Mountain Project Logo

Ultralight Ice Screws: BD vs. Petzl


NorCalNomad · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 110
NateC wrote:

To be clear, I wasn't talking about people who work in shops and use the product regularly. I'm talking specifically about how often "pro deals" get extended to that person's friends thereby eliminating potential retail sales. It's something you see frequently. I mean technically, people with pro deals are usually instructed not to discuss them publicly at all but look at how often they are discussed in threads on here.

I really wasn't taking a shot at Sam. I want to be clear about that. I was simply just putting a thought out there that was inspired by this thread. 

You have the remember that MP or ST isn't exactly a good representation of the average climber population. Go to the gym and ask a ton of people if they go on the MP or ST forums, most will say not. For ever person with a prodeal there are thousands without one.

William Buchanan · · Seattle, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 10

I'm interested specifically in a comparison in their ability to drive into wet ice. Does anyone have inner dimension data for the BD?

Some people think that the smaller inner diameter of the aluminum screws prevents wet ice from being ejected when driven, which is what clogs them. I'd love to see if the BD have larger inner diameters.

William Buchanan · · Seattle, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 10
@greg do you happen to have micrometer handy to measure the dimensions of inner and outer diameter?


greggrylls wrote: I have,  I've got a handful of the BD screws that I got from somebody who was testing them for BD.  He apparently wasn't supposed to sell them as BD messaged me about it..  Anyway mine are pre production so they may have slightly changed them.  IMO the wire handle it a bit floppy, it has never bent on me but I don't love the handle.   They start about as well as the current BD screws but as you mentioned can be harder to finish because of ice conditions.  I experienced this with a BD and a petzl aluminum screw on rainier they placed fine in the alpine ice but a few placements in the liberty cap shrund and they literally wouldn't go in.  I got one in maybe 1/3 of the way using my tool to turn the hangar...  Fine when standing in steep snow, wouldn't be ok on a steep lead.  Granted this was in bullet hard glacial ice... In CO and UT I never had any problems in WI.

I've only got longs one so they are typically my anchor screws and I stick with steel petzl or bd screws on lead.   All that being said I'd buy petzl. They start like butter if you're so inclined to aluminum screws and are aware of the limitations.


greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 177

Replying to show I’ve seen this.  I’ll check tomorrow and post.  

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I held the screws at the shop the other day. Just want to point out that the wire handle on the BDs is a non issue. Its heavy gauge and much more rigid than any wire on a wiregate carabiner. Lighter than the petzls you can tell but definitely won't hold you back racking up the laser lights instead. Both are nice. I have about 10 laser lights and won't sell them for BDs. 85$ a pop msrp is also puke worthy 

William Buchanan · · Seattle, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 10
greggrylls wrote: Replying to show I’ve seen this.  I’ll check tomorrow and post.  

@greg bumping this


Curious as to both shaft and thread OD, as well as ID. Thanks!
wisam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 60

Only played with the bd screws a little bit at an ice park. The bd is lighter but I found the Petzls to place better. 

greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 177

Petzl Specs/BD

Inner diameter 13 mm/14approximately.   (this looks to be a bigger difference eyeballing it but I don't have the right tool for the job)
Outer thread diameter 20.5 mm/20.5-1
Outer diameter (tube) 18 mm/18mm

Surprisingly similar.  I was doing this with a simple woodworking caliper.  The measurement that is most likely off is the inner diameter but not sure how relevant that is anyway.

The other measurements should be good to around a half mm.  

-Greg

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
greggrylls wrote: Petzl Specs/BD

Inner diameter 13 mm/14approximately.   (this looks to be a bigger difference eyeballing it but I don't have the right tool for the job)
Outer thread diameter 20.5 mm/20.5-1
Outer diameter (tube) 18 mm/18mm

Surprisingly similar.  I was doing this with a simple woodworking caliper.  The measurement that is most likely off is the inner diameter but not sure how relevant that is anyway.

The other measurements should be good to around a half mm.  

-Greg

Thanks man. Were you able to weigh them down to the gram? Potentially the 1/10gm if they were close enough in some sizes? That'd be sweet.

zoso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 495

He doesn't have a gram scale, not that nerdy.

At least I think he's not that nerdy

bearded sam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 145

I'll be at the ice park all weekend serving coffee with a gram scale down to .01, I'll try to make this happen

Malcolm Daly · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 380

I worked as the hardware product manager at Lowe Alpine Systems while we developed the RATS (Ratcheting Aluminum Tube Screw) in the late ‘80s. At the time they were, by far, the best and easiest-to-place screws available. I, too, experienced the bulletproof ice at the top of Liberty Ridge. It was the hardest ice I had ever seen and a SNARG wouldn’t go in and to get a RATS in, I had to tap it in while I turned it in. It was like hand drilling bolt in granite and took about as long. Some things never change. Just sayin...

My geriatric memory fails me but we may have tried to use titaniaum (heavier than aluminum, weaker than steel) for the tip material but switched to steel in production. The concept was to use a large diameter tube with thick walls to gain additional strength and to help with clearing ice. It didn’t work too well—the ice-clearing part—so I started working with an arms manufacturer on a coating similar to what is used on the actions of machine guns. It looked hopeful but then Black Diamond figured out how to micro-polish steel screws and all of a sudden no one wanted RATS and SNARGS anymore and the project stalled.

One of the things that was a problem with the RATS was that the sharp outer edges of the threads would get all buggered up as you were carrying them and transporting them with your gear. As they got all roughed up they were a lot harder to turn in and out. They got sticky with use! It looks like Petzl has done a good job addressing this; the outer edges of the threads are well rounded. BD not so much. Only time will tell if they hold up.

Climb Safe,
Mal

aclayden · · Denver, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 90

The hanger on the BD ultralights looks huge to me. One of the big pluses for the Petzl screws, IMO, is the short hanger. That allows much easier placements without having to clear surrounding ice if you have featured ice where you are placing. In other words, it's easier to get the last few turns because the hanger (unlike on BD) isn't hanging up on nearby variations and bumps in the ice. In my experience with BD turbo express versus Petzl Laser Speed and Laser Speed Lights, the Petzls start way easier.

Brassmonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 115

One reason that I've heard several times now for buying the BD's is that the steel tip is longer, allowing for the ability to sharpen them more times.  Though it looks like this from the outside, this is incorrect.  If you look at the inside of the BD screw, the steel ends about 1-2 mm below the teeth.  BD sleeved the exterior of the screw with the steel tip, instead of the interior like Petzl. The amount of steel below the teeth is actually slightly longer on the Petzl than the BD's.

The real question is, what will BD copy next?  Totems?  

Doug Hutchinson · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 135

I have less than 10 pitches using the BDs ultralights (and several years with the Petzl laser lights) and so far I find the Petzls always are easier/faster to get started. In some ice conditions the difference is minor, and sometimes it is significant. And, some of Petzls have had a LOT of use, meaning the new BDs should outperform them if the screws were similar since the BDs are brand new sharp now.  I have staring racking the two BDs I own at the bottom of my ice clippers somewhat hoping I don't have to place one. They are both nice screws but I definitely prefer the Petzls.

greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 177

That's been my experience as well Doug.  The BDs get put in the "extra" screws that I only bring on trips or long pitches that are hard for me.

I personally use mostly steel screws for my daily drivers and save the aluminums for my extra screws or for alpine stuff.  

Here are some weights though they aren't very helpful since I only have limited sizing in aluminum.

Petzl 17cm = 101 grams
BD 19 cm  =89 grams
BD 21 c    = 95 grams

So yes BDs are lighter but not a meaningful ammount IMO.   If you're actually placing these on steep ice on lead get the Petzls IMO.  If you just want to save weight on dedicated V thread/anchor screws a couple BD's wouldn't hurt.   Also if you're used to regular expresses you'll care less.  Petzl screws start and go in so so much easier now.

Marc-Olivier Chabot · · Gatineau, QC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 440

We are all taking about BD or Petzl but the screw is for me the Kailas Swift Screw and is at good price at 73 USD instead of 109 USD.

Weight: 82g (13cm), 88g (16cm) and 97g (20cm).

Made of ultralight 7075 high-density aluminum for tube and hanger / stainless steel for teeth and arm of the handle.

Hanger/handle design to be well comfortable and provide better stability when grab and press against ice.

Very short hanger facilitate screwing into small, narrow and sculpted ice.

The hanger can fit two carabiners at the same time, which is highly convenient.

Strong and ultra-light ''I'' beam hanger gives more options when connecting a sling.

Plastic handle tips are comfortable to grab in mouths. The arm is stainless steel.

Reflective silver color will not attract the heat from the sun and prevent melting ice around the screw.

Aggressive as the Petzl if it's not even more.

Handle come over the tube and makes a nice balance and comfy grab when screwing the first shot.

Head/hanger is less bulky.

Shorter hanger means less cleaning. This is the main downside of all BD screw. I don't know why BD makes again de same mistake with the newest screw in the world.

Hanger is big enough for 2 biners. This is the best hanger shape in the world. The shape of a modern biner allows you to girth hitch directly on the hanger.
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,187

This might be of interest: blackdiamondequipment.com/e…

mike again · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 40
Doug Hutchinson wrote: I have less than 10 pitches using the BDs ultralights (and several years with the Petzl laser lights) and so far I find the Petzls always are easier/faster to get started. In some ice conditions the difference is minor, and sometimes it is significant. And, some of Petzls have had a LOT of use, meaning the new BDs should outperform them if the screws were similar since the BDs are brand new sharp now.  I have staring racking the two BDs I own at the bottom of my ice clippers somewhat hoping I don't have to place one. They are both nice screws but I definitely prefer the Petzls.

This is great, specific, and useful information. Thank you. I would be keen to hear from others with similar comparative experience, although this is pretty convincing as written. 

Colin O'Brien · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 140

Speaking just to the question of wet ice, I’ve used both bD and petzl versions of the aluminum tube steel tip.  Both were pretty sticky on wet ice - they started quickly but really stuck on the turns enough that I felt like I had to re kick feet so that I wasn’t getting twisted off.  In wet ice, I would prefer  traditional screw.

In normal ice, both drove insanely fast.  No real difference in speed, but I did like the handle on petzls better.  Complete personal preferance - I would gladly climb on a rack of either.  Both brands are unreal in terms of the speed they place.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "Ultralight Ice Screws: BD vs. Petzl"

Log In to Reply