Pick up a power drill or impact driver to work on a bike and you’re likely to provoke the ire of at least a few puritanical bike experts. Only the most basic, analog tools are worthy of clockwising and counter-clockwising our bolts: Use electricity and you’re 100 percent guaranteed to strip bolts, cause stress risers and have a giant gorby gap, or so goes the argument.
It certainly is easier to strip or over-torque (or under, for that matter) with a carelessly operated power tool. But when used properly, an electric drill or driver speeds up much of the tightening and loosening we do on bikes—brake rotors, stem bolts, and even pedal spindles can be zipped in and out in a fraction of the time it would take with a regular wrench. You’ll save time (if you’re careful about how you start and finish the zipping), and any career mechanic will tell you that you might save your wrists in the process.
But if you don’t trust your trigger finger, a ratcheting tool can provide some of those same benefits with much less risk to your bike’s delicate threads and heads. What we’ve done here is round up a selection of ratcheting multi tools—some made for bikes, one not—that are handy around the shop and might even make a worthy addition to your ride kit, or at least to the assembly of tools you keep in your car for those unforeseen trailhead fixes.
If it leads, it bleeds
Uniquely functional and functionally unique
Works just like a regular pump, unless you want something more