Useful Brake Tools
Here is a small collection of tools that I own. Comments and some pictures of tools on my 'To Get' list. Some are more useful then others and some just won't work on some types of brakes. Most of these are related to Disc brakes, but I'll put up a tool kit that works on Drum brakes too. Note most of piston spreader tools will not work on fixed calipers as they are usually designed for floating style where the caliper has openings to allow access to one side.
Dual Piston Compressor
This is about the best one that I have found. Strong and simple. The sad part is I can't remember where I got it from, likely an automotive tool supplier like Tool Topia. Works on larger floating calipers. I have used this on the Excursion and on the Expedition with good results. (LEFT)
Good news, I found the link on Amazon - Dual Piston Compressor
El Cheapo Compressor
This simple brake piston compressor works on smaller calipers and can work sometimes on dual calipers. This typically will only work on floating calipers like it's big brother above. This one I picked up from Amazon and is about as inexpensive as it gets. You sometimes are better off with a larger C-Clamp and something to press the pistons in with. (RIGHT)
This simple tools is often very effective. You use it with a small socket or bar and you place it between the tops of the pads to catch the backing plates and you just twist it to force the pistons in. This one will work on calipers that you can get to the tops of the pads. This is a handy low cost tool as well. I picked this up at Amazon and it's about the same price as the 'El Cheapo' compressor
Rear Piston Retractor
This set is for compression the piston on later model cars where the piston MUST twist (clockwise or counter-clockwise) to be pushed back into the caliper. I don't know if this set can be used for regular pistons, but it looks like it will and Amazon has this for a good price, with good reviews as well. They make similar kits that do not have the 'twisting' feature but this is about the same price so seems like a good buy.
Tools on the TO GET list
HD Piston Compressor
This tool looked very promising for solid mount fixed calipers. For dual or more piston calipers I would expect a used set of pads would make this work very well. Amazon had this, it's not cheap, but I think it's one that might work well. My only concern is the thickness of the paddles. For my cars they all have 1"+ rotor thickness so this with a set of used pads (or metal plate) would work great.
Drum Brake Tools
I don't have any cars with drum brakes except for the Sunbeam Tiger, and those will not be on the car at some point. But, I always wanted a complete set of Drum Brake Tools. Love the name or some of them - The Brake Spoon... Amazon has these and it's on my list too.