Ice tools

8:53 p.m. on March 25, 2012 (EDT)
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making my first purchases on ice tools soon while they prices are lowered at the end of the season. I've done my research already but I know there's a lot of knowledge here and wanted to see what others have for advice.

I'm stuck between the Grivel X monsters

http://www.backcountry.com/grivel-x-monster-ice-tool

and

the Black Diamond Reactors

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/technical-ice-tools/reactor-ice-tool/

9:34 p.m. on March 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I don't know anything about ice axes.  But the Grivel X Monster Ice Tool looks like some kind of scary medieval torture device. 

1:54 a.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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My pick would be the Reactors

4:36 a.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I generally like Black Diamond products, but do not own either of the tools you are considering.  Personally I prefer a leash, as I feel concerned about catching a fall based on my grip strength, plus the tool can be wrenched from your hand if the placement causes unforeseen dynamics when forced to carry your full weight.

Ed

9:25 a.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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ya ed that's a reasonable point about the leash, but I know some people still use "leashless" tools with a lease on their harness and I will likely do that as well.

looks like everyone so far is going for the reactor over the xmonster. My reason for thinking the xmonster may have an advantage is that it might be better for dry tooling and mixed terrain because it has a slimmer profile and a pick that will fit more easily into cracks and delicate ice, where I can see the reactor performing better on pure ice climbs. 

any other thoughts?

9:33 p.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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iClimb said:

..looks like everyone so far is going for the reactor over the xmonster. My reason for thinking the xmonster may have an advantage is that it might be better for dry tooling and mixed terrain because it has a slimmer profile and a pick that will fit more easily into cracks and delicate ice, where I can see the reactor performing better on pure ice climbs. 

any other thoughts?

Hmm, I was thinking the BD stock would be less likely to deflect when dry tooling calls out for a cam action to set the blade in a crack.  Six of one, half dozen of another I guess.

Ed

12:16 a.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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so long as the grivel shaft & handle are durable, they are both probably pretty good options. 

11:57 a.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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thanks everyone. Reviews for both have been very positive with relatively few complaints. Complaints for either one generally come from highly experienced individuals who compare the tools to something that costs twice as much and say that the more expensive one has better balance or something.

 

From what I've read and seen from videos of the tools being used, both are very durable and effective.

 

So...for the price difference, I'm going with grivel to save $30 per tool, and also I think they look neat and that they are more cutting edge in terms of design.

4:40 p.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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I know I'm late in it but I would go with the reactors. Changing the blade is easier and so is sharpening. As for dry tooling performance when I started I couldn't see the difference from one another. On hard ice they vibrate quite a lot when smacking them in the ice. Also when the ice is very hard it's easier to get first stick with a heavier tool. The larger handle helps on cold temperature and your stuck to wear mittens.

5:28 p.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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590 forum posts

thanks louis, I know you are an avid ice climber so your advice is well taken and I'm reconsidering the reactors now.

5:21 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I found the BD Reactors for $142 each, which was even less then the Grivel's, so I purchased the Reactors and they should be here by Saturday at the latest. I also got free 3 day shipping!! I can give the website to anyone who's interested, there seem to be plenty more Reactors.

7:24 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Good for you my friend :-) And an awesome deal! 

Always a pleasure to help, if you ever com by the great white north give a holler, I'd be happy to take you on a climb in Quebec. There are some great classics under three hours of drive from my place.

Have a good day fellow climber ;-)

August 22, 2014
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