Birzman Studio Tool Box (v2)

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
Views:
Birzman Studio Tool Box (v2)
Create New Tag

Compare to other Tools & Tool Kits

Tested: Birzman Studio Toolbox

Updated tool selection for the 2019 version of Birzman's biggest toolbox.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Birzman Studio Toolbox

It’s been five years since we first discovered the range of toolboxes available from Birzman, and in that time we’ve put in many good hours continuing to use them both in the shop and on the road. The ergonomics of the tools as well as their longevity have turned them into trustworthy companions, but with evolving standards comes the need for new tools. For 2019, Birzman has revised the selection featured in its big Studio toolbox, intended for advanced home mechanics or those looking for a comprehensive mobile workshop solution. We took delivery of a first sample a couple of months ago, read on to learn more and to get our first impressions.

Birzman Studio Toolbox Highlights

  • 37 pieces
  • Size: 47 x 37 x 13 cm
  • Weight: 8.2 kg
  • MSRP: $455 USD

Featured Tools

  • TorxKey Set -

It’s been five years since we first discovered the range of toolboxes available from Birzman, and in that time we’ve put in many good hours continuing to use them both in the shop and on the road. The ergonomics of the tools as well as their longevity have turned them into trustworthy companions, but with evolving standards comes the need for new tools. For 2019, Birzman has revised the selection featured in its big Studio toolbox, intended for advanced home mechanics or those looking for a comprehensive mobile workshop solution. We took delivery of a first sample a couple of months ago, read on to learn more and to get our first impressions.

Birzman Studio Toolbox Highlights

  • 37 pieces
  • Size: 47 x 37 x 13 cm
  • Weight: 8.2 kg
  • MSRP: $455 USD

Featured Tools

  • Torx®Key Set - T10/T15/T20/T25/T27/T30/T40
  • Hex Key Set - 1.5/2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8/10mm
  • Chain Wear Indicator - 0.5%/ 0.75%/ 1 %, single to 12 speed.
  • Bladed Spoke Grip - Compatible with 1.0-2.0mm wide bladed spokes.
  • Tire Lever Set
  • B.B. Socket Shimano® Cartridge - 20-notch Ø31.6mm 
  • Lockring Socket Shimano® HG Cassette - 12-spline Ø23.4mm, Ø5mm centre pin. Fits Shimano® & SRAM®
  • Lockring Socket Shimano® MF Freewheel & Campagnolo - 12-spline Ø22.7mm
  • Universal Crank Puller - For ISIS® Drive, Octalink® and square tapered crank arms. 
  • Housing and Cable Cutter - Features an integrated awl for restoring housing ends. 
  • B.B. Socket Hollowtech ll - For 16 external notches Ø44mm. Also fits rotor lockrings and Shimano® BB Tool Adaptors TL-FC24&TL-FC25. 
  • Socket Wrench - ½” Dr. 
  • Crank Arm Cap Tool - 8-notch Hollowtech II and 16mm internal hex SRAM® crank caps.
  • Spoke Wrench - 12/13/14/15G/ Shimano® 4.3/4.4
  • Damselfly Universal Chain Rivet Extractor - 5-12 speed, 1/8" & 3/32" single speed chains.
  • Pedal Wrench - 15mm
  • Chain Whip - 7-12 speed, equipped with a fixed-gear lockring wrench. 
  • Screwdriver Flathead 5.5
  • Screwdriver Crosshead #2
  • Combination Wrench - 8/10mm
  • File 
  • Link Pliers – For use when assembling or removing masterlinks.
  • Bit Socket T30 - ½” Dr. 
  • Hex Socket 14mm - ½” Dr.
  • Hex Socket 15mm - ½” Dr.
  • Shifting Spanner - 0-33mm
  • Disc Brake Piston Press
  • Rotor Truing Fork
  • Disc Brake Gap Indicator
  • Threadless Saw Guide - For Ø1", 1 ⅛" & 1 ¼" steel and carbon tubes. 
  • Valve Core Tool - For Presta/Schrader valve cores and Presta valve extenders. 
  • Threadless Nut Setting Tool - For Ø1 - 1⅛" threadless headset systems. 
  • Diagonal Pliers 6"
  • Radio Pliers 6"
  • Chainring Nut Wrench - Features 9 & 10mm hex wrenches. 
  • Dead Blow Hammer - 12”
  • Tape Measure - 3m/10ft

Initial Impressions

The Studio toolbox as a fairly hefty item, think full-size briefcase and you’re not far off. The tools are held in place in blow-molded inserts on three levels – one inside each half of the case and one on a separate tray. A neoprene insert provides extra separation and also doubles as a handy surface to place small items on as you work. The construction of the case is reassuringly sturdy, with a solid carrying handle and two large clasps inspiring confidence from the start.

The tool selection has evolved for 2019, the following is a list detailing the changes:

  • Torx key set goes from 9 to 7 pieces, losing the T45 and T50 in the process.
  • The hex key set now features elongated keys for better leverage.
  • A bladed spoke grip replaces the patch kit.
  • A Shimano HF and Campagnolo lockring socket has been added.
  • A bit socket T30 has been added.
  • The Hollowtech II BB socket now also fits rotor lockrings and Shimano’s BB tool adaptors TL-FC24 and TL FC25.
  • The crank arm installation tool is now double-sided: Shimano Hollowtech II on one side, and SRAM, Race Face or other 16mm internal hex crank arm caps on the other.
  • 8/10mm hex sockets have been replaced by 14/15mm versions.
  • The Mavic spoke wrench has been replaced by a valve core tool.

Inspecting the individual tools, the larger ones feature thick, comfortable grips while the individual hex and torx keys are of the plain, simple variety. The hex keys feature a rounded side for attacking bolts at an angle, while the other side features a series of small groves to help provide better grip. The torx keys are sharp and feature a hole through the middle for use on bolts with inner pins. The chainwhip has been updated with a 12-speed compatible chain (the previous version was difficult to use with the new breed of wide-range cassettes).

In The Workshop

If you are used to a hodge-podge selection of tools kicking around in some old toolbox, you will really appreciate how comfortable it is to have everything neatly stored away and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Open the case, slide out the dividing tray, and all your tools are right there in front of you. The blow-molded inserts do a great job of keeping everything secure during transport, it is rare to find anything loose when you open up the case for the next job at hand.

Something else you’ll also appreciate is how good a number of these tools feel in the hand. Sure, your old home-made chainwhip probably gets the job done, but this one feels much more pro (even more so since it was updated to properly fit 12-speed cassettes). The cable-cutter does a sweet job of shortening your cables, and there’s even a clever little pin to help you open up the hole again after cutting. The tape measure locks into place automatically, simply press the button to retract it again. The star nut setter is guided to make knocking a new nut in a simple, 1-second job instead of faffing around with bolts and hammers and other assorted bodges. All in all, most of the tools get the job done and feel comfortable doing so.

The hex and torx keys seem simple enough, but the design is well-executed and they provide excellent functionality. The cuts are crisp and both the hex and the torx keys do a good job of gripping the respective bolts. The ball-end of the hex keys is very rounded, which makes it useful when you have to come at a bolt at an angle, but note that it can sometimes be difficult to get good grip in a shallow bolt head with this end. We particularly appreciate the fact that the hex keys have been made longer, and that each key is now much easier to remove individually from the holder (the previous version was much more inconvenient in this aspect).

Some of the specialty items are particularly nice to have. For example, the brake rotor truing tool offers two different slots to work with, making it much easier to redress different areas of the rotor (the braking surface or the rotor arms). The brake pad separation tool is wide and easy to work with, making it less likely that you will damage your brake pads when pushing the brake caliper pistons back in. The threadless saw guide accommodates blades of different thickness, while the chainbreaker is super comfortable and easy to work with. We also really like the addition of a 16mm hex side to the crank arm installation tool, which instantly negates the need to hunt around the shops for that oh-so-elusive 16mm allen key. Of course, no toolbox is complete without a big hammer and an adjustable spanner, and both these items are of high quality here and a pleasure to use.

Things That Could Be Improved

$455 may sound like quite a lot of money to spend on tools, but divide by 37 and that translates to little more than $12 per tool (counting the torx and hex key sets as one single tool each) – not a lot for quality items like these. Now, do we wish for the kit to include a few other tools? Of course we do, it’s human nature to always want more, but the reality is that it would be close to impossible and certainly impractical to try to provide everything you might ever need in a mobile kit like the Studio toolbox. If you wrench a lot and find yourself building bikes every now and then, you’ll have to add a few things like a headset/BB press, a hacksaw, and a crown race setter. A torque wrench is probably not a bad idea to add either, especially if you use a lot of carbon parts. Now, expecting these items to also be included in the Studio box would probably not be reasonable given the size and cost constraints. Having said that, the spoke wrench could certainly be improved, it features fairly narrow jaws which are prone to stripping nipples if you are not careful. We’d also like to sees a personal storage area included somewhere in the box, to allow you to throw in some extras like brake pads, chain links, tubeless worms and spare shifter cables – offering a little extra piece of mind if you often rely on just throwing the one toolbox in your trunk when you head out to the trails.

Long Term Durability

We’ve only just taken delivery of the revised, 2019 edition of the Studio toolbox, but we have a good 4 years of experience with two previous versions behind us (original Studio and Travel toolboxes), with almost only good things to report when it comes to longevity. A few of the most used items show some signs of wear and tear, most notably a Torx wrench or two that we eventually managed to snap a head off (hamfist alert), as well as a Philips screwdriver which may or may not have seen fairly extensive use for various non-bike related missions – not exactly something we’d hold against it at this point. Other than that, all the other tools are still happily doing their jobs as well as the day they first saw the workshop. We expect many happy hours of wrenching ahead for owners of the revised version too.

What’s The Bottom Line?

If you already own most of the tools you need, it’s probably difficult justifying spending $455 USD on a set like the Birzman Studio toolbox. However, if you still lack a few of the tools it holds, and/or you’d like to upgrade your overall wrenching experience with properly built tools that are effective in use and that will last you a long time, we think it’s well worth putting it on your wishlist. The Studio kit contains nearly everything you need for most repair and maintenance jobs, and the high quality and good design make the tools a pleasure to use. The fact that the streamlined briefcase profile holds its own both in the workshop and on the road is a great bonus too.

More information at: www.birzman.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 46 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Birzman Studio Tool Box (v2)
Tool Type For the Garage
Features 37 tools in a heavy-duty PE case with blow-molded pallets offering protection and organization:

Torx Key Set – T10 / T15 / T20 / T25 / T27 / T30 / T40
Hex Key Set – 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 8 / 10mm
Chain Wear Indicator – 0.5% / 0.75% / 1%, single- to 12-speed
Bladed Spoke Grip – compatible with 1.0-2.0mm wide bladed spokes
Tire Lever Set
BB Socket Shimano Cartridge – 20-notch, Ø31.6mm
Lockring Socket Shimano HG Cassette – 12-spline, Ø23.4mm, Ø5mm center pin, fits Shimano and SRAM
Lockring Socket Shimano MF Freewheel and Campagnolo – 12-spline, Ø22.7mm
Universal Crank Puller – for ISIS Drive, Octalink, and square tapered crank arms
Housing and Cable Cutter – features an integrated awl for restoring housing ends
BB Socket Hollowtech ll – for 16 external notches Ø44mm, also fits rotor lockrings and Shimano BB Tool Adaptors TL-FC24 and TL-FC25
Socket Wrench – ½" drive
Crank Arm Cap Tool – 8-notch Hollowtech II and 16mm internal hex SRAM crank caps
Spoke Wrench – 12 / 13 / 14 / 15G / Shimano 4.3 / 4.4
Damselfly Universal Chain Rivet Extractor – 5- to 12-speed, 1/8", and 3/32" singlespeed chains
Pedal Wrench – 15mm
Chain Whip – 7- to 12-speed, equipped with a fixed-gear lockring wrench
Screwdriver – flathead 5.5
Screwdriver – crosshead #2
Combination Wrench – 8/10mm
File
Link Pliers – for use when assembling or removing masterlinks
Bit Socket – T30, ½" drive
Hex Socket – 14mm, ½" drive
Hex Socket – 15mm, ½" drive
Shifting Spanner – 0-33mm
Disc Brake Piston Press
Rotor Truing Fork
Disc Brake Gap Indicator
Threadless Saw Guide – for Ø1", 1 ⅛", and 1 ¼" steel and carbon tubes
Valve Core Tool – for Presta/Schrader valve cores and Presta valve extenders
Threadless Nut Setting Tool – for Ø1 - 1⅛" threadless headset systems
Diagonal Pliers – 6"
Radio Pliers – 6"
Chainring Nut Wrench – features 9 and 10mm hex wrenches
Dead Blow Hammer – 12"
Tape Measure – 3m/10ft
Miscellaneous Box dimensions: 47 x 37 x 13cm
Weight: 8.2 kg
Price $455
More Info

www.birzman.com

More Products