The Black Diamond Refillable Chalk Shot is a happy compromise between coverage and cleanliness. Friction fiends will find it to easy to squeeze the chalk through the porous cloth, while gym staff will appreciate there being less chalk to clean off the floor. At first glance, the BD ball appears to be the same product as the chalk sock from Metolius, but after some first-hand experience, our testers feel there are some marked differences between these two balls.We'll go ahead and cut to the chase here: If your gym bans loose chalk (there are some compelling reasons for this) and you hate using a chalk ball, the BD is the one to get. It's more porous than its Metolius competition, so you'll get more chalk on your hands. If you're legitimately concerned about your climber kids making a mess or you want to improve your gym's air quality, the Metolius Super Chalk Sock is a better choice.
Black Diamond Refillable Chalk Shot Review
Cons: Still allows a lot of chalk dust into the air
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Compare to Similar Products
Black Diamond Refillable Chalk Shot
|Price||$7 List||$2.75 at Backcountry||$15 List||$2.49 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$19.00 at REI|
|Pros||Very porous cloth, decent coverage for a chalk ball||Widely available, good texture and friction, nice price||Excellent value, good friction and coverage||Coats hands well, least expensive "climbing specific" chalk||Great Coverage, Excellent friction, almost no dust|
|Cons||Still allows a lot of chalk dust into the air||Easy to spill, creates a lot of dust||Unusable if you have cuts and abrasions on your hands||Low friction, doesn't last as long as other chalks||Not a great value|
|Bottom Line||This chalk ball limits dust and mess in your gym and at your local crag without sacrificing coverage||Widely available and reasonably priced, this chalk takes the taco in our competition||Similar performance to Secret Stuff at a lower price||A good choice if you like to use loads of chalk||This chalk cream isn't cheap, but it could be that little advantage that makes the difference between success and failure|
|Rating Categories||Refillable Chalk Shot||Black Diamond White Gold||Mammut Liquid Chalk||Metolius Super Chalk||Friction Labs Secret Stuff|
|Friction & Overall Feel (25%)|
|Specs||Refillable Chalk...||Black Diamond...||Mammut Liquid Chalk||Metolius Super Chalk||Friction Labs...|
|Price Per oz||$4.95 per ball||$1.03/oz||$1.94/oz||$0.80/oz||$7.60/oz|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Friction & Overall Feel
For chalk to pass through the small holes in the cloth and onto your hands, it has to have a very fine, powdery texture. Some of our testers prefer the Gorilla Grip chunkier texture of loose chalk, but if you fill this chalk sock with chunky chalk, you won't get much out of it. If you dig the silky texture, then you're psyched!
You'll get much better coverage with the Black Diamond Chalk Shot than with the Metolius version. Significantly more chalk covered the hands of our testers using the BD Shot because of its porous cloth. One of our testers appreciated this while testing chalk in a climbing gym in North Carolina, where it turns out to be just as humid indoors as it is outside. The BD ball is a tad smaller than the Metolius and arrived with the chalk packed in tightly, where the Metolius feels more spongy and squeezable.
This chalk ball will prevent big spills and wasted chalk all over the floor, but it's the messier of the chalk ball options in this review for a couple reasons. First of all, the powdery chalk comes through the cloth so easily that we don't feel like it actually does a ton for the air quality. Just handling the ball right out of the package, our testers managed to get a light dusting of chalk everywhere.
In terms of refilling, the Metolius Super Chalk Sock is the easier option since it has a slightly wider opening. The elastic cord on the BD Shot does a fine job of keeping the chalk in though, and the cord lock allows you to seal it up tightly.
This refillable ball will last a long time as long as you don't overfill it and are gentle when you cinch it closed. BD sells a non-refillable version for a dollar less, and we really can't think of a good reason to spend a dollar less for something you're just going to throw away. The Metolius refillable Chalk Sock is a little less, so unless you're buying these things by the hundreds, just go with what's most appealing to you.
Our testers were pleasantly surprised to discover actual differences between the chalk balls in this review, and while one isn't necessarily better than the other, it's great to have options!
— Matt Bento