Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers - Review

Feb 1, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  
Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers


Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers join a growing number of handy tools which make short work of unlocking master links. That, in itself, does not make Pack Pliers notable, but wait, there's more.

Besides being shiny, aluminum and anodized black, the business end is machined on both the inner and outer sides so the pliers can reassemble the master link. One side of the pliers has a magnetic holder for two master links (just in case one of your bikes is an 11 speed and the other is 12, I guess), and the other has a Y-shaped slot which fits every removable Presta valve known to man. Pack Pliers wouldn't be competitive without a tire lever function, which it has - but the best function is its "dammit" clamp. (More about that later.) Pack Pliers' pivot on a color-anodized chainring bolt. You can choose from black or red handles, and five anodized pivot-bolt colors. MSRP is $29.95 USD.
Pack Pliers Details:
• Fits 9, 10, 11, and 12-speed master links
• 7075-T6 aluminum, laser graphics
• Magnets retract pliers and retain two master links in handle
• Presta valve stem remover
• Valve stem nut tool
• Tire lever (not recommended for carbon rims)
• Colors: Black or red handles. 5 color options for pivot bolt
• Weight: 38 grams
• Designed and made in Minneapolis, MN USA
• MSRP: $29.95 USD
• Contact: Wolf Tooth Components


Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers
Squeeze to unlock the link and...

Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers
The Y-shaped slot fits removable valve stems
Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers
...Pull on the handles to lock it in place.

Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers
The inside of the jaws are machined to fit valve stem nuts.


Trail Report

So, I have (with much fiddling) successfully unlocked a SRAM master link with my bare hands, but that may have been a lucky day. Most recently, the few times I have needed chain-link pliers, I used these, which double as tire levers and cost less than half the price of Pack Pliers. That said, Pack Pliers weigh a scant, 38 grams and in its primary role (to pop master links apart), it's like using a pro shop tool. No fiddling, just a squeeze and a click. After replacing the master link, you can snap the link closed by pulling the handles outwards. I didn't think I'd use that feature, but as long as I was on the ground, it made sense to finish the job instead of rotating the cranks until the master link was on the top side and depressing a pedal to lock it in.

One tire lever was all anyone needed to work a stubborn tubeless tire off or onto a rim, but times are changing. If you run 1000-gram tires with anti-flat inserts, you'll need two levers to wrestle with them. I found that the Wolf Tooth lever was very handy to get the last bit of the bead up and over the rim when installing a tire. Wolf Tooth machined a groove that catches the bead close to the tip of the lever, which greatly reduces the amount of force needed to get a stubborn tire mounted...but I carry a spare lever, just in case.

Valve issues are not so common, but the day you need to remove a valve core to add some sealant, or fuss with a bubbly valve seat that keeps leaking down, the right tool can be a great help. Pack Pliers'
Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers
The aluminum handle doubles as a sturdy and effective tire lever.
Y-slot fit my valve core, but the length of the tool made it useful only to initially loosen it or give it a final tighten. If sealant had gummed up the threads, it would have taken a while to thread it the whole distance with the tool.

Pack Pliers' rainbow unicorn moment occurred when a tubeless valve refused to seat properly on the rim. It was an intermittent fail that would start bubbling Stans from under the stem-nut when I was far away and packing minimal spares. This week, I remembered my Pack Pliers had that feature and went after the nut with a vengeance. My trail-side fix is still holding, so I'll call that a win.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesPack Pliers are expensive, and it's one of those tools that you'll seldom need - but when you do need to unlock a master link or wrestle with an angry tubeless tire, you will be happy you brought one along. It occupies the same space as one heavy duty plastic tire lever, and looks so much more impressive in action.RC



101 Comments

  • + 54
 Old gear cable looped around the link and pull, just saved you 30 nugs right there
  • + 19
 To install, put quick link on chain, rotate chain so it's on top between cassette and chainring, hold rear brake and push down on pedal and it will pop into place.
  • + 99
 A bit of wire won't help you mount a tyre, remove a valve core or take off a valve stem nut though. However you could wear it around your neck with your master links hanging off it like miniature dog-tags I suppose.
  • + 18
 Use that trick in the workstand where I have extra older cables around, doesn't work so well out on the trail since I don't carry extra cables on rides.
  • + 2
 @OTBSteve: been doing this since quick links became a thing. never had an issue and works every time.
  • + 12
 A shoelace also works for removing the link.
  • + 24
 @bicycle019: Place the link in the top part of your chainring, skip the next link in the chain and place the rest of the chain on the chainring. Hit one of the master link's plates with a multitool, pedal, rock, whatever and bingo.

youtu.be/KkzlbwSCPvs?t=81
  • - 3
 @southoftheborder: This one will win a Darwin award...
  • + 4
 Or just use normal pair of combination pliers and push the link together from diagonal sides. Presto
  • + 6
 Still a cool tool!
  • + 2
 @southoftheborder: Absolute wizardry. You can also just grab the link diagonally with needle nose and squeeze/turn until it pops. May scuff up the link a bit but hey, if you're doing this with improvised tools then you're way past giving a shit if your bike is scuffed anyway.
  • + 1
 Not sure this works on the 11 and 12 speeds links anymore, which means you would need a special tool.
  • + 2
 @southoftheborder: Checkmate you can't do that with a narrow-wide chainring
  • + 3
 @hamncheez: use the cassette not the chainring - same principal...
  • + 1
 Mmmm, nugs.
  • + 0
 @dingus: funny as shit.
  • + 2
 @dingus: better patent that necklace w/ dog tag master link design before wolf tooth makes one. I’ll be looking for that product review!
  • + 1
 @southoftheborder: kudos mate, that's ghetto.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: I've done it several times with my SRAM 11sp chain and with Shimano XT and SLX 11sp chains. If you're running a N/W chainring, use the biggest cassette cog instead, as @mtbskills points below.
  • + 1
 @dingus: right on the first 2, but who's tightening the valve stem nut so tight they need pliers to get it off? I'm not sure why you remove it for tubeless, and a tube should never be tightened more than finger-tight (if you even bother to put the nut on)
  • + 1
 @plyawn: You would remove it if you have to stick a tube in when you're on the trail. I'd agree that if you need a tool to remove it then it's too tight. Was riding with someone who had cranked their their valve stem nut on with pliers and they punctured and had to walk back down the hill because they couldn't get the valve out to put a tube in.
  • + 1
 @OTBSteve: I thought this was the only way you’d do it! No tools ever!
  • + 1
 @southoftheborder: 50T cogs are also narrow wide
  • + 2
 @Blackandgreen: be creative, you have another 11 cogs to choose!
  • + 26
 Did I miss something? What’s the “Dammit clamp”?
  • + 3
 Yeah, I thought there was "more" to come on that.
  • + 3
 I believe it was meant to be the valve nut clamp.
  • + 20
 IMO, Wolftooth and OneUp have the industry covered when it comes to ingenuity in small cycling components. Absolutely ingenious!
  • + 2
 Their machining is beautiful too. Just look at your other choices in person. WTC is Sexy AF on any bike!
  • + 18
 my fingers can also remove valve stem nuts
  • + 4
 Yeah, maybe I’m missing something, but wasn’t the point of the masterlink, that we could break and re install chains repeatedly without tools? I have no problem getting along with no tool.
  • + 7
 @speed10: I had no problem with 10 speed but I've found that my 11sp ones are more difficult...
  • + 1
 @dglass: fair enough, Im still on 10 Razz
  • + 1
 @speed10: Well, if you snap the chain, you have to use chain tool to remove the broken link. The master link is just easy way to connect the chain after...
  • + 1
 @Marty440: ok, I agree, but this tool doesn’t have a chain breaker, so what’s your point?
  • + 13
 Really don't see the need for this tool. If a chain breaks, you use a chain tool to push out the bad/bent link and put in a quick link and use the force of the pedals to snap into place; or press link back into chain(sram). Who just removes the chain off the bike trail side? I guess I am old and bitter
  • + 6
 I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I'm young and bitter?
  • + 2
 I upvoted you, then I remembered when I broke my derailleur hanger last year and decided to go chainless for the descent back to the carpark, I tried to use a rock, but eventually someone showed up who had a Leatherman.
I had a chain breaker on my multitool, but I'd have walked down instead of making my $20 chain unusable.
  • + 16
 30 bucks isn't bad to get your nut off
  • - 2
 Your mom is a bargin
  • + 11
 Nice looking tool. I want one. Yeah wires and shoelaces and rocks! Oh my! May all work, but wouldn’t it be nicer to just simply squeeze? Especially riding around on a multi thousand dollar machine. Wait.... lemme get my shoelace out! C’mon give up. This is a nice little tool
  • + 3
 Apparently, people agree with you... SOLD OUT! The second batch of pliers has now sold out. Current orders will be placed on backorder with the expected ship date of Feb 15th 2018. If you are buying other products we recommend placing them on a separate order so we can ship those items. Orders with backordered Pliers will be held for the pliers.
  • + 9
 Wolf Tooth is one of those companies where I’m first interested because their name’s on it secondly in what the product it. As a company, they rock and respond to emails, FAST. They’re professional and make great products.
  • + 1
 Plus they're based about 5 miles from me, so I like them even more!
  • + 5
 I've snapped more derailleur cables than chains, to this day I've yet to come across a small multitool that can cut a derailleur cable.
  • + 3
 I like the valve-core tool, that you can pop beer caps with it, and that when you order something from WT, it ships from Savage, Minnesota. I'll probably cop one with my next WT purchase.
  • + 2
 i have a spoke that i bent in half to get the quick link apart. works great. i think the real benefit to this tool is the valve stem nut plier. I run tubeless but still carry a tube just in case you slash a tire or dent an Al rim making the tire not hold air. Generally you have to tighten the valve nut pretty tight to get it to seal and you're not likely to get it off with your hands. i think this would be a great tool for the shop and the trail. 30 bucks is cheap when it does multiple things and replaces heavy pliers i carry to get the nut off.
  • + 1
 Never had to use pliers to seal a valve stem, use your thumb to push the back hard and screw her down. Comes off just as easy. If you're still having problems you have the wrong valve for your rim. Valves with tapered rubber have worked for just about every rim I can think of.
  • + 3
 I'm shocked, SHOCKED that this tool didn't cost more. $30 isn't really bad for a specialty tool. Might just pick one of these up for the shop.
  • + 4
 Make sure you buddy has tools when you go for a ride. Don't carry anything you don't need to.
  • + 4
 Ha! Those sneaky questions as they're putting their pack on
You got a pump in there?
Tyre levers? Multi tool?
Think I'll just take my water bottle then. Thanks!
  • + 4
 It says “not recommended for carbon rims” and showed being used on a Reynolds rim, does Reynolds make an aluminum rim?
  • + 2
 Reynolds is synonymous with aluminium rims
  • + 3
 @weebleswobbles: Nice, got a link on their website so I could check them out? I only found carbon options for MTB when I was there.
  • + 5
 @SCCC120: wow.. I guess I was talking out of my ass.. I looked for the aluminium rims I thought they were synonymous with and couldn't find a single one either. I could have sworn...
  • + 2
 Nice looking tool, but not nearly as versatile as a small leather man. Piece of cake to install/remove a quick Link with one of those.
  • + 2
 My next door neighbour is a small leathery man...there’s no way I want him with me when I ride though, no matter how well he could deal with a quick link
  • + 2
 I just use a small length of Kiteline to undo my magic links. I'd totally be up for the tool, though it really does need a chainbreaker to make it complete...
  • + 3
 Wolftooth is absolutely top notch. I'll buy it just to have it. Take my money!!!!!
  • + 1
 haven't had to use them yet, but I impulse bought these and they feel quality. handy way to carry an extra link and easier than trying to jam a link together with your hands
  • + 2
 hmm, looks good, and the price ain't terrible, but metal tire lever? wouldn't that tend to scratch rims?
  • + 11
 I put some nice dents into my Easton rim-bed using a metal lever. Lost a few steeze points there.
  • + 5
 @dingus: it aint easy being steezy.
  • + 2
 Thought this would be a good tool to add to my pack, bought those plastic tire pliers linked instead. lol
  • + 1
 Could've used something like this a few times on trailside. Damn 12 speed quick links. Using rocks and sticks just isn't the same
  • - 1
 Carry a piece of bailing wire with you 3"/75mm long in your portable toolkit. Weight? 1.5 grams, maybe.
Bend wire into a "U" shape, place between the pins holding the master link, cross over the ends and start twisting it. Works a charm. (Helps to use a Leatherman or pliers at this point.)

Or you can buy a KMC chain, use a 10spd missing link (even with 11spd chains),and don't worry about this.
  • + 6
 "Helps to use a Leatherman or pliers at this point." Surely if your 1.5 gram bailing wire tool needs a pair of pliers to work properly you might as well carry these pliers which are lighter, smaller and specifically designed for this job?
  • + 0
 @petehaddock: True dat, but I'm still going to carry my Leatherman, regardless. The Wolf tool doesn't have a knife, or scissors, and the pliers are not really that useful, and no bottle or can opener. Hey, I love tools as much as the next guy (kind of a Park junkie), but for how often you need to remove a link, the bailing wire trick works great!
  • + 1
 @petehaddock: or forget the string and just squeeze the link together with the Leatherman pliers directly, like a normal human being.
  • + 1
 "...looks so much more impressive in action" - reason #1 to buy specialty tools and why said tools are so popular and expensive.
  • + 2
 Looks like a real nice way to pinch your fingers. Slip off the link, and the guillotine closes...
  • + 2
 I use an old shoestring. Works fine www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlgTEd_WTFc
  • + 6
 The link was already loose !!
  • + 3
 @savmeister: True story. Also I can't get behind a video that takes three minutes to explain a six-second procedure and doesn't even include a full demonstration.
  • + 1
 @fullfacemike:

It's not my video. It's just to illustrate the procedure, and that holds true whether or not the link was already loose.
  • + 1
 Shoelace did not work for me!!!
  • + 2
 What's wrong with a hammer and screw driver. :p
  • + 2
 That's $30 better spent on beer.
  • + 2
 now if it had allen wrenches... The ultimate all-in-one tool for bikers
  • + 2
 Allen wrenches would actually be useful when on the trail. So they are not on this tool because it only combines stuff that nobody needs trailside.

I mean, maybe I'm just not imaginative enough, but why would you ever want to open a master link, while you're out riding? If your chain breaks it is open at the broken link already... And what you will need then is a chain tool.

And the only thing an aluminium tire lever is good for is to scratch your rims.

And I also can't think of any situation, in which I would want to remove a valve core. I'm carrying a tube, im case I have a flat - ok there might be someone who carries a spare tire and sealant, and would want to remove the valve core to fill in the sealant and seat the tire - hopefully I never ride with that guy, can't imagine how long that might take.

Yes, there might come a day, when I won't manage to remove the valve with my fingers, in order to put in m spare tube. Then my trusty, old, uncool leatherman will have to do, I guess.
  • + 1
 @FuzzyL: oh wait there is leatherman tool...

as a sidenote, i like the leatherman multitool, except i can’t get the knife to sharpen Big Grin
  • + 2
 Love it! Nicely thought out and executed, like everything WT! Smile
  • + 1
 Maybe, this tool can include a nipple wrench in a next version?
  • + 1
 Went after the nut with a vengeance......dirty girl!
  • + 2
 wot
  • + 1
 Carry a Spare shift cable and it will double up as a chain breaker.
  • + 1
 wow, wat late to the party on this one pinkbike.
  • + 2
 I like this one
  • + 2
 very fancy
  • + 1
 Cool looking tool
  • + 1
 Nice looking tool
  • - 2
 The quick link may seem an easier solution to the traditional pins, but you still need to carry the chain breaker tool. It cost much more and it is not as reliable.
  • + 2
 Huh? I've had much more reliability with the quick link than I ever did with the Shizmano pins. In fact, never had 1 problem with them. Ever.
  • - 1
 weird because i snapped a couple of quick links and know few people who have done it as well, but never a pin. But I have seem some people not knowing how to properly install it or not having a decent chain tool.
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: some bikes suspension can put more strain on a chain sometimes even improper setup. It's also possible your both talking about different speeds 11 and 12 speed chains are a lot smaller than 9-10
  • - 1
 Shoelaces are more enduro
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