The Best Nuts and Stoppers

We looked at 11 different types of nuts and tested them in a wide range of cracks in a mixture of rock types. We compared their ability to hold a fall in a full range of fissures, from pin scars to parallel sided cracks. We compared and weighed factors that we believed most appropriate for alpine, aid, and free climbing. We also looked at what could be the best buy for a person getting his or her first rack to break into the traditional climbing world.

Read the full review below >

Review by: ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab

Top Ranked Nuts and Stoppers Displaying 1 - 5 of 13 << Previous | View All | Next >>
Our Ranking #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Product Name
DMM Offset Nut
DMM Offset Nut
Read the Review
Video video review
Wild Country Superlight Rocks
Wild Country Superlight Rocks
Read the Review
DMM Peenut
DMM Peenut
Read the Review
Video video review
DMM Brass Offsets
DMM Brass Offsets
Read the Review
Video video review
Wild Country Rocks
Wild Country Rocks
Read the Review
Editors' Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award  Editors' Choice Award   
Street Price Varies $17 - $70
Compare at 3 sellers
$15
Compare at 3 sellers
Varies $11 - $53
Compare at 3 sellers
Varies $17 - $23
Compare at 5 sellers
Varies $6.97 - $8.95
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score 
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73
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73
Editors' Rating
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User Rating
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100% recommend it (12/12)
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100% recommend it (4/4)
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100% recommend it (6/6)
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1 rating
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100% recommend it (3/3)
Pros Light weight, excelled in pin scars, fantastic placement versatilityLight weight, works well in pin scars.Durable, excels in pins scars, light weightFits in pin scars great, works well in irregular rock typesDurable, largest size range availible, fairly light
Cons Cables tend to get kinked, not many sizes offeredSingle cable isn't as durable over timeMetal is not as soft giving them less bite in marginal placementsCables tend to get kinked, difficult to cleanNot as useful in flaring cracks
Best Uses Aid climbing, traditional climbing especially in older climbing areas with lots of pin scarsAlpine climbing, aid climbing, routes where weight is a factorTrad climbing, aid climbing, alpine climbingAid climbing, micro protected free routesTraditional free climbs, alpine climbing
Date Reviewed Feb 13, 2010Dec 15, 2009Feb 09, 2010Feb 09, 2010Jan 22, 2010
Weighted Scores DMM Offset Nut Wild Country Superlight Rocks DMM Peenut DMM Brass Offsets Wild Country Rocks
Flared Cracks - 35%
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Parallel Cracks - 25%
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8
Cable Durability - 10%
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Ease Of Removal - 20%
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Orientation Options - 15%
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7
Product Specs DMM Offset Nut Wild Country Superlight Rocks DMM Peenut DMM Brass Offsets Wild Country Rocks
Type of Nut Design Offset Curve Offset Offset Curve and Offset
# Size range #7-11 #1-6 #1-5 #0-6 #1-14
Actual Size Range 12-30mm 3.5-15mm 5-14mm 3-14mm 7-50mm
Weight for Set 6.9oz 3.5oz 2.1oz 2.3oz 24oz
Weight for 10.5mm-11mm Crack 27g (#7) 19g (#4) 16g (#5 smaller than the rest 7.5-9.5mm) 24g (#6 which is a little small 9.8-7.7mm on norrow axis) 28g (#4)
Warranty 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


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DMM Brass Offsets Climbing Nut
DMM Brass Offsets Climbing Nut
$16.50 ($105/set)
100
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73
Editors' Choice Award
Video video review
DMM Offset Nut
DMM Offset Nut
$16 ($75/set)
100
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80
Editors' Choice Award
Video video review
ABC Huevo Climbing Nut
ABC Huevo Climbing Nut
$6-7 ($85/set)
100
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70
Best Buy Award
DMM Peenut
DMM Peenut
$50/set
100
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75
Top Pick Award
Video video review
Metolius Ultralight Curve Nut
Metolius Ultralight Curve Nut
$14 ($130/set)
100
0
71
Top Pick Award
DMM Brass Offsets
$16.50 ($105/set)
100
0
73
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DMM Offset Nut
$16 ($75/set)
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80
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ABC Huevo
$6-7 ($85/set)
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70
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DMM Peenut
$50/set
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75
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Wild Country Superlight Rocks
$14 (74/set)
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78
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Metolius Ultralight Curve Nut
$14 ($130/set)
100
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71
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DMM Wallnut
$10-12 ($107/set)
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70
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Frost Works Sentinel Nuts
$8 ($72/set)
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70
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Black Diamond Micro Stopper
$15 ($88/set)
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66
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Black Diamond Stopper
$8-10 ($115/set)
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69
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Wild Country Rocks
$13-17 ($137/set)
100
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73
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Metolius Astro Nut
$14.50 ($65/set)
100
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71
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Omega Pacific Wedgies
$7.20-8.70per/$95 for set
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We tested for bomber placement in a variety of cracks. We compared how easy each nut was to clean and its overall durability. We preformed side-by-side comparisons on those points and we also checked to see how each nut placed along both its axes.

Pin Scars
Pin scars result when pitons are hammered into the rock. These scars are common in climbing areas throughout North America, from Yosemite and the Index town walls to Zion. Cam lovers put a lot of nuts into pin scars because this is often where cams won't work. We thought the DMM Alloy Offsets both brass and aluminum models were the best in pin scars. They fit perfectly in pods where other nuts would barely hold body weight. The DMM Peenuts also excelled at smaller, flaring placements and were much more durable than their similarly-sized brass counterparts. The Wild Country Superlight Rocks also feature an offset taper and fit pin scars almost as well as the offset models mentioned above. Superlight Rocks fit in some small funky pods even better because of their low profile head and single cable. Superlight Rocks were best for free climbers, being bomber in small, funky placements. However, they were a little too tall to fit into micro fissures often used by aid climbers.

Parallel Sided Cracks
While no nut was incredible in perfectly parallel sided cracks (and hey, that's what cams are for) some nuts preformed better than others when cracks constricted less than you might hope for. The Metolius Ultralight Curve Nuts were one of our two top picks for parallel sided cracks. Their double curve design allows three points of contact. The other top pick was the DMM Wallnut, which excelled because its high curvature along the side-to-side axis (the most common placement) helped the nut cam more than others. The BD Stoppers, Omega Pacific Wedgies and Wild Country Rocks on a Wire weren't far behind. This was another place where Wild Country Superlight Rocks showed their versatility. They are tapered for pin scars on one axis with the other axis being the same as that on Rocks on a Wire. The DMM Alloy Offsets didn't fare as well when placed in the typical orientation, but when placed wide side face out they could run with the rest.

How Easy to Clean
We found nuts with more rounded edges were slightly easier to clean. However, it was cruxy trying to give a single nut the Best in Class. With their relatively straight-sided taper, the Frost Sentinel Nut was the easiest to clean. But not far behind, with a fairly similar design, were the Omega Pacific Wedgies and ABC Huevos with their edges slightly more rounded than those on the Black Diamond Stoppers and Wild Country Rocks on a Wire. The Metolius Nuts were the hardest to clean; DMM Wallnuts were close behind. The notch on the Wallnut, while conforming well to highly textured rock, tended to get hung up on small crystals and other deformities.

Durability
Black Diamond Stoppers, Wild Country Rocks on a Wire and DMM Wallnuts were the most durable as far as cables not getting kinked or frayed or heads of the nut not getting too banged up during extended cleaning sessions. All aluminum headed nuts stood up about equally well, although DMM Wallnuts stood a little above the rest, being extra burly because of their hot forged heads. There was a broader range in the durability of each nut's cables. Nuts where the cable was fixed or didn't allow the head to move easily were prone to kinked cables. This tended to happen just below the head after too many upward jerks. Over time this kinking would lead to the cable coming unraveled. The least durable cables were the DMM Brass Offsets, although by a small margin over other brass nuts. Among aluminum nuts, the DMM Alloy Offset Nuts' cables started kinking the soonest. You can avoid this if you are nicer to your nuts poke them out with a nut tool instead of yanking up on them. The DMM Offset has trouble in this area for two reasons: its cable is glued into the head and the shape of the offset head prevents it from rotating in the crack, causing the cable to bend. The only non-aluminum nuts we reviewed were the DMM brass offsets. Brass or copper is simply less durable than aluminum, so the heads will certainly get more beat up.

Orientation Options
This refers to a nut's ability to be placed along both of its axes, a feature of all the nuts we tested. All of them are most commonly placed with the narrow side facing out, giving more surface area to the rock and thus more stability. Some nuts stood out for versatility. Wild Country Superlight Rocks had two excellent options, each complementing the other. On one axis they had an offset taper for pin scars and flares; on the other axis they had the same shape as Rocks on a Wire, which helped them excel in parallel or irregular cracks. Not too far behind was the Metolius Curve Nut with its double curve design, which gave three points of contact on either side. The DMM Wallnuts had two of the most different options for placement orientation. The Frost Works Sentinel Nuts have both sides with an aggressive taper. This was easy to read, leading us to place them in both orientations more often than others.

Bottom Line Nuts
After our testing was done our choice was the same as the our earlier selection based on years of experience. The DMM Alloy Offset nuts are our OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice because they are simply the most versatile nut available, fitting the greatest variety of placements. They were the runaway favorite for pin scars and flares. With a groove cut on each side they fit irregular rock as well as smooth stone. They are one of the lightest nuts and the matching color scheme with DMM and Wild Country Nuts made them user friendly. They are the most expensive nuts we tested. However, the fact that they were among the more difficult to clean and their rank just below average in parallel cracks didn't keep them from being worth every penny of $15 each. The ABC Huevos were our OutdoorGearLab Best Buy because they preformed every bit as well as many other models, yet were by far the best price. If you are a climber on a budget you won't be giving up much with the Huevos.

Bottom Line Micro Nuts
We choose the DMM Brass Offsets as the OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice because they fit the greatest variety of small fissures the best. Also, the primary reason most people buy brass nuts is for aid climbing. When aid climbing you are often placing nuts in pin scars, for which the DMM Brass Offsets were the runaway favorite. That said, we did like the Metolius Astro Nuts for their stability and the BD Micro Stoppers because of the large surface area they provided, giving greater security on those mini-placements.

Ian Nicholson
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