More trail tools have been making there way to us recently, here we have the SKS TOM 18 trail tool on test, which we put to good use around our Punta Ala test center and has helped us get home on one or two occasions.
Size: 73 x 48 x 21 mm
Weight: 184 g
Materials: stainless steel
It packs in 18 functions into a very compact and robust design. The materials are of high quality and the tool surfaces are all toughened.
On The Trail
Trail tools are a necessity when riding off the beaten track, if you get caught by a mechanical then having the right tool for the job is essential. With 18 functions the Tom 18 handled pretty much everything we needed to do. It is compact so it fits in any pocket we care to use. Being made of stainless steel, it is robust and we liked the resistemce of the keys to bolt heads. No risk of rounding off the bolt head, just always clean them first before using any tool.
Up close the tool tips are hardened and resisted our use well.
The chain breaker is particularly interesting as there is also a plastic pin holder slot adjacent to it so you can store any link pins in the tool it’s self. The breaker also works pretty well. Some chain breakers are hard to use this is a simple functional design that did what we needed.
Tool layout is grouped well all the hex keys are in one spot.
The side plates stayed tight and did not loosen over time. The orange mystery part is for holding a chain pin.
The other end of the tool has all the non hex key items, the pad spreader is great and we used it a lot when remounting wheels that had the pads too close together.
With a 70 mm length the tool provides enough leverage with out being too big. If you ride without a pack, this tool is worth considering as it can fit in any place you want to put it, like a frame bag or pocket. Another great feature is the price, excellent value for money for a precision feel. We liked the fact it can also be dismantled easily, we could reorder the tools if we wanted or clean it more easily. Overall a great little tool at a good price that does most things you need on the trail, and it fits well with the traditional design styling of SKS products.