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Spoke wrench recommendations ?

Old 11-19-22, 02:29 PM
  #1  
j13ag
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Spoke wrench recommendations ?

These days I'm doing a lot of recovery work on some old wheels. That means that encountering frozen nipples is common and I'm looking for tools that can handle the job better then the Park Tool SW-1 (spoke wrench) I've got. Too many of those nipples are getting rounded off by the tool despite liberal use of a variety of penetrants. I end up having to replace nipples and sometimes both nipples and spokes. Getting those damaged nipples off with vice grips can be done but is a PITA.

I think that what I need is a 3-sided or 4 sided spoke wrench that is designed for the 3.30 mm nipples that I'm finding on a lot of these wheels. The hope is that this kind of wrench will not damage nipples as often.

For smaller (3.23 mm) nipples, I've got a P&K Lie wrench which works very well and for larger ones (3.45 mm) I've picked up a Park Tool SW-42 which looks like it will be good. The Unior 16302p which purports to be designed for 3.30 mm nipples doesn't seem to fit them (?).

Can you recommend a 3 or 4 sided spoke wrench that is designed for 3.30 mm nipples ?

Park Tool used to make something called SW-10, which had a clamping mechanism. Is there anything like that available now ?

Thanks for your help.

-jg-
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Old 11-19-22, 03:01 PM
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The problem with multi sided spoke wrenches is that they are multi sided and you can easily use the wrong side and round off a nipple. I have a full set of Park spoke wrenches, all colours. The only time I have rounded off a nipple has been on wheels that have more than one size nipple. I have more often broken a spoke with a seized nipple
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Old 11-19-22, 04:17 PM
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It looks like all the Park Tool Master Spoke Wrenches have been discontinued but I like those they feel good in the hand and so long as you use the correct one you should be set.

The DT Swiss Spokey Pro felt nice but it is for 3.25mm square nipples only (generally found on higher quality wheels).

I wouldn't really do a multi sided key unless it were for travel usage and I had friends going with alternative spike nipple sizes. I want to have one for each size separately so I don't accidentally use the incorrect one which could be quite easy to do.
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Old 11-19-22, 05:01 PM
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I think you guys are misinterpreting what the OP is looking for. I agree those small ring-type multi-size spoke wrenches with several different size slots around their edge are a poor excuse for spoke wrenches. But, I believe he is looking for a spoke wrench with a 3-sided nipple opening so it contacts 3 of the 4 sides of the nipple and has less chance of slipping and rounding it off. I think I've seen those but don't know who the maker is.
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Old 11-19-22, 05:23 PM
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Park Tools seems to have one Four-Sided spoke wrench, but they also have several sizes with a 3-sided slot.
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Old 11-19-22, 05:25 PM
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Based on replies from veganbikes and alcjphil I should clarify my use of '2-sided', '4-sided' when referring to different types of spoke wrenches.

I'm referring to the number of sides of the nipple that the jaw of the wrench are designed to hold.
- In the case of the P&K Lie wrench - it grabs that nipple on all four sides. I have never rounded a nipple using that wrench. Its excellent.
- The Park Tool SW-1, you could call it a 3-sided jaw, but really only the 2 faces on the sides are working for you. This is the wrench thats rounding nipples on very high tension or rusted spokes.

(I would post pictures but the forum rules won't let me do that 'cause I'm a noob.)

I was not referring to wrenches that have jaws of various sizes, the multi-tool approach. I stay away from those because they tend to be of lower quality and as others have mentioned its too easy to get the wrong set of jaws on the nipple when there are more then one to choose from

-jg-

Last edited by j13ag; 11-19-22 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 11-19-22, 05:53 PM
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I can understand the original OP request. There are so many different spoke wrenches out there now days. I stick with Park but that's because they just happen to be the ones I originally got after loosing the Campagnolo wrench I brought back from Italy The three and four sided issue I was not even aware of till youse guys pointed it out...
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Old 11-19-22, 07:43 PM
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Old 11-19-22, 11:18 PM
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Right the Spokey. It is designed to work on 3.25 mm square nipples. The P&K Lie wrench I have also targets that size as does the Park Tool SW-40. All are '4-sided' wrenches.

I'm looking for something similar that will work on 3.30 mm. nipples.
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Old 11-20-22, 12:35 AM
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I found a cheap 3.30 mm one on-line that is four-sided but I don't think the quality is there. ( It's also in Australia. )

If you can't find what you want, as a last resort maybe you can buy a good quality spoke wrench for 3.20 ( or 3.25 ) mm spoke nipples, and use a suitable needle file until you get a snug fit ( theoretically removing 0.05 mm ( 2 thou ) from each face. )

Filing things like this was once a great fitting skill but maybe you have the patience to try it.
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Old 11-20-22, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by j13ag View Post
Park Tool used to make something called SW-10, which had a clamping mechanism. Is there anything like that available now ?
I have the SW-10, that I got after having mixed experiences with other spoke wrenches. There is another one of that particular design, Hozan C-122. While it also seems out of production, there is someone on Ebay selling out an old stock of these. I would grab one of these Hozans.
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Old 11-20-22, 02:21 AM
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Old 11-20-22, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by j13ag View Post
Getting those damaged nipples off with vice grips can be done but is a PITA.
If you're having trouble removing the nipples with vice grips then it is unlikely that a good wrench like a Spokey will help much. These things are corroded in place and if the penetrating oil doesn't work, you're most likely out of luck. I assume you're using a good penetrant like PB Blaster or Kroil.
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Old 11-20-22, 01:00 PM
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j13ag
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I have the SW-10, that I got after having mixed experiences with other spoke wrenches. There is another one of that particular design, Hozan C-122. While it also seems out of production, there is someone on Ebay selling out an old stock of these. I would grab one of these Hozans.
Thanks for the point to the Hozan . I'm headed there now ...
-jg-
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Old 11-20-22, 01:01 PM
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j13ag
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Filing skills ? No here. 8-)
Thanks for the suggestion though.
-jg-
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Old 11-21-22, 02:00 AM
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I've used a Park 3-sided wrench forever. Love it.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12488916682...Bk9SR4TZh5OTYQ
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