Last updated: August 9, 2021
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Welcome to our big crank puller test 2022. Here we present all the crank pullers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best crank puller for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying a crank puller.




Summary

  • The crank puller is a tool that you need to separate the crank arm from the bottom bracket. You can use it to replace the entire crank, including the pedals.
  • The crank puller consists of a thread on the outside and a mandrel on the inside. The thread is used to attach the puller and the pin is used to press against the bottom bracket to remove the crank.
  • The most common types of cranks usually have a square, ISIS and Octalink bottom bracket, whereby ISIS and Octalink systems are only used on newer and more modern bicycles.

The Best Crank Puller: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a crank puller

Why do I need a crank puller?

Most bicycles have a pedal crank. This is a lever that is attached to a shaft and has pedals at the free end where you can put your feet. When you pedal, circular movements are created that drive the shaft and thus the chainring. This is necessary for your bicycle to move. If you ever need to remove the crank, you can do this with a crank puller. This can be two-armed or three-armed.

With a crank puller you can exchange an old pedal crank for a new one. (Image source: Pixabay.com/ Mayerpix)

This keeps the crank intact. If you plan to throw away the crank and install a new one anyway, you can simply use a cutter to cut the crank and break it off. However, you have to be careful what kind of crank your bicycle has. There are different types of cranks. When buying a puller, make sure you know which type you need.

You will need a crank puller if you want to change the crank and if you want to clean or change the bottom bracket.

How does a crank puller work?

The crank puller consists of two parts: an inner mandrel and an outer thread. You attach the crank puller to the crank arm with the thread and you can screw the inner mandrel back and forth. It presses against the bottom bracket.

You can apply the crank puller to the crank from the outside. You can also use a puller that is screwed in from the inside. A mandrel of the tool is screwed into the inside of the crank against the shaft. Then you can pull the crank off.

There are also cranks with rounded corners. In this case the puller can slip off. In this case you should use a puller with a cylinder that is slotted on one side, because it touches the crank on three sides. Push the cylinder over the head of the crank.

How much does a crank puller cost?

Prices vary widely depending on the type and quality of the tool. The range for normal consumer products goes from 4 to 25 euros. How much you spend on your crank puller depends on the quality of the tool.

Crank puller type price
Crank puller without attachments 7 € - 15 €
Crank puller with attachments 10 € - 25 €

A higher price is usually charged for high-quality tools. This also depends on which threads this puller can be used for and whether it has additional features.

What alternatives are there to a crank puller?

There is basically no alternative to the crank extractor itself. However, there are pedal cranks that have an integrated puller function. Then you no longer need a crank puller. However, this is mainly the case with new and modern bicycles.

If your crank already has an integrated puller, you no longer need an external puller. (Image source: Pixabay.com/ LUM3N)

Decision: What types of crank extractors are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a crank puller, there are two alternatives you can choose between.

  • Crank extractors without attachments
  • Crank extractors with attachments

The features and handling of each type have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and what kind of bike you ride, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section we would like to make your decision easier.

What are the characteristics of a crank extractor without attachments and what advantages and disadvantages does it offer?

The crank puller is used to remove the crank from the bottom bracket. To do this, insert the puller into the crank and then remove both together. A crank puller without attachments fits one type of crank, for example the square crank. It fits in perfectly and can be removed easily. Furthermore, these crank pullers are very stable because they do not have an attachment on them.

Advantages
  • Fits perfectly for one type of crank
  • Stability
  • Easy to remove the crank
Disadvantages
  • Cannot be used for different types
  • Only intended for one size

What are the features of a crank puller with attachments and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

With some crank extractors you can put attachments on them. This means that a puller that is actually only intended for square cranks can also remove Octalink bottom brackets or oversized cranks.

This makes the puller more versatile and you can use it on several different bikes. In most cases you will have a puller for Octalink, ISIS and square cranks all in one. However, there are also adapters that you can attach to your crank puller so that you can turn a square crank puller into an Octalink puller, for example. However, you have to buy these separately. The attachment usually only fits on a crank extractor of the same brand.

Advantages
  • Fits different types of cranks
  • Easy removal
  • Attachments for different sizes
Disadvantages
  • Attachments often have to be bought separately
  • Attachments depend on brand

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate crank pullers

In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible crank pullers. The criteria with which you can compare the devices with each other include:

  • Crank compatibility
  • Housing requirements and quality
  • Material
  • Compatibility with tool

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Compatibility of the crank

The crank extractor must of course be compatible with the crank system of your bicycle, otherwise you cannot use it. The following systems are available:

  • Square
  • Octalink
  • ISIS drive

The square crank is mainly found on older models. Some crank systems have the same housing width and a BSA thread. Since there are so many different types of cranks, you must pay special attention to which cranks your extractor is suitable for. Therefore, compare the brand of the crank with the brand of the crank extractor, because they are usually perfectly matched.

Even old bikes can be modernised by installing newer crank systems.

Today there are already many different bottom bracket systems. In the past, every bike had a square system. In the meantime, this has become somewhat obsolete. (Picture source: Pixabay.com/ fotoblend)

Housing requirements and quality

The diameter plays a major role here. In addition to standard cranks, there are also oversized ones that cannot be loosened with a normal puller. The puller tips should have a diameter between 11.3 and 16.3 millimetres.

However, this depends on your individual crank. So before you buy, consider which size you need The thread also plays a role. If it is too coarse, it could easily damage the material. Therefore, a fine thread that is gentle on the material is advantageous.

Material

Crank extractors can be made of a wide variety of materials, which determines their quality and stability. Materials can be:

  • Carbon steel
  • Hardened steel
  • Steel
  • Heat treated steel

Most crank pullers are made of steel. To increase their quality, they are treated. Often parts of the puller are also sealed with varnish to make them more resistant to weathering and thus more durable.

Compatibility with tools

Some crank pullers need to be screwed into the crank with a tool, for example a 22 mm open-end spanner, cone spanner or Allen key. When screwing in the puller with the standard tool, the crank can be slowly pulled off the bottom bracket axle and removed. The puller is usually compatible with several different tools. You often have one of these at home anyway.

Crank puller Compatible tool
Crank puller without handle Spanner and Allen key in the right size
Crank puller without handle No extra tool needed

There are also crank pullers that already have a handle for turning. This means that you no longer need an additional tool, but only the crank puller.

Interesting facts about crank pullers

How do I remove a crank?

You can remove a bicycle crank in six simple steps:

  1. Remove the pedals before you start loosening the crank.
  2. Loosen the crank bolts
  3. Then loosen the crank flap. There is often a special crank-flap tool for this purpose. Then unscrew the bolt completely from the thread
  4. Loosen the fixation that is in the clamping gap of the crank. You can do this with a flathead screwdriver.
  5. Then tap out the crank axle. Use a soft hammer.
  6. Then use your crank puller to remove the crank. It depends on which crank you have.

Then you can clean or replace the bottom bracket or just replace the crank. In the following video you can see how to replace the bottom bracket.

How do I mount the crank again?

Then it's time to reinstall the crank:

  1. If you have a square crank, you can grease it a little before inserting it to make it easier. Don't use too much, otherwise the crank will soon become too loose again.
  2. Then put the crank back in place so that it forms a straight line with the crank on the other side.
  3. Press the crank onto the axle.
  4. Tighten the crank bolt with a torque spanner. To avoid any annoying noises, you can grease the thread of the screw a little beforehand.
  5. Tighten the pedals again.
  6. Test your crank thoroughly and pedal. It should not be loose.
  7. Then put the crank flap back on.

Image source: 123rf.com / 85345491

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