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Mike, a Toolmonger reader, wrote us about a tool he saw in a YouTube video (see the screen capture above). He says:

“I’ve been looking at some bicycle repair videos on YouTube and found one where this fella has this outstanding little wrench. It looks like it has two dice-shaped ends with multiple wrench sizes. I’ve looked all over online and couldn’t find one though.”

I managed to find the tool through some creative Internet mumbo-jumbo searching (read: sifting through a bunch of Google Images) and it appears that the little multi-spanner/wrench is called a Tool Bone Bicycle Wrench, at least by some. Even with this name, though, I’m only getting a few hits in searches. The good news: It appears for $3 on Amazon.

Do any Toolmongers out there know a more common name for this tool? Let us know in comments.

Folding Bicycle [YouTube]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


29 Responses to Unknown Spanner

  1. tim says:

    I always thought they were called “dogbone” wrenches, but that’s not turning up much on Google either.

  2. gillsans says:

    Rivendell Bicycles sells them as “Dumbell Tool.” Theirs is $6.

    They describe it as an early multi-tool before most bolts on bicycles switched to allen. I’ve actually been meaning to get one to take with me when I ride my old bikes.


  3. kg2v says:

    had one as a kid – you don’t want it, they are made of pot metal

  4. TMIB_Seattle says:

    I’ve seen these at places like K-Mart or Walmart in the sporting goods section with the bicycle tools and accessories. Never seen one at an actual hardware/tool store though.

  5. TMIB_Seattle says:

    There are a few on eBay right now. Search for “dogbone wrench” and look in eBay stores.

  6. Matt says:

    In Germany they came with every bicycle in the 70s. They were called “Knochen” (or dog bone). They bend and break off easily and ruin you knuckles. Ad since they are somewhat expensive to manufacture, you will probably not find them anymore.

  7. Buy a Park multi-tool instead – they only make quality stuff:
    Made of investment cast steel and electroless nickel plated for durability, the MT-1 features 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 8mm hex wrenches; 8mm, 9mm, and 10mm socket wrenches; and a straight blade screwdriver.

    $9 from REI

  8. fred says:

    If you wish to gander at bike tools take a look at this site:


    When my kids were younger – about 20 years ago – I became the neighborhood bike repair person – boy can you invest in tools!

  9. Ryan H says:

    I don’t know the name of it but i got one in a kit at The Andersons for 3 bucks in a kit with the kids bike supplies, I’ve also seen them at Walmart for around the same price.

  10. Dano says:

    Might be better off with a Gator Grip socket and ratchet.

  11. Zathrus says:

    Not sure why you’d look on a tool store for a bike specialty item… as noted, just about any bike/outdoors store will carry them.

    They’re vaguely popular for bicyclists because they’re small and light — both important for any tools you’re going to stick in an on-the-go repair kit.

    For shop use there are far better options, but a Gator Grip isn’t among them. For anything. Ever.

  12. nos says:

    like jonathan peterson said, look for the Park multi tool. it looks very similer and is made to drop in your ride bag/pack for on the road repairs. not really useful for anything in the shop because it’s small and has a ton o tools, but there is no substitute for it (besides your shop tools) when your on a ride.

  13. Kai says:

    Forget it – get a bicycle multi-tool, or a Leatherman or something like that. They’re made of very brittle die-cast metal and as soon as you put a decent amount of torque on it, the metal will shear off and you’ll hurt yourself.

  14. JB says:

    I use carry a 9″ auto wrench (opens up to 4″), patch kit, and a leatherman on my belt. A 6″ adjustable wrench would work fine and be more compact than the auto wrench and let you do most of what you would need to do on the road. I am a daily bicycle commuter, this is all the kit I have ever needed. Oh yeah and I have a pump but the frame has braze ons to hold it.

  15. Bill says:

    I remember getting one in my Christmas stocking in the ’50s.

  16. DW says:

    I’ll add a third to Jonathan: Park makes the best bike tools (http://www.parktool.com/). They have everything from wallet-sized multitools up to a thing the size of a Leatherman that has everything from chain tool to spoke wrench to a tube jimmy… and a couple more that I can’t remember.
    You can put together a kit of bike tools from anywhere, but Park does some truly impressive industrial design that’s focused on meeting cyclists’ needs.

  17. I’d be willing to buy the Rivendell version just based on their reputation for stocking quality goods, but my favored bike tool is the Crank Brothers Multi-17, which somehow manages to cram a chain tool and four sizes of spoke wrench into a 170 g package, and doesn’t scrimp on the other usual drivers.

    The only time I used a pot metal dog bone, it broke on the first bolt I turned it on.

    My kit today consists of a patch kit, pump, a Multi-17, and a stubby 15 combination wrench for pulling the wheels on a few of my oddball bikes.

  18. Bishopp says:

    Yeah it’s a cheap bike tool made from pot metal. Nice if your riding but if your home use a wrench there is nothing special about the size/ shape/ design of this tool that will give you an advantage at home.

  19. Eli says:

    I’ll second the Crank Bros multi tool, and up the ante. I’ve got the 19 ; )

  20. ambush27 says:

    I would think a few cone wrenches would be stronger than that thing anyway without weighing any more.

  21. Howard says:

    Forget these tools, made of putty and will do yourself damage if you put any pressure on them, by all means use a gator.. if you want to ruin your fasteners!!

  22. Chris says:

    I am not sure who sells these things retail, but my former employer had these Fuller bicycle tools that folded up and had hex bits, screwdriver (flat and phillips) , spoke wrench, wrenchs (both socket and a open endtype ). I imagine someone must carry it it weighs about 4 ounces and doesnt ake up much room at all as its folding. Not to mention its steel so I think it could take a fair bit of abuse.

  23. bob says:

    walmart used to sell this with a cheap bicycle tool kit in the toy dept not too long ago. not sure if they still do. it was around $6 for the whole kit.

  24. dom says:

    Hokey smokes, I still have the one I bought over 35 years ago at a K-Mart.

    I think it was hand tool purchase 8 of 3000, and still counting.

    Die cast zinc alloy.

  25. Frank d. says:

    Used to be very common in Germany in the 70s / 80s. They were called “Knochenschl√ľssel” back then. The quality is rather poor as they are usually made from cheap pot metal. I guess if you really want a high quality one you would have to make it yourself: make a 1:1 model in machineable wax and have it cast in titanium or stainless steel. After the cast you would have to de-burr the wrench and file (mill) the hexagonal holes to meet your tolerance requirements … and cast metal is a bitch to work with…

  26. Here in Australia when I was a kid (50 years ago) they were called “Block Spanners” Most of us poor kids had one.
    I vaguely remember seeing one with the B.S.A. name cast into it.
    B.S.A. (Birmigham Small Arms) in England made guns, then bicycles and lastly motorcycles before they folded in the mid 1970’s.

  27. seraph037 says:

    I have one of these that I “inherited” when my grandfather passed. It was in a toolbox that i got. I keep it on a hook on my workbench in easy reach for dinky little jobs when im too lazy to fetch a bigger wrench. also handy when not sure what size to grab and you are in a hurry. sure it may not be quality forged, but it works in a pinch.

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