This review article takes a look at some of the best ball joint press tools and kits needed for servicing the highly mobile ball joints of vehicles.
Ball joint press is needed for a variety of tasks and should be a part of every automobile engineer’s arsenal of tools.
A majority of the kits reviewed in this write up are versatile, and compatible with many vehicles, so it’s just a matter of finding one that suits the vehicle model.
Installing and removing ball joints, truck anchor pins, joint studs, and universal joints are some of the use-cases of ball joint press.
We highly recommend that buyers consider the construction, versatility, material make and the portability of a ball joint press before investing in any kit.
Please, check the buyer’s guide section for more on this.
- 0.1 What is the Best Ball Joint Press?
- 0.2 Why the Astro Pneumatic Tool 78100 is the best ball joint?
- 1 Top 11 Best Ball Joint Press – Updated list -2021
- 1.1 01. Astro Pneumatic Tool 78100 – Top Rated Ball Joint Press
- 1.2 02. AURELIO TECH 21PCs Ball Joint – Best Universal Ball Joint Press
- 1.3 03. OEMTOOLS 27089 Ball Joint – Best Portable Ball Joint Press
- 1.4 04. Powerbuilt 23 Piece Ball Joint
- 1.5 05. OTC 7249 Ball Joint
- 1.6 06. Astro Pneumatic Tool 7897 Ball Joint Service Tool and Master Adapter Set
- 1.7 07. OTC (8031) Ball Joint Set for Jeep/Truck
- 1.8 08. ABN Ball Joint Press Tool Set
- 1.9 09. Astro Pneumatic Tool 7865 Ball Joint Service Tool with 4-wheel Drive Adapters
- 1.10 10. OTC Ball Joint Intermediate Service Kit (6530) – Best Multipurpose kit
- 1.11 11. GEARWRENCH Universal Ball Joint Separator – Best Budget Ball Joint
- 2 How We Picked Best Ball Joint Press
- 3 Best Ball Joint Press Kits: Buyer’s Questions
- 3.0.1 Q: Is it even possible to attempt replacing the ball joint of a vehicle without using a press?
- 3.0.2 Q: What is the major function of a dedicated ball joint press?
- 3.0.3 Q: Can I replace the ball joints of my vehicle on my own or do I need a professional?
- 3.0.4 Q: How do I know for sure that the ball joints in my car have gone bad?
- 3.0.5 Q: How long do you think I can drive with a bad ball joint as soon as the signs develop?
- 3.0.6 Q: What is the general lifespan of a dedicated ball joint?
- 3.0.7 Q: Can I hammer in a replacement ball joint into place?
- 3.0.8 Q: Is it a bad idea to continue driving with a bad ball joint?
- 3.0.9 Q: What is the average cost of replacing a worn-out ball joint?
- 3.0.10 Q: What is the use of a C-frame or clamp?
- 3.0.11 Q: Is it recommended to also replace the upper ball joints at the same time?
- 3.0.12 Q: Can I manually lubricate ball joints?
- 3.0.13 Q: Which type of ball joint do experts recommend: sealed or grease?
- 4 Conclusions
What is the Best Ball Joint Press?
The Astro Pneumatic Tool 78100 is the best ball joint press according to our automobile experts.
Alternatively, the AURELIO TECH 21PCs Ball Joint is an equally versatile tool with all the features that make for a good ball joint press.
Why the Astro Pneumatic Tool 78100 is the best ball joint?
Our expert chose the Astro Pneumatic Tool 78100 as the best ball joint press because it has all the features that make for a great ball joint.
The C-frame is sturdily constructed and will not bend under the pressure of a vehicle.
Top 11 Best Ball Joint Press – Updated list -2021
After combing through thousands of customer reviews and analysing the features of over 40 ball joint press in the market, our experts have listed 11 of the very best.
Please, take out time to read through the features of everyone to located a ball-joint suitable for your vehicle.
01. Astro Pneumatic Tool 78100 – Top Rated Ball Joint Press
- Large ball joint
- All drive screws included
- Triple throat space
- Alloy steel construction
- Full-length throat
The Astro pneumatic tool 78100 is our best-rated ball joint for several reasons.
Firstly, it is designed to provide three times the throat space of an average ball joint press.
Secondly, performance is enhanced by a large ball joint press for maximum clearance and ease of use with vehicle adapters.
Also, the large throat space also simplifies things by providing a notched foot which simultaneously allows ball joint pressing without the need to remove the grease fittings.
According to user preferences, the Astro Pneumatic ball joint comes with both short and long drive screws to allow the luxury of choosing working length as desired.
When it comes to the material make, the newly improved and forged alloy steel by Astro is capable of resisting tough conditions.
- Easy to use
- Large ball press
- Both long and short drives included
- Might need the extension kit
02. AURELIO TECH 21PCs Ball Joint – Best Universal Ball Joint Press
- Carbon steel material
- 21-piece kit
- Lightweight (33 pounds)
- Universal compatibility
- All screws included
The AURELLO TECH ball joint makes it to our top list of best ball joint press because of its universal design.
Moreover, the 21-piece kit has all the tools needed to remove and replace all types and sizes of press-fit ball joints including vans, SUVs, Dodge Rams, Fords and a host of other import and domestic rear wheels’ cars.
This product is the ideal choice for the installation and removal of all kinds of ball joints including U-joints and brake anchors.
“Many users have reported bent or damaged C-Clamp for this model, so it’s worth taking into consideration before making a purchasing decision”.
Aside, This 21-piece ball joint press takes things to another level. We highly recommend this product because of the functionality of all the included pieces.
With this tool, users can mix and match the different adapters to ensure that the tool functions properly.
For the money, we believe that this tool is heads and shoulders higher than competitive products in the same niche.
- 21-piece kit
- High-grade material
- Universal fitting
- Check integrity of C-clamp
03. OEMTOOLS 27089 Ball Joint – Best Portable Ball Joint Press
- Steel material
- Lightweight and sturdy
- Forged C body
- Moulded plastic case
The OEMTOOLS 27089 is designed to remove and install the ball joint on most cars, vans and SUVs.
In some cases, it can even be used to install U-joints on light trucks.
Particularly, the C-clamp of this tool is ruggedly built to withstand the test of time.
Moreover, It features a sturdy rust-resistant finish that ensures the longevity of the clamp.
One notable feature about this product is that it comes in a couple of aesthetic styles to suit the needs and preferences of most users.
It also comes packed in durable moulded plastic, providing an easy to reach storage case for all ball joint fittings.
Exclusively, Certified to be of high quality by most automotive technicians, this tool will work on a lot of cars in removing and installing upper and bottom ball joints.
The mainframe, various adapter cups and anvil rods are all made from high-quality materials.
- High-quality C-Clamp
- Universal fitting
- Strong press
04. Powerbuilt 23 Piece Ball Joint
- Crank pulley
- Ball joint kit
- Sturdy black plastic casing
- Exceeds tool standards
- Powerful press
The powerbuilt 23-piece ball joint kit is the solution to many ball joint problems faced by many cars.
The kit excels were many others have failed, that’s why it is the preferred tool of choices for many automobile technicians.
Without taking the control arm out of the vehicle, this ball joint kit allows the instantaneous removal and installation of different types of ball joints.
It is even compatible with the removal and installation of complex joint systems found in Chrysler vehicles.
“As this is a 23-piece ball joint kit, all parts must be sent. If not, please immediately request a refund from the vendors”.
We understand that replacing ball-joints in cars can be very time consuming mainly requiring the disassembly of about half of the car just to reach them.
This tool cuts the job in half by saving time and the frustration involved in replacing ball joints.
- 23-piece ball kit
- Sturdy casing
- Well-built C-Clamp
- Cast metal stud
05. OTC 7249 Ball Joint
- OTC ball joint kit
- 3- receivable tubes
- 1- installing cup
- A receiving cup
- One installing adapter
- Molded hard casing material
There aren’t many ball joint models in the market that can rival the quality of the OTC 7249 ball joint.
It’s a masterpiece from the manufacturer constructed to ease the job of automobile technicians. The OTC 7249 excels at removing ball joints and U-Joints.
This top-notch tool can also be used to service universal joints from trucks including brake anchor pins from a lot of cars.
“There may be slight issues with the cup size as it may be too small to effectively push the ball joint of a huge truck in place”.
OTC 7249 mitigates the risk associated with distorted C-Clamp by ensuring they are constructed from the finest materials in the industry.
Furthermore, the kit comes with a variety of receiver tubes and other accessories to ensure all ball joint situations are covered.
A molded case core keeps the tools protected when not in use while offering an easy to reach tools to maximize the profitability of technicians in the shortest time possible.
- Universal fitting
- Sturdy C-Clamp
- Strong material casing
- Small cup size
06. Astro Pneumatic Tool 7897 Ball Joint Service Tool and Master Adapter Set
- Ultra duty C-Frame
- All adapters included
- Re-engineered alloy
- Custom made adapters
- Receivable tubes included
This is the second Astro pneumatic tool reviewed in this write-up.
It 7897 universal kit builds on Astro’s expertise in automobile accessories to offer a ball joint press tool with all the adapters needed most four-wheel-drive applications.
The adapters have been designed for users to effortlessly install new ball joints band receive old pressed ball joints.
The 7897 also comes with a custom made adapters with cuts-outs and designs for speciality applications for navigating via obstacles.
“Overall, this seems like a reasonably priced ball joint press, but you’d be better off with a higher quality clamp should the need for heavy-duty application arise”.
The adapters are flexible and highly functional allowing for custom modifications to work with numerous applications.
The modified C-frame of the 7897 model is made from a forged alloy with a sturdy characteristic that surpasses those from the most powerful impact wrenches.
Its design, coupled with the use-case, makes the 7897 a handy universal tool with a broad-spectrum application for the upper and lower ball joints of many utility vehicles.
- Custom made adapters
- Forged alloy C-frame
- Sturdy casing
- Slight clamp issues
07. OTC (8031) Ball Joint Set for Jeep/Truck
- Enlarged C-frame
- 19 different adapters
- Blow-moulded casing
- Replacement screws
- Application Chart with instructions
The OTC 8031 makes our list of best ball joint press by offering a complete set of functional adapters for various speciality application needed for removing or installing the ball joint of most automobile vehicles.
Likely, Owners will appreciate the universal applicability of the OTC 8031 for Chrysler, Dodge light trucks, Cherokee jeeps, Liberty vehicles, Wrangler and a host of other sport utility vehicles.
Beyond universal application, the enlarged C-frame unit is a practical innovation for use with many recent vehicles.
The competitive edge of a large C-frame, 19 different adapters and replacement screw make the OTC one of the choicest ball joint press in the industry.
Finally, the OTC 8031 unit comes with a high clearance manufacturing technique for the C-frame, all enclosed in a heavy-duty blow-moulded case for storage.
- Large C-frame
- Universal application
- Easy to use
- Cup compatibility issues
08. ABN Ball Joint Press Tool Set
- 10 Piece kit
- Installation adapters
- Removal adapters
- Heavy-duty forged steel
- Molded plastic bowl
ABN ball joint press tool represents a versatile tool with all the functional kits needed to remove and replace ball joints, and brake anchor pins in almost any 2 or 4-wheel drive vehicle.
The ball joint press is constructed from heavy-duty steel in a bid to avoid damage under heavy pressure/load.
It’s a complete service tool kit, with all the necessary adapters to provide all that is needed for ball joint applications.
The 10-piece kit includes removal adapters, 3 receiver tubes as well as a sturdy C-frame press and installation tool.
“Despite the claims from the manufacturer that this could be used for heavy-duty applications, we’d strongly advise to only purchase this item for light-moderate ball joint application”.
ABN service tool kit claims to help owners keep the suspension system running smoothly, by helping to effortlessly replace worn out ball joints with the right receivers and adapters.
It functions as a multipurpose tool, helping users as either a ball joint separator tool, tie rod end removal kit, as well as a U-joint press.
- 10-piece kit
- C-frame ball joint press
- Multipurpose tool
- May not be for heavy-duty application
09. Astro Pneumatic Tool 7865 Ball Joint Service Tool with 4-wheel Drive Adapters
- Forged steel tool
- 10-piece kit
- 4-wheel drive service kit
- Large C-frame
- Blow mould storage case
Astro makes the third entrance to our list of best ball joint press with the 7865 balls joint service tool kit.
The C-frame unit constructed from alloy steel is capable of providing the right clearance for ball joint applications without bending under intense pressure.
The 7865 Astro ball joint tool mitigates the problem of damage under intense pressure by providing a sturdy C-frame unit made form alloy with comparable quality with the aforementioned Astro 7897 and out top rated ball joint model; Astro 78100.
This pneumatic ball joint service tool is specific for 4-wheel drives because of the speciality adapters included in the kit.
It allows for the service of old 1967 4-wheel drive vehicles which were constructed with the 30 or 44 Dana front axle.
The 7865 Astro model provides a handy professional tool in a compact box that can be transported anywhere.
- Large C-frame
- Can be used for old model vehicles
- Forged alloy steel frame
- Only specified for 4WD.
10. OTC Ball Joint Intermediate Service Kit (6530) – Best Multipurpose kit
- 20+ Piece adapter
- Multipurpose kit
- 99 loading index rating
- Powerful C-frame
- Application Guide and strong carrying case
This OTC ball Joint as intermediate service kit is tagged model 6530, and is a combination of three of OTC’s best models; 7249, 7918, and 7996. We reviewed the OTC 7249 model as our 5th ball joint tool.
This goes to show that 6530 is a significant improvement from all three models.
It’s an all in one kit with over 20+ adapters making it one of the most versatile models on our list.
There must be an adapter in this massive tool kit for almost any upper or lower ball joint removal and installation press.
The best part is that potential users will get to enough the best of a 3-in-1 ball joint press at a competitive price point.
OTC is a very popular brand in the industry so we are certain that the part must be of very high quality.
- Highly versatile
- Multipurpose tool kit
- Over 20+ adapters
- Cheap-looking small parts
11. GEARWRENCH Universal Ball Joint Separator – Best Budget Ball Joint
- Adjustable ball joint
- Specific for front-wheel drives
- Polished Chrome finish
- Lightweight (1 pound)
- Specific for 15/16-inch sockets
The GEARWRENCH universal ball joint separator is as simplistic as a tool can get. Users who fancy the simplicity of ball joint tools will be interested in this handy tool.
It avoids the complexity that comes with ball joint kits but be aware that this also means it can only be applied to limited front wheel drives.
“Be very careful when purchasing budget ball joint press, most are only good for very light ball joint applications”.
If you have ball joints that refuse to come out because of rust or overuse, with a little bit of DIY skills, this GEARWRECH tool is capable of separating the ball joints in a Snap! It’s quite a handy tool to have around.
- Simplistic design
- Very handy and easy to use
- Weak spots may be prone to damage
How We Picked Best Ball Joint Press
Without the right tools, It’s quite a challenging experience to service the ball joint of many 2 or 4WD vehicles but with the right tools, a lot of time and effort can be saved.
To help you make the right choice, our team of experts have put together a few key areas potential buyers should be on the lookout for.
Ball Joint Construction:
The construction of the ball joint is a top priority that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
The tool needs to be built with the finest materials in the industry to ensure it lasts long and doesn’t get damaged under intense pressure.
Damaged or bent C-frames is one of the major complains our experts came across during this research.
We believe that the use-case of the ball joint must be considered carefully before making a purchasing decision.
While all ball joints are constructed to do the same job, many of them weren’t constructed to function under intense pressure or weight.
Any ball joint press made from heavy-duty steel or correctly forged metal alloys is the best pick for heavy-duty servicing jobs.
Additionally, they will also work well with rusted or corroded ball joints easily, thus, paying extra is worth it.
Ball Joint Portability:
Portability refers to the ease at which the tool can be transported from place to place.
If you are an automobile technician, then portability of a ball joint press has to a priority since it needs to suit your daily activity schedule.
We have reviewed many ball joint presses with moulded carrying cases that have a convenient handle to ease portability.
Well-constructed carrying cases help organize all small parts that come with a kit for easy transportation. Astro and OTC brands all have ball joint kits in well-constructed carrying cases.
While there is nothing wrong with purchasing items from newly introduced brands we believe that it’s better to stick with well-established brands for ball joint tools.
However, there are a few new models from relatively new players in the industry that is worth taking into consideration.
Universal compatibility is a compelling feature that needs to be considered.
There is no point buying a ball joint that is specific to a few cars unless it is expressly stated by the manufacturers or you intend to use a particular car for a long time.
Universal compatibility ensures that a ball joint is versatile enough to work with the front and rear wheels or several car models.
Additionally, the best ball joint press should be versatile enough to remove brake anchor pins.
Professional auto technicians should never compromise on the universal application of any tool they buy.
Type of tools in the set:
Certain basic tools make up a ball joint set. The most important of these tools are the C-frame, adapters, receiver tubes, installation cups, screws etc.
A good ball joint set must have at the very least be a 10-piece set. OTC has a model called 6530, and it is a combination of three of OTC’s best models; 7249, 7918, and 7996.
Also, the 6530 contains no less than 20+ adapters to cover almost all ball joint servicing tasks in a lot of vehicles.
Ball joint type:
While this may not be such an important consideration to make, it’s still worth having a second look at.
There are generally two broad categories of ball joint presses; compression ball joint, and decompression ball joints.
For the compression ball joint, the control arms are located beneath the hub.
If the vehicle’s weight is placed on the Joint, the hub will always get in the way, thus should the ball joint fail, the control arms will be separated from the hub.
On the other hand, decompression ball joints have the control arm attracted to the top of the hub rather than beneath the hub.
As the weight of the vehicle is placed on it, the hub is always in direct contact with the ball joint tool.
The advantage of this type of ball joint is that the control arm is always in direct contact with the hub even when the tool fails.
Price is an important consideration to make. We’d expect that low-priced ball joints will be constructed from poor materials and thus won’t represent good value for money.
On the other hand, higher or moderately priced ball joints ought to be made from high-quality materials.
However, this assumption is not always the case. Be on the lookout for bargains, and discounts to save some money for other needs.
Best Ball Joint Press Kits: Buyer’s Questions
Q: Is it even possible to attempt replacing the ball joint of a vehicle without using a press?
Ans: It’s not possible. A ball joint press is needed to remove or install the ball joints of a vehicle.
This has to be the work of a professional automotive technician or anyone with A+ rated DIY skills.
Q: What is the major function of a dedicated ball joint press?
Ans: It’s pretty straightforward; the ball joint press is a tool that is constructed to help in the effortless removal and installation of the ball joint of a vehicle when the need arises.
Ball joint work by removing these ball joints from either the upper or lower wheels from control arms which were pressed in by manufacturers.
Q: Can I replace the ball joints of my vehicle on my own or do I need a professional?
Ans: Yes, you can replace the ball joints of a car yourself. That’s assuming you have the right technical know-how to complete the job with the right tools.
With the ball joint press from a reputable manufacturer and get to work replacing the ball joints. It shouldn’t take more than 2 hours to complete the job.
Q: How do I know for sure that the ball joints in my car have gone bad?
Ans: There are several ways to correctly identify if the ball joints in a vehicle have gone bad.
The most popular sign is clunking noises from the suspension arm when the steering is navigated right or left.
This noise can’t be missed by an observant driver.
The second most popular sign is excessive vibrations from the front of the vehicle. Lastly, wandering steering may be indicative of bad ball joints.
Q: How long do you think I can drive with a bad ball joint as soon as the signs develop?
Ans: Well, this question is relative and depends on how bad the ball joints have become.
The more the car is made to work on bad ball joints the worse the situation gets. We’d advise changing them immediately to avoid fatal road accidents.
Q: What is the general lifespan of a dedicated ball joint?
Ans: Ball joint replacement is needed once there are excessive wear and tear that could potentially harm the suspension system.
In general terms, it is expected that ball joints ought to be replaced after about 100,000 miles of driving.
Q: Can I hammer in a replacement ball joint into place?
Ans: This is a very bad idea. We advise that you resist the temptation to hammer in ball joints because it can cause undue ripple effects that is capable of causing more harm to the socket or suspension.
Q: Is it a bad idea to continue driving with a bad ball joint?
Ans: Emphatically yes. It’s a really bad idea to keep driving with worn-out ball joints. You should have them replaced by a professional automobile technician.
Q: What is the average cost of replacing a worn-out ball joint?
Ans: The type of car determines the average price of a ball joint replacement. Ball joints are specific to different car brands so expect to spend what is needed to replace the ball joints.
Expect to part ways with at least $400 for a ball joint replacement
Q: What is the use of a C-frame or clamp?
Ans: C-frames or clamps are replacement tools that come with ball joint replacement kits.
They are responsible for pressing the ball joint in place. It contains a dedicated hole at the bottom for the effortless pressing in and out of the ball joint.
Q: Is it recommended to also replace the upper ball joints at the same time?
Ans: Our experts recommended that you carry out both replacements at the same time.
This includes all four ball joints; the two upper and two lower ball joints. Endeavour to also check the ball joint stud if it is damaged. That too may need replacement.
Q: Can I manually lubricate ball joints?
Ans: The ball joints are saddled with a lot of responsibility that allows drivers to steer smoothly.
Therefore, occasionally throwing in a little lubricant their way is a big favour that should ease their job.
Highly mobile parts of vehicles ought to be greased every day.
Q: Which type of ball joint do experts recommend: sealed or grease?
Ans: Grease ball joint will need constant lubrication to function well.
Sealed ball joints on the other hand ensure that foreign contaminants do not jeopardise the integrity of the ball joints.
The choice of which type to pick is purely based on user preferences.
This light review takes a look at 11 of the best ball joint press that are the right tools needed to replace worn-out ball joints with minimal efforts.
It doesn’t matter if you are a vehicle owner or a professional automobile mechanic, these tools are highly functional and versatile.
Be sure to purchase from a reputable manufacturer with a track record of producing high-quality ball joint kits.
Brands like Astro and OTC are a very good place to start.
Be sure to read through or buyer’s guide in other to arm yourself with the right information on what to look out for.