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When do you replace picks?
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Sep 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping Fitz
I'm almost to the second tooth on my Nomics. How far do you go before you replace your picks? Anyone ever attempted to thin down the picks to get more life out of them? earl mcalister
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Aug 11, 2010
132 points
Sep 30, 2016
What I do - put a set of new picks on. If they climb/stick better then it's time to retire the worn picks. If you can't tell the difference, put the old ones on and keep using them. Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,618 points
Sep 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
There's a fine line between getting more life outta your picks and the tool blowing outta the ice. Be careful!

Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
439 points
Oct 4, 2016
I file my picks until I lose that first tooth. After that, I can't replicate the angles necessary to get a like new pick tip, so I buy new ones. For me, that's maybe every season and a half. I do about 50/50 pure ice and mixed.

You may be a whiz with a Dremel or a flat file, and may get more life out of them. I can't, and for me, good picks are absolutely necessary. Just like good front points on your crampons. You will easily lose half a number grade in your leading ability because of dull picks, screws, or front points.
ChapelPondGirl
From Keene, NY
Joined Oct 2, 2016
23 points
Oct 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Moss
ChapelPondGirl wrote:
I file my picks until I lose that first tooth... You may be a whiz with a Dremel


Probably way to far for some picks. Definitely changing tool geometry by then.

Don't use a Dremel or other grinder on your picks.
Jason Todd
From Cody, WY
Joined Apr 21, 2012
712 points
Oct 5, 2016
Jason Todd wrote:
Probably way to far for some picks. Definitely changing tool geometry by then. Don't use a Dremel or other grinder on your picks.

Yeah, use an angle grinder (way faster). Continuously dip in water to keep cool.
tim
From Boulder, CO
Joined Aug 6, 2006
60 points
Oct 5, 2016
Using a round file to remove additional teeth can get you an additional 1/2 or full season out your picks. It can help you keep the right pick profile. I haven't found the taper to be so extreme that going back another 1/4" makes the tip too thick. Especially if it's an ice pick and not a T rated mixed pick.

I guess, just be more patient. Use a good vise and a good selection of round and flat files and you can keep the picks looking and working good. I picked up some cheap needle files from Harbor Freight that are great for keeping crampons and tool points nice and sharp, while allowing me to work in small spaces between teeth, etc.
Ryan Hamilton
From Orem
Joined Aug 11, 2011
34 points


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