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Gear Review

5 5

My favorite pitons

Angles are lovely, Lost Arrows are fine, but for thin crack protection, Knifeblades are divine. ;)

I like Bugs & Blades as they will often give you bomber protection where nothing else will fit, like in a super-thin crack. For some of the fatter cracks, you can use cams, hexes or stoppers, but when it comes to thin little seams, nothing inspires confidence like a Bug driven to the hilt.

Because of the 4130 ChroMo and the ground taper blade, both of these pitons go in very smoothly and get tighter with each hammer stroke. If you can sink a Bug to the hilt in a horizontal granite crack, you are golden!

I carry a small selection (4-6) of these on a biner for alpine climbing in places like the Tetons, or when I think I might have to set an anchor while Ski Mountaineering. They are lightweight, stack well against each other and can be bomber in the right place.

For wall climbing, they can take the abuse of being hammered in and out many times, yet still stay usable. If the blade gets bent, it can be pounded flat again and reused until its time has come to be welded into a high mountain crack, which is how all Bugs & Blades would like to spend eternity.

The Knifeblades are smaller and thinner than the Bugaboos. If in doubt, try some Bugs first as the Blades are for reeeeally skinny little cracks.