I’m always on the lookout for great tools to use when biking. I recently came across the new Wolftooth 8-Bit Pack Pliers, and figured this would be a great one to add to my collection. Despite having a bunch of other multitools at my disposal, this one has some unique features.
What is it?
The Wolftooth 8-Bit Pack Pliers comes with a standard set of hex bits, from 2-8mm (the wrench head is the 8mm), as well as a Phillips, flathead, T10 Torx and T25 Torx. When it comes to basic bike repair needs on the trail, that’s a solid toolset that should cover just about any wrenching need you might have.
A couple of neat features set this tool apart. It’s a fully functional pliers that can be used for master link removal and setting tool, and has a storage compartment for a master link. Plus, it comes with a spoke wrench, core removal tool, and a valve stem cleaner. As someone who recently went tubeless, I can see a lot of advantage to having one of those around.
What do I like?
The Wolftooth 8-Bit Pack Pliers is solid metal, and it feels hefty in the hand. I’ve used some multitools in the past that are partially plastic, or the posts holding the tools feel flimsy. However, just because it’s solid that doesn’t mean it’s heavy. My other personal favorite multitool is the Crank Brothers M19, and when put head to head with the Wolftooth there’s no competition in the weight department. Whereas the M19 clocks in at 7.7 oz. the Wolftooth is a svelte 2.5 oz.
The Wolftooth design also allows for solid leverage. I was able to easily loosen and tighten stiff bolts, thanks to the rotating head. That flexibility allowed me to use a right-angle when I needed more leverage, and then move to a flat tool for simple turning. Because it’s not a wide multitool it fits into tighter spaces much easier.
The action on the pliers feels solid, and there’s a solid ‘snap’ when you close the mechanism. It’s one of those satisfying snaps that is hard to describe, but you know it when you feel it. It points towards the quality machining across the entire product.
What I didn’t like
However, there is one big gripe to this tool. It’s one that I’ve seen other reviewers comment on as well, and from my use, I agree. The biggest issue with this tool, and all of the bits, are the really strong magnets, and the fact that the bits are packed in tight. That means that getting them out when you need them is a bit of a challenge. Sometimes I’ve had to move one bit out of the way before I can get to the bit I want. Even my smaller fingers struggle to pick out the specific part I need.
The issue of a strong magnet is even more apparent with the spoke and valve stem tool on the back. I’ve yet to be able to free it without employing a lever of some sort. The most common being the valve cleaning tool, which allows me to lift the tool away from magnet so I can grab it to use it.
My main concern is how difficult it will be to use this on a cold or wet day. Freezing and damp fingers are useless when it comes to fine motor skills, and this tool requires that you are able to grab tiny bits to assemble the wrench you need. Because of this, I foresee this being my summer bike tool, and the M19 going in my winter bag (where weight isn’t a big factor – fat bike).
At $70 the Wolftooth 8-Bit Pack Pliers asks a lot from the buyer. Is it worth it? Apart from the difficulty working with the bits, the actual tool operation is wonderful. It gives solid leverage, has a wide variety of tools, and gives some unique tool capability not found on other multitools. But given how difficult it is to manage the small pieces in rough conditions, I can’t say that I recommend this as a year-round tool.
However, if you’re looking for something to add to your existing arsenal that is lightweight, functional, and well-built, this is a great option.