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What is this tool for?

Old 04-29-22, 12:30 PM
  #1  
FredMau
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What is this tool for?

Bought a super-cheap set of "Bike Tools" some years back. Nice roll-up pouch, allen wrenches, tire spoons, etc. Certainly not "Top Quality" but "good enough" for a casual rider like me and I can add to the pouch more stuff.

But it also came with this other tool, and I can't for the life of me figure out what it might be for except that because the opening is somewhat wider than my tires it might have something to do with tires or brakes? And it's probably some el-cheapo imitation of a real tool. I'm tempted to keep the useful parts of the kit and toss this piece in the recycling bin... except that the laws of nature dictate that the day AFTER I do that I'll suddenly need it and realize what its for.

Any ideas??? The thing circled in red...

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Old 04-29-22, 12:40 PM
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Might be a roach clip for that really big doobie that Cheech & Chong rolled up in "Up in Smoke".

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Old 04-29-22, 12:41 PM
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It holds the brake pads against the rim for adjustment.
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Old 04-29-22, 12:41 PM
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Cheapie "fourth hand" for adjusting brakes.
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Old 04-29-22, 12:53 PM
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Maybe "Third Hand" tool?
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Old 04-29-22, 01:12 PM
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Yes--"third hand" is probably a more accurate name (I'm used to calling any brake adjusting tool a "fourth hand").
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Old 04-29-22, 01:13 PM
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+3 for holding brake pads against the rim when attaching the brake cable or adjusting pads. I bought one about 30 yrs. ago and haven't used it in the last 29 yrs. Might be useful to some but most don't need it.
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Old 04-29-22, 01:16 PM
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the reacharound rim brakie handi tool.
Cheap, but adds some value if you're trying to work a touchy setup.
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Old 04-29-22, 01:22 PM
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If you want to make working on your rim brakes really easy, get a Hozan Fourth Hand. You can find them on eBay for cheaper, but even at full price, well worth the money.

This is a shop-quality tool that is far superior than the Park or Pedro's version. Works great on zip ties, too!

Last edited by smd4; 04-29-22 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 04-29-22, 02:48 PM
  #10  
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Is this thing or another third hand tool really necessary? I just installed new carbon wheels and new rim brake blocks using these steps:

1. Remove the old wheel.
2. Install new brake shoes with new brake blocks in roughly the same spot as before. Loosely tighten the mounting bolts.
3. Loosen the brake caliper pinch bolt and let the brake caliper spring open all the way.
4. Tighten the cable adjustment nut all the way down, then loosen it by one full turn.
5. Install the new wheel.
6. Close the quick release lever of the brake caliper.
7. Squeeze and hold the brake caliper tightly against the wheel with my right hand, leaving no space between the brake blocks and the rim.
8. Firmly pull the brake cable taut with my left hand, pinching cable with my left thumb and index finger while wedging both digits under the metal block in which the pinch bolt is screwed.
9. Grab the hex key with my right hand and loosely tighten the pinch bolt.
10. Adjust the brake shoes so that the brake blocks sit 2 mm below the edge of the rim and flush against the brake track. (I don't toe in the brake blocks.) Tighten the mounting bolts.
11. Loosen the pinch bolt and let the brake caliper open slightly. Loosely tighten the pinch bolt.
12. Check the gap between each brake block and the wheel.
13. Further adjust the brake cable and/or the cable adjustment nut if necessary.
14. Fully tighten the pinch bolt.
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Old 04-29-22, 03:41 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Is this thing or another third hand tool really necessary?
Nothing is necessary! If I had to, I could do it your way. But having the right tool sure makes things easier.
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Old 04-29-22, 03:47 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Cheapie "fourth hand" for adjusting brakes.
Winna Winna Chicken Dinna
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Old 04-29-22, 06:09 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Cheapie "fourth hand" for adjusting brakes.
No, it's a "third hand tool". It clamps the pads of caliper brakes against the rim while you align them and pull the slack out of the brake cable. A "fourth hand tool" is a plier-like tool that clamps onto the brake cable (or shift cable) and pulls out the slack. I have both and have never really needed the third hand tool but the fourth hand tool (a Hozan C-356, btw) is super useful for taking the slack out of shift cables and for pulling zip ties really tight.
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Old 04-29-22, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
No, it's a "third hand tool". It clamps the pads of caliper brakes against the rim while you align them and pull the slack out of the brake cable. A "fourth hand tool" is a plier-like tool that clamps onto the brake cable (or shift cable) and pulls out the slack. I have both and have never really needed the third hand tool but the fourth hand tool (a Hozan C-356, btw) is super useful for taking the slack out of shift cables and for pulling zip ties really tight.
Did you even read any of my other posts??
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Old 04-29-22, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I have both and have never really needed the third hand tool but the fourth hand tool (a Hozan C-356, btw) is super useful for taking the slack out of shift cables and for pulling zip ties really tight.
Walking through the steps I listed above in post #10 above, I would say that a fourth hand tool (or cable puller) would be more useful than a third hand tool (or brake caliper clamp).
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Old 04-29-22, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Did you even read any of my other posts??
Sure did but repeating (reinforcing?) what another poster said is standard practice here.
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Old 04-29-22, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Sure did but repeating (reinforcing?) what another poster said is standard practice here.
Very good then. Carry on!
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Old 04-29-22, 06:47 PM
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I was given a third hand and fourth hand years ago, so I guess I got them second hand.
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Old 04-29-22, 06:55 PM
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Give that man a hand!
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Old 04-30-22, 10:31 AM
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At least it's not a third leg!
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Old 04-30-22, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
the fourth hand tool (a Hozan C-356, btw) is super useful for taking the slack out of shift cables.
Why would you use a fourth hand on shift cables? Itís just not necessary. With rim brakes you need to tighten the cable while at the same time compressing the calipers. Thus the need for the fourth hand.

Last edited by smd4; 04-30-22 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 04-30-22, 11:07 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Why would you use a fourth hand on shift cables? Itís just not necessary. With rim brakes you need to tighten the cable while at the same time compressing the calipers. Thus the need for the fourth hand.
Getting all of the slack out of shift cables before tightening the clamp bolt can be difficult, particularly if not wanting to use a lot of the adjustment barrel's travel. The fourth hand tool lets you get it just snug enough. Actually tightening rim brake cables by hand is easier than shift cables as the acceptable range is wider.
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Old 04-30-22, 11:10 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Getting all of the slack out of shift cables before tightening the clamp bolt can be difficult, particularly if not wanting to use a lot of the adjustment barrel's travel.
What? Difficult? That's nonsense.

Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
The fourth hand tool lets you get it just snug enough.
You don’t need a fourth hand for shift cables. A needle nose pliers to pull the cable taught will suffice. Using a fourth hand will run the risk of moving the derailleur.

Last edited by smd4; 04-30-22 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 04-30-22, 11:52 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
You donít need a fourth hand for shift cables. A needle nose pliers to pull the cable taught will suffice. Using a fourth hand will run the risk of moving the derailleur.
Not if you use it properly. I said it's to remove all the slack, not to tension the cable. The fourth hand is a subtle and controllable version of needle nose pliers. It's certainly not an essential tool but, since I already have it, why not use it?
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Old 04-30-22, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Cheapie "fourth hand" for adjusting brakes.
Swing and a miss! Dude, really?

The origin of the name you used is the key... this tool is the THIRD HAND brake tool! It's the predecessor of the, you guessed it, FOURTH HAND!

The Fourth Hand tool completely eilminated any and all need for the THIRD HAND. It was a godsend. Still enjoying my 35 year old Fourth Hand tool! It's great for getting zip ties REALLY tight too. And snapping them as well!!!
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