Customer Review: KMC Digital Chain Wear Indicator

This review was written by avid MTB rider Kevin Johnson.


KMC Digital Chain Checker

I’ve been using the KMC Digital Chain Checker in conjunction with Park Tool’s Chain Wear Indicator CC-3.2. Both support one another in terms of presenting similar readings. There is an endless debate over the merits of measuring chain stretch and whether it’s relevant. Manufacturer’s present one argument, while others postulate counter-arguments, which become mind-numbing over time. For me, common sense rules. In the ongoing quest for weight savings coupled with greater performance, chainrings and cassettes are becoming narrower and lighter than in years past, which probably results in shorter chain-life. It’s cheaper to replace a chain then a chainring and rear cassette. Having stated my opinion, I’d also recommend checking the chain manufacturer’s specific chain-wear replacement guidelines as another reference point. In addition, one can find numerous technical blogs that deal with this discussion.


I love quality tools, and KMC’s device fits that parameter. Constructed from stainless steel, this device is well designed. The plastic tool kit comes with the digital checker, two batteries, a manual, a key chain, and a miniature screwdriver that is used to remove the two screws retaining the cover. It is simple to actuate by following these basic steps:

  1. Open the battery cover and insert one battery, then replace the cover.
    2. Turn on the device.
    3. Select the measurement units, either mm or inches.
    4. Unscrew the set-screw on top of the unit.
    5. Squeeze the opposite arms together, and while doing this, press the zero button.
    6. Insert the gauge between two links, and tighten the set-screw.
    7. Examine the reading.

KMC recommends replacing the chain when it reaches 0.80mm. Some argue that this is too conservative, and that chain stretch should account for 0.5% of chain length. Others state that one must measure exactly 12 links from midpoint of one pin to the midpoint of the twelfth pin. If the measurement exceeds 1-1/8” consider replacing the chain. Regardless, KMC provides useful information that can be used in conjunction with other tools or references.


This compact tool is essential for digital gadget lovers, it’s solidly constructed and provides accurate readings. Worldwide Cyclery is a wonderful choice for all one-stop-shop bicycle components, clothing, accessories, and of course, bicycles. Their staff is friendly, funny, honest, knowledgeable, hard-working, and totally bike bonkers. They offer a gigantic selection, backed by rapid shipping, generous return privileges, and fantastic prices. Visit their Ebay store, Facebook, Google, and/or Twitter to review all their phenomenal ratings. This is a company based on serving its customers; truly a cosmopolitan organization, a Worldwide Cyclery. They’ve earned your trust.


August 09, 2017

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