Haven’t used it personally, but have heard good things about this one.
You should look for a ‘dark soul’ chain tool.
We have this onebut they don’t stock it any more.
Here is one that I found with Google:
With this tool, you push the pin almost all the way out of a link to break the chain, then flip the tool around and push the same pin back in, to make a continuous chain with no master links.
Actually some of our students have used one of those, but everywhere I could find it it was out of stock.
We have the same ones and they are tricky to use. (trust me, we built a chain lift last year, it was rough.)
That being said, I’ve never used them, but I’ve seen these suggested by a number of teams. They seem to be out of stock on a few distributors right now, so I recommend shopping around and seeing if they are in stock anywhere else. (and hopefully not cost you an arm and a leg)
We use a Dark Soul #25 chain breaker… It works extremely well. A quick search lead me to this place that sells them still… http://cambriangokarts.com/store/product/5690/Darksoul-%2325-Chain-breaker/ there may be other places to find them.
Given availability, you might have to use the ones you have for the time being. They shouldn’t be too bad once you get the hang of them. I have to say, after breaking 20+ chains last year, I could do amazing things with one of those chain breakers and a vice.
Although really the better chain tool was the vice…
Another vote for having a Dark Soul in your toolbox. Great tool.
We got one of these last year for our FTC teams. They work pretty well, but the pin broke when one of our students didn’t use it properly (i.e. the chain wasn’t seated in the tool and they torqued it down onto a chain sideplate…) Luckily, we were able to manufacture our own with a hardened dowel.
We liked the design so well, we actually designed and manufactured our own #35 chain version.
It is hard but if you are careful and go back and forth and back and forth you can make the standard chain breaker the OP discussed work but it is definitely a “you have to be patient and you have to develop the knack” type skill.
SO… …of late, my chain breaker of choice is a Dremel. Seriously. If you take a paint pen and mark the link that needs to be cracked (which you should probably get in the habit of doing anyway) and then you get that link clamped in a vise and then grind off the pins (and part of the plate), you can use a screw driver to pop off the plate and then you’re in business.
It ain’t elegant but you get a nice clean cut with no risk of damaged chain going back on your robot.
Dr. Joe J.
ya Dark Soul all the way
you will never look back
We don’t use a commercial chain breaker.
We made a jig to hold the chain in place. The jig is a flat plate of aluminum and has several holes that correspond to the pin spacing.
We position the chain and then use a fine point nailset to drive out the pins. Requires a little practice but works well.
I would send pic but I’m not at the shop.
I agree with Dr Joe.
It’s quite difficult to find ANSI chain tools in Australia so we use our trusty disc sander and a nail/pin punch to get the job done. It usually takes around minute the break the chain.
We used a tetrix (FTC) chain break and widened the slots with a band saw. But that was because we didn’t have anything else, and we like to steal stuff from our FTC teams when we can.
At the beginning of the season we purchased a chain breaker very similar to the one you found on amazon. I was very disapointed as it broke after a couple of uses. We then switched to using a dremel to grind off the pins and it has worked very well.
Here is a team created #25 chain break (our commercial one did not work well, bent the chain and was very difficult to use).
Picture one shows it in action. Picture two show a .1" hole about .75" deep in a 3/8"-16 bolt with lock nut inserted in a 1 1/8 long nut. The cut out in the nut is 3/8" long and 3/8" deep (cut on mill). Picture 3 shows the other 3/8" bolt with a .900" hole drilled about .5" deep with a piece of .900" HHS (like the back of a small drill bit) Loctite in place. We TIG welded a handle on and use this in a small vise. Takes about 20 minutes to create.
Works great and fully supports the chain.