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Verdict: 
High-quality breaker of chains with a stylish design
Weight: 
238g

Birzman's Damselfly Universal chain tool is your one-stop* chain splitting shop. It'll handle anything from a singlespeed chain to a modern 12-speed, and the clever spring-retaining plate automatically adjusts to fit and hold the chain firmly.

  • Pros: Nice to use, looks good, sprung plate works well
  • Cons: Expensive, no stiff link adjuster

The Damselfly is very nicely designed and solidly CNC'd from aluminium. It feels weighty in the hand, and the big handles mean it's easy to grip, and to apply a bit of force to your chain. The locating plate for the chain is sprung, so it both adjusts to fit whatever chain you're tinkering with and also clamps down on it to hold it in place. It's a neat system that works well. You're good for anything from a singlespeed chain to a new 12-speed here. The only chain it won't do is a Campagnolo 11-speed one where the pin needs peening. That's a job for the more expensive Dragonfly tool.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Anyway, with the chain held securely and a big lever to act on, pushing a pin out of a chain is child's play. I've not had a problem with the chain mislocating and the chain tool's pushing pin getting bent, as can happen on cheaper tools. I've used it on singlespeed, 8-speed and 11-speed chains with no issues. I haven't gone to 12-speed yet but I'm confident you wouldn't have any problems there either.

Birzman Damselfly Universal Chain Rivet Extractor Tool-2.jpg

Now I'm the first to admit that since the quick link became ubiquitous there's not much day-to-day need to loosen a stiff link. Normally the only reason you'd need to do that is because you'd rejoined a chain and you needed to slacken off the join a touch. However, if you're buying a workshop-quality chain tool I guess you're more likely to be working on a variety of bikes, some with chains that need splitting and rejoining. That being the case, it's a pity there's no way to loosen off a stiff link on this tool. It's only a couple of extra prongs, it wouldn't be that hard. Other than that it's all good.

> How to replace a chain

As for value – £34.99 isn't exactly small change for a tool that does one job. That said, there are other tools out there such as Park Tool's CT-3.2 that are workshop staples for the same money; even that doesn't have a stiff link adjuster these days. You can spend an awful lot more on something like the Pedro's Tutto, but the Damselfly is going toe to toe with probably the most popular workshop tool here. The performance is comparable, though, and it looks nicer.

*unless you have a Campag chain that needs peening

Verdict

High-quality breaker of chains with a stylish design

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Birzman Damselfly Universal Chain Rivet Extractor Tool

Size tested: 160 x 100 x 22mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Birzman says, "The patented "Smart Cradle System" is adjustable to securely fit chains of different sizes, while the ergonomic handle offers substantial leverage to break even the toughest links."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Birzman:

Functions

Compatible with 5-12 speed; 3/32" and 1/8" single speed chains.

Material

Handle : CNC machined 6061 aluminium / Body : CNC machined 6061 aluminium / Pin : S2 tool steel

Size

160 x 100 x 22mm

Weight

242g

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well for cutting chains to length.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Spring-loaded plate works well and accepts chains across a range of sizes.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

No stiff link adjuster.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's at the top end of the market, for sure, but you can buy more expensive chain tools from Park Tool and Pedro's, and Birzman's Dragonfly is £59.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes for serious spannering.

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a very nicely made chain tool that's very effective. You're paying for that.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

1 comments

Avatar
mylesrants [497 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

I own a polished version of this.

I love it.

I gave £20 for it and that was about right.