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Being able to work on your mountain bike at home is a good thing. Having the proper tools can make that job even more enjoyable. One of our valued customers shares some thoughts on the Park Tool SG-7.2 Oversized Adjustable Saw Guide. Check it out!
You may ask “why should I spend 43 bucks on a saw guide when I can just use the stem off my 1987 Mongoose ATB that I keep in the basement”—which I used to think was a valid question. However, after using the Park Tool Oversized Adjustment Saw Guide multiple times, I can fully recommend it for a variety of reasons. The trick of using an old stem to clamp around whatever you are cutting (handlebars, steerer tube, etc.) can work in a pinch, but it rarely guarantees a clean cut. It is very important to cut the steerer tube accurately, and you often only get one shot at doing it.
If you cut it at an angle, you may have issues threaded the top cap into the star nut. You could try to cut again to correct it, but then you are removing more of the tube than you originally intended. This might result in a lower stem height than you had intended. There are a variety of issues in the DIY methods of cutting handlebar ends or steerer tubes, and the Park Tool Oversized Adjustment Saw Guide fixes them all.
Ultimately, I would recommend getting one of these if you plan on cutting even one steerer tube.
It has two slots, one for a standard hacksaw blade for steel steerer tubes or handlebars, and a thinner slot for carbon-cutting blades. (Carbon blades have more, and finer teeth than steel cutting blades, and can fit in a thinner slot). The thinner slot enables you to cute a super accurate line perpendicular to whatever you are cutting. I like to use this tool clamped in my bench vise. The saw guide clamps down on whatever you are cutting with the same tightening mechanism as the vise and ensures a solid grip—this is another advantage. The plastic jaws do not scuff the surface of your handlebars or steer tube, either, which is an improvement from simply clamping something in a bench vise.
After you’ve spent $1000 on a new frame (or need to drop the stem height on a $30 craigslist find), it is not worth taking the chance of cutting a ragged or diagonal gash into your steer tube. You only get one shot at it, so you might as well use the guide. I prefer this to the smaller Park Tool saw guide, as it is more versatile. I’ve even used this to hole a piece of wood to cut it. While it would still be useful without a bench vise, I think that to be used as intended by park tool, you need one. So keep that in mind if you are buying this product and do not have a bench vise. A must-have for any bike aficionado or aspiring mechanic.
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