Sometimes a dirty big hammer is the best option to free up stuck parts, but often you’ll need a little more finesse to avoid damaging anything. That’s where a puller can come in handy by applying gentle, steady pressure until the piece just pops apart. You can use these not only to pull gears, but to remove pulleys, separate bearings from shafts, or brake discs from hubs.
How to choose a gear puller for the job
Gear pullers are available in a few different sizes, and two or three jaw varieties. The general rule is that more points of contact to evenly distribute the pressure is better, so one should only use a two jaw puller where space and accessibility is an issue.
When it comes to size, choosing the biggest possible puller for the space you have to work with will put less stress on the puller itself.
How to use a gear puller
Position the jaws around the outside or inside of the part to be pulled, and wind the centre bolt inwards until it contacts the centre of the shaft.
Before applying tension with a socket or spanner, ensure once again that the end of each jaw is securely located. Keep checking the position of the jaws while you apply tension, as they will settle into place.
As you apply tension, you should see the gear, pulley, or bearing begin to slide forward off its shaft. Keep tightening the centre bolt until it’s nearly free, and be ready to catch the pulley and item being removed.
For really stubborn items like bearings and bearing races, you may find yourself needing to apply a lot of tension. To avoid the puller slipping under load or being damaged, try tapping the part with a hammer every few turns of the centre bolt. This will help to shock it free.
Make your workshop life easier
Grab yourself a few different size gear pullers, and forget trying to lever everything with screwdrivers or beat it with the hammer. CLICK HERE to check out the range available.
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