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Verdict: 
Lovely toolkit for the home mechanic, particularly if your bike is disc-equipped; versatility is limited though
Weight: 
3,530g

High quality tools like Unior's Pro Home set are a good investment. Buy cheap, buy twice. Worse, you might injure yourself or – heaven forbid – damage your bike if a cheap tool fails mid-job. The tools included in the Unior Pro Home Set are as good as you will find and should cover most jobs on most modern bikes, especially if they are disc brake-equipped. However, if you are looking for a kit to tackle a wide range of bikes and the endless variety of standards they require, you may need to start adding to this set pretty early.

Unior Pro Home Set - 1600CN Hand Tools - case.jpg

Unior have been making tools at their Slovenian factory for nearly a century. They even make their own steel. All that experience shows in both the quality and the design of this selection, each one of which was a pleasure to use. Although the set includes 18 pieces, this actually amounts to 30 tools, because several have more than one function. Most important are the hex wrenches (a.k.a. Allen keys). These come as two three-way tools and a long 8mm wrench for shifting certain crank bolts and some pedals.

Unior Pro Home Set - 1600CN Hand Tools - detail 2.jpg

The three-way tools are typical of the design and construction of the tools in this box, being set into a tough, textured plastic-injected handle which is comfortable to use and well-balanced. Compared to individual wrenches they are quick and efficient to use – go round the bike once with the 2, 2.5 and 3mm tool and then again with the 4, 5 and 6mm tool and you will have checked and tightened most of the nuts and bolts on your bike.

There is a down-side, though, and it is a limiting one. On many bikes you will find one or two spots into which you cannot reach because the ends of the hex wrench you are using as the handle will foul against something. The problem is usually the frame or a wheel but I also had difficulties with bottle cages and disc brake mounts. Then there's nothing for it but to reach for another hex wrench and if you have to buy another set of wrenches, well, the value of the Unior kit is diminished.

Unior Pro Home Set - 1600CN Hand Tools - detail.jpg

The tools have been selected with disc-brake equipped bikes in mind. There's a little wheel truing gauge that fits onto your fork or seat stay with a Velcro strap for a little light wheel truing, a boon when there's no longer a brake pad to eyeball the rim against. Also included are a metal pad-spreader and a rotor-truing fork. Neither of these have I ever owned previously, having made do with a plastic wedge and bleed block and a small adjustable spanner respectively. Having said that, the pad-spreader has so far worked well without chipping the brake pad material.

However, I do have to question the inclusion of these nice-to-have-but-not-essential items ahead of what I would consider fairly basic kit such as a pair of needle-nosed pliers, or (for those of us rolling on Shimano hubs) cone spanners.

These choices don't matter too much if you only run one or two bikes and don't need cone spanners, but if, as Unior suggest, you want to use the toolkit in a professional mobile workshop they do become rather limiting. For a few days, I put away my regular, honed-over-years-of-useful-service, toolboxes and set about servicing bikes using the Unior kit only, seeing how far I could get.

The first job was to remove some pedals that required a flat spanner. The long 8mm hex should shift most modern road pedals; others need a long 6mm key but without a good, long pedal wrench some old pedals are never going to come off. My adjustable wrench, pliers and cone wrenches soon joined it on the workbench. A more surprising omission was a T30 Torx spanner, as many more chainrings are now coming with these rather than hex bolts.

While the screwdrivers are very good quality and long enough to reach into awkward corners to adjust mech limiter screws, I still found myself reaching for my favourite little screwdriver ('Old Red', as I never call it) which gives a more direct connection to brake spring tension adjusters and the like. It's also very handy as a general poking, prodding and picking tool.

The 1600CN Pro kit won't help you, either, with press-fit or square-tapered bottom brackets of which many still exist, nor pressfit headsets or old-school freewheels. On the other hand, the Hollowtech II bottom bracket spanner is brilliant, as is the cassette lockring remover. There's a special mention, too, for the cassette holding tool which works far better than a conventional chainwhip (but only for 11 and 12 tooth top sprockets).

All in all, then, take a look at the requirements of your bike and decide whether this kit cuts the mustard for you. If so, it'll be a worthwhile investment but for anyone needing more versatility there may be better choices.

Verdict

Lovely toolkit for the home mechanic, particularly if your bike is disc-equipped; versatility is limited though

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Unior Pro Home Set - 1600CN Hand Tools

Size tested: Number of pieces in set: 18

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?

Unior say the 1600CN Pro Home Set includes all the most common tools to service your bike. They describe it as "intended for home use as well as for professional mobile mechanics". I thought the range of tools was a little limiting, particularly for anyone planning to use this as the basis of a professional set-up.

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

The set contains 18 tools or multitools with the following functions:

Three-legged hex wrench 4,5 and 6mm

Three-legged hex wrench 2, 2.5 and 3mm

Three-legged Torx wrench nos. 10, 15 and 25

Screw type chain tool

Master Link pliers

Chain wear indicator

Freewheel remover (cassette locking tool)

Freewheel remover with handle (cassette cracker)

8mm Hex wrench, long type

Hollowtec BB wrench

Pocket wheel truing tool

Spoke wrench for spokes in follwing sizes: 3.3,3.45,3.7,4.0,4.4,5.0

Bike brake pad spreader

Rotor truing tool

Steel wire cutter

Flat screwdriver

Crosstip (PH) screwdriver

Set of two tire levers

The tools are set into expanded foam and carried in a sturdy plastic box with closing clips and handle.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Really high quality tools, better than any I have used including some "professional" tools.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Generally excellent, all the tools were comfortable and quick to use, the only real issues being with the triple hex and torx wrenches, which would not fit into some tight corners.

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

These should last a lifetime with proper care; and if they don't Unior has a UK office so it is easy to contact them for warranty issues.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
10/10

Easy to carry mobile toolkit

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

All the tools are comfortable in the hand. The long 8mm hex wrench might benefit from a handle when tackling stuck crank nuts.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Since the set actually includes a total of 30 different tools and a sturdy case, around £10 per tools is very good for kit of this quality. It's still a lot to shell out in one go, though.

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

The tools themselves performed really well, however some curious choices of what to include and what to leave out limited its overall usefulness.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Excellent quality; no-fuss function; tidy arrangement in the carry case, compact, good value.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of some important basics such as cone wrenches; the 3-way hex tools won't fit into every corner.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes,depending on their bike.

Use this box to explain your score

The tools included are all of excellent quality. However, I question some of the choices for inclusion (particularly the disc brake spreader and the rotor truing tool) over some useful basics such as cone wrenches, pliers and a pedal spanner.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 6'2  Weight: 73kg and rising

I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

1 comments

Avatar
macrophotofly [321 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Three-way hex (allen key) spanners on a set that costs this much.... quite disappointing. Yes they are "quick" to rotate from one size to another but they fowl on so many items and hence are very, very slow in the actual use of tightenning or untightening the bolt.

The biggest improvement I made to my tools was swapping to T-shaped hex (allen keys) spanners - the handle is comfortable; you have two hex ends, one short with a edge to get a good purchase (and leverage on the long end), the other longer with a hex ball end to allow some flexibity  of insertion angle. They are very fast to get any bolt in or out.

Take two identical bikes and time how long it takes to swap the seat (while leaving the seat post in place) with a Three-way verses a T-shape. You never go back after T-shape  3