Chain and chain breaker source?

We can’t find a (local) source for the #35 chain, or a chain breaker, anywhere near the Ann Arbor MI area. We’ve tried hardware stores, lawn and garden stores, small engine repair places, and bike stores.

The only lawn implement place that I found that stocks the chain is out (some guy with a minibike cleaned them out this week, darn it). The local small AND mega hardware stores such as Home Depot don’t CARRY either one.

The bike stores don’t know what we’re talking about. They work with some thin chain spec’d in a combination of English and Metric system, and they said this is an industrial chain.

WRT the breaker, I know we can grind the links apart, but it would be nice to find a chain breaker to prevent accidental damage.

Any suggestions on where we can walk in and pick up either the chain and/or a breaker somewhere in our area?


  • Keith McClary, Huron High Team 830

#35 chain ( additional ) can be purchased at any Small Engine repair facility. This is the major form of power transmission used on lawn and garden equipment.

One of the largest in Michigan is Weingartz Supply. I am sure that there are others, just “let your fingers do the walking thru the yellow pages” - hey that would be a good jingle :slight_smile: it might be worth money some day.

The chain breaker is available at “Tool Stores” or in catalogs that sell small engine tools. “Northern Hydraulics” is a good source. They are also available at many other tool retailers, “Performance Tool” a low cost retailer is but one.

Search the web using “Chain Breaker” as the search. I am sure you will come up with sources.

If you can’t find anything locally, there’s always McMaster-Carr ( They sell #35 chain, and an excellent chain breaker.


Thanks, Jason & Mike!

I went to the McMaster site, and saw their breakers. Pretty nice! See:

Jason: Which one of theirs did you get? Can you reinsert pins with it, or is it “one way”? Based on your experience, if we decide to buy a breaker from McMaster, which one would you recommend?

I think I have a lead on some chain, but I’m still looking locally for a breaker.

Now I found a BICYCLE chain breaker tool for $5 and tried it. It looks like a cheap C-clamp, and the metal wasn’t very hard. I had to tweak the form with a Dremel for the size difference (#35 is a touch shorter center-to-center per link). Unfortunately the “hardened” push pin was TOO soft. It just bent over when I tried to use it for the first time. (Hmmm… I guess that’s what I get for a $5 “commercial grade import”… :wink:

For now, I MAY be able to get away with just using a Dremel tool. I found I can grind off a pair of pins on an outer link and pop the link end cap off. It ruins that one link, but luckily we DO have a few master links to work with in the kit. I’d PREFER having a breaker that can open and close links without wrecking them, but if I find a bit more chain I think we can live with this method if absolutely necessary.

Now that we know what one LOOKS like, if we had more time we probably could make a breaker in the school’s machine shop. (Maybe later we’ll have the shop teacher give it to a student as a suggested “project”… :wink:

If anyone else has a better/cheaper breaker source (or simple breaking method that won’t damage links) to recommend, please post it here.


  • Keith McClary, Huron High Team 830


We use the 6051K15 which costs $17.63. It may seem a bit expensive compared to the bike chain breaker you have, but it is worth it. The spring-loaded jaws open to grip the roller just right. Then all you have to do is twist the handle and viola!

TIP: Don’t keep twisting the handle once the rivet is loose. You can stretch out the sleeve and ruin the good link. Twist the handle until the punch point just fits within the sleeve that the rivet goes through.

The nice thing about the tool is that any student can use it, and they all seem pretty amazed how easy it is to use. As for replacing the pins, the best way to reconnect the chain is to use the master links supplied in the CDI kit. If you find that you have an odd number of links (it might be an even number, I can’t recall), then you can use an “offset link”, available at any ACE hardware. This is kind of like a 3 roller link, instead of a 2 roller link. Let me know if you need more info, maybe I can take some pictures.