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Get BD screws instead
How to put this gently...? These screws suck. I've got 4 of these. Every one of them is about twice as hard to place as my BD Express or Turbo screws. Maybe three times as hard. Very hard to start; I've been stuck leaning on one of these things, cranking, twisting, really pushing, and it just spins in the half-inch hole its made, and doesn't bite any more. Spins and spins and doesn't bite. Once they do bite and start going in, they are almost always so hard to turn that I can't just hold the rotating hanger and crank; I have to grab-turn-release, grab-turn-release, again and again until it's in. By contrast, with every one of my BD Express screws, once it has started to bite and it's in about an inch or so, I can just grab that knob and spin away and moments later I'm climbing again. With my one Turbo screw I use for V-threads, it goes in just as easy, sans knob. The Laser Sonic is simply an inferior screw. The threads are dull and have all kinds of manufacturing artifacts all over them (in the picture note the notch on the thread on the left screw and the textured band on the right screw). These really suck. Really.
How to Place an Ice Screw with Stephen Koch
Backcountry.com athlete Stephen Koch demonstrates how to place an ice screw while ice climbing.
Stephen Koch doing his morning stretching on Golden Tears
Near Dubois, WY in the Wind River Range.
Photo Copyright - John de Neufville / Stephen Koch collection.
1. Stephen Koch uses them - probably the best endorsement a product can get.
2. place fast and easy thanks to the swivel head
3. stay sharp
4. they rack pretty well with the petzl caritool (not well with the BD ice clipper)
5. the second can clean them easily and knock out the ice on the spot
6. can get 2 biners through hanger if you use small biners *DMM phantoms are great for this
1. the arm between the screw and the hanger gets in the way so you have to excavate lots of ice out of tight spaces
2. clipping the screw part way through the placement sounds like a great idea, but is pretty hard to do in practice. I find that it ends up taking more time and increasing the chance of falling on an incomplete placement. You have to make sure the screw is placed deep enough that when you clip the rope the weight of the rope doesn't change the angle or pull the screw. Then, when finishing the placement, you have to fight the weight of your rope for the upwards half of each rotation. If I really need an oh $#!+ piece I still find it faster to clip a sling to a well placed tool.
Cool Concept not without flaws
Pretty sweet Screw, when compared to the BD Express. The biner in the hangers gives you more torque to set the screw. But without the biner attached to the hanger it seemed to take more rotations to get the screw to bite on harder ice, when compared to the BD express. Also, the ice seemed to stick to the inside of the Petzl screw, you had to whip the screw to remove the ice. But I like that you can keep it attached to the rope when the 2nd is cleaning the route. No worries about dropping the screw
Don't waste your time
I purchased a few of these screws to supplement the Black Diamond Express screws that make up the majority of my ice rack. I was intrigued by swivelling hanger and thought they could be safer than other ice screws because they would have some power to hold a fall while screwed half-way in.I found, however, that these screws are much more difficult to use in every other way than the Black Diamond Express screws. These screws are difficult to get started, overly difficult to screw into solid ice, and tend to bind up with ice after being removed in way the BD screws do not. When I take these screws out on the wet climb, I just put them in my jacket because I know I won't be able to get the ice out until it melts. All of these factors combined, I find that I prefer to never use these screws.Save yourself the time and go with Black Diamond.
does this screw have the tapered inner...
does this screw have the tapered inner core like the BD screws to reduce ice clogging inside the shaft?
As far as i know it does not. From personal experience using both, you can't go wrong either way, but i enjoy the BD because of the double hanger and the grinder knob.
Nick: It does. I have used these on many a multi pitch and they clear just as well as the BD's. They accept more than one biner too so for a hanging belay they are as versitile as others. These are the best !
I used these in kandersteg last weekend along with BD turbo express and I feel these are better. The BD's bite into the ice quicker but, these have an overall easier placing. Much easier to use with gloves and one handed, also how the head is angled away from the ice. Your second doesn't have to worry about dropping them because they can stay clip in. As a bonus they come with petzl ice flute for storage and racking. Definitely buy these over any other ice screw.
Easily the best ice screw out there
Light, doesn't have an annoying handle mechanism like the Grivels, and is much easier to operate with bulky gloves than the BD Express. Comes with the cool ice flute thing for storing and racking. I think the best feature is that it's easy to use with bulky gloves, but the reduced likelihood of dropping a screw is pretty sweet too. Worth the money.
FASTER AND SAFER SCREW
The Laser Sonic by Petzl goes in smoothly. You can clip your draw and turn the screw while being clipped in. So if you fall, heaven forbid, while placing the screw, which can happen, with this screw there is a chance you will be caught if your screw holds. In good ice your screw doesn't have to be in very far to hold a fall, especially with some rope out. You can also take these screws out WITHOUT unclipping them, so they are clipped into the rope until you clip it into your harness, then unclip it from the rope, eliminating the drop possibility. When placing this screw, once it is established and I know it won't fall out, I grab the swivel with my thumb and forefinger and spin it in. They go in like butter! They can be a bit unruly to rack due to the swiveling clip in point. To limit this unruliness, stabilize the swivel when racking. Happy climbing!
Not what I was used to... Now I love them
If you're used to BD screws, either the turbos or the express, or any other screw, these might seem a little weird at first. The integrated hanger/thumb screw allows for faster placement and easier removal, eliminating the need to unclip before you unscrew them from the ice. These are great screws!
Sets and cleans easily thanks to rotating head. Can fit 2 crabs in the head which is a bonus.Don't buy from Backcountry, their service sucks, send the wrong products then not reply to emails. Go elsewhere
easy, fast placement
These screws are great screw for placing and removing really fast on the ice. Racking the swivel heads is a little funky, but you can get used to it.