Hands-on Gear Review

Compare nut tool ratings side-by-side >

Metolius Freenut Review

   
Top Pick Award

Nut Tools

  • Currently 4.8/5
Overall avg rating 4.8 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: March 9, 2010
Street Price:   $20
Pros:  Best tool for thin crack nut extrication, Comfortable
Cons:  Expensive, relatively heavy
Best Uses:  Long traditional routes, Big walls, Cragging
User Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.7 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (3/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Metolius
Review by: Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ February 9, 2010  
Overview
Discontinued Product
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.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
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.

Dislikes
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.

Best Application
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).

Value
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

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 9, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.7)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 75%  (3)
4 star: 25%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Dec 2, 2009 - 06:28am
Chris McNamara · Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab
This is the nut I haveused the most. It is a good value and I like the slim profile. While it is not the absolute lightest, it gets hung up less than other tools which is ultimately more important than a few grams. The only real drawback I found is that it is not great at cleaning out placements. This is not an issue on popular trad routes, but if you are doing a ton of obscure route, its nice to have a tool with a sharper tip like the Ushba or Wild Country Pro Key. If it had a tip better for digging out placements, I would give it 5 stars.

I would definitely get this over the extractor. The extra few dollars is well worth having a surface that is more comfortable on your palm. But its a tough call about whether to get this over the Pro Key which I have not used but looks awesome. The Ushba also feels awesome. I have just handled it in REI a couple times but it is one of the few nut tools that gets you excited about cleaning pitches! Its just so light and cool looking.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Mar 9, 2010 - 11:28am
msiddens · Climber
I went to this after 15 years or so with an old school flat wild country version. No more torn up and bruised palms from the pounding. The top of this tool is comfortized to wear it makes the task about as much fun as you could hope for. Better yet, climb with people that don't place crappy nuts.

Get one.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Dec 1, 2009 - 03:05pm
Bill Becher · Climber · Westlake Village, CA
I think the beefed up end to make pounding on the nut tool more comfortable is really important.. You can always use a biner (or better a hex) as a hammer, but it's quicker to just bang with your palm.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used the Metolius Freenut?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Metolius Free Nut tool
Credit: Ian Nicholson
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Nut Tools for Climbing

The Best Nut Tools for Climbing

We looked for the best nut tools for cleaning nuts, cleaning cams, palm pounding comfort, durably, and how nicely they rode on our harnesses.
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Related Gear Reviews
Wild Country Pro Key

Wild Country Pro Key
$15
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Best Buy Award
Ushba Titanium Nut Tool

Ushba Titanium Nut Tool
$35
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Metolius Torque

Metolius Torque
$14.95
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Metolius Feather

Metolius Feather
$18
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Metolius Extractor

Metolius Extractor
$17
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Omega Caranut

Omega Caranut
$12
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
More related gear reviews...