You do not have to have a tool. It can be done, its not always easy, but it can be done. I never used one during our first couple seasons. It is easier and quicker with an installation tool. If you buy a tool try to find one that is steel. I have one that is a steel tapered “cone”, it works great. The aluminum one with 3 arms that sits on top of the clutch hub works but the aluminum galls up and the shoes can be hard to slip on.