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Park Tool: A comprehensive overview

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Park Tool
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Hailing from St. Paul Minnesota, Park Tool has been making bicycle-specific tools for over half a century. The brand was born from a lack of tools made specially to repair what, at the time, were considered 'increasingly complex' bicycles. 

Park Tool’s first-ever product was, in fact, a work stand which held the bike up off the ground. Since then, its range has become extensive making everything from hex wrenches you will use daily, to bearing presses you will only use once in a blue moon — and of course, the infamous penny-farthing shaped Pizza cutter — all in the brand's trademark blue.

With this EXTENSIVE range, scroll down for some of the most useful blue tools you can buy or ship to the bottom to find out what you need to know when buying tools.

Park Tool tools

Park Tool: THH 1 Sliding T Handle

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THH 1 Sliding T Handle

Adjustable hex and torx wrenches

Sizes available: 2-10mm | Hex and Torx: Yes

Strip gripper
Adjustable leverage
Can be a tad fiddly

The latest addition to Park's range of hex and Torx wrenches are the Sliding T-handles. The top of the 't'  is capable of slinging freely through the shaft allowing for extra leverage should you need it, grip if you're spinning a loose bolt in or out, or multiple access positions for awkwardly placed fasteners. 

The chamfered trips allow for easy insertion into hex fittings, while one end features a 'Strip-Gripper' twisted hex to make easy work of stripped or oversized hexes. The Sliding T Handles are viable in Hex and Torx heads, in sizes 2-10mm. 

Park Tool: AWS 1 3-Way Hex wrench

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AWS 1 3-Way Hex wrench

One tool, many uses

Sizes available: 4,5,6mm, 2,2.5,3mm | Hex and Torx: Yes

Three sizes in a single tool
Frustrating to use in tight spaces

Park pioneered the 3-way hex tool over 30-years ago, and they have quickly become the first thing home- and pro-mechanics reach for when fixing a bike. With three hex or Torx bits on each wrench almost an entire bike can be built or disassemble with a single tool.

Available in ball head or standard chamfered tips, the wrenches are made from industrial hardened and tempered steel and fit comfortably in your palm. 

Park Tool: HXS 1.2 P-Handle Hex wrench

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HXS 1.2 P-Handle Hex wrench

The tool every workshop should have

Sizes available: 2-10mm | Hex and Torx: Yes

Nylon handles
Lots of sizes
Available as set or singles

P-handle wrenches are designed with ergonomics in mind. Based around the same high torque industrial-strength steel used in the rest of the brand's hex and Torx wrenches, the bend features a nylon handle which provides extra purchase that prevents you from continually dropping your tools. 

We like the Nylon handles over some of the rubber models because it feels quite a bit more robust. The tool is a straight hex shaft on the short side and a ball end on the long side and is available in sizes from 2-10mm.

Park Tool: HXS 1.2 L Shaped Professional Hex Wrench

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HXS 1.2 L Shaped Professional Hex Wrench

Basic hex wrench that will last for years of heavy use

Sizes available: 1.5-10mm | Hex and Torx: Yes

Built to tight tolerances
Holder keeps things tidy
Ball end

Standard L shaped hex wrenches are the first tool any home mechanic should purchase — you get what you pay for, so they are not something to opt for the cheap option.

Available in hex and Torx heads, they feature a chamfered tip for a tight fit and are available as singles or a set in sizes 1.5-10mm.

Park Tool: CP 1.2 Cassette Pliers

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CP 1.2 Cassette Pliers

The better way to remove your cassette

Compatibility: 5-12-speed

Wide compatibility
Spring loaded return
Those with small hands might stuggle

The first time we removed a rear cluster using a set of cassette pliers, it was an absolute revelation. No more wrapping a loose chain around a cog the wrong way or having to make adjustments; you simply grip it and rip it. 

The CP 1.2 cassette pliers work with cogs from 9-24T and can hold cassettes from 5-12-speed. They offer plenty of leverage, dual-density grips and spring-loaded return.

Park Tool: FR 5.2H Cassette Lockring Tool with handle

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FR 5.2H Cassette Lockring Tool with handle

Takes two tools and makes them one

Compatibility: SRAM/Shimano | Replaceable head: Yes

Replaceable head
No need to remove quick release
Short handle

Using a design that was pioneered by Abbey Tools, the Cassette lockring tool simplifies the otherwise awkward process of removing a lockring. Combining the adjustable wrench and the spline tool into a single structure means no more slips and skinned knuckles.

For the time being it's only available with a SRAM/Shimano head, which has a removable threaded steel handle; meaning the only the spanned head needs to be replaced as things wear out or it's damaged. The hole in the middle clears a QR nut up to 20mm in size, and it can also be used to remove Shimano centre-lock disc rotor lockrings. 

Park Tool: CT 4.3 Master Chain Tool with Peening Anvil

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CT 4.3 Master Chain Tool with Peening Anvil

Gucci chain tool that comes in blue

Compatibility: SRAM, Shimano 5-11-speed

Ergonomic handle
Replacable pin driver
Not compatible with AXS or XTR 12-speed

Designed to work specifically with the higher tolerances of 10 and 11-speed chains, the CT 4.4 will break chains down to 5-speed. With big ergonomic handles for those challenging to shift pins, the tool has a removable peening anvil from Campagnolo 11 and 12-speed chains.

At this point in time, the link pocket is only compatible with the standard hourglass shape chainlinks, so If you've upgraded to an XTR 12-speed drivetrain or AXS 12-speed, this may not be the tool for you. 

Park Tool: MLP 1.2 Master Link Pliers

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Split your chain with ease

Compatibility: 5-12-speed

Wide range compatibility

Master links can make chain maintenance a breeze, but on a good day, they can still be challenging to shift, and it only gets worse over time with dirt and corrosion. A set of master link pliers makes removal and replacement pretty much effortless. 

The teeth fit perfectly in-between the rollers and can be used to open and close the links.

Park Tool: Cm 5.3 Cyclone Chain Scrubber

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Cm 5.3 Cyclone Chain Scrubber

Simple yet effective

Compatibility: Universal | Replaceable internals: Yes

Keeps the degreaser on the inside
Rotating scrubbers are effective
Replaceable internals

There are literally hundreds of chain scrubbers out there; some are cheap, some are expensive; but they all do essentially the same thing, and we're yet to come across one that won't clean your chain.

Having said that, some are much easier to use than others and require less cleanup after the fact. The Park Tool Cyclone is one that works well and doesn't need you to hose your garage floor off when you're finished. Better still, the brushes are replaceable, so you don't have to replace the entire cleaner when things wear out.

Park Tool: DAG-2.2 Derailleur Alignment Gauge

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DAG-2.2 Derailleur Alignment Gauge

The tool that everyone needs to buy

Compatibility: 20-29in wheel

Almost universally compatibale
Takes some practice 

I am willing to guarantee your bike's derailleur hanger is currently bent — heck, most brand new bikes directly out of the box don't have a perfectly straight derailleur hanger. The majority of poor shifting is the result of a bent hanger, so being able to fix it at home will save you hours of headaches and probably also your drivetrain. 

It is a tool that does take some time to get the hang of, and so having a spare derailleur hanger lying around isn't a terrible thing — though we’d recommend having a spare regardless. The gauge and bar are made of heavy-duty chrome-plated steel and compared to the previous version the replaceable tip has improved clearance and reach to fit more frame/hanger combos. With this increased compatibility, the DAG 2.2 will also provide accurate readings with wheels ranging in size from 20in all the way up to 29in wagon wheels. 

Park Tool: CC-4 Chain Checker

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CC-4 Chain Checker

Our favorite chain checker

Compatibility: Universal

Three prong approach puts tension on chain
Back of roller to back of roller measure
Doesn't tension entire measuring length

Measuring a chain for wear without tension is a bit like trying to clean dirt off your frame with sandpaper — both offer the same amount of effectiveness in achieving the task at hand and preventing further damage. This is because your chain is always tensioned when it's in use, so measuring it under different conditions will give you a bad reading. 

For such a simple thing, chain checkers are something that does require a bit of know-how to use correctly, and the Park CC4 is as close to idiot-proof as you can get. The tool measures the distance from roller back to roller back, and the three prongs apply some of the load required for accurate measurement with the tool itself. 

Park Tool: PTD Preset Torque Driver

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PTD Preset Torque Driver

Spin till it clicks

Torque Range: 4, 5, 6nm | Included Bits: 3, 4, 5mm and T25

4, 5, 6nm presets
Metal internals
Included bits

Quite a few of the bolts you're likely to be messing with regularly will use the same recommended torque, and being able to grab a single tool, and tighten the fastener until the wrench clicks can streamline your maintenance. 

The handle is much more comfortable to use than many of the generic preset wrenches while the all-metal internals prolongs life and accuracy. Available in 4-6nm strength the wrench comes with 3, 4, 5mm and T25 bits stored in the handle. 

Park Tool: ATD 1.2 Adjustable Torque Driver

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ATD 1.2 Adjustable Torque Driver

Adjustable ergonomic torque wrench

Torque Range: 4-6nm | Included Bits: 3, 4, 5mm and T25

Metal internals
Included bits
Limited range

The ATD 1.2 is almost identical to the preset torque wrench, however it's adjustable from 4-6nm. The intervals are all metal, and it comes with the same bits, also stored in the handle. 

Park Tool: TW 5.2 Ratcheting click-type torque wrench

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TW 5.2 Ratcheting click-type torque wrench

Never over tighten a bolt again

Torque Range: 2-14nm, 10-60nm | Included Bits: N/A

Wide range of torque adjustability
3/8in ratchet
Subject to proper technique

While many of the fasteners you deal with regularly may all be 5nm recommended torque, there are other fasters all around your bike, some with extremely light recommended tightness, and some you couldn’t overtighten with a hydraulic winch. For these types of jobs, the Ratcheting click-type torque wrench is the way to go. 

There are two versions, one with a range from 2-14nm and a burly longer handle version with a range from 10-60nm, both are claimed to be accurate to +/- 4 per cent. Each uses a 3/8in ratcheting drive and comes with a protective case.

Park Tool: PW 4 Professional Pedal Wrench

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PW 4 Professional Pedal Wrench

Make quick work of stuck pedals

Compatibility: Universal

Offset head and long handle makes for heaps of leverage
Takes up a lot of space

Pedals are often one of the most neglected parts of your bike and are subjected to plenty of stress. When it comes time to swap out a set or put on new ones, a good quality pedal wrench can be the difference between a 30-second job, and a 30min job resulting in a sweated through t-shirt and skinned knuckles 

The Park Professional Pedal Wrench is made from Cro-Moly steel and the combination of the offset opening and long handle will make quick work of even the most seized pedals.

Pro Tip: Your left and right pedal are threaded in different directions, so they automatically tighten as you pedal. Rather than remembering which pedal is threaded which way; attach the wrench to the pedal axle with the handle pointing towards the rear wheel, at as close to a 90-degree angle as possible, and push down. This will unthread the pedal on both sides, but prevents your knuckles from speeding towards your chainrings when the pedal does break loose. It also allows you to put your body weight behind the wrench for those really stuck pedals. 

Park Tool: TL 6.2 Steel core tyre levers

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TL 6.2 Steel core tyre levers

Snapped tyre levers are a thing of the past

Coating: Nylon | How many in the box: 2

You will only need to buy one set

Sometimes tubeless tyres are a real pain to get over the rim, especially if you're installing a rim protector like a Cush Core. A set of sturdy steel core tyre levers will make this process exponentially more straightforward, while also limiting the potential for damaging your rim. 

Everything you need to know

1. What to know when buying tools

Just about every tool company offers a tool kit, some only including a few bits and pieces, while others like the Park Tool Master Tool kit include one of every tool the brand makes. We would recommend avoiding these pre-assembled kits and to go the route of building your own. 

With a pre-assembled tool kit, you're likely to end up with a few tools that you will never use, and may even come across a few that you still need but aren't in the kit. Quite often, these tool kits will include smaller versions of tools like chain whips and pedal wrenches because of space requirements. These are two tools in particular where you want as much leverage as you can get. 

2. You get what you pay for

Bike tools can span the full range of price ranges and qualities. With tools, you get precisely what you pay for, both in materials and tolerances. 

Quite often, even expensive bike tools are on the smaller end of the tolerance scale, while fasteners are usually a bit oversized. More costly tools will be made from higher-quality steel, but will also adhere to tighter tolerances, so not only will the tool be a better fit, but it will also keep its edges longer, lessening the chance of rounding a bolt. 

Colin Levitch

Born and bred in Colorado, and now based in Australia, Colin comes from a ski racing background and started riding as a way to stay fit through the summer months. His father, a former European pro, convinced him to join the Colorado State University collegiate cycling team, and he hasn't stopped since. It's not often he pins on a number nowadays, and you'll likely find him in search of flowy singletrack, gravel roads and hairpin corners. Colin has worked at and is a regular contributor to Australian Mountain Bike and Cyclist magazines. 

Rides: BMC Team Machine SLR01 Trek Top Fuel 9 Ibis Ripley