The 9 Best Chain Breakers
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in May of 2016. All sorts of things are driven by gear chains, including all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and industrial machinery. So what happens when that chain needs to be adjusted or replaced? That's when you reach for one of these breakers. Using powerful cutters and splitters, these tools let you quickly get your equipment back on the road or working smoothly again. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
April 09, 2020:
Added the ABN 9086.
You'll want to choose a chain breaker to fit the sort of chains you normally work on. Besides the pin sizes, some of the large breakers like the ABN 9086 are great for industrial chains but overkill and uncomfortable to use on small bicycle chains. The Pro Bike Tool is perfect for bicycle chains, not just because it is just the right size but also because it includes an all-metal body and handle. You'll want to stay away from models that have plastic handles mated to metal treads as this builds in an obvious failure point (this is true with tools generally).
I know that it is common and sometimes advisable to grind down pin heads with a flap wheel since this makes it less likely that you'll break a push pin - this is because staked pins have rolled-over edges that force the link face and the push pin to take undue pressure. Before doing so, check your particular chain breaker's manual since many manufacturers advice against it and have built the tool to deal with both pressed and staked pins.
Always lubricate any threaded drive tool to ensure smooth operation and reduce the likelihood of cross-threading or binding.