Birzman have a whole heap of tools out there and one that recently dropped in to the office is their Damselfly chain tool. First impressions are that it might have had a bit too much attention from a designer rather than a mechanic. The tool looks great but this is a functional object first and foremost, and as such needs to perform like one.
It might be something that you don’t use that often but having a crap one just as you want to go out for a ride is a nightmare. Chain tools are pretty straightforward bits of kit when you break it down. Threaded bar with a pin in the end that rotates through a handle and forces a pin of equal diameter out of a chain against the body of the tool. That said there are a few things that need to be right before a chain tool does it’s job properly.
Birzman have balanced this tool well, it’s got a solid feel although we would have preferred a handle that tapered less. The thread is tight and smooth, it doesn’t suffer from the wobble that some cheaper tools do. The rotating handle is a decent size so if you have a particularly stubborn link you can put enough force through it to free a tight pin. The Damselfly is designed to work with all different chain sizes you are likely to come across and these are held in the right position with a small sprung plate.
Initially we thought this might be a complication too far but after use on a few chains with varying amounts of grit and shit involved it works a treat. I’m not sure if it will hold up once full of crud from being chucked in your toolbox for six months though. If it does get snarled up you can take the mechanism apart via a 2.5mm allen bolt in the front of the tool’s body and clean it. We couldn’t find replacement parts online but if you truly knacker it but we have been assured they are available direct.
All in all it’s a robust tool for any home mechanic’s shed, but if you have hands like shovels then it might feel a bit small. If you are into nice looking tools that do work then the Damselfly could right up your street. The only other problem is that there isn’t anything to hang it up from!
The Damselfly retails at £34.99 and all the details along with the rest of their tools can be found at Birzman.com