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What multi-tool do you use?

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What multi-tool do you use?

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Old 03-15-08, 09:04 AM
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ryansexton
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What multi-tool do you use?

Looking to see what people are using for a multi tool. What would you recommend as the best tool with the lowest price?
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Old 03-15-08, 09:20 AM
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I have a basic Bell tool from Wal-Mart that my wife bought for me as a gift. It is not even the "better" one they sell with the 12-sided wrenches. It has most of the Allen hex keys I will ever need, a flat screwdriver, a 1/4" drive post, and a tire iron. I have used it on the road a couple of times for minor adjustments and in my garage for more serious things. It lacks a built-in chain tool. It works well and came with a nylon sheath.
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Old 03-15-08, 10:07 AM
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park rescue tool.
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Old 03-15-08, 10:26 AM
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Gerber Cool Tool. Unfortunately they are no longer made. But they do show up on Fleabay occasionally. Unlike other multitools, this one actually fits your hand and works like a real tool

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Old 03-15-08, 12:21 PM
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I use the Park MTB-3 Rescue tool. I also usually have a Leatherman PST (discontinued) and a small, wide jaw adjustable wrench. This covers 99% of what I need to repair on the road. If it goes past that it is a major breakdown and will require shop time to repair.

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Old 03-15-08, 01:17 PM
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I can't remember the name. It is some sort of 14 way deal that was on sale at Nashbar I think. I am riding my beater hybrid while my new bike is in the shop and luckily I had a spoke tool in the bag yesterday. About 5 miles out the rear wheel started rubbing on the brake pads due to poor truing. (A while back I bumped into it with the car busting a spoke and knocking it way out of true. I was able to get it back to serviceable enough to ride it for several weeks on vacation recently but it seems to have gotten out of line again.) In any event, I was able to get it back right enough and did another 10 miles without incident.
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Old 03-15-08, 01:25 PM
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I mostly need a chain-tool, wrench to take off my back wheel for flats, something to true my wheels (which I probably won't know how to do, but it is useful to have), and a few other things would be nice, but those three are the only mandatory things for me.
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Old 03-15-08, 02:41 PM
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Crank Brothers Multi-19
http://www.crankbrothers.com/multi19.php
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Old 03-15-08, 04:17 PM
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I've used a Topeak multitool that has a chainbreaker and large hex key for pedal bolts, as well as tyre levers in the side. I've had it since just before I left for a trip to Europe in 2003, and it has served me well.

I am, however, starting to turn my opinion on touring kits and am thinking "proper" tools can be way more effective. Done up in a pouch or small drybag, things like separate Allen keys, phillips and flat screwdrivers and so on are easier to use. I've yet to really put it all together, but I am interested in the weight comparisons in particular... especially as there are tools on the Topeak unit that I wouldn't ever use on a particular bike.
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Old 03-15-08, 04:40 PM
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Rowan, I too used to carry a Topeak Alien tool and the one time I needed the chain tool, it failed on me. I've since made my own small collection of tools and they are much easier to use, albeit at sacrificing a few ounces of weight
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Old 03-15-08, 04:46 PM
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Yes, that is what I am thinking, robow. The only problem in the idea is that I am lousy at losing things in the grass or leaves or sand, and unless I am extremely careful, I could end up with much fewer tools at the end of a tour than I started with. It's the one advantage of a multi-tool. Then, I suppose, it could be argued that if I lose the multitool, I am stuffed anyway!

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Old 03-17-08, 04:21 AM
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I use the original Alien and the $10 version of the Leatherman. With these I can fix almost anything.
I also pack a freewheel tool just in case.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Yes, that is what I am thinking, robow. The only problem in the idea is that I am lousy at losing things in the grass or leaves or sand, and unless I am extremely careful, I could end up with much fewer tools at the end of a tour than I started with. It's the one advantage of a multi-tool. Then, I suppose, it could be argued that if I lose the multitool, I am stuffed anyway!
I tend to use a combination of the two. I use the "Ascent Bare Bones Multi-Tool" (often on sale for $4.99) for all my screwdriver and hex key needs, but use a separate chain breaker, spoke wrench, and two 8-10 mm combination wrenches. I also carry a Unior Pocket Cassette Cracker and sometimes a small headset/pedal wrench.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:54 AM
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I use an old cool tool. Only one I've found with a chainbreaker and an adjustable wrench. Also bought a new leatherman type tool on ebay for $7.95 including shipping. With those 2 I can do anything.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:36 AM
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These 2:

http://www.leatherman.com/products/t...st/default.asp
http://www.mclendons.com/item.asp?fr...h&sku=10236960
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Old 03-17-08, 11:43 AM
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I use the Crank Brothers Multi-Tool M17. http://www.crankbrothers.com/multi17.php

It has everything I need.
weight 168g length 3.5" / 89mm frame 6061-T6 aluminum tools 6051 high tensile steel chain tool 8/9/10 speed compatible spoke wrench #1, 2, 3, 4 hex wrenches #2, 2.5, 3, 5, 6, 8 screwdrivers phillips, flat open wrench 8mm, 10mm torx t-25 warranty lifetime msrp $25 / €25

It is not as easy to use as my full sized tools at home, but for on the road repairs it has never failed me.
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Old 03-17-08, 11:52 AM
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I've found separate allen wrenches and little Craftsman carburetor wrenches give the most flexibilty and are still lighter than most muti tools. I am kind of a gadget guy though and also do have an Alien that I like, but it is a bit heavy and I don't think I'd go that route again.
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Old 03-17-08, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
I've found separate allen wrenches and little Craftsman carburetor wrenches give the most flexibilty and are still lighter than most muti tools.
Never heard the term "carburetor wrenches", but Craftsman has "ignition wrenches". Is that what you mean or am I missing something?

FWIW: I have a little German made 8-10mm box end wrench that came with a motorcycle many years ago that is my favorite wrench. I know, I am weird having a favorite wrench. Anyway I carry that and a Park 8-10mm open end.
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Old 03-17-08, 01:13 PM
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I have used the number of multi-tools, and my suggestion, if you are looking for a good one, is to try several and see how they work for you. I have ditched most of them in favour of "real" tools because the miniaturized versions can be hard to handle and use.I do continue to use one multitool because it works well enough and is fairly compact. And I don't go anywhere without my Swiss Army knife!
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Old 03-18-08, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Never heard the term "carburetor wrenches", but Craftsman has "ignition wrenches". Is that what you mean or am I missing something?
I don't have the little pack they came in but I think you're right about the name being "ignition". They are nice thin smooth finished combo wrenches (some may be double box or double open) that are about 4 inches long. I've had mine about 25 years but I assume they still make them.
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Old 03-18-08, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
I don't have the little pack they came in but I think you're right about the name being "ignition". They are nice thin smooth finished combo wrenches (some may be double box or double open) that are about 4 inches long. I've had mine about 25 years but I assume they still make them.
That sounds like the ones I am thinking of.
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Old 03-18-08, 04:30 PM
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I have found that if I asked nicely at a garage, they would lend me just about anything I needed.
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Old 03-23-08, 06:33 AM
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id avoid the park tool multi tool personally. mine exploded on me during a repair half way up a mountian in hawaii. it was extremely inconvieniant.
its half plastic and held together by tiny screws so it cant handle high torque.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:33 AM
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[quote=staehpj1;6358537]Never heard the term "carburetor wrenches", but Craftsman has "ignition wrenches". Is that what you mean or am I missing something?[quote]

Ignition wrenches go back to the days before electronic ignition in automobiles, which is only to about 1980 for most cars and a bit earlier for some of the high end cars. In those earlier days the distributor contained a set of points. These were a spring loaded device a little longer than an inch. It mounted with a screw to the plate in the bottom of the distributor. A nylon or bakelite block rested on a cam on the distributor shaft. The gap in the points when resting on the top of the cam had to be set to about sixteen thousandths of an inch, depending on the car and its engine.

The ignition wrenches were used to attach the connecting wires to the points by tightening a not very accessible nut on the points. These special small wrenches made the job at least possible, even if not easy.

Ignition with points allowed voltage to build up in the ignition coil. The rotation of the cam caused the points to open suddenly. That caused a sudden drop of voltage in the primary side of the coil. This sudden drop in voltage was seen as a sudden change when viewed from the perspective of the secondary side of the coil. That caused a huge voltage of 20k - 30k volts at the secondary side and produced a spark in the correct cylinder.

The arcing across the points ate away at them, which caused a shift in the gap so carefully set. That caused a shift in the timing of the engine and greatly affected its performance, maybe even caused it to backfire. A capacitor (condensor) was wired across the points to reduce the wear and pitting. Its wire lead also was held down by the nut that held the wire from the coil on the post at the points. That nut is the one tightened by the ignition wrenches.

If you were really equipped, you had a dwell meter so you could set the time the points were closed before the cam opened them with the meter rather than suffering the possible inaccuracies from using a feeler gage to set the point about sixteen to eighteen thousandths of an inch. The points and the condensor had to be replaced about every 12k miles. This, along with new spark plugs was the major part of a tune-up.

Anyway, now you know what ignition wrenches are. And, you can be thankful that we now have electronic ignition systems that seldom need even a thought of concern or adjustment.

In the old days there was also a good deal more work done on carburetors. Special wrenches were available for that, too.

Last edited by twobikes; 03-24-08 at 07:38 AM. Reason: spelling error - add some things
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Old 03-24-08, 07:54 AM
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I keep a park rescue tool in my saddle bag. What sold me on it is the integrated tire levers. the pedal wrench is pretty useless, though.
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