Unior has been around since 1919, with a history forged in automotive and agricultural tools. It wasn't until 2005 however, that the brand started producing tools specifically for bikes.
Unior tools are characterised by blue in most of the world but red in the US because Park Tool owns the trademark for blue bike tools. Even with its pedigree in tool making, Unior doesn't quite have the name recognition of Park or Pedros, they are as good if not better in quality — and they have some clever solutions for jobs that are otherwise fiddly.
Now you’ll find mechanics from Trek Factory Racing, Commencal Vallnord DH, and Polygon UR among many others wrenching on team bikes with Unior tools.
Read on for the Blue or Red handled tools we'll like to add to our workshop or jump to the bottom for a rundown of what to look for when shopping for tools.
Check out some of Unior's best work stands in our round-up of the best bike work stands
The vast majority of shifting problems are the result of a bent derailleur hanger. For something so integral to your riding experience, derailleurs hangers are incredibly susceptible to warping, so being able to diagnose and straighten one at home will save you time and headaches.
Traditionally derailleur hanger tools have been massive, bulky behemoths, however following some design cues from the Abby DAG, Unior's new Hanger Genie is a foldable tool that offers precise adjustments and near-universal compatibility. The head screws directly into the derailleur hanger threads and comes with a straight and s-bend measuring gauge which can be locked into place. The bar uses an extending design so that it can take measurements on wheels ranging in size from 20- to 29-inch, and is compact enough not to take up an entire toolbox drawer.
Hex tools come in what seems like thousands of configurations, although they all do the same job, specific layouts are better suited to some tasks than others. Hex screwdrivers are one such tool and are the ideal addition if you already have a good set of Allen or Torx keys.
For jobs with tight clearances or hard-to-get-to bolts like bottle and lever reach adjusters, they will make quick work of awkward jobs. Each hex screwdriver sees a hard chrome and vanadium steel blade that has been hardened and tempered, and an easy to grab ergonomic handle. Unior makes its hex screwdrivers in ball end hex and Torx in all the standard sizes.
Of any bike-specific tool on the market, chainwhips are arguably the utensil that left the most room for improvement. Unior's Cassette wrench is a novel take that is vastly easier to use than the tool it stands to replace.
Instead of dealing with a length of chain to grab hold of the cassette, the Cassette Wrench uses rigid pins to engage with the smallest sprocket on the cassette and hold it in place. A hole in the middle allows for access with a cassette tool; the wrench comes in two versions, an 11/12 (which also works with cassettes with a 10T cog) and a 13/14T version.
Disc-brake piston spreaders and rotor truing tools which slide past the braking surface are incredibly similar in shape, so Unior combines them into one. The slot is deep enough to push the tool the majority of the way onto the rotor, so you're not just bending the edge, while the conically shaped tip of the device is designed to slip between pads inside the to work suck pistons back into place.
It's made from Unior's premium flex plus carbon steel, and the handle is double dipped for comfort and grip.
Commonplace in motorsports, T-handle wrenches allow you to spin the wrench quickly with the shape of the handle itself helping to keep the tool balanced. While using the long end of the wrench gives you more leverage than a hex screwdriver, the short end is there for when you need to shift a stuck fastener.
The handle itself is made from polypropylene so it will be comfortable in your hand, and survive drops on the workshop floor. The wrench itself is made of chrome vanadium steel, and with black anodised tips, so they will last for years. Unior makes its T-handles in Hex, ball end, and Torx varieties, in all standard sizes.
In any workshop, a y-wrench will probably be the first tool a mechanic reaches for because almost an entire bike can be built or broken down with a single tool.
The Unior Y-wrench are supremely comfortable in your hands, and the bits are the same high-quality chrome vanadium steel as the T-handles. They come in both standard and ball end varieties as well as hex and Torx and socket.
The idea behind master links is that they allow you to break a chain without having to drive a pin out. The trouble with master links is after they have been used for a while they can be basically impossible to remove with your hands, so if you don't already have a set of master link pliers, they will be a welcome addition to your toolbox.
The pliers are spring-loaded, so they settle into the open position, and the teeth are manufactured to match the rollers not only to provide a sure grip, but also to prevent any damage. The tool is made from chrome-plated premium flex plus carbon steel, and the handles are double dipped to provide a sure grip even if your hands are greasy.
Unior's Master Chain Tool is universally compatible with chains from 6-12-speed, including SRAM's flat top AX chain and supports Campy 11 and 12-speed chain peening. The tool comes with three different interchangeable chain supports and sees and a hidden compartment in the body which houses a replacement chain pin.
The tool features a one-piece cast construction, and features precise threading, so the pin driver spins freely while also allowing plenty of leverage for breaking difficult chains.
The lighter the parts, the more susceptible they are to damage; and no matter how good a mechanic your buddy claims to be, there is a pretty slim chance they can tighten a stem bolt to 5Nm by feel.
Rather than leaving anything to chance, Unior's Electronic torque wrench offers precise torque measures in Newton meters, inch-pounds, foot-pounds, kilogram-force per square centimetre, buzzing and lighting up when you hit your target torque. Powered by a single AAA battery the wrench comes in two versions. The smaller of the two features 1 1/4in square driver that will allow you to work on low torque hidden bolts ranging from 1-20Nm while the larger version sees a 1/2in square drive and has a rage from 4.3-85Nm, perfect for bottom brackets, suspension top caps and cassette lockrings.
With two offset 15mm openings and a long handle, the Pro Pedal Wrench is designed to offer maximum leverage. Made from hardened and tempered chrome-plated steel, the Pro pedal wrench features an ergonomic handle, so there is no possibility of slippage when you put your body weight into a stuck pedal.
The dual offset wrench open helps you gain leverage and allow you to quickly access into pedal axle flats from various positions. Plus, there is a bottle opener built-in, too.
From finishing up cable housing to finagling suspension wipers and seals out for servicing, a set of Awls or dental picks removes a considerable amount of faffing from precision jobs.
Available in straight or bent varieties, Unior's Awls can be purchased individually or as a set. Each has an ergonomic handle and a round blade hardened steel.
Fork seals do a fantastic job of keeping the grit and grime out for your fork which still allows the stanchions to slide freely through. To achieve this monster task, you need to have a tight fit, and if you've ever removed or replaced the seals on your fork, you know how hard it is to get the suckers back in there, let alone to get them seated straight.
Made from reinforced plastic, Unior's drover tool is available for forks ranging from 30-40mm in diameter and allows you to tap the seal into the lowers with a rubber mallet or shop hammer, ensuring it goes in straight. Each size features a lip to protect the fragile upper section of the dust seal from damage.
Whether it's removing cassette or disc brake lock rings, or removing fork top caps a reversible ratchet is a key addition to any workshop, whether it be for a home mechanic or a pro wrench.
Available in 3/8in or 1/2in square options, the ratcheting mechanism has 75-teeth, a 4.8-degree working angle and a safety lock system, The body is made from drop forged premium flex vanadium steel, and features a grippy ergo handle.
Have you ever been removing rotor bolts or the little spacers that face up against a post-mount brake adaptor, started to drop your hex wrench sending that handful of small metal parts bouncing into every hard to reach nook and cranny of your garage floor? The half an hour you spend searching for these small metal parts and reaching under your shelves hoping you don't disturb any of the creepy crawlies that may or may not live down there.
A simple magnetic tray would have saved you the potential spider bites and a whole lot of time. Unior's magnetic tray is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel. The magnet is not only powerful enough to hang onto all manner of bolts, washers and spacers, but it can also be stuck to the side of a toolbox or work stand for easy accessibility — the bottom is rubberised so it won't damage any finish.
Unior Tools: everything you need to know
1. Workshop or toolbox
Workshop and professional versions of tools are usually longer and built out of burly materials. This is not only to stand up to the rigours of the mass amounts of fasters they will be turning, but the added length also provides additional leverage to help break lose stubborn bolts.
We would also recommend going for the workshop or pro version of tools if you are outfitting a dedicated workshop space or garage. If you don't have the luxury of large toolboxes with drawers and a wall worth of pegboard, you may be limited by the physical size.
2. Don't buy cheap tools
When it comes to just about anything to do with bikes, you get what you pay for; cheap tools will often be built to lower tolerances and softer metals. A sloppy interface between a tool and a bolt head will likely end in a camped out bolt, meaning you're going to have to find an extractor or something like Park Tool's Strip Gripper to get the thing out.
Even if a cheap tool is made to a precise tolerance, over time, the lower quality materials are going to wear out considerably faster than the more expensive ones. If we are talking hex or Torx keys that means those edges which grip the bolt become rounded, and will eventually lead to a stripped bolt head.
3. What do you actually need?
Most tool brands offer tool kits that have a variety of tools and seem like a great way to get the ball rolling for your home workshop. The trouble with these tool kits is they are likely to include a few tools that you will never use, and will lack some that you need.
Because they usually come in rolls or boxes, some of the included tools like chainwhips and pedal wrenches will have short handles to adhere to the space requirements. As we previously mentioned, long-handled tools (especially chain whips and pedal wrenches) are going to be a significant benefit to you in the long run.