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Metolius Feather Review

This ultra-lightweight tool is great for big missions where every ounce counts
Metolius Feather
Photo: Metolius
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $18 List | $13.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightest nut tool
Cons:  Expensive, not very durable
Manufacturer:   Metolius
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 23, 2021
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 5
  • Nut Cleaning - 35% 8
  • Cam Cleaning - 25% 7
  • Ease of use - 20% 7
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Weight - 10% 10

Our Verdict

The aptly named Metolius Feather is the lightest tool in our review, and while it does compromise a little in the durability factor, we feel it's plenty tough for freeing the occasional stuck cam in the alpine or working out a nut or two your partner weighted after whimpering our favorite four-letter word for shame (take). We didn't try to break this tool, but it sure feels like we could if we tried hard enough. It got pretty bent out of shape after freeing a stuck tri-cam, so for most folks, we recommend something more durable

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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $13.46 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
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$18.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightest nut toolBest tool for thin crack nut extrication, ComfortableLarge gate on the connector biner, toughComfort, built-in biner, comes with keeper leash, price, cleaning abilityInexpensive, tough
Cons Expensive, not very durableExpensive, relatively heavyOn the pricey endSlightly on the heavier sideRelatively heavy, requires an additional carabiner to attach to harness
Bottom Line This ultra-lightweight tool is great for big missions where every ounce countsA simple, classic design that is a jack of all tradesYou can't go wrong with this simple and lightweight nut toolIf you drop things all the time, you should consider this nut toolThis basic tool is up to the task even if you're short on cash
Rating Categories Metolius Feather Metolius Torque Black Diamond Wiregate Wild Country Pro Key CAMP USA Nut Tool
Nut Cleaning (35%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Cam Cleaning (25%)
7.0
10.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (10%)
10.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
7.0
Specs Metolius Feather Metolius Torque Black Diamond Wiregate Wild Country Pro Key CAMP USA Nut Tool
Weight 0.74 oz 2.30 oz 1.62 oz 3.84 oz 2.64 oz
Length 20.5 cm 20.5 cm 20.5 cm 20.5 cm 20.5 cm
Leash No No No Yes No
Clip-in Biner Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Rounded End Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

This is a great choice for fast and light missions in the alpine where every ounce counts and you're not likely to be aid climbing. For El Cap missions, go with the Feather's burlier brother, the Metolius Torque. For a similar design that's a touch more durable with a bigger clip-in point, take a look at the Black Diamond Wire Gate Nut Tool.

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Performance Comparison


This toll is so light you'll forget it's clipped to your harness.
This toll is so light you'll forget it's clipped to your harness.
Photo: Matt Bento

Nut Cleaning


The Feather features the same rounded surface as the Torque to give you a hefty smashing surface for your palm when you need to pound out a fixed nut. Only the Wild Country Pro Key has a larger smashing surface. Additionally, the Feather has one of the thinnest hooked ends of any of the tools we tested, allowing it to access micro nuts in super-thin seems.

Gentle tapping only with the feather, as bashing will quickly bend...
Gentle tapping only with the feather, as bashing will quickly bend this fragile tool.
Photo: Matt Bento

Cam Cleaning


Constructed from aluminum, this tool gave us pause when prying at stuck cam lobes. You could potentially get enough leverage to break the tool if you're really going at it while you try to wiggle the lobes out of a placement in soft sandstone. The shape of the hooked end is great for snagging cam triggers, but it's not very pointy, so it won't fit inside smaller holes in the cam lobes. On the plus side, it's less likely to stab you if you take a weird fall.

The feather can hook and pull on a hard-to-reach cam trigger, but...
The feather can hook and pull on a hard-to-reach cam trigger, but it's too flimsy to really pry at the lobes if they're stuck.
Photo: Matt Bento

Ease of Handling


Unclip it from your harness, clip it to the rope or a sling, and the Feather is ready to get to work on the newest (and possibly oldest) addition to your rack. However, it's worth noting that the clip-in point on the BD Wiregate Nut Tool is a bit larger and less finicky to take off your harness. Butterfingers? Check out the Wild Country Pro Key with its stretchy keeper leash.

This is the same length as the torque, the other tool from Metolius.
This is the same length as the torque, the other tool from Metolius.
Photo: Matt Bento

Durability


This is the only tool we tested that is made from aluminum instead of stainless steel. The first time we used it, our tester bent it while smashing out a black tri-cam. Know the limits of your equipment and plan accordingly.

It didn't take very long for our Feather to get bent out of shape.
It didn't take very long for our Feather to get bent out of shape.
Photo: Matt Bento

Weight


At a scant 0.74 ounces, this is by far the lightest tool we tested, and honestly, it's still very functional.

The Feather is the lightest tool in the lineup, just be gentle with...
The Feather is the lightest tool in the lineup, just be gentle with it.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


Lightweight usually equates to a more expensive product and the Feather is one of the more expensive tools. Not too bad though if you consider that the next heaviest too (the BD Wiregate) is twice the weight of the Feather.

Conclusion


If you live by the mantra "light is right" then do yourself a favor and pick up the Metolius Feather for your next alpine romp.

Matt Bento

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