- Precision tools
- Magnetic snap-on system works well
- Beautiful presentation
- You don't need to spend this much
Price as reviewed:
When a tool comes nestled in a custom birchwood box, you know that presentation has been an important factor in development, and that’s undeniably the case with the Ypsilon Home Kit Y-wrench.
Silca has a reputation for creating beautiful tools, as well as pumps, and it’s really gone to town here.
The humble Y-wrench is a useful workshop tool. This shape is favoured by those who want to be able to quickly reach several different sizes of tool all in one, as opposed to selecting a new L or P-handle key for each job – this is particuarly useful when making adjustments to an area that needs serveral different sizes.
The tool will always have three ends, though in this case as well as a fixed 4mm and 5mm end, there’s a 1/4″ bit collet with a magnetic attachement – remove the 6mm bit end, and you can exchange it for any of a vast compliement of tool pieces.
The box comes with a foam padded insert, carrying hex bits in sizes 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 and 6mm, torx bits in t8, t10, t15, t20, t25 and t30 and screw bits in ph1, ph2, sl4 and sl5. Each of the bits is made from S2 steel, which is harder than the CRV (chrome vanadium) steel used in the spline body.
Silca Ypsilon Home Kit Y-Wrench kit in Tech of the Month
Each bit promises a tight tolerance, reducing the chance of rounding bolts. I’ll be the first to admit that, as someone whose job it is to test bikes, I’m often making quick adjustments on the fly – and I’ve rounded plenty of bolts using the first tool that came to hand. With this Y-wrench, I found I could always get the right fit and was confident that it would be hard to damage a bolt (as long as the bolt head was still the correct shape in the first place!).
The 6mm end snaps out with a light pull, and fitting a new end is accompnied by a confidence inspiring ‘click’ which is just really enjoyable for anyone who takes pleasure in a well made tool.
The body itself uses a high strength CRV steel spine, surrounded by a plastic construction with ergonomic grips. This fitted in my hand beautifully and was always nice to work with.
It’s undeniable that I have enjoyed working with this tool. But there was always going to be an obvious criticsm: the price.
At £110, this is not a cheap addition to your toolbox – so this creation loses a few points, more than would be typical for being ‘a little bit overpriced’. A basic Y-wrench from ParkTool could set you back £11.99. Of course, that’s with three fixed ends, and you’d need to buy a few to cover the cost if all the bits included here – but I’ve seen one option with some interchangable bits for £14.99 and there’s also the question of how often you’ll use some of the less common pieces.
Silca does offer a ‘travel’ version of this tool, which comes in a cardboard box, priced at £75 – which is quite a lot more reasonable.
My conclusion on the pricing argument is that it’s simply not necessary to spend this much on a tool. However, if you’re the sort of person who takes as much pleasure in looking at their neatly organised workshop as they do fixing bikes (I know I do) – or you’re buying a gift for someone like that – then you can’t put a price on happiness.
This is an excellent tool which I found to be hugely useful in my home workshop. The price is a little prohibitive. However, if you're someone who takes a great deal of pleasure in an aesthetically pleasing toolbox then you might be happy to proceed, well in the knowledge that you never needed to spend quite so much.
Hex bits: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, and 6mm
Torx bits: t8, t10, t15, t20, t25 and t30
Screw bits: ph1, ph2, sl4 and sl5