Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy a new toolkit and was wondering why Park Tools was so much more expensive. It seems like you can buy the same amount of Sette tools for half the price of Park Tools. I'm just getting into bike maintnence and was wondering what was best for me. I want to spend less than $150.
Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,803 Posts
Park Tools is what most LBS and race teams use. They are professional grade equipment designed for thousands of repairs, compared to Sette- which is geared towards the occasional home DIY'er, and hence half the cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
Park - Made in the USA
Sette - Made in China

I'm not against using cheaper tools, especially if I am only going to use it once in a while. Like I just bought the cheapest Park home-use pedal wrench, and I would have gotten a Chinese one if it was available.

But in the shop, where I might remove 30 pairs of pedals a week, I am going to reach for the Park pro pedal wrench every time. Not only will it last for a decade, it is designed to maximum leverage and ease-of-use.



For the home mechanic, where you might do any particular job once a year, and you will have more time to do it, then it doesn't matter if you use American-made allen keys or a chain whip.

I do have a lot of Park professional tools in my tool box because I think they work the best, making my job easier and faster when I am on my own time.
 

·
Former Bike Wrench
Joined
·
15,976 Posts
As a former bicycle mechanic, most of my bike tools are Park. I worked for a couple shops where I needed to supply my own tools and the Park stuff never let me down. And the shops that supplied the tools always used Park as well. I also have a few Shimano tools as well that are very high quality

That said, since I know only wrench occasionally (on my own and friends bikes), there are certain tools that I have either purchased the cheaper version or made my own such as:
-Headset press (home made, long bolt and washers)
-Headset cup remover (Sette, can be homemade as well)
-Crown race setter (home made...PVC pipe)

Take a close look at your bike(s), look at what you actually need. Most of the tool kits come with a lot of tools you'll probably never use. For instance, headset wrenches are not needed with threadless headsets that come on everything today. Or cone wrenches, if you have seal cartridge bearing hubs, you'll probably never use one. If you have Shimano (or similar Joytech, Hondo, etc) hubs, you'll only need 13mm, 15mm, and sometimes 17mm (XT, XTR) cone wrenches. The rest of the sizes are very rarely used. If you have the newer two piece external cranksets, you don't need a crank puller or a several of the BB tools. Many pedals use 6mm or 8mm hex wrenches so a pedal wrench is useless. Etc., Etc.

My advice is invest the money in the tools you'll use often including:
-Cone Wrenches (if applicable) in 13mm, 15mm, and 17mm
-Chain Breaker Tool
-Cable cutters (cheap ones are a waste of money)
-T handle hex wrenches (1.5mm thru 6mm, plus you might need 8mm and 10mm depending on what you have)
-Spoke wrenches
-Torque Wrench (3/8" in/lbs) with hex bits (usually 4,5,6 and 8mm)
-Combination wrenches (6mm, 8-17mm)
-Chain Whip
-Cassette Remover
-The correct BB tool for what you have
-T25 Torx
 

·
Old man on a bike
Joined
·
12,395 Posts
mtnbiker72 said:
As a former bicycle mechanic, most of my bike tools are Park. I worked for a couple shops where I needed to supply my own tools and the Park stuff never let me down. And the shops that supplied the tools always used Park as well. I also have a few Shimano tools as well that are very high quality

That said, since I know only wrench occasionally (on my own and friends bikes), there are certain tools that I have either purchased the cheaper version or made my own such as:
-Headset press (home made, long bolt and washers)
-Headset cup remover (Sette, can be homemade as well)
-Crown race setter (home made...PVC pipe)

Take a close look at your bike(s), look at what you actually need. Most of the tool kits come with a lot of tools you'll probably never use. For instance, headset wrenches are not needed with threadless headsets that come on everything today. Or cone wrenches, if you have seal cartridge bearing hubs, you'll probably never use one. If you have Shimano (or similar Joytech, Hondo, etc) hubs, you'll only need 13mm, 15mm, and sometimes 17mm (XT, XTR) cone wrenches. The rest of the sizes are very rarely used. If you have the newer two piece external cranksets, you don't need a crank puller or a several of the BB tools. Many pedals use 6mm or 8mm hex wrenches so a pedal wrench is useless. Etc., Etc.

My advice is invest the money in the tools you'll use often including:
-Cone Wrenches (if applicable) in 13mm, 15mm, and 17mm
-Chain Breaker Tool
-Cable cutters (cheap ones are a waste of money)
-T handle hex wrenches (1.5mm thru 6mm, plus you might need 8mm and 10mm depending on what you have)
-Spoke wrenches
-Torque Wrench
-Combination wrenches (6mm, 8-17mm)
-Chain Whip
-Cassette Remover
-The correct BB tool for what you have
-T25 Torx
+ 1 Well said!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
I have quite a mix of both. I recieved the Sette set for a gift and have the Park Tool's from when I worked at a shop. I haven't found any issues in quality with the sette tools just doing all my own wrenching and helping out people that I know from the shop days with their bikes. Like the previous posts have said, Park Tool makes much higher quality stuff. BUT... Sette tools haven't even come close to letting me down.

The Sette tools I don't use and prefer the Park Tools:
Pedal wrench
BB tool
spoke wrenches
Allen Keys (Craftsman, not Park)

Everything else included in the kit has been awesome. If you are just going to be wrenching on your own stuff, the Sette will work. Again, the tools you will use most often I would get Park or Pedros.
 

·
One Gear
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
I've bought a lot of Park tools slowly over the years as I've needed them. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy the Sette kit. Then, if any break, replace them with the Parks. I have a set of the Park allen wrenches and should have bought the Craftsman. (as mentioned they are cheaper, and have a lifetime warranty)

I picked up an Enduro bottom bracket tool and it's just awesome. The Pedro's wrench is just lonesome and sad. Not to mention in the pile to give away.

good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
.40AET said:
I've bought a lot of Park tools slowly over the years as I've needed them. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy the Sette kit. Then, if any break, replace them with the Parks. I have a set of the Park allen wrenches and should have bought the Craftsman. (as mentioned they are cheaper, and have a lifetime warranty)

I picked up an Enduro bottom bracket tool and it's just awesome. The Pedro's wrench is just lonesome and sad. Not to mention in the pile to give away.

good luck
Good advice.

Sice all the Crafstman hand tools have the lifetime warranty (most sears have replacements on hand at all times) you can just stop by and swap them out. I used to work there and rarely ever found any of them that came back, it was mostly tape measures...

Since you aren't going to open a shop I'd say you'd be fine with the Sette. You can always add to your collection down the road. Again, I have the big Sette kit and use them all the time with zero issues as of yet... It's been 3 years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,689 Posts
Certain tools need to be of decent quality and work the extra cost such as:

Cable cutters (Park or Pedros)
BB Tools (Park or Pedros)
Hex and Torx keys (Parks, Pedros, or Craftsmen, Boudhous(sp?) is great if you can find
them)

The rest on how much you are actually going to use it. Most of my other tools are either Sette or Performance Tools. My chain whip is from Nashbar.
 

·
Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
Joined
·
552 Posts
Go with Park.

I'm a craftsman, not a bike mechanic. I use my blue tools every weekend. I use tools and hand tools all day, Shitty tools cost you in blood and replacement. I have a nice scar from a cheap 15mm pedal wrench. I have a lot of Park tools and a few Sette tools. I have yet to replace any Park tools! Craftsman are great and cheaper, but its nice to look for a blue tool and have it in hand in no time. I have bought cheap tools and am happy to do it. BUT, only when i know i will use it once or twice. It won't take long to forget the cost of a nice tool. But if you buy a peice of $^*#, you will think of it EVERYTIME ypu pick it up. Just do it slowly and all will be good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
in my expirience, sette is junk. i havent had much to do with them, but I had a sette chain breaker which broke in half after I used it twice. I think park tool is the best hands down. If you want to skimp on some money though, go for spin doctor tools, they work good too.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,457 Posts
As someone who has used high and low quality tools for years in bikes, as well as automotive, what you get with many higher priced tools (and I don't mean the Craftsman stuff, as much of it is crap) is higher grade metals and better tolerances. For the case of wrenches, the better quality ones might fit a bolt tighter, instead of riding on the corners, for instance.

The mechanisms in ratchets are a big difference. I have some photos somewhere, illustrating the difference between my Craftsman ratchets and my pro-level Armstrongs. The craftsmans used a thin foil cover plate with a c-clip to hold the ratchet mech in place. Lots of flex and no wonder I used to break them during weird circumstances. The armstrong has a cover of several MM thick, plus it's bolted together. There is also less play in the ratchet mechanism to reduce side loading and failure.

As someone mentioned above, the pro-level tools are designed to be investments, and it's smart to do so where you can, while the Sette or other occasional use tools will last on the occasional use. They will likely be more suseptible to shorter life based on frequency of use, abuse, and storage (rusting, dings, chips, dulling, etc).

For me, I won't use cheaper tools and will only use Bondhus hexes. They use some of the highest quality metals and manufacturing techniques to ensure proper finish and tolerances. Others make good ones as well. I have craftsman as well, but they don't really fit that well, compared to the Bondhus and Wiha hexes I have.

I simply don't want to wear out fasteners over time by using poorly fitting tools or tools that wear to high tolerances over time and then they unexpectedly damage a fastener.

One doesn't have to go park (and stay the hell away from Pedro's!!!!), but if you pick and choose, you can get good or good enough depending on your use, but don't scrimp on hex keys. Get Bondhus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,903 Posts
i have probably 15K worth of high end tools.. honestly the bike specific stuff always feels like cheap junk compared to a snapon tool, park included.. i lost my park bb tool and replace it with some cheap bb tool, its damn near identical.

theres a huge difference between a stamped and forged tool.. but between two forged tools, theres not much. anyone going the extra distance to forge a tool isnt going to make it sloppy. ive seen some park tools go for more than a snapon tool.. thats just nuts.
 

·
Former Bike Wrench
Joined
·
15,976 Posts
I felt the same way

tomsmoto said:
i have probably 15K worth of high end tools.. honestly the bike specific stuff always feels like cheap junk compared to a snapon tool, park included.
I was a car mechanic before I was a bicycle mechanic and my first thought when I started wrenching on bikes was "man these tools are cheap schitt"

Most of my tools are either Snap On or Mac (I have a few Craftsman, but their sockets SUCK...I broke way too many working on cars)

My bike specific stuff is mostly Park and Shimano...my hex wrenches are actually Bondhus.

The Park and Shimano stuff has held up well, including 8 years of wrenching for pay, but I would not buy Park for my standard tools (Combo Wrenches, Sockets, Ratchets, Screwdrivers, etc.)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,457 Posts
The Bondhus stuff lasts. I happened upon them by chance, since my shop sold them for a few bucks less than the flashy Pedro's. I'm so glad I got them over the Pedro's and then went to their site to actually see what is put into making them. I also have a set of ProHolds. They rock in holding the bolt from dropping.

Armstrong ratchets, though I do use crap Craftsman sockets. Now I am not bound by the Sears around the block, I will head over to Wiha or Hazet, though they aren't cheap. I do use Craftsman's professional line of Combi wrenches. They are not bad at all.

Got Gearwrench brand reversing ratchets. Those are lifesavers.

For adjustable wrenches/pliers, I do Knipex. Another case of the best and sensible designs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
With all due respect to those who've already spoken up, I have to disagree on the Pedros comments. I have used the tools from my master tool kit extensively over the last 3 seasons supporting a pro mountain bike and cyclocross team. The quality is on par with the Park tools in my garage. I've only ever had trouble with one tool, a 4,5,6 Y wrench that I tried to straighten a steel der. hanger with. Doh!

For spoke wrenches, Park is playing catch-up a few years late with their 4 sided spoke wrenches.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,457 Posts
It's not saying much to rank Pedro's on par with Park. I'm sorry, but that's really the case. Pedros, nor Park tools that can be interchanged with a true mechanic's set will not stand up to the usage around a automotive application.

I can tell without any doubt that when I had to pull my intake and exhaust manifolds some years ago, I was lucky to have Bondhus hexes that didn't destroy the rusted fasteners like I did once before with a brand name set some time before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
I don't have anything against Bondhus hex wrenches and I'm not going to debate how they've worked for you. I was speaking to the reliability of my experience using Pedros wrenches when used extensively on bicycle fasteners.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top