/ Petzl Lim'Ice - any good?

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masa-alpin - on 10 Dec 2013
Has any one used the new ice-screw sharpener from Petzl, Lim'Ice?
Does it work well?
How about screws with other makes, such as Grivel and Black Diamond?

After a bit of research, it seems it works reasonably well with even Grivel Helix and Black Diamond Turbo Express, let alone Petzl's own screws, though it takes a bit more time and effort to sharpen the former two, because it basically reshapes them.

Personally, the price tag of 60 quid is not a big deal, if it works well, considering one would spend 50 quid or so every season anyway, if ordering the sharpening service (in such as Needlesports) for the whole butch. And to be honest I was disappointed with the sharpening outcome by Needlesports with even Grivel Helix (Needlesports uses a Grivel machine to sharpen screws) last time I ordered.

So far, this blog post by Alastair Begley is the most comprehensive review I have found.

Also, these are useful.

Any feedback will be appreciated!
frqnt - on 10 Dec 2013
In reply to masa-alpin:
I've used one to sharpen three screws that had lost their aris to rock; it did a reasonable job, I had pretty low expectations and so I was impressed. The worst screw I remedied had two blunt teeth and was still okay to place. If I had severe requirements then I'd use the technique shown here; http://www.adventure-science.com/files/Ice%20Screw%20Sharpening%20Procedure.pdf though it does look far more laborious. All things considered, I don't think I would buy one. Their new screws, however...
frqnt - on 10 Dec 2013
In reply to masa-alpin:
I'll add that it did introduce a slightly more acute angle perpendicular to the length of my BD Express screws, I don't expect this will be a problem. Also, it is easy to use once you get the motion sorted.
CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2013
In reply to frqnt:

Sorry I'm struggling to understand your last post, do you mean it shortened the teeth on your BDscrews a bit (by decreasing the angle of the blunt tooth edge)
frqnt - on 10 Dec 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
Correct. On Turbo Express screws, if that makes a difference.
masa-alpin - on 11 Dec 2013
In reply to frqnt:
Thank you front for the comment!
In my understanding, which can well be wrong, when the teeth are shortened, they byte not as well as the original.
Nevertheless shortened teeth must do an immensely better job than brunt ones!
I have once read the article of sharpening ice screws you cited (thank you!), and thought it would be far too laborious for me, though I appreciate the very detailed description and I understand its reasoning...
masa-alpin - on 18 Dec 2013
In the end I bought Petzl Lim'Ice and tried it with 2 ice screws - Petzl Lasersonic and Salewa UFO.
My photo is here:

I found,
1. Lim'Ice offers a fixed angle to sharpen a tooth of screw on the built-in file at a time. There are two slots for right and left-hand sides of the tooth. The bottom of the dip between two teeth is not ground by the file.
2. The fixed angle seems to be not as acute as some other screws, like DMM Revolution, that is, the teeth will get slightly shortened if you sharpen those screws. I believe the angle is set for Petzl Laser Speed. In fact, it seems less acute than even the angle of Lasersonic from Petzl itself - the teeth of Lasersonic got shortened a bit after sharpening. That means it takes a fair amount of time to reshape the teeth for your first sharpening of an ice-screw, presumably except Laser Speed.
3. The handling is actually a bit fiddly. Unless you insert the screw deep to the end, which is at times awkward and may need a bit of shaking, the tooth does not touch the file and hence is not filed.
4. The file is fairly fine. Therefore it is a significant labour to "reshape" the teeth.
5. Each tooth is sharpened one at a time. That means there is no mechanism to align the lengths of the teeth, which I understand is fairly important in sharpening ice screws. It is a user's responsibility. As mentioned above, as the handling can be a bit fiddly, you can easily lose a track which tooth has been sharpened. For that reason, to ensure the alignment of the tips of 4 teeth is not the easiest job.
6. The file can be turned over, if worn out. I guess that means you could also exchange the file with the new one, although to my best knowledge Petzl is not offering the replacement file at the moment (maybe in the future, given Lim'Ice is still brand new?).

All in all, I think it is a good tool to keep the teeth razor-sharp for the screw, whose teeth are already reasonably sharp - say, a quick job after a climbing day, providing you didn't damage your screws too badly, and providing the angles of the teeth are already aligned to the set angle of Lim'Ice.

On the other hand, it would take ages to sharpen the badly damaged teeth of an ice screw to the good standard. So, it is not ideal for that sort of use.

I hope this is some help of understanding for those who are wondering what it is like!
TobyA on 18 Dec 2013
In reply to masa-alpin:

> 5. Each tooth is sharpened one at a time. That means there is no mechanism to align the lengths of the teeth, which I understand is fairly important in sharpening ice screws.

From over a decade of regularly sharpening my screws with a hand file, I've come to the conclusion that slightly different tooth length makes no difference at all.

Thanks for the review - interesting.

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