Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $20
Pros: Best tool for thin crack nut extrication, Comfortable
Cons: Expensive, relatively heavy
Best Uses: Long traditional routes, Big walls, Cragging
Metolius has discontinued the Freenut and replaced it with the Torque which adds built in wrenches for tightening loose bolts. We haven't done a full hands on review of the Torque yet but we expect that it adds a bit of function to an already great tool. Also check out the Metolius Feather as well.
See our full Nut Tool Review to see all of the options out there or keep reading to see what we thought of the now discontinued Freenut.
The Metolius Free Nut shares the same extra thin profile as the Metolius Extractor and as such is one of the best tools for removing micro nuts jammed in the smallest crevasses. It is basically an Extractor with a more comfortable surface for your palm. It has an excellent shape that excels at fishing out buried cams and nuts trapped in strange positions. The built-in carabiner saves the weight of carring another one on your rack. As for comfort, we found it to be in the top three behind the Wild Country Pro Key and the Ushba Titanium Nut Tool.
We recommend this over the Extractor because it is only a few dollars more and much more comfortable. If you climb in areas where you place a lot of small pieces, then this tool is hard to beat. If you are just focused on price, also consider the Wild Country Pro Key. And if weight is a top concern, compare it with the Ushba.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Metolius Extractor and Metolius Freenut were our top choices for excavating even the most immovable nuts in small cracks. Their thin profiles got into some of the smallest fissures to probe out seemingly lost wires. Both these tools have an excellent shape, making them both effective at snagging cam triggers and hooking funky nut placements. We also appreciated the Freenut's additional metal on its tail end, making it much less painful on our palms.
The only down side is that at $20 it is one of the more expensive nut tools available. Like the Extractor, if you are pounding hard with a wall hammer or an ice tool you could potentially bend the built-in carabiner to the point where it won't close properly. This is probably not possible to do with your hand so it is really only an issue for wall climbers and alpine climbers.
This great nut tool excels on traditional climbs. Like the Extractor, it also excels for aid climbs and routes with many small nut placements (Yosemite, Eldo, Arapalis).
Though on the expensive side, the Metolius Freenut is still an excellent nut tool, worth the price if you can appreciate its thin crack cleaning prowess and palm comforting pommel.
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 9, 2010
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