Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Very useful size range, Anodized heads, Durable
Cons: Not as useful in flaring placements
Best Uses: Trad Climbing
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
In 1972 Chouinard Equipment released seven sizes of Stoppers. A lot has changed since then but the folks at Black Diamond (which came out of Chouinard) have been making climbing nuts longer than anyone in North America. Black Diamond’s Stoppers are some of the most durable nuts around. They will easily last even the most avid climber for many seasons. BD is tied for second for the largest range of sizes in a standard set (although they claim #1 and #2 are for direct aid only). The Stoppers set had one of the most usable size ranges we tested with little or no gap between sizes. Color coded heads help to distinguish between sizes. The variety of placements was average but they worked well in a great variety of rock types.
They are simple nuts that are easy to assess in the rock (a good trait for climbers just breaking into the sport). They fit most constrictions and parallel sided cracks quite well. One downside is their inability to fit flaring cracks well like the top scoring DMM Offset Nut. They are stout, dependable nuts that excel in the smaller sizes and are average in the larger. We lean toward getting the ABC Huevo because it is very similar but less expensive
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
BD Stoppers have rounded edges that make for easier cleaning — a lot easier than DMM Offsets or Wallnuts and slightly more difficult than Omega Pacific Wedgies. The Stoppers' curve fits a wide range of cracks well, although they make the smaller sizes straight for more surface contact and thus more holding power. Black Diamond produces one of the biggest size ranges for their aluminum nuts, giving users a nice continuous size run. Anodized heads matching their cams make for easy size recognition. They fit parallel cracks well, about the same as Wild Country Rocks on a Wire and not quite as well as DMM Wallnuts. Stoppers are possibly the most durable nuts on the market, their wires rarely kinking or fraying and the nut itself never seeming to get too beat up. We like both orientations of the Stopper, giving above average marks for the usability on both axes. We love how their smaller nuts place. Black Diamond produces very useful small sizes, a range that most other manufacturers don't even offer.
One of our only gripes, and it's a big one, is that Stoppers don't fit as large a range of cracks as DMM Offsets or Wild Country Superlight Rocks in the middle and larger sizes (above size #5 or #6). We didn't have a really hard time trying to make them work, they just were not as versatile as others and their performance was average. Their fit versatility is about the same as for Wild Country Rocks. We also don't like that Stoppers' larger size heads tend to slide around on the cable while adjusting them in the stone.
Stoppers are great for people looking to get a set of nuts without spending too much money. If you are hard on your nuts, note that Stoppers have incredible durability. Stoppers clean nicely and offer decent but not fantastic placement versatility. They excel in parallel and bottleneck placements and are rather average in flairs and funky pods.
The price point of the Stoppers is on the better side. They offer great value, a big size range and durable quality that will last you as long as any nut on the market. A lightly better value is the ABC Huevo which performed similarly but costs less.
Black Diamond Micro Stopper
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 10, 2010
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