Park AWS-1: You Can't Stop Progress

February 13, 2024 2:33pm by rob
I bought the Park AWS-1 on the left sometime in the early 90s. This is the tool I always had in my front apron when working in bike shops, with the plastic sleeve removed on the 5mm for easy identification. Removing the plastic sleeve from the 5mm also made it easier to get into road bike brake/shifter hoods. This design was phased out in the late 90s and today we have the plastic version on the right (which I assume is made overseas).

So does this represent progress? I much prefer the old style. It’s more compact and feels better in your hand. You can clamp it into a vice. The new one with the bulbous plastic middle feels cheap by comparison. I’m a huge fan of Park but I think they went backwards with this change.

What do you think?

Tagged: Park


lstuurmans February 21, 2024 1:03pm PDT Reply

The 4-5-6 was always finding its way into my apron as well! It's funny, I didn't even really like it because I thought it would give me carpal tunnel someday. Without even meaning to I would always just find it in my hands anyway which I think is a testament to its good design. Not really sure about the progress part, I only ever had the plastic one. What you said about clamping the old metal one in a vice definitely seems like a pretty cool bit of added functionality though!

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