The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

Park IB-3, MT-40, & MTB-7 Multi-Tools

Multi-tools are somewhat of a necessity in any decently-equipped riding pack, but there are a bunch of them out there, and they range from “more tools than some bike shops have, all crammed into your pocket” options, to “bare-bones, and might be sort of useful if your water bottle cage rattles loose.”

In the tool world, Park Tools is ubiquitous, and you’d be hard pressed to find a bike shop or garage work station that didn’t have at least some of their tools in regular use. And, of course, they make a whole bunch of multi-tools, so we took a look at three different iterations to see which ones make the most sense, and for who.

The Candidates, and the Relevant Specs:

IB-3 I-Beam Multi-Tool

Measured Weight: 178 g

Measured Dimensions: 91.5 mm x 41 mm x 26 mm

MSRP: $26.95

Features:

  • 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 mm hex wrenches
  • T25 Torx® compatible driver
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • 5- to 12-speed compatible chain tool
  • Composite-wrapped tire lever
  • 8 mm box wrench
  • Two spoke wrenches: 3.23 mm and 3.45 mm
Noah Bodman reviews Park Tool multi tools for Blister Review

Park Tool IB-3 I Beam Multi-Tool

Pros:

  • Reasonably light and compact
  • Solid chain tool
  • Integrated tire lever means no need to carry one separately, and it’s strong enough to not instantly snap on a tight tire
  • 1.5, 2, and 4 mm wrenches are shorter, which can make it easier to fit them into tight spots

Cons:

  • A relatively bare-bones set of tools — it doesn’t have any of the less common tools found on the other two options in here
  • 1.5, 2, and 4 mm wrenches are shorter, which can mean they’re not long enough to reach some bolts
  • No dedicated 8 mm wrench (8 mm is an adapter on the 6 mm wrench)
  • Placement of spoke wrenches on the tire lever makes them a little harder to use

 

MT-40 Multi-Tool

Measured Weight: 241 g

Measured Dimensions: 80.5 mm x 54 mm x 23.5 mm

MSRP: $54.95

Features:

  • 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 mm hex wrenches
  • T25 & T30 Torx® compatible driver
  • Combo cross/straight tip screwdriver
  • 5- to 12-speed compatible chain tool
  • CO2 cartridge inflator adaptor
  • Key ring holder
Noah Bodman reviews Park Tool multi tools for Blister Review

Park Tool MT-40 Multi-Tool

Pros:

  • Includes a CO2 adaptor, which is rare
  • Excellent chain tool
  • Has a T30 Torx, which is somewhat rare

Cons:

  • Combo screwdriver gets the job done, but not as well as a dedicated flat and Phillips
  • A bit heavy and bulky when crammed in a pocket
  • T30 Torx isn’t useful on lots of bikes (chainring bolts are the most common application)
  • No dedicated 8 mm hex wrench
  • 8 mm hex wrench adaptor is pretty small (and thus easier to lose)

 

MTB-7 Rescue Tool

Measured Weight: 220 g (without pouch)

Measured Dimensions: 83.5 mm x 41 mm x 42 mm

MSRP: $19.95

Features:

  • 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 8 mm hex wrenches
  • T25 Torx® compatible driver
  • Flat blade and Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Tire levers (2)
  • 0.127″, 0.130″, & 0.136″ spoke wrenches
  • 8, 9, & 10 mm box end wrenches
  • Chainring nut wrench
  • Dust cap remover
  • Serrated knife
  • Bottle opener
Noah Bodman reviews Park Tool multi tools for Blister Review

Park Tool MTB-7 Rescue Tool

Pros:

  • It has a knife
  • It has a bottle opener
  • Includes a little carrying pouch
  • Some of the tools (including the knife) lock in place
  • 2x 8 mm and 10 mm box end wrenches (super useful for adjusting some older road bike brakes)
  • Chainring nut wrench and dust cap remover are pretty rare on a multi-tool
  • Hex wrenches are nice and long
  • Has a real 8 mm wrench (rather than an adaptor on a 5 or 6 mm wrench)

Cons:

  • No chain tool
  • The knife is kinda disappointing
  • Plastic construction might not hold up as well over time
  • Spoke wrenches are a cut bit shallow
  • Tool separates into 3 pieces, which means more things to keep track of during messy trailside repairs
  • Putting everything back together can be a bit fussy
  • Box end wrenches aren’t useful for lots of bikes
  • Hex wrenches might be too long to fit into some tight spaces
  • Tool has to be taken apart to use most of the hex wrenches, which is annoying when you just want to make a quick adjustment

General Thoughts that Apply to all Three Tools

The finish on these tools is quite good, particularly the IB-3 and the MT-40which have blue, anodized frames. They’re just good-looking tools. The tools themselves all have a shiny finish that seems to hold up well.

To see how they held up against the elements, I left the MTB-7 outside in the rain and snow for about 2 months, and it came out still looking (almost) new. There’s some very minor rust developing on the surface, but it hasn’t penetrated the metal at all, and I can just wipe it right off. I can contrast this with some other tools I have that definitely pick up some rust if they’re not kept fairly dry.

I also haven’t had any issues with the tools coming loose, or the pivot bolts backing out. It’d be easy enough to re-tighten everything if necessary, but I’ve had tools that constantly needed re-tightening, and it’s annoying.

Which One Should You Get?

Ultimately, it comes down to what bike you have, and what bolts it has on it.

Are you riding a bike that uses Torx chainring bolts? Then the MT40 might make sense, since it has that T30 wrench.

Are you riding a road bike with traditional brakes that need a 10 mm box wrench to adjust (or some other bike that has fittings that require a box wrench)? The MTB-7 has you covered.

Or maybe your bike doesn’t have any odd fittings, but there are one or two things you find yourself having to adjust on a regular basis. I’d make sure the tool I chose had good, easy access to whatever wrench I needed for that regular adjustment.

But those individual considerations aside, for my money, I’d go with the IB-3. It has pretty much all of the tools that I find myself using for repairs on a semi-regular basis, and it’s well equipped enough that I’m comfortable going for long rides deep into the backcountry with it. It’s also small and light enough that if I’m just going for a quick ride after work without a pack, I can throw it in my pocket and call it good. And it does all of that in a package that I’d say is higher quality than many of the other multi-tools on the market.

1 Comment

  1. Blister Member
    Matt N December 3, 2017 Reply

    The Topeak Mini 9 and Mini 20 Pro beat these Park tools on all fronts: size, weight, function, & ergonomics.
    Ironically, by copying the Alien to make the MTB-7, Park was looking at the wrong page of the Topeak playbook…

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