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Best 32mm headset wrench?

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Best 32mm headset wrench?

Old 07-10-21, 02:35 PM
  #1  
th0m
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Best 32mm headset wrench?

I've been using the double sided Park Tool wrenches for a few years, but I've always found the fit quite big and sloppy. It's almost impossible to use them without leaving ugly marks on the headset nuts, which sucks if you're mounting a brand new shiny Record headset for example.

Surely there must be better alternatives with a nice and snug fit that don't butcher alloy nuts?
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Old 07-10-21, 02:40 PM
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Maybe wrap it in tape until you find one that suits you better.
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Old 07-10-21, 06:12 PM
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If you have a good feel with a 5lb hammer, you can tighten up that Park wrench with a few well placed whacks.
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Old 07-10-21, 07:00 PM
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I would look for Campagnolo stuff or maybe try VAR. J.A. Stein also makes a Headset Locknut Wrench which is pretty nice though haven't had a chance to use one personally.
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Old 07-10-21, 09:26 PM
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I have the same crappy wrench. I never use the 30mm side, so I used the bench grinder, and ground the 30mm side to perfectly fit a 32mm headset. Now it fits nice and tight. The factory 32mm side is still useless.
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Old 07-11-21, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I would look for Campagnolo stuff or maybe try VAR. J.A. Stein also makes a Headset Locknut Wrench which is pretty nice though haven't had a chance to use one personally.
Thanks, I've been looking at the old Campagnolo wrenches, but those things go for silly money. This one from VAR looks quite nice though:

Might try that one.
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Old 07-11-21, 05:06 AM
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I like the Stronglight headset wrenches. They grip the headset on seven of the eight flats to minimize the risk of slipping and marring soft aluminum headset parts. The only caveat is that the oversize spacer on Campagnolo Super Record headsets blocks the wrench from fitting the threaded cup, so I have to use the standard 32mm Campagnolo headset wrench for that.
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Old 07-11-21, 06:24 AM
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I've got a Park HCW-15 double end (32 x 36 mm) headset wrench and it's a good snug fit on the couple of headset lock nuts I still have laying around. It says " Lazer(sp) Precision" on it so maybe it's better made than earlier versions.
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Old 07-11-21, 07:13 AM
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Thank you, th0m , for starting this thread. It reminds me of my status in the (bicycle) tool world. I have a half-dozen various Park headset wrenches, and another six or seven various BB wrenches, and I always want more. I've been a bike mech since '72, and I have a disease, which the only remedy is a constant supply of fresh tools. Actually more than that, it is the constant need to kaizen what tools I have. I'm always on the lookout for better tools.

The sketchy quality of Park tools is a constant lament of experienced mechanics all over the world. Notice I said experienced, because peoples starting out are just happy they have a tool that half-ass works, instead of a tool that barely works, or no tool at all. I'll have to admit that I've never personally had issue with the Park headset wrenches actually damaging or marring an alloy headset, but I'm very very careful.

Because of the thread, I just ordered this wrench, which I will try and report back here.

I've also given thought to buying a wrench like this and have a machine shop thin it down to a workable thickness.

I am of the opinion that bike tool manufacturers need to step it up and give us some quality tools.
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Old 07-11-21, 07:59 AM
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You can get some quality open end wrenches and grind down the blades to whatever thickness you want and there are also thin blade adjustable end wrenches that aren't too pricey for a decent quality one but takes the place of several bike specific wrenches and allows you to adjust tightness to take out the slop. This one expands to 34mm. Fujiya Thin Jaw Adjustable Wrench (micromark.com)
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Old 07-11-21, 08:46 AM
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OP, is yours the HW-2?


If so, I own one. Used it once, it damaged the Campy Record Headset and now it's a paper weight.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:16 AM
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Not the cheapest option, but I like the Knipex 86 03 180 pliers wrench. Very high quality tool.
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Old 07-17-21, 07:27 AM
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As promised, I've returned to comment on the 32mm wrench I just picked up on Amazon.



Its not well-made, but its cheap. The opening is a little large in my honest opinion. Since it seems that we are concerned with fitment on an expensive threaded headset, I tried it on a few different brands, and the wrench was large on all of them. Surprisingly, the wrench seemed to fit the Campy headset better than the rest of them, but still a little more wiggle room than I would prefer - especially for a tool that should be snug in order not to damage the nut.



A little sloppier fit than I would prefer, but a workaround. The Park wrench is worse.



Upon measuring, there is a .43mm difference, or about .017 for all of you non-metric folk in here. That's basically just under 3/64ths of an inch, which seems like a lot to me. I have to admit that I know nothing about what tooling manufacturers have to go by concerning what they set for tolerances on their tools.

I like the idea of what someone said about grinding a 31mm wrench to fit, but if you achieve a nice snug fit on one headset nut, you may encounter another nut being too large - perhaps from the same manufacturer! So you'd be stuck with a wrench that only fits your headnut some of the time.

I also give kudos to Crankycrank for linking THIS WRENCH, which seems to be pretty sweet. I'll order this one and give it a go. Also to *Scuba for his suggestion about the Knipex parallel jaw pliers. He linked the 7" pliers, but I would go with something larger just for ease of use. Perhaps the 10" or 12" pliers might be more versatile. Maybe even use them on a bottom bracket? I think that the combination of both tools would produce superior results. It'd be way overkill, but if you've ever buggered-up a nice headset, the upgrade to these would be worth it.
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Old 07-23-21, 05:16 AM
  #14  
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I picked this up the last time it was on sale, the last 32mm size works well for headsets.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
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