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Petzl Laser Speed Light ice screw, long term review
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Mar 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Chiller Pillar, Adirondacks
what's your long term experience with the Petzl Laser Speed Light screws? Currently I have half a rack of Speed Lights and half of the BD Express screws.

I love the Speed Lights. They go in faster than the BDs, are so much lighter and fit in tighter places. However, they don't rack as well and you have to much more careful to protect the threads.

I'm thinking of ditching the rest of my Express screws and getting a full rack of Speed Lights. I've heard two concerns though...

1. under certain conditions the core will freeze in the screw while you're placing it. In a short season of use I haven't experienced that (climbing in both below 0 deg F and 30 - 40 deg F weather).

2. when they get dull they're hard to sharpen to original condition and perform worse than the BD Express screws. I wonder if the LIM'ICE Screw Sharpener will work for these screws.

What's your experience? Should I go with all Speed Lights? they're 20% off at a number of online stores now.
TheIceManCometh
From Albany, NY
Joined Aug 15, 2011
634 points
Mar 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Rack your screws on four ice clippers. That should clean things up.

Dont worry about something you've never experienced. I've had one 22 cm screw stick while I was building a V Thread. I contacted Petzl and after some back and forth they said I could get a new screw. Besides that one time I've never had a Laser Light stick. I have an entire rack and have used them when's it's 40 or when it's -5. I've placed them once in a day or all day.

I surprised to hear this is a problem. I bottomed out a 13 and it didn't make a difference on how easy the screw was to place. I sharpened it and the 13 works great. I've got maybe 40 days on my Laser Speed Light rack maybe more and I've never sharpened them. All screws still start better than BD Express screws.

I would think Laser Speeds are no brainer. A rack of Laser Speed Lites if you like light weight, fancy and expensive.
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
439 points
Mar 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Chiller Pillar, Adirondacks
Bill: thanks for your insights. I will probably continue replacing BD Express screws with Laser Speed Lights as my budget allows.

BTW, in doing some research on the Petzl Lim'ice it looks like it reconfigures the teeth to an older, less aggressive tooth configuration. So I'll stick with hand filing to keep those Laser Speed screws sharp.
TheIceManCometh
From Albany, NY
Joined Aug 15, 2011
634 points
Mar 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on the CCK
TheIceManCometh wrote:
They go in faster than the BDs, are so much lighter and fit in tighter places.


Tighter and lighter - sure. Go in faster - Not in my experience

TheIceManCometh wrote:
Under certain conditions the core will freeze in the screw while you're placing it.


I've never seen had this happen WHILE placing a screw, but I've certainly seen ice cores freeze into screws. The Grivel V-thread tool rocks for clearing out screws.

TheIceManCometh wrote:
When they get dull they're hard to sharpen to original condition and perform worse than the BD Express screws. I wonder if the LIM'ICE Screw Sharpener will work for these screws.


As long as you don't really fuck up the tips the Lim'Ice does a great job of cleaning up dull Petzl screws. I haven't had any petzl screws professionally sharpened but I can imagine that the original steep angle of the teeth is hard to replicate without removing a lot of metal.

TheIceManCometh wrote:
What's your experience? Should I go with all Speed Lights? they're 20% off at a number of online stores now.


I started this past season sure that petzl screws were far superior to BD and that I would ultimately swap my whole rack to petzl screws. However somewhere amid thousands of cumulative feet of vertical ice I realized that I actually way prefer the bite and action of BD screws. I now find myself prioritizing my BD 13's and 16's for the steepest and cruxiest placements.

I guess the point I'm trying to get at is that only experience will tell what works best for you, not the opinion of armchair climbers with huge racks that they fondle but rarely use.
Sam Fox
From Burlington, VT
Joined Sep 4, 2013
275 points
Mar 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Sam Fox wrote:
Not the opinion of armchair climbers with huge racks that they fondle but rarely use.



To quote DeNiro in Taxi Driver: You talking to me? I don't see anybody else here so you must be talking to me. You talking to me?
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
439 points
Mar 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on the CCK
Bill Kirby wrote:
To quote DeNiro in Taxi Driver: You talking to me? I don't see anybody else here so you must be talking to me. You talking to me?


Naw no trouble dude. I was convinced that Petzl screws were the best by reading endless online debate and now I feel totally disillusioned. Sorry if that came off like I had a bone to pick..
Sam Fox
From Burlington, VT
Joined Sep 4, 2013
275 points
Mar 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Sam Fox wrote:
Naw no trouble dude. I was convinced that Petzl screws were the best by reading endless online debate and now I feel totally disillusioned. Sorry if that came off like I had a bone to pick..


Well then it's a good thing I wrote something funny then get all pissy about it! Haha...

I am surprised you feel that BD Express screws start easier than Petzl's. I'm up in the Adirondacks a lot every winter. You'll welcome to tryout my Petzl screws if we can catch up one day next season :)
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
439 points
Mar 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on the CCK
Bill Kirby wrote:
Well then it's a good thing I wrote something funny then get all pissy about it! Haha... I am surprised you feel that BD Express screws start easier than Petzl's. I'm up in the Adirondacks a lot every winter. You'll welcome to tryout my Petzl screws if we can catch up one day next season :)


Right on, sounds good dude!
Sam Fox
From Burlington, VT
Joined Sep 4, 2013
275 points


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