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Black Diamond Knifeblade Review

   

Pitons

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: June 14, 2010
Street Price:   $12 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Great in expanding cracks, horizontal placements and under roofs.
Cons:  Not as secure as Tomahawks and Peckers in most situations, can't be used for clean aid.
Best Uses:  Big walls and aid climbs that are generally A3 or harder.
User Rating:     
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 (4.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ June 11, 2010  
Overview
Black Diamond Knifeblades are the oldest pitons used for thin cracks. They used to be the only way to get up skinny cracks. Then came Birdbeaks, multiple sizes of the Black Diamond Pecker and the Moses Tomahawk. Knifeblades have fewer uses today but are still an essential part of a big wall nailing rack. The bigger sizes of Knifeblades are called Black Diamond Bugaboo.

If you are a serious aid climber, you will need a few of thesebut just a few. In general, it's better to invest in the Moses Tomahawk and Black Diamond Pecker. Those are not only more secure in most nailing situations, they can also sometimes be hand placed for clean aid moves (you can't hand place a Knifeblade very securely).

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
Black Diamond Knifeblades are versatile. They work under roofs and in horizontal cracks where Tomahawks and Peckers are not as effective. They are great for expanding flakes because they have a lot of surface area. Once they get beat up a little they can actually work even better in expanding cracks. Knifeblades are great for piton stacks, especially when placed behind a Black Diamond Angle. Piton stacking is a bit of a lost art but still gets you through tricky sections here and there.

Dislikes
Most traditional Knifeblade placements are now better served by the Moses Tomahawk or Black Diamond Pecker. The Tomahawk has a hooking action that the Knifeblade does not. This means that in most placements the Tomahawk or Pecker is more secure and can even be hand placed. Peckers are especially better in the larger sizes in sandstone. In general, you have to pound on Knifeblades harder than Peckers to get them to feel secure. This means they are often more destructive to the rock to clean. Knifeblades are generally the least durable piton. They bend easily, especially at the tip.

Best Application
Knifeblades excel on horizontal cracks and under roofs. While there are many sizes, the #2 an #3 are used 90 percent of the time. The #1 is very uncommon. I probably have placed less than 20 in my life.

Value
These pitons are not cheap but you usually only need a few of them.

Chris McNamara

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Where to Buy?

Seller Price  Shipping Cost Visit
Amazon $11.95 Check Site
MountainGear $11.95
RockCreek $11.95

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 14, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Jun 14, 2010 - 01:49pm
Mike. · Climber
Spot on assessment IMO.

My 'blades (and 'boos) don't see much action since the larger beak-type pins came in. But in horizontals as described, they're the sh#t. I placed one KB on all of Magic Mushroom, and too many beak-style pins to recount. In addition to the many resident Peckers already on the route.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Black Diamond Knifeblades
Credit: BlackDiamondEquipment.com
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Seller Price
Amazon $11.95
MountainGear $11.95
RockCreek $11.95
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