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For years I have been using an 8 speed chain. I have never had a problem removing the master link before. Today I installed a new chain. The master link went on without a problem. I wanted to remove the chain to take out a link. I cannot remove the master link. I tried squeezing it while sliding. Nothing seems to work. I hesitate to use tools because I don't want to ruin the chain. Any advice will be appreciated it.
 

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Huge in Japan
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Looping a piece of brake (or break, which ever you prefer) or shifter cable around it and pulling the ends to compress it can work.
 

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Yea, just buy the tool. It's not expensive and will soon pay for itself in reduced aggravation. It's definitely a tool worth buying, I think.
 

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You can use any old pliers although even a cheap pair of slip joints are nicer than electrical pliers. Squeeze opposite corners and they will pop apart, the reverse to close them. You could probably improvise with 2 rocks on the trail if you had too.

Here's a guy doing exactly that.


As was mentioned, the older 8-9 speeds were easy by hand, the new chains are essentially impossible.
 
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