Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $13 - $16 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros: Comfort, built in biner, comes with keeper leash, price, cleaning ability.
Cons: Slightly on the heavier side.
Best Uses: Long free routes, cragging, aid climbing.
Manufacturer: Wild Country
The Wild Country Pro Key comes loaded with features. First off, this nut tool has a unique spring leash that keeps you from dropping the tool accidentally, a great feature on longer routes. If you think this is dorky it is easily removed. This nut tool also had one of the biggest areas to bat your hand against, making it along with the Ushba Titanium nut tool the most comfortable nut tool on the market. The Pro Key also boasts one of the better shaped hook designs and cleans nuts and cams very well. In the smallest of cracks we thought its nut cleaning performance was comparable to the Ushba and ever so slightly behind the two Metolius tools.
At $14.95 it is a great value, it has one of the largest areas to pound on with your hand, it comes with a useful (and removable) spring leash, its relatively low profile head cleans most nuts wonderfully and it is second only to the Metolius tools for cleaning extra small micro stoppers. The Pro Key also hangs toward the front of the pack in the cam removal category. It is less than great mainly for climbers who want the lowest possible weight.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The additional metal on the rear of the WC Pro Key was, along with the Ushba, by far the most comfortable to hammer your palm on during extended nut freeing sessions. The low profile hook fished out small nuts in little cracks better than most and was among the best at hooking onto cam triggers. Beginners really like the leash. Instead of worrying about dropping their nut tools they can focus on the task at hand. The Pro Key has a built in biner to save you the weight of another on the harness and at only $14.95 it is very reasonably priced.
No real gripes. The Pro Key is slightly on the heavier side even without the leash. For those who might consider the leash a dislike, remember that it is removable.
The Pro Key is great as a good, functional all-around nut tool, for having a leash on longer traditional routes where dropping the tool would be a big deal. It sports a nice pommel a feature anyone can enjoy especially if your climbing partner likes to set all of their nuts really hard.
This is our choice for best value at only $14.95. For under $15 you get one of the better nut and cam cleaners, every feature you could want on a nut tool, combined with one of the least hand-destroying models on the market.
None with a leash like this!
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 11, 2014
Credit: Ian Nicholson
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