old 05-14-07, 11:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebowitz
I use the Bicycle Research cone wrenches that have 13-14 on one end and 15-16 on the other end.
I've got some like that that are made by Lifu (check yours for that name stamped on them), and I'm not all that happy with them (the only Lifu tool I haven't liked much, btw) since the fit is a little sloppy and the metal isn't that hard. Lousy (i.e. no) grip, too. Plus I have some 17mm cones.

So I got a set of Hozans. I like the tapered jaw - it makes finding the flats easier. And I like the way they fit my hand. I can't say that they're significantly better than Park, though, since I haven't used either one very long.
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Old 05-14-07, 11:23 AM   #5
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Maybe what I will do is go to Harbor Freight and buy a cheap set of metric wrenches. Then I can grind them down to be about 3 mm thick. That might work.
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Old 05-14-07, 11:40 AM   #6
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DMF: Thanks for the recommendation, those Hozan's look sweet.
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Old 05-14-07, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacob
What kind of cone wrenches do you like? I have a couple Park cone wrenches. But the things are made out of unhardened steel. I worry about them getting messed up when the cones are are really locked in tight! It would be nice to find some cone wrenches made of hardened steel similar to Craftsman wrenches. But Craftsman doesn't seem to make wrenches that thin.
All decent cone wrenches are hardened steel, but there are different degrees of hardening.

Not hard enough, they bend or get notched by the hardened cones.

Too hard, they become brittle and can snap.

I like, use the Park single-ended "pro" version, but these are consumable tools.

The very best, strongest cone wrenches I know of are the classic Campagnolo ones, which are forged, not stamped or laser cut from sheet metal as with other brands. Unfortunately the Campagnolo cone wrenches don't come in the most useful 13/15 size, and they can be sharp against your hands, since they're not all that long, and don't have padded handles.

Sheldon "Park Works For Me" Brown
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Old 05-15-07, 09:44 PM   #8
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I ground an adjustable wrench down to about 2 mm thickness and it makes an excellent cone wrench. See the photo below. (I did post this once before on this forum.) Grind slowly so the steel does not get too hot and cool often. Grind with the jaws closed. Finish the last bit with an oilstone if necessary.
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File Type: jpg bearing cone wrench.JPG (72.8 KB, 55 views)
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Old 05-15-07, 11:34 PM   #9
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I use Park wrenches too, and the only downside I have seen with them is keeping them out of the hands of our "helper" mechanics that seem to think they're for BMX axle nuts. I had a set of the older chromed wrenches in beautiful shape after many years of use...notice I said "had".
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Old 05-16-07, 04:04 AM   #10
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I like the crecent wrench. I have a low speed grinder that I bought to sharpen lathe tools. I think that would work well. I think I might try that on a cheap set of wrenches.

Last edited by rjacob; 05-16-07 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 05-16-07, 06:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacob
Maybe what I will do is go to Harbor Freight and buy a cheap set of metric wrenches. Then I can grind them down to be about 3 mm thick. That might work.
That works well, assuming you have access to a grinder. Tool steel tends to be a bit tougher, we're talking quite a bit of stock to remove.

Back when I was "King of The Waterjet", I made myself a whole slew of cone / headset / whatever wrenches with some stock steel plating.
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Old 05-16-07, 06:28 AM   #12
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I have a few of the Park single-ended "pro" wrenches as well, and while they're really nicely made, I've found that the 13mm one is too thick to slip under the locknut of the Shimano XT M760 front hub on my touring bike. Fortunately, I also have a Park 13/15 double-ended model, and this fits fine.

Is there any industry rule of thumb about how thick a cone wrench should be?
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Old 05-16-07, 06:52 AM   #13
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Is there any industry rule of thumb about how thick a cone wrench should be?
When I ground the adjustable wrench down, I measured the flat spot on a bearing cone and found it was a bit over 2 mm, so 2 mm of thickness was my target.

And, I used an 8" wrench without any slop in the jaws. A 6" wrench would not leave much to grip the cone after grinding.
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Old 05-16-07, 07:23 AM   #14
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That works well, assuming you have access to a grinder. Tool steel tends to be a bit tougher, we're talking quite a bit of stock to
I have two grinders. A heavy duty DeWalt, and a low speed grinder that I bought for sharpening lathe tools. The low speed grinder is used because it wont damage the temper of the tools.
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Old 05-16-07, 07:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacob
What kind of cone wrenches do you like? I have a couple Park cone wrenches. But the things are made out of unhardened steel. I worry about them getting messed up when the cones are are really locked in tight! It would be nice to find some cone wrenches made of hardened steel similar to Craftsman wrenches. But Craftsman doesn't seem to make wrenches that thin.
I have a complete set of the Park pro wrenches in the shop, but as they wear, I will be replacing them one by one with Pedros as they are clearly superior. Most cheap Chinese made hubs come with the locknuts way over torqued, and my 15mm park wrench sprung open after very little use. The Pedro's wrench I replaced it with is holding up very well.
What ever brand you pick, this is one tool I would not reccommend going with the consumer grade version.
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Old 05-17-07, 11:33 AM   #16
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I have the park flat cone wrenches. If I could have my way, I would get the ones that have the rubber coating on them. There have been times when I have scraped my hands up from using the cone wrenches without the rubber coating.
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Old 05-17-07, 07:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobikes
I ground an adjustable wrench down to about 2 mm thickness and it makes an excellent cone wrench. See the photo below. (I did post this once before on this forum.) Grind slowly so the steel does not get too hot and cool often. Grind with the jaws closed. Finish the last bit with an oilstone if necessary.
I am so glad you posted that... I did the same but with normal wrenches that fit the cones on the front and rear... they work just fine. I seemed to have collected quite a few 14mm and 13mm wrenches over the years, so grinding a couple down was no loss.

But your idea is better, I have one or two of those as well!
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Old 05-17-07, 09:42 PM   #18
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I personally like the waffle cones the best.
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Old 05-30-07, 11:15 AM   #19
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Well! I got a bunch of Pedro's Cone Wrenches (with the yellow rubber handles) really cheap! I stopped at a clearance store for the local sporting good places, and they had a bunch of them mark 40% off lowest ticketed price. I bought 2 @ 13mm, 2 @ 14mm, 2 @ 16mm, 1 @ 32mm, and 1 @ 36mm. They didn't have any of the 15mm wrenches though. The two big wrenches cost about $4.50, and the smaller ones all cost about $2.50 each. I thought about buying em all and trying to sell them on ebay of something.
Now I just need to pick up a 15mm wrench or two to complete my set of Pedro's.
I also bought a few other Pedro's tools (bottom bracket tool, freewheel remover, etc) that duplicate some I have by Park Tools. But they were so cheap, it will be nice to have some backups. Tools break occasionally.
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Old 05-30-07, 11:56 AM   #20
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What store? for goo'ness sake?
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Old 05-30-07, 12:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacob
Well! I got a bunch of Pedro's Cone Wrenches (with the yellow rubber handles) really cheap! I stopped at a clearance store for the local sporting good places, and they had a bunch of them mark 40% off lowest ticketed price. I bought 2 @ 13mm, 2 @ 14mm, 2 @ 16mm, 1 @ 32mm, and 1 @ 36mm. They didn't have any of the 15mm wrenches though. The two big wrenches cost about $4.50, and the smaller ones all cost about $2.50 each. I thought about buying em all and trying to sell them on ebay of something.
Now I just need to pick up a 15mm wrench or two to complete my set of Pedro's.
I also bought a few other Pedro's tools (bottom bracket tool, freewheel remover, etc) that duplicate some I have by Park Tools. But they were so cheap, it will be nice to have some backups. Tools break occasionally.
Pedro's wrenches are fine, but my guess is that you got these cheap because they're not very useful sizes. The 14 mms will fit some Campagnolo hubs. 16 mm is good for Sturmey-Archer and some old French stuff, not much else.

The useful sizes are 13 mm (almost all modern front hubs) and 15 mm (most modern rear hubs.)

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Old 05-30-07, 12:25 PM   #22
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My Shimano WH-R540 front hubs are 17mm.

Surprised me, too.
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