Hands-on Gear Review

Trango Shark Review

Trango Shark
By: Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 30, 2009
Price:  $25 List  |  $18.71 at Backcountry - 25% Off
Pros:  A knife, cleans nuts relatively well, good value if you need a knife as well.
Cons:  Heavy, not as comfy to beat on, takes at least a mid-size biner to keep the knife from opening.
Manufacturer:   Trango

Our Verdict

The Trango Shark has a unique feature: a small knife perfect for cutting webbing or cordage. So while this does add to the weight and make it expensive, it also means you don't have to carry or buy an extra knife. If you always bring a knife when you climb, then the Trango Shark should be on your radar. And don't worry; as long as there is a 'biner clipped to the nut tool, there is no way it can open accidentally.

The Shark is also a great option for folks who climb in less popular areas where you might have to replace old webbing before the ASCA gets there to make it safer and put new cordage on rappel anchors. So despite its $25 price, anyone who carries a knife can benefit from this combo deal. Beyond the knife, the Shark cleaned nuts better than the DMM Nutter but not as well as the Wild Country Pro Key. It wasn't very nice to beat on with a hand but it wasn't the worst, either.

Our Analysis and Test Results



The built in-knife is pretty cool. It is especially handy if you climb in less traveled areas where anchor webbing often needs to be replaced. It cuts away old tat quickly and makes it impossible to forget your knife. As a nut tool, it has a good curved shape that helps it get at funky nuts and hook walked-in cam triggers. It is in the middle of the pack as far as hook profile for retrieving small nuts. It wasn't quite as good as the Wild Country Pro Key but slightly better than the Black Diamond Nut Tool. While it doesn't have extra metal specifically for hand pounding comfort, the knife lines up relatively well to make it a slightly nicer experience than some.


Because you need to keep a carbiner clipped in to keep the knife from accidentally opening, it makes pounding with a wall hammer or your palm more difficult. When you take the 'biner out you do risk the knife opening unintentionally. We did not experience this but it could happen. Even with the carabiner removed this tool wasnt very nice to beat on with a hand, again falling short of a nut tool with a more specifically designed surface.

Best Application

The Trango Shark is great for anyone who might already have a separate knife on their harness. The Shark is also a great option for folks who climb in less popular areas with generally long routes where you might have to replace old webbing or put new cordage on rappel anchors. Or if you climb on longer routes where backing off is more than just a small possibility and you will be forced to leave gear and cordage as you retreat downward.


One of the primary reasons to buy the Trango Shark is the fact that it comes with a knife. Anyone who climbs traditional routes and carries a knife can benefit from this 2-for-1 nut tool. At $24.95 this is not a bad price if you were considering both a nut tool and a knife. As just a nut tool it is on the more expensive side, but you really have to view it as a nut tool and a knife.

Ian Nicholson

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Most recent review: March 10, 2010
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100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
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   Mar 10, 2010 - 06:53pm
clockclimb · Climber · Orem, Utah

The knife is great, handy to have so you don't need to carry one in your pocket. It is a thick heavy duty tool great for heavy duty use and abuse such as agressive crack cleaning or digging rocks from your bivvy site. Cons: heavy, expensive, no wide spot to bang your hand against.

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

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