With its wooden handle and alloy head the Light-er chain tool from Birzman looks a lot more expensive than its £11.99 price tag and while it's a more traditional design than Birzman's Damselfly and Dragonfly tools it is very functional and user-friendly.
The position guides for the chain are nice and deep and a small spring clip keeps the chain in position so you don't have to jiggle things around to get the tool to line up with the pin.
In use the handle is long enough to get a decent bit of purchase and is actually very comfortable. The bench vice style handle works pretty well with the rubber stops at the ends providing plenty of grip.
It's designed to cope with 9, 10 and 11-speed chains and considering the ease it dealt with a 1/8-inch track chain 7 and 8 speeds shouldn't be an issue either.
Anything to dislike? Well not really to be honest. The head and handle didn't fit perfectly flush which to be fair did nothing more than upset my OCD. It didn't get any worse with use as the fit was nice and tight. It weighs 80g so it's probably a touch heavy for a back pocket but in the long run it will stand up to plenty of workshop abuse.
On the whole then the Light-er is a well thought out chain tool. The deep jaws and the spring clip means once the chain is secure it's there to stay and the build quality and performance are brilliant for the price.
Traditional design with some well thought out little touches, cracking value as well.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Birzman Light-er Chain Rivet extractor
Size tested: Brown/Silver
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Light-er is a chain tool designed for 9, 10 and 11-speed chains and is strong enough for both roadside and home workshop duties.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
9, 10 & 11-speed compatible
Varnished wooden handle for grip and comfort
Innovative spring secures the chain during breaking, accurately and easily removes the pin
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very impressive indeed
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The deep guides and the spring clip make alignment easy.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The only thing I could find to grumble about was the slight misalignment between handle and head. Trivial really.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, its got its own little place in the toolbox.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.