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Petzl Laser Speed Light ice screws


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Ryan Curry · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 425

I'm thinking about upgrading my screw rack and have been looking at these Petzl screws. Does anyone have any experience with 'em? I'm wondering how the aluminum holds up and if they "clean" different than a traditional steel screw.

Mark Hammond · · Eldorado Springs, CO · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 220

Search this site. Plenty to read.

Caleb Mallory · · Seattle, N.Carolina, &Hong… · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 425

They've held up well for the one season I've used them. They seem to clean faster than my BD turbos.

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

I just picked some up. I used a friends last year and thought they were awesome. Didn't notice any real difference in cleaning. They start well and the drop in weight is really nice.

Aaron Nash · · North Bend, WA · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 216

They work well; start and clean just like a steel petzl screw.

Some friends of mine have had some issues with the screws cracking at the joint between the teeth and the shaft after a season and a half of use. Some look corroded around the joint as well. It was just one or two out of 10+ screws.

This is kind of indicative of the the galvanic potential created between a steel/aluminum interface. This is just guesswork on my part, as I have no idea if petzl added some sort of isolating compound in between the two materials when joining the teeth to the body.
A light coat of Fluidfilm or something similar inside the screws between uses could also help with this...maybe.

I think they're great for a few pieces, but due to the above, I personally wouldn't build a whole rack out of them. That's just me; they're perfectly safe, just keep an eye on them.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

Per a discussion last year on (I think) NEIce.com, some folks have found that they can be tough to place the second or third time during the day. The culprit is drops of water freezing to the inner bore that are so tightly frozen on that they inhibit the escape of the core of chips as the screw is driven in. I've had this happen to me but it's not a huge deal. Typical steel screws don't do this to any noticeable degree however.

On the plus side - being so light, they tend not to fall out of the starter hole during that critical first "let go and re-grab it" step.

coldfinger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 55

A few points:

They are larger in diameter than the steel screws out there which means in my experience this:
1. They are MUCH better for cutting full depth V threads as you don't have to be quite as accurate.
2..They might be a tad harder to drive, but its not noticeable due to the excellent handle
3. They do have greater holding power.

Love the hanger/handle it is the best out there! It also allows one to fold the handle and tilt the hanger to a very high angle which allows very tight placements.

The weight saving is very noticeable.

They are aluminum which is very conductive so in very cold conditions with running water they can feel stuck while driving them, I just back up a bit and keep going.

They did clean far better while used in the Alaska Range. I had real trouble clearing the cores of the steel PETZL screws we had but zero with the aluminum ones.

Take greater care with the aluminum tubes, i.e. not banging them on rock or metal to clear plugs.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 653

Are the laser speed lights really a larger diameter than the "standard" laser speeds? I've never noticed a difference, and I own both.

coldfinger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 55

Yes they are!

Grab one of each and look down the bore. The aluminum walls are thicker than the steel walls for strength reasons, but it is also a bigger tube.

The first hybrid aluminum/steel teeth screw--The LOWE RATS--also had a thicker diameter and it was claimed had better holding power in suboptimal ice.

Just my opinion but the first generations of modern screws were narrow and that helped the speed of placement. The hanger/handle combination on the new Petzl screws is so good (mainly the big knob) that it really minimizes the extra resistance from cutting larger hole.

Craghead · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 75

Just bought a Laser speed light to play with (13cm), in combo with my BD expresses but I can't find a Kn rating on them anywhere, or in the packaging. Anyone know this info or know how well they can hold falls/weight vs. the BD expresses. The threads look noticeably less aggressive than on my BD screws.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 653
Craghead wrote:Just bought a Laser speed light to play with (13cm), in combo with my BD expresses but I can't find a Kn rating on them anywhere, or in the packaging. Anyone know this info or know how well they can hold falls/weight vs. the BD expresses. The threads look noticeably less aggressive than on my BD screws.
Craghead, here is what I found:

The UIAA Has the following requirements for ice screws:

UIAA Ice screw Requirements

However, reading the technical notice on Petzl's website, it appears that only the 21 cm crew is UIAA approved. That said, we all know the strength of a screw comes from the threads rather than the length. I'm 100% confident in the strength of these screws in good ice.
Craghead · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 75

Thanks Nick. Didn't even consider looking at the UIAA site.

Craghead · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 75

After placing one of these on lead side by side with the BD expresses, I'm a believer. Placed faster and they are incredibly sharp. Nice work Petzl. Use some of your holiday cash to pick up a few of these if you haven't already.

Update 1/14/17: After using these screws a few more times in Ouray (not in the ice park) I found that they sometimes bind up in certain types of ice and are tough to drive in all the way. Gave my partner some issues on lead, which can play games with your lead head. The stainless steel screws did not seem to bind up as much FWIW. I personally still love these screws but am hesitant to build an entire rack of them.

dezz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10
Cracking Ice screws Petzl Laser Ultra Light

The steel bit expands and contracts in different way what leads to this. I wouldn't expect mass recall from Petzl.
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

The cracking was discussed somewhere else recently; Facebook maybe. Petzl said it was a manuf. tolerance issue and has already been corrected.

Mark Ra · · Frange, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Gunkiemike wrote:The cracking was discussed somewhere else recently; Facebook maybe. Petzl said it was a manuf. tolerance issue and has already been corrected.
I saw this too. Petzl also said to call them if you find any cracks and they'll replace the screws.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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