Park's AK37 toolkit is aimed at the enthusiast rather than the professional. The price tag of £300 means that you need to be serious about workshopping, but if you are it's a great basis for a home workshop, with a few provisos and additions.
Open the sturdy plastic toolbox and out spills a cornucopia of bike fettling bits and bobs – everything from chain whips to tire boots to cone spanners, all in one place. There's 37 'tools' in all, hence the name, though I'm not sure glueless patches really count.
Short of hardcore jobs like pressing in a new headset there's not much this toolkit can't accomplish straight off the bat, with a few additions: We'd like to see a rubber mallet (or Park's new shop hammer) and a pair of pliers added to the mix, but you'll likely have them knocking about anyway. For the most part the tools are all excellent; you'll wonder how you got by without a decent pair of cable cutters or a shop-quality chain tool. There's chain oil and grease thrown in too, and a chain cleaner that's easy to use and effective when filled with a decent degreaser. While we're on chains the CT-3 supplied isn't really designed for 11-speed transmissions, so if you're into your Campy you'll need to budget for a CT-4.2 chain tool and CT-11 rivet peening tool, and they don't come cheap.
The only real let-down is the Allen keys. Given that they're what you're likely to be using most we'd like to see more of the spend dedicated to them. It's not that the 3-way wrenches supplied aren't good – for the most part they're fine – but when the going gets fiddly they're no match for a good set of ball end keys, of which Park make a number. I'd happily forego the patches, cleaning brush and tire boot if it meant I could have an HXS-1 wrench set. We're using our AK37 kit in conjunction with a set of Newton professional hex wrenches, and it really does make all the difference.
Moan over: the AK37 is a really solid starting point for a home fettling setup. Get yourself a good workstand, a mallet, some pliers, a parts bin and a tooth-sucking mentality and you're in business. Our kit has halved the time it takes to set up bikes in the office, whilst simultaneously encouraging us to do more of it. Which has to be a good thing.
No-nonsense, top-quality home mechanic's tool kit that'll set you up for years of tinkering. Needs better Allen keys though.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Park Tool AK37 Advanced Mechanic toolkit
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?
Designed specifically for the home mechanic that wants the best, the AK-37 Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit is a special 37-piece collection of our finest “shop quality” tools, all packaged in a tough tool box. The AK-37 includes all the most frequently used tools, as well as some items a mechanic should not be without – basically, everything needed to perform most repair and maintenance tasks, from brake adjustments to headset overhauls, on the majority of current model bikes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High quality toolkit containing the following tools:
* AWS-1 4, 5, 6mm Hex Wrench Set
* AWS-3 2, 2.5, 3mm Y Hex Wrench Set
* BBT-5/FR-11 Bottom Bracket and Freehub Lockring tool for Campagnolo®
* BBT-9 Bottom Bracket for 16 notch external crankset system cups (SRAM, Shimano, FSA, Truvativ, Race Face, Zipp, etc)
* BBT-22 Cartridge Bottom Bracket Tool (for 20 tooth internal splines, such as Shimano®, FSA®, etc.)
* CC-3 Chain Checker Chain Wear Indicator
* CWP-6 Crank Puller for Splined Octalink®, ISIS Drive®, and square-taper type
* CCW-5 Crank Wrench with 14mm Socket / 8mm Hex
* CBW-1 8 and 10mm Open End Wrench
* CBW-4 9 and 11mm Open End Wrench
* CL-1 Synthetic Blend Clain Lube
* CM-5 Cyclone Chain Cleaner
* CN-10 Cable Cutter
* CNW-2 Chainring Nut Wrench
* CT-3 Professional Screw Type Chain Tool
* FR-5 Cassette Lockring Tool for Shimano® and similar brands
* GP-2 Pre-Glued Patch Kit
* GSC-1 GearClean Brush
* PPL-1 PolyLube 1000 Grease
* PW-3 Professional Pedal Wrench
* SCW-13 13mm Professional Shop Cone Wrench
* SCW-14 14mm Professional Shop Cone Wrench
* SCW-15 15mm Professional Shop Cone Wrench
* SCW-16 16mm Professional Shop Cone Wrench
* SCW-17 17mm Professional Shop Cone Wrench
* SCW-18 18mm Professional Shop Cone Wrench
* SCW-19 19mm Professional Shop Cone Wrench
* SD-0 Shop Screwdriver #0 Phillips
* SD-3 Shop Screwdriver Straight Blade 3mm tip
* SD-2 Shop Screwdriver #2 Phillips
* SD-6 Shop Screwdriver Straight Blade, 6mm tip
* SR-1 Chain Whip and Freewheel/Lockring Wrench
* SW-0 Professional Spoke Wrench
* SW-1 Professional Spoke Wrench
* SW-2 Professional Spoke Wrench
* TB-2 Tire Boot
* TL-1 Tire Levers
Park Tools are generally excellent, this collection is no exception
It transformed our workshop area: there's no substitute for a good set of tools that work. The only real let down is the Allen keys
Built to last, the box is good quality too
Not cheap but you're getting a lot of good quality kit
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. Excellent selection of tools that make workshop tasks a breeze.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The general build quality and functionality of the tools
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Disappointing Allen keys, we'd like a proper set of ball-ended ones instead
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes if i was serious about building and maintaining bikes at home
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The AK37 is the basis for a solid home workshop. You can add stuff to it, but there's not much you'll need to improve upon.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 190cm Weight: 96kg
I usually ride: whatever I\\\'m testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.