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The KranX Pro Chain Extractor is well made and solid, if a little weighty and rough around the edges. The body is machined from steel bar, the rubber-covered handle is comfortable and it produces easily-modulated torque for hassle-free chain cutting.
The KranX Pro Chain Extractor arrives cable-tied to a small piece of cardboard which (in very small writing) says it fits 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 speed chains. The engraving on the tool itself only says its for 8, 9, 10 speed chains, which is a little confusing.
I tested it on 8-11 speed chains and found it works well, plus it's happy with KMC, Shimano and Campagnolo chains – though it can't be used to peen the latter.
To be honest with Campag I can never be bothered with that anyway, so like a lot of people I use a four quid KMC quick link instead. Much faster and saves buying an additional (incredibly expensive) Campag peening tool.
As for 12 speed chains, I couldn't (as of publishing) verify that it works, as I don't have access to one. The distributor couldn't say either, and put the discrepancy down to a miscommunication with the factory. I'll update this review once we get to the bottom of it.
The drive handle stops perfectly in line with the body when fully screwed in, which shows some thought has gone into the design – it easily lies flat in a tool chest or on a magnetic rail.
The chain shelf (the two prongs your chain sits over while you push the pin out) feels really strong. Also, the pin pushes into a blind hole instead of dropping to the floor and rolling into another dimension, which is handy.
Despite a few removable parts, the weight/bulk means this is really a workshop tool rather than one to ride with, and that big handle creates so much controllable torque that cutting chains to length is really effortless.
Scratching around for downsides, it's perhaps a little roughly machined, and it lacks the extra prongs some tools include for working stiff chain pins loose. It's not a tool to coo over – it's a basic one that works.
At £19.99, the value is good. The Birzman Damselfly Universal Chain Tool is £39.99, for instance, and while it's great the aluminium body means it can't stick to magnetic racks and it's actually even heavier at 238g. The Shimano Chain Tool CL-TN28 was well reviewed by Dave Arthur, and works well with a large range of chains from 7-11 speed, but is £25 more at £44.99.
Interestingly, the PRO Chain Tool is almost identical to this KranX one, except it includes a spare pin (embedded in the rubber handle) the KranX lacks. However, it's a fiver more.
There a lot to like about the KranX Pro Chain Extractor: the solid construction, comfortable grip, flush-fitting handle, its versatility and the ease with which it works. The lack of stiff-link prongs is a shame, but for the price it's easy to overlook.
Very effective workshop tool at a great price, though slightly lacking polish
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kranx Pro Chain Extractor (8 - 12 Speed)
Size tested: Suitable for 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 speed
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?
It doesn't come with much info, and is just cable-tied to a small piece of cardboard which (in very small writing) says compatible with 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 speed chains. The engraving on the tool only says its for 8, 9, 10 speed chains, though, which is a little confusing.
It seems a well made, solid tool, if a little weighty and rough around the edges.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The only official info is:
Pro chain extractor
Suitable for 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 speed
Adjustable for easy use and chain protection
Machined from solid, it looks like it will last years.
There is so much controllable torque it makes cutting chains really effortless. It copes with 8, 9, 10 and 11 speed, and has no problem with KMC, Shimano or Campagnolo chains, though it's can't peen Campag. I can't comment on 12 speed chains as I don't have access to any.
I wouldn't want to drop it, but only because it would hurt my feet! Feels like it could take years of tool box bashing.
A tad heavy which means it's not really portable, but this is a workshop tool really rather than one to take on a ride.
The rubberised handle is great.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Splits chains with little effort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid construction, comfortable handle, ease of use and the wide range of chains it cuts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A little roughly machined, and no extra prongs for dealing with stiff links.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £19.99, the value is good. The Birzman Damselfly Universal Chain Tool is £39.99, for instance, and while it's great the aluminium body means it can't stick to magnetic racks and it's actually even heavier at 238g.
The Shimano Chain Tool CL-TN28 was well reviewed by Dave Arthur, and works well with a large range of chains from 7-11 speed, but is £25 more at £44.99.
Interestingly, the PRO Chain Tool is almost identical to this Kranx one, except it includes a spare pin (embedded in the handle) the Kranx lacks. However, its a fiver more.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The no-nonsense design, solid build and keen price all impress. The rough finish can be ignored – it's a workshop tool – but the confusing packaging/engravings and lack of stiff-link prongs are slight issues. As it is, the Kranx is a solid eight.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT Grade My best bike is: Boardman ASR 8.9
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,