- Distinctive stainless steel construction doesn't rust, is more durable, resists snow balling and saves weight
- Versatile horizontal frontpoints and more technical secondary points
- Low-profile micro-adjust heel bail with two positions
- This Pro version accommodates boots with a toe welt
- Includes dual-density ABS
Review by Black Diamond NZ Sponsored Athlete Pat Deavoll.
Black Diamond have recently changed the construction of their core range of crampons (Cyborg, Sabretooth, Serac and Contact) from carbon steel to stainless steel, and this has been a good move. I’ve been using a pair of stainless steel Sabretooths for about a year (before that I had the old version) and have been pleased with them.
For starters, they’re lighter. Because stainless steel is stronger than carbon steel, less is needed to build a crampon with the same performance- hence a 200g difference between the old and new versions. They also seem to stay sharp longer, and don’t rust, which is nice.
The Sabretooth has always been touted as an all-around mountaineering crampon with horizontal front-points and 12 sidepoints, including an aggressive set of secondary front-points. But a few years ago I started using the Sabretooth in New Zealand for technical ice climbing, figuring with our soft, forgiving ice they would perform fine - and they have. They feel light on the feet and secondary set of front points is especially effective in ice.
They are a “semi-rigid” crampon, meaning the forefoot and heel are independent plates joined by an instep bar. But on my rigid boots, they act like a rigid crampon - all the more reason to treat them the same as a technical ice climbing crampon. They come with an anti-ball plate, which I don’t find particularly effective.
The Sabretooth is available in two binding systems – the “Pro” fits boots with a toe welt, while the “Clip” can be strapped onto boots without one.
A very easily adjustable instep bar and a variety of bale holes means the crampon can be adjusted to almost any boots length. I have the “Pro” version and have had the same pair fit my leathers, plastics and 6000+ mountaineering boots (very bulky), my ski mountaineering boots and even my downhill ski boots. There is a “heel-knob” at the back of the crampon for micro-adjustments, but I find more often than not it’s gummed up with grit.
I had them on a recent climb in India that involved wading through deep snow, scratching up mixed ice and granite walls, front pointing bullet proof water ice full of grit and stones and slogging up long steep snow inclines with a heavy pack on. I never once thought about the crampons, which is a recommendation in itself.
|Made From||Stainless steel|
|Warning||Rock and Alpine climbing are potentially hazardous and dangerous. Any person using our equipment in any manner is personally responsible for learning the proper techniques involved and that the equipment used is designed for the application. The purchaser accepts full and complete responsibility and liability for any and all damages and injury that may result from use of equipment bought from Bivouac Outdoor. Instruction should be sought from professionals in the safe use of this piece of equipment. This equipment is designed for recreational use and should not be used for industrial applications.|
- Keep your crampon points sharp. Sharpen the points by hand with a fine file. Sharpening with a grinder can overheat and weaken the metal. Do not modify other parts of your crampons.
- Check the bolts, nuts and adjustment mechanisms before and after each use. Do not over tighten nuts or you might strip them or the bolt. Replace any bolt or nut that is cracked, stripped or bent.
- Carry spare parts with you in the field.
- Crampons must not come into contact with corrosives such as battery acid or solvents.
- If your crampons have been exposed to road salt or other corrosives, clean them using a mild soap and warm water, then rinse and dry them thoroughly.
- To minimise rust, lightly lubricate all metal parts with a rust inhibitor.
- In the event that your crampons need to be disinfected, Black Diamond recommend retirement of the crampon, rather than subjecting the metal to corrosive agents found in many disinfectants.
- Never store wet or damp crampons. After using your crampons, allow them to dry thoroughly. Store your crampons in a dry environment away from heat.
- Cover the points of your crampons when transporting them.
- Factors that reduce the lifespan of crampons: Wear due to use on rocks, filing the points, corrosion or rust.
- Retire a crampon immediately if:
- Any components are cracked, bent, broken or missing.
- The points cannot be made sharp with a hand file.
- The webbing straps or plastic pieces have any tears, holes, torn threads, heavy abrasion or fading from exposure to ultraviolet light.
- Damaged gear must be retired and destroyed to prevent future use.
- If you have any doubts about the dependability of your gear, retire it.
VideoThe benefits of Black Diamond stainless steel crampons
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