How Do You Make a Homemade Chain Whip?

Chain Whips are a fantastic tool when you need them. The catch is you do not need them that often. So rather than purchasing one, it can be more cost effective to make your own. With a little work making your own chain whip can save a trip to the store and maybe save some money.

To make a chain whip you need a bike chain, a small board to be the handle and a few screws. The chain wraps around the edge of the board and the screws fasten the chain to the board. The newly created chain whip keeps the cassette from moving when force is applied to remove the lock ring.

Other materials can be used, as long as it holds a chain in place. These are the step by step instructions we use to create a chain whip when in a pinch. Once you have the concept for creating a chain whip

After reading this guide, should you decide building your own chain whip is not for you, we have an excellent roundup on Cassette Removal Pliers which can be purchased for as little as $20.  Just a thought

Method 1: Board & Screws

Gather The Board, Chain & Screws

To make chain and board chain whip you will need:

  • Board. Ideally, you need a wooden board that has some length. This is easier to use, but saying that any length and size will do the job. Pick one that is long and thin, similar to those used to make a raised bed in the garden. The dimensions are something like 1 inch (2.5 cm) by 2.5 inches (6 cm) by 10 inches (25 cm).
  • Screwdriver. A Philips head or a standard screwdriver will do. Make sure it matches the screws you are using.
  • Screws. You want screws that are about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length. Just long enough to screw and stay in place on the board. Longer screws can also work.
  • Old Chain. You want an old chain that will work with your cassette. Most chains have the same spacing. But, just double check that it will fit over your cassette. You don’t want to make your chain whip and then the chain doesn’t hold your cassette in place.

Assemble the Parts

To assemble your chain whip, you need to screw your old chain into the board, along the edges.

To do this wrap one end of the chain around the end edge board.

Then use a screw to fasten the chain into place. Add a few more screws to make it strong and secure.

Once the chain is securely fasted to the end of the board you are ready to remove the cassette

Removing the Cassette

Screws in place, make sure that you have one end of the chain securely fastened to the wood. You can then loop the free end of the chain over the cassette to hold it in place while you loosen the nut.

Read on to find out about the old pliers method, and the upgrade DIY method.

Method 2: Metal Handle

If the screws and wood method won’t work for you, a piece of metal that the chain can attach to could work. This method is a more involved because you are working with metal and you are attaching one of the chain links through the piece of metal.

Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to put this alternative homemade chain whip together.

Gather the Metal and Tools

To make a metal handle chain whip will need:

  • Metal handle 
  • Chain tool or chain breaker
  • Hammer
  • Old chain

Assemble the Parts

First you you will need to have a hole close to the edge of the handle so that the pin of the chain can fit through.  Additionally to the hole being the appropriate size for the chain pin to fit through it needs to be close enough to the edge of the handle.

Once you have the hole made, you will then to open up one of the ends of the chain by pushing the pin almost all the way out.

Once the pin has been pushed out, place that end of the chain over the hole and using the chain tool push the pin back into place securing one end of the the chain through the metal handle.

You now have the chain attached to the metal handle and it can now be used as a chain whip.

Removing the Cassette​

Now, attach the chain to your cassette and keep it in place by holding the metal end. You can then unscrew the nut on the cassette.

Method 3: Try Anything

Use a Towel or Rag

If it comes to it, you can always try a rag or towel folded up many times allowing you a stronghold to keep the cassette from moving.

This method is not ideal but it can work as long as the cassette is not stuck on the freehub.

Whatever You Can Find

You could (in theory) use anything that you can attach the whole chain or one of the chains too, that will be strong enough to hold the cassette in place.

For example, holding the chain in a vice. So, have a look around for what you could use. Keep in mind that what every you are using to keep the cassette from moving could damage the cassette.


Creating a homemade chain whip can be accomplished in a variety of ways. There are the chain and wood method, and the metal with a hole method. The wood method involves screwing the chain to a piece of sturdy wood and using that to hold the cassette in place.The metal with a hole method works similarly.

Although these are the most common items you will have around the home or are easy to obtain, you can get creative and use anything else you can think of that will hold a chain in place against the cassette.

Further Reading and Sources

Similar Posts