/ NEW REVIEW: DMM Torque Nuts

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[Torque Set, 2 kb]DMM Torque Nuts are protection devices based on the hexcentric theme.


But do they have a place in the current market?


Toby Archer gets talking about DMM Torque Nuts...

If you have experience of this product then this is the place to have your say.


Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=2112

jesatu - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

The mix of the corrent and incorrect use of "less" throughout that article is making the grammar purist in me twitch nervously.

What did the word "fewer" ever do to you?

;)
heelhookofglory - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to jesatu:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
>
> The mix of the corrent

...and your spelling is making me twitch too.

;-)
jesatu - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Steve Perry (Pezz):

Just when you really don't want a typo... *sigh*
petellis - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

All this talk of camming action in hexes is a new one on me - I can't remember ever placing a hex that was cammed, just stuffed behind constrictions. Maybe the torques really are different though...
TobyA on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to petellis: Being able to cam is why hexes fit in parallel or near parallel cracks. Even when it a constriction the cam effect sometimes comes into play. But as I note in the review, I also very rarely place cams in horizontal cracks where you need that feature, but then I'm lucky to have a full set of cams.

Jesatu - My apologies, it was written in hurry late in the evening after climbing. In my defence I think only two of the incorrect usages are mine, a third was added during the edit. I hope you're an English teacher, because at the comp I went to they never taught such things - but that was 80s education for you. I'm left with having to think what 'sounds right' which isn't always correct. I listen to a lot of American radio and according to the Plain English Campaign the incorrect usage is quite normal in American English - so lets blame NPR and my transatlantic news listening habits.
tobyfk - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:

> They also save weight over cams if you are picking a lightweight rack for Alpine routes or long, easier UK outings.

I did a quick check on this. The Torque nut size 3, which weighs 104g according to the DMM product catalogue, appears to have about the same camming range as the no.7 Metolius Ultralight PowerCam, which weighs 127g. I think I'd rather have the PowerCam for the sake of 20g (given that it is actually a "cam")

I wondered also whether you'd taken any falls during your testing?
TobyA on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to tobyfk: Those are impressively light (although didn't you have big problems with the Metolius cams due to their slings? So maybe to be fair you should include the weight of a superlight, longish quick draw in the comparison). When I get a moment I'll check whether it's similar with DMM cams.

I did write: "In parallel cracks or when you are in a desperate rush, cams are just easier to use" so I don't think the review gives the impression that I think they're really an alternative to cams of any type. They're not. I've stopped even taking my Rockcentrics to our local single pitch crags in recent years - only using them when I've been doing multipitch stuff or occasionally in winter. But if you want hexes, these are maybe the best hexes you can get currently (although I must say I've never used wired hexes like BD make and some people may prefer them on wire).

I haven't fallen off on to them yet, but I wouldn't worry about doing so. So far the routes that I've done where I've used them all have been unsurprisingly based on irregular, medium to wide cracks and as is often the way of those routes - around VS or easier. I normally get up VS hand jamming reasonably well, if not actually stylishly! I had actually placed all the gear in the picture of Dave in the review, but then ground to a halt on my onsight at the point he is at. The piece of gear by his waist is a crappy looking 3CU that I placed in a panic. I grabbed it, expecting it to blow and then relying on the torque nut below if it did. Fortunately the 3CU was good enough to take my weight and I lowered off from it - so that's as close I got to testing them in proper falls.

I'm trying to avoid setting the precedent of having to fall off on to any bit of gear I get to test, just in case I get chance to review any ice screws this winter!
tobyfk - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to tobyfk) Those are impressively light (although didn't you have big problems with the Metolius cams due to their slings? So maybe to be fair you should include the weight of a superlight, longish quick draw in the comparison). When I get a moment I'll check whether it's similar with DMM cams.

Those Metolius cams are significantly lighter than everything else on the market (or were when I bought a set). I don't think I specifically criticised their slings but I do think they are more prone to movement than single-stem cams like Camalots or Friends.
tobyfk - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:

> I haven't fallen off on to them yet, but I wouldn't worry about doing so. So far the routes that I've done where I've used them all have been unsurprisingly based on irregular, medium to wide cracks

Where, agreed, you'd expect them to hold. But, rather like Tricams, these things are being marketed as having camming properties so some people may buy them as a cheaper substitute for proper cams. It worries me that people will then stuff them in parallel-sided cracks and assume they are safe as if they'd used a proper cam.
petellis - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to petellis) Being able to cam is why hexes fit in parallel or near parallel cracks. Even when it a constriction the cam effect sometimes comes into play. But as I note in the review, I also very rarely place cams in horizontal cracks where you need that feature, but then I'm lucky to have a full set of cams.

Yeah - thats sort of what I meant. I know rockcentrics are supposed to cam into parrallels, but in reality I just don't bother. Are the torques really so good that this becomes worthwhile? Maybe not from what you're saying.

Not that it matters - hexes were conspicuously absent in DMM's range anyway and I'm sure the torques are better than the rest. The light weight will be and advantage regardless.

TobyA on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to tobyfk (and Pete):
> It worries me that people will then stuff them in parallel-sided cracks and assume they are safe as if they'd used a proper cam.

The thing is you can't just stuff them into parallel cracks, because they would just slide down - you have to place them and then 'cock' them by pulling down on the sling to seat it - unless it's a very tight fit (just like Tricams).

I would bet that 90-95% of hex placements are in bottle necks just like nuts - and there they are great. I also reckon that's how most beginners use them. The other 5-10% hopefully people can see that its not always totally bomber - if in a flared horizontal break for example - and think about it accordingly. At least the torques have these super long slings which make them less likely to come out of their caming position.

tobyfk - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to tobyfk (and Pete))

> The thing is you can't just stuff them into parallel cracks, because they would just slide down - you have to place them and then 'cock' them by pulling down on the sling to seat it - unless it's a very tight fit (just like Tricams).

Yes I am familiar with the theory. For sure you can get Tricams and hexes to hold their own bodyweight in a vertical parallel-sided cracks. But that doesn't make them reliable. My impression is that they are far more likely to get shaken out by normal rope movement or pulled out by different force vectors in a fall than a proper active cam in the same placement. Which an experienced climber will know, but the newbie who just bought a set of these things to save money won't, particularly if the manufacturer or articles like this one - I am not saying you have but I don't think you have adequately stressed the negative - overhype their camming properties.
petellis - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to tobyfk:

I don't think the camming properties have been overhyped. Besides I don't think it'll make any difference to how folk place them.
tobyfk - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to petellis:
> (In reply to tobyfk)
> Besides I don't think it'll make any difference to how folk place them.

What do you mean? That people who would only use hexes in constricted cracks will carry on doing so with Torques, and would not experiment with using them as "cams"?

petellis - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to tobyfk:
> (In reply to petellis)
> [...]
>
> What do you mean? That people who would only use hexes in constricted cracks will carry on doing so with Torques, and would not experiment with using them as "cams"?


Not that they wouldn't experiment with camming. Just that they won't buy them in place of cams. I dunno - I've not seen them in the metal.
TobyA on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to tobyfk:

> For sure you can get Tricams and hexes to hold their own bodyweight in a vertical parallel-sided cracks. But that doesn't make them reliable.

In my still somewhat limited experience of tricams I'm amazed at how totally resistant to being 'un-cocked' they are by rope movement. The ones I tried had these short stiff old school nylon slings that are semi rigid. These seemed like a totally bad idea, but the more I used them the more it seems that they never release once pulled into the caming position.

I will try and test your theory with the torque nuts when I get out next and see if I can shake them out of horizontal cammed placements. With vertical parallel cracks (lets say of the British grit type - I don't reckon many people will be trying Supercrack with a rack of torques) I guess they are more likely to stay in those sort of placements than a old type hex - so although they might not be "perfect" there, I suppose the Torque nuts will be "better".

I do see your point, but I think anyone who thinks like will very quickly be dissuade of that idea when they first try to place one in a parallel crack. They simply aren't as good as cams for that.

On the other hand I've done quite a few routes in recent years - mainly in the easier grades - where I haven't had hexes of any type and have had to place cams in vertical widening cracks where there is a real danger of them walking up past they max expansion range. That clearly isn't great either - and I remember thinking - "bollocks - I could do with some hexes here".

When did you last place a hex anyway? When we were in Norway?
Kevin Avery - UKC - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:

Hi Toby

Thanks very much for this excellent review and your forum comments. All very constructive stuff.

Kevin Avery
Gear Editor
UKClimbing.com
Rob Naylor - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to petellis:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
>
> All this talk of camming action in hexes is a new one on me - I can't remember ever placing a hex that was cammed, just stuffed behind constrictions. Maybe the torques really are different though...

Strange, I've placed loads of rockcentrics where the curved face camming against the rock was what made it "bite". Maybe less likely with old-fashioned straight sided hexes, though.
duncan - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:

> I don't reckon many people will be trying Supercrack with a rack of torques

I expect you know the great Earl Wiggins only had Hexes and Tube chocks when it was first done.

Some footage of that ascent and reminiscences from other members of the team here: http://alstrinfilms.com/ll-trailer.html
petellis - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to Rob Naylor:

Got both sorts, always place em behind constrictions of one sort or another, I suppose I do cam them a bit but its always the constriction that I'm putting faith in, maybe the camming helps keep it in the placement. I suppose I do as the review says and reach for the cams when faced with a proper parrallel crack.
petellis - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to duncan:


That looks like a really nice film, cheers for the link, might get it.

The chat about what rack to take is amusing, I'd be the chap going "well, I'd still like to take a set of nuts" when it was blatantly obvious that hex nines and nothing else would fit.
John Bradley (Bradders) on 24 Sep 2009 - 5ace089a.bb.sky.com
In reply to UKC Gear: I have read the review of this new piece of kit and it is very interesting. However please don't link VS grade climbers and carrying hexs. There are plenty of climbers who climb a lot lot harder than that and would prefer a well placed hex over a cam any day. The trend over the last few years has been to place cams when a hex would be better and wear the rock away. A lot of this is due to the fact that many climbers can't place protection properly and are climbing so near to their limit if they placed a hex or another nut they may well be in trouble. We all what happens when you have a badly placed cam.

To my mind the choice of a cam has to be very correctly judged, not just throwing them in as a lot of people seem to do.

This leads nicely on the the tricky subject of the quality of leader placed protection that we often see these days...but that another story.

I hope the new gear is a success and provided the protection that we all want and need.

TobyA on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to duncan: Yep - seen the film and read the account in this year's BD catalogue. What I took from watching the film is that although he had a load of hexes he didn't seem to place many!
TobyA on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to Rob Naylor: I know what you mean Rob - I think maybe in the review its comes over as too dualist - either a caming placement or a constriction placement - when actually many hex placement (or all types are a a bit of mix. The base of the piece catches on a narrowing but then the angle of the sling pulls it into the caming position.
TobyA on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to John Bradley (Bradders):
> However please don't link VS grade climbers and carrying hexs. There are plenty of climbers who climb a lot lot harder than that and would prefer a well placed hex over a cam any day.

Sure there are, but I also seen plenty of climbers only carrying cams. In fact in the country where I live it's really unusual to see climbers with any types of hexes - they're just not normal here. Whether we like it or not, hexes tend to be associated with lower grade climbers (accept obviously amongst winter climbers where whether you are on a III or an VIII having some hexes is normal). I hope the review points out some reasons why this shouldn't be the case - in fact my final point is that the four Torque nuts might actually be more useful for more experienced climbers who already have cams, than for a beginner making a beginners rack.

> The trend over the last few years has been to place cams when a hex would be better and wear the rock away.

Wearing out gear placements seems to really be an issue on popular grit crags only - it's certainly a problem there but it seems limited. There seem to be as many reports of routes getting dirty and placements getting filled with muck on Lakes and Welsh mountain routes.
beardy mike - on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear: Hey Toby! I s'pose the real question for me as the owner of #1,2,3,4 tricams, is are torque nuts work any better than tricams. I know that I can place a tricam in pretty much every hex placement, but not necessarily the other way round. I've had some quite frankly ridiculous placements with tricams which on first inspection just should not have worked but did. So is it worth supplementing them with Torques or would I just be carrying them around with no benefit?
TobyA on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to mike kann: That is a hard one - not really sure - but possibly not. If you have tricams that cover same sort of size, I'm not sure if any type of hexes would be necessary - unless you just feel the need to have more pieces with you. And that probably depends on how many cams you have.

It shows how much of a specific culture we are, because I always forget about tricams, but hexes were amongst my first bits of gear. I imagine for some american climbers it might be the opposite. But possibly they are alternatives to each other - but I really haven't used tricams enough in comparison to nearly two decades of using hexes to know if I think that one type is better than the other.
jesatu - on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:
> If you have tricams that cover same sort of size, I'm not sure if any type of hexes would be necessary - unless you just feel the need to have more pieces with you.

With Torque Nuts missing the smaller sizes you get with the Camp and WC offerings, it seems to me that Tricams might be the perfect item to cover those smaller sizes that aren't available with the DMM offering...

I've only ever had two tricam placements and a handfull of Torque Nut placements, so I'm not quite sure of this myself - anyone with more experience care to comment?
beardy mike - on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA: Cuh.... sit on the fence why don't you. Do I need to remind you that this is UKDating and your opinion does not need to be based on real hard evidence to be presented as fact ;)
Jamie Simpson - on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

Good review. When I had a look at some of these in the shop they looked very interesting although I was concerned about the pull-ability of the sling, but you say in your article the size has been increased to increase pull-ability?

Have DMM tested the sling, if for example someone only clips into one strand when it has not been fully extended resulting in slack been taken up eagerly and slammed into the chock? Just out of curiosity.

Will they becoming out on wire? ;)
beardy mike - on 25 Sep 2009
In reply to Jamie Simpson: Would that be vastly different to any other sort of lob?
Charlie_Zero on 26 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

Got a chance to have a look at some torque nuts yesterday. It stuck me that you need to be careful about which loop you pull when extending the sling, as the join can't pass through the hole in the top of the nut. If you do pull the wrong loop it becomes a bit of a fiddle to sort the sling out.
petestack - on 26 Sep 2009
In reply to Alan_2468:

Yep, but you just pull the one with the join!
Spike - on 26 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

how much of an improvement are they on these...
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=106660

from Al Evans great photo page!
I still have a couple of these on my rack, one if my "favourite" bit of gear which I fell onto years ago (mind you it was in a constriction not cammed!)
tobyfk - on 27 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA:

> When did you last place a hex anyway? When we were in Norway?

Hell no ... probably mid-1980s or earlier! I think you insisted on carrying some in Lofoten but I am confident that I clipped them carefully to your harness before my leads.

Oddly though I am considering getting a few. For various reasons I have got interested in repeating some of the multi-pitch chossaneering classics out here - for which hexes are definitely critical gear (lots of vile cracks full of dust, exfoliation flakes, cobwebs, etc ... I can actually feel my Camalots recoiling in horror when threatened with being shoved in one)
tobyfk - on 27 Sep 2009
In reply to Spike:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
> how much of an improvement are they on these...
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=106660

Talking of which, does anyone remember the Clog Cog?
NickMoore on 28 Sep 2009 - 80.40.144.39 whois?
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

I used a set of torque nits on a mountain route in wales at the weekend, in the rain

They worked pretty well except the spectra was stiff to pull through the hex - will probably ease with more use.

Definitely useful to be able to extend them by clipping only 1 tape

Seemed to 'bite' well

As with a lot of DMM kit I suspect these will become well loved.
gerardlt on 29 Sep 2009
In reply to duncan:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> [...]
>
> I expect you know the great Earl Wiggins only had Hexes and Tube chocks when it was first done.
>
> Some footage of that ascent and reminiscences from other members of the team here: http://alstrinfilms.com/ll-trailer.html

They're carrying cams in that video.
duncan - on 29 Sep 2009
In reply to gerardlt:

> They're carrying cams in that video.

The clip contains footage of the '76 first ascent and of some of the first ascentionists climbing it again recently. The (deliberately?) jerky style of the recent footage does make look a little like the 70s film but there are several clues as to which era each shot is from:

70s:
- Long hair
- Thrift-store clothing
- VW
- Prisine rock
- Earl Wiggins stylin'
- Hexes and tube chocks

00s:
- Grey hair
- Patagucci freebies
- Toyota
- Well-worn edges to the crack
- Ed Webster puffing
- Cams



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