What Are The Best Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kits? (2020 Edition)
Making critical repairs on brake calipers requires the right brake caliper wind back kit if you want to protect the vehicle from damage while you make your repairs. But at first glance, you may think that all brake caliper wind back tool kits are the same despite wildly varying prices.
In this article, we’ll investigate the world of brake caliper wind back tool kits so that you know which one is the best and which one will cause unnecessary strain during repairs and leave your brand-new brake calipers worse for the wear.
Compare Our Top Picks for 2020
- Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kit Reviews
- Our #1 Pick – 8MILELAKE Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool
- Our #2 Pick – OrionMotorTech 24-Piece Disc Brake Caliper Tool Kit
- Our #3 Pick – Vinkki 22pcs Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Heavy Duty Disc Brake Piston Caliper Compressor Tool kit
- Our #4 Pick – Neiko 20733A Disc Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kit
- Our #5 Pick – Cartman 21pc Professional Disc Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kit
- Which features should I look for in a brake caliper wind back tool kit?
- Why do some sets offer two T-handles?
- How should I clean my brake caliper wind back set pieces?
- What should I do if my T-handle’s screw threading is damaged?
- Driving Out
Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kit Reviews
Our #1 Pick – 8MILELAKE Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool
The 8MILELAKE Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool set has all of the pieces you’ll need to make basic repairs on cars and trucks of most North American manufacturers as well as a handful of foreign part manufacturers.
- 18 different adapters
- 22 pieces in total
- Includes left and right thrust bolt assemblies
- Low quality blow molded case
Everything you need to service brake calipers is included in this set, and you’ll find that the parts are ergonomic as well as durable. There’s even a bit of extra space in each of the moldings within the kit’s case so that you can overlay other pieces as needed.
The issue with this set is that its case is low quality plastic which you can expect to break after being opened and closed a handful of times. This is a minor complaint, but you may find that a couple of pieces of tape are better at keeping the kit closed than the built-in clamps.
Our #2 Pick – OrionMotorTech 24-Piece Disc Brake Caliper Tool Kit
The OrionMotorTech brake caliper wind back tool kit is an excellent pick up for your shop because it will work with nearly anything that comes through the door without any additional hassle.
- Universal compatibility
- Heavy duty parts
- Well-organized case
- Poor warranty protection despite lifetime duration
This set is great on account of its comprehensive tool selection, great instruction set, and wide compatibility. You won’t find yourself hunting for information on the internet thanks to the included guides, which apply to many different vehicle manufacturers.
The warranty on this kit is weak, though you shouldn’t expect to need to use it. While the warranty claims to indefinite in length, in fact it is very limited in terms of the type of defects which it covers.
So, if you do find that an element of the set is defective, you may have a very hard time convincing the manufacturer to repay you or to replace to the part.
Our #3 Pick – Vinkki 22pcs Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Heavy Duty Disc Brake Piston Caliper Compressor Tool kit
Vinkki’s Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kit is great for replacing the heaviest of brake calipers thanks to its comfortable and easy to use parts.
- Carbon steel construction
- Fits hundreds of different manufacturer’s parts
- Kit includes 2 retainer plates
- Short warranty
The strength of this set is its carbon steel construction, which is highly durable. The parts won’t rust, corrode, chip, crack, or otherwise let you down. So, there’s a good chance that if you purchase this kit, you won’t need to purchase another one for a very long time.
The warranty on the Vinkki kit is only one year long. While you shouldn’t expect to use the warranty, the duration of the warranty pales in comparison to most other brake caliper wind back sets, which typically have a 2-year or lifetime warranty.
Our #4 Pick – Neiko 20733A Disc Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kit
Neiko’s 12-piece caliper wind back tool kit is lightweight and great for most vehicles even if it isn’t comprehensive in terms of its part grouping.
- 10 different piston adapters
- Alloy steel construction
- Well organized case
- Only includes one t-handle rotator
Don’t be fooled by the small part number of the Neiko set: you can perform nearly all brake caliper wind backs with this set. The only disadvantage that a smaller piece grouping brings is that you may need to put in a bit more effort to use the T-handle.
The T-handle on this set is universal, which means that it does not favor the left or the right side brake pads. In sets with two T-handles, each T-handle is made to be more efficient with either the left or the right side.
So, you should expect to invest a bit more mechanical force when you are using this set.
Our #5 Pick – Cartman 21pc Professional Disc Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool Kit
Cartman’s brake caliper wind back kit has everything you’d expect when you’re making repairs to anything with four wheels.
- Kit includes two T-handles for thrust bolt assembly
- Clearly labeled
- Uncomfortable T-handles according to customer reviews
It’s hard to go wrong with this set because of its wide compatibility, well-labeled case, and minimal extraneous features.
The only real downside of this set is that the T-handles are not as comfortable as they might be with other sets as a result of their texture. The texture is sheet metal rather than friction-pocked metal, meaning that you may find your hands slipping.
Which features should I look for in a brake caliper wind back tool kit?
When you’re looking for a brake caliper wind back tool kit, you should look for the following features:
Compatibility refers to the range of vehicles which the set can work on. Most sets are manufactured to work with vehicles produced in the US, Europe, or Japan.
Vehicles produced in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Eastern Europe, Africa, Australia, or South America are not necessarily going to be compatible with most of the kits on the market, so you will need to look hard to find the right kit if you plan on servicing vehicles produced in these regions with great frequency.
The materials which the parts in the set are made from do not vary significantly from kit to kit, but poor quality kits can sometimes skimp on the type of metal. Good quality kits are made from carbonized steel or a steel alloy.
These materials do not break, chip, corrode, or warp under normal use conditions. But, if the kit is made from cast iron, ceramic, or iron composite, you can expect it to have problems the longer that you use it.
The warranty of your brake caliper wind back tool kit is an important feature to consider because you don’t want to purchase a lemon and then be forced to live with it as a result of a poor warranty.
Most sets have an extensive warranty, but weaker sets may give themselves away by only offering a very limited warranty, so be alert.
The comprehensiveness of the set is a major concern because you don’t want to wish you had a certain part and find that your kit does not have it. Kits which have more than 20 pieces are generally comprehensive enough to suit the vast majority of cases which will enter your shop.
On the other hand, most kits with 10 pieces or less will probably be missing something important which you might need fairly frequently.
But, if your shop only serves a specific type of vehicle, it’s entirely possible that a 10 piece set could suit your needs, so remember that you may not always need a completely comprehensive set — just a set that is comprehensive for you.
Why do some sets offer two T-handles?
The T-handle is responsible for converting your physical force into torsion so that you can pull back the brake caliper and replace it. In other words, the T-handle is the single most important part of any brake caliper wind back tool kit.
If your T-handle is broken or warped, you won’t be able to wind back the brake calipers. But that isn’t why some sets have two T-handles. Each T-handle in a two T-handle set is optimized for use on either the right-sided brakes or the left-sided brakes.
The T-handle that is optimized for a specific side will be labeled as such and wind back in a different direction. They will also have their mounting points reversed relative to the other.
While it is possible to have a universal T-handle, the left and right-handed T-handles are more efficient at converting your mechanical force into torsion when they are used on the correct side of the vehicle.
So, having two T-handles in a set means that you can use the T-handle which is optimized for the side of the vehicle which you’re working on, saving yourself a substantial amount of mechanical force effort as a result.
In aggregate, it isn’t a massive difference between using a universal T-handle and a handed T-handle, but if you are replacing a lot of brake sets, you will appreciate having a handed T-handle at the end of the day.
But, if you’re willing to let your forearms feel the burn a little bit, a universal T-handle is fine too.
How should I clean my brake caliper wind back set pieces?
Your brake caliper wind back set pieces may frequently become dirty with grease or oil as a result of their close proximity to other parts of the vehicle which require lubrication and chemical treatments.
But, you may be aware that brakes are often coated with these chemicals and that they cannot be washed carelessly.
Your brake caliper wind back set pieces are best cleaned with a small amount of water and gentle rubbing with a rag. Introducing soap is not desirable because it may be transferred to the brakes themselves if you do not fully wash the caliper set.
Your brake caliper wind back set pieces do not need to be completely pristine. They only need to be clean enough to safely handle while you are performing repairs. So, stick to the water and gentle rubbing with a rag rather than introduce soaps or caustic cleaning chemicals.
The pieces of the set will last significantly longer as a result, but the real victory will be the brakes which aren’t exposed to additional chemical stressors.
What should I do if my T-handle’s screw threading is damaged?
From time to time, you may notice that you purchase a brake caliper wind back tool kit where the T-handle threading is incorrect or damaged. This is a critical problem which should be remedied immediately using the warranty of your set.
If your T-handle’s threading is damaged, you won’t be able to correctly spin the T-handle to remove the brake caliper.
Worse, you might manage to spin the T-handle past the damaged point in the threading, causing it to violently slip when there is a lot of tension from holding back the brake caliper. This could potentially cause you to be injured.
As soon as you notice that the T-handle’s threading is damaged, replace the T-handle and don’t use it again. If you open up a new kit and see that the threading is damaged or melted together from the manufacturing process, cash in the warranty immediately.
The threading on the T-handle is the area where manufacturers know that they are the most likely to have problems, so you should not have an issue replacing it even when the warranty is very limited.
If you encounter any trouble, underline the safety concern and you should get a new handle in the mail shortly afterward.
That wraps up our roundup of the best brake caliper wind back tool kits on the market. As you may have surmised, it’s tough to go wrong if you stick to a 20+ piece set produced by one of the major manufacturers.
You don’t need to be a very selective buyer so long as you can confirm that the set is compatible with the type of vehicle which you are most likely to service in your garage. That means it’s up to you to optimize for comfort and ease of use.