Robot’s Useless Reviews – The Cone Wrench

I hope you don’t own a cone wrench, or god-forbid, a whole set of cone wrenches. That’s the cyclist equivalent of having a VCR or a landline, almost charmingly anachronistic but at the same time an early sign you might be a hoarder. It’s even worse if you’re like, “But I still have a bunch of cup-n-cone hubs in my arsenal!” Cup-n-Cone is the name of a beachside ice cream shop, not a way to spin a bicycle wheel anymore.

All that aside, the cone wrench has many uses.

It makes a really great bad hammer, which sounds like damning it with faint praise, but you need a bad hammer sometimes. I have used lots of not-hammers as hammers, you know, when I was too lazy to get the actual hammer or the thing I needed to smite was too narrow to receive the blow of a round hammer head. A cone wrench, a good one, has the sort of weight and narrow profile you need in just this scenario.

A cone wrench, in the right size, can be a mediocre bottle opener. Of course, bottles that aren’t twist-off are almost as common now as cup-n-cone hubs, and presumably if you’re a person who drinks the stuff that comes in hard-capped bottles, you already have a bottle opener, maybe even on a chain attached to your belt.

Come to think of it, you’ve got a lot of issues we should work on.

Or … one of mankind’s unique and enduring conundra (plural of conundrum) is how to avoid ice cream melting down the side of ice cream cones, running over knuckles and down wrists, and leaving a sticky, sour-milk-smelling mess that will NOT be popular down at the bowling alley. Undoubtedly, the cone wrench would be tough to adapt to ice-cream-cone-holder, but the effort, if only for the linguistic congruence, would probably be worth it. I also really love the idea of showing up at an ice cream parlor (the world needs more parlors) with a tool. Can you imagine the look on the face of the pimply-faced teen who scooped your order when you hold out the cone wrench to take the ice cream from them?

A cone wrench makes a super non-returning boomerang. Say you work in a bike shop and there are no customers around and Bob makes some snide comment about how slow you are at setting up tubeless tires. You don’t wanna huck the 4-5-6mm three-way wrench at him. But the cone wrench is perfect. It’s properly weighted, like a hipster-bar hatchet, and you don’t need it back anyway. It was only really cluttering your tool board, waiting for one of the other freaks who needs to read these words to stride haplessly into your shop.

If you have kids of a certain age, like Padraig does, you can just save some dollars on birthday presents by gifting your cone wrenches to them as ninja weapons. Kids are dumb. They will believe you, and better, they will wield your cone wrenches like so many nunchuks, throwing stars, and katanas. They’ll also leave them lying all over your home, so they’ll be handy for use as a bad hammer or bottle opener, as needs require.

My real recommendation for you, of course, is to get your life in order. We have a tendency to hold onto things we think might be useful later, or just useful to SOMEONE later. This is how we get caught living in a museum of ourselves that ends up getting pitched into a dumpster by our poor children, once we’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. You keep these things around and next thing you know you’re eating TV dinners off a stack of Reader’s Digests from the ’70s.

Don’t laugh. It happens.

What you want to do is pass those cone wrenches on to someone who hasn’t read this post, someone else living the hermit’s dream of infinite usefulness, someone with a whole garage full of 1986’s best bike components. Craigslist is better than the Bat Signal for finding the caped crusader you’re looking for. It’s not ideal, not really, just passing this problem to someone else, but they’re out there. And they’re willing. And you read this review before they did, so all is fair in love and tools.

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  1. Hautacam says

    I’m full up on cone wrenches, thanks.

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