Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Nut Tool Review

Black Diamond nut tool in profile
Price:  $11 List | $6.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Price, Good for hooking cam triggers, opens beer bottles well.
Cons:  Least comfortable to pound on, no clip in biner.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight:  48g
Length:  20.5cm
Leash?:  No
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Our Verdict

Black Diamonds Nut Tool has certainly stood the test of time. We've never seen anyone come close to breaking or bending one. The profile of the nose is slightly above average, easily removing fixed stoppers in all but the smallest cracks. It has a nice hook and a good shape, helping it retrieve stuck cams by latching onto their triggers during attempts to retrieve them. At $10 it is a great value, but it was the most palm-bruising of any nut tool we tested.

For climbers on a tight budget, this tool is quite functional and gets the job done. If you are willing to spend a little more money, most people would be happier either in the lighter or more comfortable category. For another $5, the Wild Country Pro Key performed much better and is more comfortable.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Nut Tools for Climbing

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson

Last Updated:
Monday
November 30, 2009

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Likes


The profile of the Black Diamond Nut Tool is slightly above the pack for squeezing into thin cracks to retrieve smaller pieces. The curve along the length of the tool helps with tapping pieces from above as well as giving the ability to hook cam triggers effectively. The BD nut tool is also one of the toughest on the market. This is the best nut tool at opening beer bottles (the end fits over a bottle cap perfectly).

Dislikes


The only and primary drawback to this nut tool was the fact that it was one of the most uncomfortable of any we tested. It bruised and cut our hands badly enough that on long routes we would look for a small rock to carry to help clean buried pieces. Another dislike, but not nearly as pressing, is the fact that it also lacks a built-in carabiner, forcing you to dedicate one to clipping it in with. This makes its light weight of 48 grams somewhat misleading.

Best Application


Black Diamond makes a good functional nut tool for those seeking the absolute best price. It is great for those getting into traditional climbing and not wanting to spend more money than they have to get something that works. It is great for any free route and it will get the job done on aid climbs. The weight saved from not having an extra palm-protecting piece of metal could be a benefit for those on colder alpine climbs and wearing gloves most of the route.

Value


Being one of the cheapest tools on the market certainly counts for something. However, the fact that this tool is painful combined with the fact that you need to dedicate another carabineer to clipping it into your harness decreases its overall value.
Ian Nicholson


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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 6, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (2.5)

75% of 4 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 80%  (4)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 20%  (1)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Feb 4, 2010 - 11:56pm
Bill Mc Kirgan · Climber · Cedar Rapids, Iowa
This is fine gear for the price. I wrap athletic tape on the end as padding to protect the hands. A loop of utility cord is good for keeping it secure for its traditional use.


As a bottle opener the padding and cord modification gets in the way, but it's not so bad.

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

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   Oct 6, 2010 - 01:48pm
W. S. · Climber · The West
It doesn't seem to come out that often, but when it does, the BD tool works as well as any other.

The best option is to climb with people who don't weld their nuts, but these tools are nice to have when a nut does get stuck and are invaluable for retrieving booty.

Pros:
Dirt cheap (got mine for $6), durable, has a bottle opener (but seriously, learn to open a bottle with a carabiner).

Cons: Not the most comfortable to pound on with your palm.

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

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   Mar 10, 2010 - 07:00pm
clockclimb · Climber · Orem, Utah
This is my least favorite of all my nut tools. I have two bootied from the base of climbs (very rusty). No hand pad, not the best shaped nose. My partner dislike them also.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

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   Feb 5, 2010 - 02:31am
Cpt0bvi0u5 · Climber · Merced CA
When you need a tool that gets the job done and you don't care about fancy features or superlight-ness then this is the tool for you. Being a poor college student dirtbag (how bout that for a combo) I was strapped for cash and really needed a nut tool for climbing. Went to the Mountain Shop and scored this baby for $8, and all in all it does what it is designed to. It gets stuck nuts out, is durable even after repeatedly being pounded throughout the climb, and opens beers. And at the end of the day isn't that every climbers dream? I do understand the complaints about it being painful to pound on and this is one of the only issues I have with this device. Yet this can somewhat be resolved by hitting it if you have gloves on or by using a biner. Sure its not the fanciest device on the market by my opinion is take the $25 you'd save by buying this over the Ushba nut tool and buy some beers or other climbing gear. This will get the job done same as any other tool, so why not.

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


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