Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Stopper Review

Black Diamond Stopper Climbing Nut
Price:  $10 List | $7.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Very useful size range, anodized heads, durable
Cons:  Not as useful in flaring placements
Editors' Rating:   
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Type of Nut Design:  Curve
# Size range:  #1-13
Actual Size Range:  4-35mm
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Our Verdict

In 1972 Chouinard Equipment released seven sizes of Stoppers. A lot has changed since then but the folks at Black Diamond (which came out of Chouinard) have been making climbing nuts longer than anyone in North America. Black Diamond's Stoppers are some of the most durable nuts around. They will easily last even the most avid climber for many seasons. BD is tied for second for the largest range of sizes in a standard set (although they claim #1 and #2 are for direct aid only). The Stoppers set had one of the most usable size ranges we tested with little or no gap between sizes. Color-coded heads help to distinguish between sizes. The variety of placements was average but they worked well in a great variety of rock types.

They are simple nuts that are easy to assess in the rock (a good trait for climbers just breaking into the sport). They fit most constrictions and parallel sided cracks quite well. One downside is their inability to fit flaring cracks well like the top scoring DMM Offset Nut. They are stout, dependable nuts that excel in the smaller sizes and are average in the larger. We lean toward getting the Cypher Huevo because it is very similar but less expensive.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Climbing Nuts and Stoppers

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson

Last Updated:
Sunday
December 13, 2009

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Likes


BD Stoppers have rounded edges that make for easier cleaning — a lot easier than DMM Offsets or Wallnuts and slightly more difficult than Omega Pacific Wedgies. The Stoppers' curve fits a wide range of cracks well, although they make the smaller sizes straight for more surface contact and thus more holding power. Black Diamond produces one of the biggest size ranges for their aluminum nuts, giving users a nice continuous size run. Anodized heads matching their cams make for easy size recognition. They fit parallel cracks well, about the same as Wild Country Rocks on a Wire and not quite as well as DMM Wallnuts. Stoppers are possibly the most durable nuts on the market, their wires rarely kinking or fraying and the nut itself never seeming to get too beat up. We like both orientations of the Stopper, giving above average marks for the usability on both axes. We love how their smaller nuts place. Black Diamond produces very useful small sizes, a range that most other manufacturers don't even offer.

Dislikes


One of our only gripes, and it's a big one, is that Stoppers don't fit as large a range of cracks as DMM Offsets or Wild Country Superlight Rocks in the middle and larger sizes (above size #5 or #6). We didn't have a really hard time trying to make them work, they just were not as versatile as others and their performance was average. Their fit versatility is about the same as for Wild Country Rocks. We also don't like that Stoppers' larger size heads tend to slide around on the cable while adjusting them in the stone.

Best Application


Stoppers are great for people looking to get a set of nuts without spending too much money. If you are hard on your nuts, note that Stoppers have incredible durability. Stoppers clean nicely and offer decent but not fantastic placement versatility. They excel in parallel and bottleneck placements and are rather average in flairs and funky pods.

Value


The price point of the Stoppers is on the better side. They offer great value, a big size range and durable quality that will last you as long as any nut on the market. A lightly better value is the Cypher Huevo which performed similarly but costs less.
Ian Nicholson


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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 10, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (5.0)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 75%  (3)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 25%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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   Mar 10, 2010 - 07:38pm
Sascha · Climber · Sebastopol, CA
One issue I haven't seen addressed when considering stoppers from different manufacturers is the user's familiarity with the particular shape. I've used BD stoppers long enough that I can pretty much look at a given crack and say, that's a #7, and sink the right one on my first try. I know juuuust how that little curve is going to settle in. On the other hand, one time I led with my partner's rack of what I think were DMM Wallnuts, which have a totally different shape. Two of them in a row came right back out at me, to my considerable consternation, after I thought they were placed okay. My partner, of course, had wanted us to use his nuts because he liked placing those better. Perhaps this is a reason to diversify your skill base with different shaped pro by buying some of each, just in case you have to use someone else's rack some day — or reason to stick with what you know, especially if you're on a pitch where you're pushing yourself.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Climber

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   Mar 10, 2010 - 07:35pm
clockclimb · Climber · Orem, Utah
Nice basic stopper, 90% of the time it works as well or better than any of the many other nuts I have used.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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   Jan 22, 2010 - 03:14am
Cpt0bvi0u5 · Climber · Merced CA
These are probably the most used stoppers out there and for good reason. Black Diamond has made some truly good stoppers here. Sure they aren't that great in flares but in anything else these will serve you well. They can take a lot of punishment and will last for years. A good thing about these compared to the DMM's is that the nuts do not slide up the cables assuring that you won't have to fumble around with them on a climb. I have placed and fallen on these pieces and I have to say I will continue using these as my main set of stoppers. And if you supplement these with a set of the DMM offsets you will be thinking that SLCD is some abbreviation for a new Korean pop band. Overall a great stopper and would highly recommend everyone to have at least one set of these on their rack.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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