Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Different cable pullers, different quality?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Different cable pullers, different quality?

Old 04-10-07, 03:21 AM
  #1  
becnal
I'm made of earth!
Thread Starter
 
becnal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 2,022

Bikes: Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Different cable pullers, different quality?

I see the Park Tool Cable Puller (BT-2) is considerably more expensive than similar cable pullers by other companies such as Pedro and Extreme (a German bike tool company). I can get the local, German brand for 10 here, or I can wait till I fly to America and pick up a Park BT-2 for 50 in June.

I can see things like pedal wrenches are heavily stressed, and need to be higher quality, stronger material. Does this apply to the cable puller as well?
becnal is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 03:59 AM
  #2  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 30,193

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1558 Post(s)
Liked 563 Times in 327 Posts
I don't know. My cable puller is a tool that I don't use very often. The thing that I use it for most often is pulling zip ties tight when I'm installing a computer.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 04:53 AM
  #3  
cascade168
Klaatu barada nikto
 
cascade168's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 1,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Not all cable pullers (often referred to as "4th hand" tools) are the same. One thing the Park model has is a ratchet that will hold the cable by itself, once you set it. In other words, you can completely let go of the tool and it will hold. There ARE other "4th hand" tools that also have the ratchet hold. I don't often use this tool, but every now and then it comes in handy. If you do decide to get a 4th hand tool, do make sure and get one with the ratchet hold. That feature is what really makes it a true "4th hand".

It's like anything else. Good tools tend to cost more, last longer, have better features, and perform better. Anyone that has forked out for a Felco cable cutter knows exactly what I am talking about. They are pretty expensive, but no other cable cutter comes close.
cascade168 is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 04:59 AM
  #4  
cascade168
Klaatu barada nikto
 
cascade168's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 1,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by becnal
pick up a Park BT-2 for 50 in June.
Good news ;-) Retail price on these is more like $35.
cascade168 is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 07:06 AM
  #5  
vpiuva
*
 
vpiuva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I had never seen this tool before. To pull cables tight tight I just hang a pair of vise grips on the ends of my cables. Gotta love a multi-use tool. Guess that thing would help on a FD, although I've never found tension to be a problem on one.
vpiuva is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 07:30 AM
  #6  
I_bRAD
Call me The Breeze
 
I_bRAD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cooper Ontario
Posts: 3,701

Bikes: 2004 Litespeed Siena, 1996 Litespeed Obed, 1992 Miele (unknown model), 1982 Meile Uno LS.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
I don't know. My cable puller is a tool that I don't use very often. The thing that I use it for most often is pulling zip ties tight when I'm installing a computer.
Good idea. Can't believe I never thought of that!
I_bRAD is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 07:58 AM
  #7  
tellyho
Your mom
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I've never used OR seen a cable puller. I can't imagine a situation where I would need it.
tellyho is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 05:41 PM
  #8  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,910

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1691 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 572 Times in 422 Posts
I own a Hozan "4th Hand" tool only because it came with a bunch of tools that accompanied a used bike I bought years ago. I've never used it and see little need for one. I can pull brake or derailleur cables snug enough by hand or with pliers before I tighten the fixing bolt that there is no need for the tool.
HillRider is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 08:15 PM
  #9  
dafydd
JRA...
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: philly
Posts: 839

Bikes: trek 520 & 736, DeRosa Professional, Fuji Professional, Raleigh International 3-speed, Saronni (any info people?), Humber 3-speed, Raleigh Sports, Carlton Grand Prix coming soon!

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use a fourth hand tool all the time, and find it much faster than using a third hand and pliers on brakes. it's also handy for derailleurs that need a little extra tension for whatever reason, popping off cap ends and pulling crushed cables out of pinch bolts with little effort. only downside is that they don't work well on cables cut less than an inch or so.

i use a park at work, and bought a pedros (which is probably just a rebranded lifu) for home. there's a big difference, as reflected in the price. the park is more ergonomic, while the pedros fells chintzy and doesn't always release the cable crisply after you're done. but the pedros is adequate, and fourth hand tools are a bit of a luxury if you only occasionally work on a bike.
dafydd is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 08:53 PM
  #10  
DieselDan
Senior Member
 
DieselDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
Posts: 8,521

Bikes: Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Some tools are designed for heavy duty shop use where it gets used several times a day and needs to be stouter then a tool for a home mechanic, which may get used once a year or so.
DieselDan is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 09:23 PM
  #11  
tool boy
fender bender
 
tool boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: St Paul, MN
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you are going to get a 4th hand tool, go for the Hozan. I am not very impressed with any of the other tools and it certainly is a tool you can work without. Zip ties are a mechanics best friend and 4th hands are a superior installation tool for them.
tool boy is offline  
Old 04-10-07, 10:33 PM
  #12  
cascade168
Klaatu barada nikto
 
cascade168's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 1,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tool boy
If you are going to get a 4th hand tool, go for the Hozan. I am not very impressed with any of the other tools and it certainly is a tool you can work without. Zip ties are a mechanics best friend and 4th hands are a superior installation tool for them.
While they may work just fine for ty-wraps, the Hozan tool is one of the 4th hands that does NOT have a ratchet lock. So, it really is not going to work as a true 4th hand (i.e. cable tensioned and hands free).

I have been using ty-wraps since they were introduced for aerospace applications way back when and I've always found that plain old slip joint pliers work just fine to snug them down. I like to feel the tension with my fingers. Sometimes you want these things extremely tight, but sometimes you don't. But, that's just me. There is a tool that snugs them down AND cuts the excess in one fell swoop. Nice for high volume production, but hardly needed on a bike.

If you do a lot of cantilever brakes, that's when a fourth hand - and a third hand - can be handy. I can do cantis about five times faster than I could in the past by using these tools. Cantis are, for me, the hardest brakes to adjust and having tools to hold the pads tight to the rim and make fine adjustments in the cable tension makes a huge difference. Sometimes the F.D. cable on a full suspension bike can be difficult and this tool comes in handy, just as an extra long shaft screwdriver can be handy (no, make that mandatory) to adjust the F.D. limit screws on some full suspension bikes.

A lot jobs you do with special bike tools can be done without in a pinch. But, the whole idea is to make jobs easier. Something as simple as a pedal wrench illustrates this perfectly. The "best" Park PW-4 pedal wrench is SOOO nice to use. There is no other wrench that give you better choices for the best mechanical advantage. When you're trying to remove some pedal that some nitwit forgot to grease when it was installed twenty years ago, this is the tool you really want. Can you do it with some other tool? Sure, but it might be a hacksaw and a drill.

Dissing special tools because you don't personally use them at home does not mean that they won't bail some guy in a shop out of a jam when nothing else will do. Consider that the shop guys have to be able to deal with any situation - many that you can't even imagine - that the enthusiast that owns five or ten, or however many, bikes of his own. It's a different world when you work on several hundred, or even thousands of bikes a year, and they range from from forty year old rusted crap to brand new pro bikes. There's a lot of tools in my shop that only rarely get used, but when you need them there is often no substitute, or, the job can get REALLY difficult when it should have been easy.

Toolboy, please don't take my rant personally. It's just that this particular thread is a perfect example of a lot of cases seen in this forum where people want to make excuses as to why they don't need specific tools. If people don't want to spend the money, then fine. Let the shops pay the freight for the head tube reamers and the like. But, please don't say they're not necessary, or useful. To a LOT of people in the business - trying to get a lot of work done in a short period of time - these tools are both necessary and useful.
cascade168 is offline  
Old 02-01-10, 07:52 PM
  #13  
peripatetic
Senior Member
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,124

Bikes: All 70s and 80s, only steel.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
This is way late, but for the record, I thought I'd add one thing, since I'd guess the archive of this pops up for a lot of people wondering. I work in a shop, and the Hozan 4th Hand/cable puller is excellent--though it doesn't have a ratcheting mechanism, per se, it does have a spring-tensioned hinge, which means it locks when clamping the cable. In other words, it can, indeed, be used to clamp and tension the cable and free both hands for tightening and adjusting the cable. I find it a superior time-saver in the shop.

I also have a Pedros version at home, and the thing is, as mentioned before, chintzy. It will serve its purpose for infrequent brake or derailleur adjustments, but I'd not advise it for anyone doing frequent cable work. Its main attraction is its affordability.

Last edited by peripatetic; 02-01-10 at 07:56 PM.
peripatetic is offline  
Old 02-01-10, 08:11 PM
  #14  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,910

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1691 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 572 Times in 422 Posts
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I don't know. My cable puller is a tool that I don't use very often. The thing that I use it for most often is pulling zip ties tight when I'm installing a computer.
Same here. I have a Hozan cable puller (aka Fourth Hand Tool) that has never been off the tool board. I find pulling the slack out of brake and shift cables by hand to be plenty. I don't even use a "Third Hand Tool" (a clamp that compresses brake calipers) much anymore as one hand's pressure will adequately hold modern calipers against the rims while the cable clamp bolt is tightened.

Hmmm, I never thought to use the Hozan as a zip tie puller. Maybe I'll give that a try.
HillRider is offline  
Old 02-01-10, 08:31 PM
  #15  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts


Some situations where i've found a 4th hand tool to be useful

1) Wide profile, high spring tension cantilevers are difficult to close by hand while tightening the cable anchor bolt- especially the ones with the shimano style Y cable
2) Setting the hanger, again on cantilevers
3) Setting the brake pull when no barrel adjuster is present
4) Front derailleur pinch bolts on derailleurs which feature complicated routing - top routed cable over a pulley or front derailleurs that allow dual pull
5) Tightening zip ties
operator is offline  
Old 02-01-10, 09:01 PM
  #16  
reptilezs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: boston, ma
Posts: 2,896
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i usually just use the 4th hand tool on canti or v brakes. yes the pedros version is cheesy. the spring is weak too
reptilezs is offline  
Old 02-02-10, 12:11 AM
  #17  
bigvegan
Senior Member
 
bigvegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 658
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow, someone who lives in Germany thinking about coming to buy manufactured goods in America for their quality?

This really gives me hope for the USA. Seriously.

Originally Posted by becnal View Post
I see the Park Tool Cable Puller (BT-2) is considerably more expensive than similar cable pullers by other companies such as Pedro and Extreme (a German bike tool company). I can get the local, German brand for 10 here, or I can wait till I fly to America and pick up a Park BT-2 for 50 in June.

I can see things like pedal wrenches are heavily stressed, and need to be higher quality, stronger material. Does this apply to the cable puller as well?
bigvegan is offline  
Old 02-02-10, 12:29 AM
  #18  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,561
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 684 Post(s)
Liked 332 Times in 221 Posts
Originally Posted by bigvegan View Post
Wow, someone who lives in Germany thinking about coming to buy manufactured goods in America for their quality?

This really gives me hope for the USA. Seriously.
Check the dates- he was thinking this 3 years ago.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 02-02-10, 12:37 AM
  #19  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,268

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 19 Posts
I have a Filzer 4th hand... it was relatively cheap and works flawlessly in a shop environment and feel a proper 4th hand needs to have a ratchet / stop.

It gets used a good deal.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 02-02-10, 12:59 AM
  #20  
Panthers007
Great State of Varmint
 
Panthers007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dante's Third Ring
Posts: 7,476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Never had a Filzer to play with, but had the rest. I hate to say it - but the Park is the pick-of-the-litter. The Hozan is awesome, but doesn't have the stop-ratchet. So is not really a fourth-hand. The Pedros is tolerable, but tends to slip and come loose.

I, too, find I rarely use it. But it's nice to have around on those days you have to play Octopus.
Panthers007 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Zaskar
Road Cycling
46
09-16-21 07:17 PM
BROOKLINEBIKER
Bicycle Mechanics
17
08-01-13 10:22 AM
Retro Grouch
Fifty Plus (50+)
2
03-05-11 03:04 PM
tip
Bicycle Mechanics
19
03-01-11 10:33 PM
Daytrip
Bicycle Mechanics
16
11-23-10 10:53 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.