Lightweight InsulationLightweight Insulation
Bugaboos and Knifeblades are great tools for thin cracks. Knifeblades are stamped, bent and precision ground for the sole purpose of fitting into thin cracks. Bugaboos are just slightly thicker, beefier versions of blades for more abuse in thicker cracks.

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Black Diamond Knifeblades/Bugaboos

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Go where no other pro will go!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Having relied on the smaller of these pins, hand placed, in a pod, at the crux of a forgotten route and inspiring the confidence in me to free climb on - i'd say they deserve the hype.

Not only for aid routes, but for putting up free route where seams can take these puppies allows you to slam them to the hilt and not have to drill a bolt and save your forearms for the climbing.

Given, discretion is always advised while nailing, I always carry a small quiver of these when going up on new routes.

5 5

Just in Case

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I've only had to use these twice so far, but oh boy it's nice to have them when you need them.

5 5

The standard....

or at least half the standard pin rack for the Rockies choss. Light enough and required on mank limestone. Reusable thnakfully 'cus thaey aint cheap! Long thin and knife blades are the handy ones.

5 5

Doubles as a can opener!

O.K. If you are heading up on the gnar in Yosemite, Pakistan, Baffin or beyond you need these....period. But when you get there... you realize you forgot the can opener!!! Dope!!! Well have no fear get out the wall hammer and beat that can of mystery meat into submission. They really ought to mention this in the product description.

Responded on

Cedar, I know exactly what you mean. Some guys did the same thing with a tent stake and a hammer when I was in Scouts. They drove the stake into their can of peaches, then stuck one of the line hooks in the hole, and whacked the other one with a hammer till it opened. Then they dove in and ate like starved animals....

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.

5 5

BD pins

I have used european pins and they are crap when compaired to these. I never head out on an alipine climb without a few of these, and just when you are really puckered they get really handy. Very tough, not brittle, a staple piece of gear.

5 5

Are there any other choices?

Well, by default, these things have to be good, it is one of your only choices for hardware in this country! Everything else will be imported from Europe. That being said, BD, with its roots in Chouinard equipment has been at this game for a long, long time, and knifeblades and bugaboos are big wall, alpine, and mixed climbing rack standards. Always good to have a selection of 3 of each for the above mentioned endeavors, and the BD pins have never ever failed me.