A high quality workshop chain tool compatible with 7- to 11-speed chains. A must for the serious home mechanic.

Shimano's Chain Tool TL-CN28 is compatible with the latest generation of 11-speed chains, as well as 7/8/9 and 10-speed chains. That makes it ideal if you've got a fleet of bikes with a mix of groupsets, and want one chain tool to end them all.

The TL-CN28 is a rugged bit of kit, it's certainly a workshop quality tool and not one to take with you cycling. The moulded composite body has a knurled grip and large handle which gives plenty of purchase and makes light work of even the most stubborn chain pins.

The piece where the chain slots into is easily adjustable for different width chains, so it's easy going from a 10-speed chain to a 11-speed chain.

At £45 it's touch pricey but it's the sort of tool that is going to last a lifetime, and if you do regular servicing on your own bikes then the ease of use it provides more than makes up for it. It doesn't look like there's a 12-speed groupset on the horizon so it should be future-proofed for a good while, as well as being backwards compatible.


A high quality workshop chain tool compatible with 7- to 11-speed chains. A must for the serious home mechanic.

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Shimano Chain Tool TL-CN28

Size tested: n/a

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?

Work can be carried out more easily thanks to the ergonomic handle and improved rivet spindle. Essential for Shimano 11-speed chains.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

for UG, HG and IG chains

· suitable for 7-/8-/9-/10-/11-speed chains

Rate the product for quality of construction:

All metal construction and moulded composite body is rugged and tough.

Rate the product for performance:

It makes light work of any chain, even stubborn pins, thanks to the large handle.

Rate the product for durability:

I can see it lasting a lifetime easily.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Yeah it's heavy, it's not one to carry in a jersey pocket, it's strictly a leave at home tool.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

The large grip and handle makes breaking a chain a doddle compared to using a tiny multitool chain breaker.

Rate the product for value:

Considering its toughness, ease of use and forward and backwards compatibility, it's a good value.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose


Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy to break any chain.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing at all.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,


David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.


nbrus [478 posts] 5 years ago

Does exactly the same job as a £1.99 chain tool from Asda.

David Arthur @d... [792 posts] 5 years ago
nbrus wrote:

Does exactly the same job as a £1.99 chain tool from Asda.

This one will last quite a bit longer though

KiwiMike [1307 posts] 5 years ago
nbrus wrote:

Does exactly the same job as a £1.99 chain tool from Asda.

Forehead -> table.

Chris James [439 posts] 5 years ago

Yes, crappy chain tools tend to work out quite expensive when they bend after breaking one link.

Having said that, I only have 10 and 9 speed, but my Park CT5 tool has broken plenty of chains without a problem, and I can take it on a ride with me. And if the pin does bend then it is replaceable.

kylemalco [39 posts] 5 years ago

Expensive tools let you get away with being wreckless cheap tools demand more tact and time