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Sharpening the "tooth" on your tri-cams.
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Dec 20, 2012
Sharpening the point on tricams for a little more "bite" in soft sandstone - anyone try it? Was it worth it? Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Joined Jun 1, 2009
580 points
Dec 20, 2012
Most of the smaller sizes have pretty dull, rounded points. The larger sized ones have a point constructed out of the metal pieces, but never thought of trying to sharpen them up. With force of placement, they bite in pretty good, especially in a softer sandstone. Don't want it so pointed that it works its way deeper, and thus creates a poor fit of the cam. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
505 points
Dec 21, 2012
This seems like a bad idea. Good though just feel like sharpening it may cause the unit to deform enough to pull... Feel like in sandstone it would have sufficient dig even with the dull point in the smaller sizes Medic741
From Red Hook, New York
Joined Apr 1, 2012
85 points
Dec 21, 2012
In "soft" sandstone such as Navajo or even Wingate, I would think a sharper point would be damaging or create a tendency for harder to clean placements.

On "harder" sandstone such as that here in the SE, I have never encountered a problem with the factory points. Placements are typically firm if correct and have held big falls. Same experience in granite.

I am a firm believer in tricams and probably place the pink on 90% of the pitches I lead.
From Steele, AL
Joined Jan 12, 2007
1,430 points
Dec 21, 2012
The sheet that comes with tricams says:

"Keep the cam rails of your TRI-CAM smooth with an emory cloth or light filing, and when the fulcrum point becomes dull, file it to factory fresh condition."

I wouldn't file it much sharper than that because it may focus the load on too small a point and cause the rock to fail. I think you would be better off looking for a feature that will hold the fulcrum in place.
Joined Oct 4, 2011
0 points
Dec 21, 2012
I would think the exact opposite, you would want the tip to be sharper on very hard rock, no sharper than factory sharp. of course mine are still factory sharp cause I never use them. T Roper
Joined Mar 31, 2006
730 points
Dec 21, 2012
more surface area=more bite on the rock. i wouldn't do it. Snoopy
Joined Oct 26, 2011
10 points
Dec 21, 2012
austin luper wrote:
more surface area=more bite on the rock. i wouldn't do it.

+1 If you sharpen the point you have less contact with the rock and less material to hold the piece in place, which may deform or crack causing the piece to blow under a fall.
From NY, NY
Joined May 8, 2010
0 points
Dec 21, 2012
Experience and common sense might lead one to conclude that a sharper tooth would be less likely to skate - it seems to me it would be more likely to dimple soft rock making for a more secure placement. In granite tricam placements, I look for a dimple (recess) to place the tooth.

I bet a sharper tooth would be better in soft rock and that the factory tooth is designed for hard rock or at best is a compromise for a variety of rock types. I think you are onto something and that, especially in marginal aid climbing situations, a sharper tooth could be a brilliant solution.

Great question.
Bryan Ferguson
Joined Apr 16, 2008
565 points
Dec 21, 2012
"Yer GONNA die!!!"... Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
1,635 points

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