If you’re a mechanic, a DIYer, or even just an avid cyclist, then you’re likely familiar with valve cores. A valve core is the component of a valve stem that allows air to be added or removed from a tire or tube.
Removing the valve core is necessary for a number of reasons, such as topping up or changing the air pressure, and that’s where valve core removal tools come in.
In this post, we’ll go over what to look for when purchasing a valve core removal tool, the different types available, and how to use them safely.
How to Choose a Valve Core Removal Tool
The first consideration when purchasing a valve core removal tool is what type of valve you’ll be working with. For example, bicycles tend to use Presta valves, while automotive tires use Schrader valves. It’s essential to ensure that the tool you choose is compatible with the valve you’re working on.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the quality and durability of the tool. Look for materials such as stainless steel, which is strong and corrosion-resistant. A handle that is easy to grip, particularly if your hands get greasy or sweaty during use, is also an important factor for ease of use.
What Types of Valve Core Removal Tools Exist?
Valve core removal tools come in a range of types and sizes, depending on their intended use.
For heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, stubby valve core removal tools are available. These work well in tight spaces such as air conditioning units.
For bicycles, handlebar-mounted valve core removal tools are available that allow users to make quick adjustments while riding.
And for automotive tires, there are pliers-style valve core removal tools that grip the core and twist it out and straight punch style vale core removal tools.
How to Use a Valve Core Removal Tool
Using a valve core removal tool is generally straightforward, despite the range of sizes and styles available.
First, identify the valve core to be removed. You’ll need to unscrew the valve cap first, to expose the core. Then, attach the removal tool to the top of the valve core, ensuring that you have a good grip.
Twist the tool in an anti-clockwise direction using gentle pressure. Once the core is loosened, it should be easy to remove by pulling it out of the valve stem.
How to Clean a Valve Core Removal Tool
If you want your valve core removal tool to last for years to come, it’s essential to clean it after use. Residual dirt and dust can cause corrosion or impair the tool’s performance over time. Use a solvent or a cleaning solution to wipe off the tool’s exterior, especially the area around the gripper or pliers end. Use a brush to get into crevices and hard-to-reach spots, and then dry the tool thoroughly with a cleaning cloth. Store it in a dry and safe place until you need it again.
What is Valve Core Removal Tool Safety?
Although valve core removal tools are relatively low-risk compared to other tools in the workshop, they do come with some safety considerations.
Wear work gloves when using a removal tool, particularly if you’re working with hot valves. The gloves will protect your hands if the valve core is difficult to remove.
Additionally, be cautious when using pliers-style removal tools, as they can be unwieldy and could cause injury if not gripped correctly.
Finally, store your removal tool out of reach of children, as it can be a choking hazard.
How Should You Store a Valve Core Removal Tool?
When you’re not using your valve core removal tool, store it in a clean and dry place. Ideally, the tool should be kept in a case that will protect it from moisture or dust. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or high humidity areas, as it can be more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
Periodically check that the tool is still in good condition so that you can make any necessary replacements or repairs before it’s needed in an emergency.
Valve Core Removal Tools Are Essential for Many Different Applications
Valve core removal tools are an essential piece of kit for anyone working with valves, air conditioning, bicycles, or automotive tires. When selecting a tool, it’s essential to consider the valve type you’ll be working with, the material, and quality of the tool, and the ease of use.
Once you have your tool, ensure that you use it safely, store it correctly, and clean it after each use. By following these tips, your valve core removal tool will last for many years and give you the flexibility to adjust and maintain valve systems with ease.