Have you ever gotten yourself into a situation where the rubber mallet comes out to press in your new headset cups? That will never be the case with the Park Took HHP - 2 bearing cup press. This is one of the best tools for the job on the market and we love it when our customers feel the same way. In this review, Stacey Chase breaks down using his new Park Tool bearing cup press. Check it out!
The Park Tool HHP-2 BB Cup press consists of multiple parts including a threaded/hex-indented rod, a spring-loaded end stop, stepped "cones" for seating commonly sized headsets, and a handle assembly. The handle assembly has an independent handle and bearing surface parts c-clipped together. Every part of the HHP-2 exudes that "multiple lifetimes of use" sort of quality that used to be much more common in tools. The threaded section comes with a very slight lube/wax on its surface indicating the care taken in its manufacture from start to finish.
Assembly and use of the HHP-2 is somewhat intuitive, though detailed instructions are provided. Since owning the HHP-2, I have used it to install multiple press fit bottom brackets and headsets. As you may know, you can go about these tasks using a variety of "almost right" tools including machinists vises, homemade threaded rod and washer affairs, and specific headset tools at lower price points. In my experience, the Park Tool HHP-2 is the tool for the job. I state this as opinion having multiple years of either borrowing various brands of presses or building makeshift versions. The reason it is the best comes down to feel. No other press has such a smooth spin of the handles as to allow feedback to your fingertips as you are seating. Any hint of error is felt through the handles long before you over torque things and create issues.
When seating of headsets or cups, be certain to proceed one side at a time (not both cups simultaneously). Be mindful of the fit of the stepped headset "cones" placement as related to the bearing surface of the headset. Generally, the pressure will be applied well inside the bearing surface of the headset. Also, one must be careful to avoid too much pressure on aluminum parts, lest they deform around the cones and become stuck. This is unlikely given the smooth feel, but it is difficult to say that it would never happen given the tolerances one encounters with headsets and possibly out of round situations from hidden collision damage to frames.
The Park Tool HHP-2 press is one of those tools that seems spendy compared to other offerings, threaded rod/washer combinations, or use of a machinist's vise to insert headsets or bottom brackets. It proves its worth by providing a silky smooth squeeze of the components. The value of being able to feel exactly how the seating of the headset or bottom bracket is significant in terms of reduced grief and improved alignment of components. I highly recommend this tool if you expect to install a justifiable quantity of headsets and press in bottom brackets. I wish I had purchased this long ago. That is as good a recommendation as one can provide for a specific purpose-built tool.
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