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Shimano Chain Tool TL-CN28



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

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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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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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 worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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