The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
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DMM Revolution Ice Screws: The Next Go-To Screw?
Posted on: January 28, 2008
MSRP: $39.50-$49.50, depending on length (10-22 centimeters)
Weight: 116-165 grams, depending on length
DMM claims they put a lot of research into these new screws, and it showed the first time I placed one. It quickly bit into the ice and turned easily, with little friction, but then, panic! There was no jiffyquickwindything to blaze in the screws. I was hesitant even to put these on my harness because of this missing feature because I was used to screws with some sort of quicktwist. However, I'm glad I racked up with the Revolutions, as DMM made up for this oversight by designing an otherwise brilliant screw.
They come in four sizes: 10, 13, 17 and 22 centimeters, with color-coded hangers. The hangers are big, round and smooth, which makes it a cinch to start the screws and also makes them glove friendly. The tooth angle and design made these the easiest to start of any screw I have ever tried, but when I had snow on my gloves or when the ice was too dense, I was unable to turn the hanger and get the screws in with just my palm. The larger hangers also had big enough holes that I could clip up to three carabiners or two lockers, or I could thread my rope through to rap off. Overall, I found the hangers big but not bulky—they racked nicely with their own kind and with other screws.
The tube itself seems meticulously designed, with precision-ground, nickel-plated teeth and the inside honed to a mirror finish for minimal friction. The screws are also one of the lightest models on the market. Despite not having a quickspin, I would still take these screws for anchors, v-threads and placing on lead when at a small stance.
DMM has promised that a model with winder will be available next winter. Then it just might be the screw to go to for all circumstances.
Pros: Outstanding design; incredible "bite" and easy to start; lightweight; glove friendly.
Cons: No winder (yet).