Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $35
Pros: Lightweight, long, well-designed nose for cleaning nuts and cams
Cons: Expensive, nose is a little sharp and tends to get caught on things
Best Uses: Alpine Climbing, long routes where weight is the most important factor
At 46 grams this is the lightest nut tool we tested, making it a great option when weight is of utmost concern. It also sports a built-in carabiner that further keeps its weight to a minimum, eliminating the need for another caribiner. The Ushba was one of the more comfortable on which to bludgeon our palms in attempts to release sometimes fickle nuts. It has a well-designed nose and hook that led to good nut cleaning performances, especially when freeing smaller wires in tiny fissures. It did about as well as the Wild Country Pro Key and not quite as well as the Metolius tools in this category. Its long length gave extra reach for seemingly lost pieces. However, this length caused it to occasionally catch annoyingly on other gear on our harness.
It is also did a fantastic job at cleaning both nuts and cams. It does catch on things some but this wasnt a huge deal as long as you dont keep your gear sling too long. It is the most expensive nut tool, so if you are on a tight budget, consider the Wild Country Pro Key or Metolius Extractor.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
In addition to being lightest nut tool we tested, the Ushba added a lot of extra pounding surface at end to allow easier nut removal without bruising your hands. We found it to be more comfortable than the Metolius Freenut. It has large finger holes, offering better grip for pulling and stabbing. It is the longest nut tool we tested, providing the ability to extract extra deep pieces. It has a good hook for cams and a relatively narrow head that scored high for small nut removal. We also liked its built-in carabiner slightly more than either of the Metolius tools or the Wild Country because it is easier to get on and off our harness.
This nut tool is the longest in the review and has a sharp nose. This meant it got caught and twisted up with other gear more than other models we tested. This wasn't a big deal, but it was a little annoying. It can put a hole in your pack with its sharp "hook" if you aren't careful packing. It is the most expensive nut tool we tested. Finally, when we pounded on it with the hammer of an ice tool the titanium flexed more than other nut tools on the market. This meant less efficient energy transfer.
This nut tool works for all applications but excels on alpine climbs, long routes, big approaches, and any time weight is the critical factor. It is also a excellent nut tool for anyone willing to spend extra money.
While expensive, it does bring a lot to the table for those looking for the features it offers.
The comparable Metolius Freenut
— Ian Nicholson
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Most recent review: June 1, 2010
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