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It lives in your pocket, in a shop apron, or lies in wait on the top of the workbench, never squirreled away in a drawer. Save for the floor pump, the 3-way (4, 5, and 6mm) Allen wrench is the most used tool in a mechanic’s arsenal. Brands don’t even bother marketing their respective 3-way wrenches. They’re too simple. Yet every pro mechanic has his favorite. Like pro riders, many pro wrenches aren’t given a choice, due to sponsor obligations. Other mechanics are outspoken about which is best.
Here, I break down five 3-way wrenches I’ve been using over recent months and years. Price, weight, feel, and function are the variables. Of course, like anything, people will be drawn to one more than others. All five here have proven to have tough bits, so no tool here is a bad choice.
Pedro’s Y-Wrench $12 — Editor’s Pick
Pedro’s Y-Wrench is a no-fuss tool that holds up for years. For my personal work, a Y-Wrench lives on my workbench and another in my tool roll. Its weight, at just 70 grams, is the lowest in this roundup. Counting grams for a tool might sound silly to some, but for those who travel with tools, it’s a metric that is suffered, whether it is paid attention to or not.
While not as common in bike shops as the Park Tool AWS-1, Pedro’s commitment to sponsoring races has made it a mainstay in the toolboxes of countless domestic race mechanics, including Daimeon Shanks, the owner of the Boulder Service Course and a former Garmin mechanic.
Pro mechanics will replace tools often, especially in the case of a tool used this much. Still, Pedro’s, like most tool brands, offers a lifetime warranty.