/ DMM 4CU Cams Advice
I like them, they're dependable/safe but not so expensive you'd want to cry if you broke/lost one.
They're probably not for everyone, some people go with the more expensive feeling units right from the off.
I have a set due to them being cheap to replace when your mates jam them into cracks. However, they have an inferior action to a WC Friend (I had a set of these, still have a few left, and reach for these over a 4CU every time), or better still; a double axled cam.
Apart from the slight increase in range I think a double axle is a slightly inferior design. The reason they feel more solid placed is that the stem can not rotate about the axle once placed (without moving the cams against the rock). It's clearly a better design for the stem to be able to rotate freely as with a double axle cam the cam lobes will sometimes move as the cam is loaded and when cams are carefully placed to maximise surface contact this can be negatively effected.
Gives DMM access to both ends of the market and they're sufficiently different they don't undercut sales of the 'premium' products. I doubt they're much cheaper if any to manufacture.
"I doubt they're much cheaper if any to manufacture."
Well obviously it costs money to setup manufacturing lines and there is the R & D costs which have to be recouped. For the 4CU's this was probably done years ago.
Apart from that the lobes of the 4CU are CNC'ed and the dragons forged which is a more advanced process (I guess you would know if that is also more expensive or not?).
> Apart from that the lobes of the 4CU are CNC'ed and the dragons forged which is a more advanced process (I guess you would know if that is also more expensive or not?).
The point about development and tooling costs being paid off on old designs is valid, I was being a little weasely in only considering manufacturing costs. The forging process used for the new stuff looks tooling, manpower and energy intensive and if the 4CU lobes receive no further heat treatment once they're cut I can see a saving there but they must cost a fair bit in time and scrap with those machined stops. All the other costs: finishing, assembly, QA, overheads etc are shared by both new and old designs. I could be wrong.
They were top of the DMM range not many years ago. They're not a budget option, there's just newer and shinier things on the market now.
I've never used or cleaned a cam used passively, the main use I see for the back stops is to prevent terminal damage to the cam if it walks and opens and then is loaded.
If they're cheaper than all the other cams on the market, they must be, by extension more suitable for those on a budget. That's no reflection on their quality, simply a reflection of their cost.
Most of my cams are 4CUs and I think they are a delight. I've got a couple of other more expensive cams and can't really say that I prefer them over the 4CUs or vice-versa.
They're cheap because DMM has brought out the Dragons and Demons as their flagship cams and there is no longer as much demand for the 4CUs, but they are still a quality and bombproof bit of gear.
I think the Demons are gradually becoming a budget cam ( and were designed as such ), they seem to use some parts of both the Dragons and 4CU's in their manufacture.
Rock and Run used to produce budget cams. They were a bit like Friends, but cheaper, and they weren't quite as good so they were 'budget' in every sense of the use of the word. 4CUs are cheaper than the competition now but were designed and built as a premium product. They're much cheaper price-wise now, but they're no 'cheaper' quality-wise. Hope that makes sense!
I don't remember the rock and run ones...I believe there's some Ukrainian ones, budget in ever sense..apparently they're rated and safe though!
I personally dislike single stem units with exception of Camalots.
Problem I've always found with single stem is that once they get bent out of place a few times, the trigger action never seems to feed properly. The other problem is that in certain cracks you cant always access both sides of the trigger bar, which means you can only release one set of the cams making them awkward to remove.
With the 4cu, more often than not you can pull the trigger which activates both sets of cams and it comes out. The 4CU's are also really light and have the doubled up sling. They make up 95% of my El Cap cam rack.
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