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best "all around" crampon
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Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
best "all around" crampon on 12/21/2010 00:46:40 MST Print View

Im going to be doing some ice climbing in ouray this January, and i would like to get a set of all around crampons that i can use for spring mountaineering and ice climbing. Im kinda stuck between the BD sabertooth and the petzl sarken, and i was wondering if there are any other crampons i should consider or what others opinion of what should work.

I have some older asolo plastic double boots that can use step-in crampons, so thats not a problem.

Douglas Ray
(dirtbagclimber)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
All around crampons... on 12/21/2010 10:37:42 MST Print View

I think the other major distraction would be the Grivel G12. Or even the Black Diamond Serac come to think of it.

Any of these will work fine for ice climbing and mountaineering. They all weigh pretty close to the same. There are some reports that the BD stainless alloy is very tough and lasts well. Generally it seems like people say that fancy Petzle front-point design is nothing all that special. There are plenty of people that are fans of each, I don't think you will be disappointed with whatever you choose.

I'd recommend going with the hybrid bindings (clip rear, strap front) as that is generally quicker and easier to put on in practice, and it allows a much broader range of boots to be used.

One way to decide would be to shop around and buy whichever one you find the best deal on.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Thanks on 12/21/2010 23:45:03 MST Print View

I've been leaning towards the BD sabertooth's since they are cheaper, and i personally think stainless is a much better option than the other steels or coated steel that they use.

I've got a bunch of moosejaw points to use, so i won't really be shopping around as much as just waiting for moosejaw to get them back in stock.

I just did a quick visual comparison between the serac and the sabertooth, and they really don't look that different and the front points look exactly the same. I'm kinda temped to go with those instead of the sabertooth's.

Do you think there is any advantage in getting the sabertooths over the seracs?

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
grivel g12 on 12/22/2010 02:10:47 MST Print View

Hey Ted, I can't comment on the BD options, but I believe you are correct in that their stainless steel will be better. My g12's starting rusting within the 1st month. Once the finish wears off (which is pretty much immediately), it starts. I always cleaned them after use, stored them dry etc...guess I should have oiled them too, but who would have thought? It's not to the point where its pitting the steel and compromising it. Regardless, every g12 I've seen has rust on them. Great crampons though.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 12/22/2010 02:12:17 MST.

Douglas Ray
(dirtbagclimber)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Serac Crampon on 12/22/2010 17:04:47 MST Print View

Here's a review of the Serac.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/11/black-diamond-serac-crampon.html

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
sabertooths on 01/27/2011 19:10:36 MST Print View

so i ended up getting a few more points together, and i got some sabertooths. when i asked the reps at the ouray ice festival, they said for steep ice the sabertooths 2nd and 3rd row of teeth would work much better than the seracs. the way i see it, they might have been just spouting off some marketing song, but if not, i'd rather spend the extra $10 since they will probably last me a long time. i tried out the sabertooths at the ice fest and they worked very well on vertical ice, and i think they will work great for snow climbs too.

douglas, that blog gave me a great idea though. For summer mountaineering in boots that dont have welts, i can just get a pair of black diamond strap heel peices, and swap them for the heel pieces on my sabertooths. i can have the front peices of the sabertooths, and be able to use them with any boot.

-Ted

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: best "all around" crampon on 01/29/2011 13:42:54 MST Print View

Regarding Stainless Steel verses Steel.

1) Stainless steel isn't stainless, just rusts slower on most types. Everything except 316 rusts and even then... The PH stainless steels come close to 316 with higher strength though.
2) The most "stainless" of stainless steels have very poor tensile stress and edge holding ability.
3) High Grade steel will Always obtain a better harder edge than any stainless steel with more fracture toughness.

Critical need is to keep crampon edges on said Teeth. 3 steps on the ice and all of said "surface" rust is gone anyways. Besides if you do much ice climbing you will need to have a file handy for even a vanadium based steel such as 9430.

If its 440C stainless, the hardest stainless steel, followed closely by 13-8PH, then to start with its the least stainless of stainless steels and second of all its still not as good as a good grade steel for durability on sharpness of your points.

I know for a fact that all of the steel crampons I have seen are made from poor steel. If it was a decent steel, then no one would even talk about stainless steel crampons.

Also, if they designed said crampons for weight instead of cheepest flat plate stainless or steel they can find to drop forge, then they would be far lighter than they are today, and they would last far longer on their points than they do today. This costs $$$.

Its all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. High grade steels generally do not come in flat sheets let alone plates easily drop forged into your 12 point crampons. This limits them due to cost to lower grade steels. If this is the case, as I am 99.999% confident it is, then obtaining 440 series sheet stainless, have a bunch in my garage, would indeed be a step up from said horribly inferior grades of steel typically used. 440C SS is a PITA to bend though without cracking it. Requires Lots of heat and massaging of said bend.

Of course if this is 304 or 306 stainless steels then this will be just as poor or even poorer for point durability than cheep grade steels drop forged and "Heat Treated" to 120kps or so or even to 200kpsi if its say 1020 Steel. Of course no crampon I know of has even 1020 Steel or 1080 HT to that high of a tensile strength and Hardness. Of course if they were, said teeth points would be likely to crack off as said cheep steel is very brittle when they are that hard. That and the HT to obtain that is far more expensive.

SS should be PR BS, but since most if not all crampons are made from garbage steel, it could possibly be better only if they use the best hardest to bend Stainless Steel 440C.

PS. Those steel crampons don't have a coating on them. Some out there are painted, not even close to the same thing. It might be a powder coating though as its not like the last few times I walked into a climbing shop I went "looking" to see exactly what was used on an item I already own and wasn't about to buy.

Edited by footeab on 01/29/2011 13:47:05 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Hmmmm... technical as heck on 01/29/2011 18:30:38 MST Print View

Well, maybe the ultimate crampons would be titanium with 1/8" tips of carbide steel laser welded to them. Of course they'd be he!! to sharpen on the trail but probably wouldn't need it very often. Diamond imbedded sharpeners anyone?

BTW, where's that Unobtainium that the government's been hiding? Perfect for crampons, knives, chastity belts, etc. etc.

Edited by Danepacker on 01/29/2011 18:33:48 MST.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Hmmmm... technical as heck on 01/30/2011 21:37:17 MST Print View

Ti or Al with steel points. Carbide is far far too fragile unless embedded into a matrix material. I can show you plenty of cutters, drills, endmills with shattered tips. Same steel cutters are simply dull. Yes, its ultra hard, but it also fractures quite easily if it does not have steady pressure. Now maybe a very thick coating of Carbide? Or, since it could be aluminum, melt said AL, and pour them into a mold and then embed diamond nuggets into as a matrix holder.

Otherwise iridium tips would rock as well! Its not unobtanium, just horidexpensium and also pretty much unobtanium.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
thanks on 01/31/2011 00:08:47 MST Print View

although i doubt very many people have taken an advanced materials class here and understand much.

btw, when i said coated steel, i just ment that it wasn't bare mild steel.

Douglas Ray
(dirtbagclimber)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
BD Stainless steel on 01/31/2011 17:32:27 MST Print View

Well Brian, I don't speak metalurgist well enough to entirely understand your post, but I did come across another thread a while back involving several machinists and engineers on this very topic. The argument and speculation was quite lively for a week or so, until an engineer from Black Diamond appeared in the discussion.

He strongly implied that in testing various steel alloys available for there suitability in making crampons they stumbled onto one with pretty much all of the properties that they desired and was very corrosion-resistant to boot. Of course he wouldn't say exactly what it is....

Field users have been saying that the new steal wears slower and doesn't have to be sharpened as often, as well as being useful as a mirror :).

I've contemplated a pair of titanium crampons with replaceable steel front-points. The rest of the points don't usually need to be sharpened as often. Perhaps a beryllium-reinforced design so they would be truly rigid for ice-climbing, with a carbon-fibre heel throw and spectra strap.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: BD Stainless steel on 01/31/2011 21:51:03 MST Print View

Which BD crampons are these? All of their new models? I do get tired of resharpening mine. One of those things been telling myself I am going to make my own and save half a pound per boot...

Probably 4340 or equivalent as its fairly corossion resistant and fairly common and cheep. I think one can get it in sheet form. Been around since before WWII. High hardness, high fracture toughness, and high tensile stress. Higher than all equivalent Stainless Steels.

Edited by footeab on 01/31/2011 21:55:38 MST.

Douglas Ray
(dirtbagclimber)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
BD Crampons... on 02/01/2011 11:08:22 MST Print View

Yes this is supposed to be all of the new models. I am sceptical that the difference is great enough to warrant an upgrade until your points become annoyingly short though.

I think you should make your own and show them off here. I'd love to see what you come up with, especially if you do make them that much lighter.