Named for the perching pose of the insect, the Birzman Damselfly chain tool is a dab hand at pushing out chain pins, but it's expensive.
The Damselfly's main body and handle are aluminium which gives a decent feeling of strength especially when you're going through those first couple of turns to get the pin started.
It's very well made to with a very smooth screwing action and that Y-shaped handle does allow a decent hand movement whether you're spinning back or applying pressure to the pin. At just 40g you're not to going to notice it in a saddle bag or back pocket.
The little prongs that position the chain are quite shallow, though, so you have to hold the chain in place while you're removing the pin.
All of this design and quality comes at a price though. At £34.99 it's a lot of loot for something you're probably not going to use that often.
Birzman state that its 9-10 speed compatible and I also didn't have any issues separating a 1/8in track chain.
Overall the Damselfly is a good design in terms of ergonomics and materials but the shallow chain guide and especially the price take the shine off. It's too expensive for an emergency tool to keep in your saddlebag and if you're looking for a workshop workhorse there are others that work better.
Nifty design and top quality but the performance falls short especially considering the price.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Birzman Damselfly
Size tested: Black
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?
It's a chain tool designed for 9-10 speed systems and its light weight makes it ideal for carrying with you on the bike.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Y shaped handle for ergonomics
9 - 10spd chains
Pin removal is good but the shallow chain guides mean you have to hold the chain in position with your thumb.
The ergonomics are good.
Expensive for what it is.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
if the Damselfly shared the deep chain guides and spring of the much cheaper Birzman Light-er it would be a winner all round but the fact that you have to hold the chain in position with your thumb is a bit annoying.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The shape and the low weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It doesn't hold the chain in position without outside help.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
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.