- MSRP: $175
If there’s a better chain tool than Abbey’s Decade Chain Tool out there, we haven’t found it. This shop-quality chain breaker features a swappable saddle so it’s compatible with every chain out there, even SRAM’s new Flattop chain. Green ano looks cool on your tool wall, too.
Basics: Cromoly body and screw; anodized handles; works with SRAM Flattop chains, as well as Shimano and Campagnolo
Pros: Versatile, solidly built, smooth action
Cons: Very expensive
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You know the Decade Chain Tool is a quality tool the moment you pick it up. Everything about it feels well-planned, comfortable, and rugged. The thick main body handle provides a big surface to grip when you’re grappling with difficult chains. And the rotating handle feels equally strong and stable, though it’s smaller and easier to maneuver with one hand.
Even the Decade Chain Tool’s action feels well-honed; the threaded arm spins so smoothly through the body it feels like it’s mounted on bearings. That action is the result of an almost absurd amount of testing: Abbey says on its website that the company broke the equivalent of three chains a day for ten years, which led to the name Decade Chain Tool. It’s also the result of powdered vapor deposition (PVD) coating on the cromoly body and lead screw, which directly accounts for the teflon-esque feel.
Perhaps the niftiest feature of the Decade Chain Tool is the swappable saddle, which means the tool works with just about any chain out there. In fact, Abbey launched this tool right around the time SRAM came out with its Flattop chain, and Abbey was one of the first companies to have a chain tool that would work with SRAM’s chain. Simply swap out the saddle for the SRAM-ready one and you’ve got a tool to handle the most modern chains on the market.
The Decade Chain Tool’s pin is also replaceable, of course. That’s more of a standard feature for chain tools, so it’s no surprise, but after several months of use, we haven’t seen any of the typical signs of wear or bending we’ve seen on pins from Abbey’s competitors. Everything on the Decade Chain Tool seems overbuilt, and the pin itself is no exception. But should you need it, there’s a replacement pin stowed in the handle that’s compatible with Shimano and Campagnolo chains. (A threaded backstop attaches to the body to correctly work with Campagnolo chains.)
It’s no exaggeration to say that this is hands down the best chain tool on the market. And you’ll pay a premium to get it: The Decade Chain Tool costs $175, which means it’s an investment. Fortunately, it very well may be the last chain tool you ever buy. And the green anodization looks very cool hanging on the wall in your garage. If you’re after a throwaway tool at a low price, this obviously isn’t it. But if top quality and longterm durability matter most, the Decade Chain Tool lives up to its price tag easily.