15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great and easy to use!,
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This review is from: Lisle 25750 Dual Piston Brake Caliper Compressor (Automotive)
This thing is pretty great.
The first thing I want to mention is the first thing that hit me when it arrived. It is much bigger and much much beefier than it looks in the picture. The one I got is light grey instead of black as well, but I don't care. One of the reasons I hesitated on this product is because it looked like a plastic or at least rinky dink gimmick. But I relied on the positive reviews and bought it anyway, because I was sick of using a C clamp that never seemed to seat easliy or perfectly square due to brake hose or caliper design, etc. The c clamp was even more of a pain on dual piston calipers, trying to get it perfectly centered and squared up so the pistons go straight back and do not get cock-eyed and stuck. Can I get by with the C clamp? Sure, but it was almost always more of a pain than I'd like, and I found myself seemingly doing more brake jobs lately.
Now, I've only used this once, on front dual piston calipers, and it worked awesome. It is super easy to use, and pushed them back without any trouble.
One tip I'll give is that you need to let the pistons depress back slowly. Each squeeze of the trigger does not just instantly jam the pistons back, but instead, it builds pressure against them, which moves the pistons back slowly. Essentially you build up the pressure, and as the pistons move back, the pressure is obviously going down, so what you do is give it an extra squeeze as the pistons move, and maintain the pressure against them, which forces them back. It worked great for this, and took maybe 30 seconds or less per side total time to depress the pistons, from grabbing the tool, putting it on the caliper, and fully depressing both pistons. I was a little worried that maybe it wouldn't be able to put enough pressure on the pistons to move them, but it was no problem. At times, these same pistons have been a PITA to get to move back with the C clamp, but not with this product.
I plan to do the rear brakes soon too, which are single pistons (and do NOT have integrated e-brake that needs a special tool to turn it as it compresses), and based on the size and design, I do not see why this would not work for them either -- I fully intend to use it on any single piston calipers I find as well.
One other thing I want to mention is that I looked at a number of products. I was sick enough of the C clamp method that I was willing to invest in a specialized tool to speed the process up, and to attack all the pistons more squarely on all types of calipers as well. I was sick of screwing down the C clamp only to find out that I'm not quite square enough, and the only way to get more square was to press the C clamp against where the hose connects, or somewhere else I don't want to be putting that kind of pressure against. A lot of the tools you see appear to only be for the rear brakes in new cars which use the caliper for the e-brake, and need the tool to actually turn the piston while it is being compressed. There are a couple of other even cheaper tools than this that use the same effect of spreading two plates, but they appeared even cheaper in design, and I've used some of them before, where you need to wrestle with the cheesy handle, trying very hard to get it to turn to compress the caliper. It's almost, if not, worse than using a C clamp, especially for dual piston calipers. This was the best product I could find for the job, and was a very fair price for what you get IMO.
Overall, even though I have only used it once, I'm very happy with it. It is ruggedly built out of sturdy metal, and does not feel chinsy. It appears that it will last and work on most brakes I'll ever encounter. I'm sure if you had jammed pistons or ones that are really stuck, it may not work, but in those cases, you should probably be rebuilding or replacing the caliper anyway.
I would and will recommend this unit to friends. It makes brake jobs go so much easier, and for me, that was easily worth the price.