Russian nut tool gets 7.5 from American judge
Review by: tigerlilly, 2007-05-24
I love all things titanium. Well, except for that plate the doc put in my wrist, but I digress. Ti is light, strong and beautiful, since it never rusts or corrodes. What a sexy metal! So I couldn't help myself when I saw the Ushba Ti nut tool. It had a built-in wiregate, which I really wanted, and a palm protector, which I thought might be nicer on my aging hands. My Ushba Ti nut tool weighed in at a scant 40 gr, even thought it was advertised at 45gr, palm protector and all. The blade is a thin sliver of metal, about 2/3 the thickness of the BD nut tool this will replace - all the better for dislodging small nuts in tight placements. So what if it costs 2-3x what some other
tools cost? It's titanium and feels like a feather in my hand.
So, all that said, what's not to like? First off, I noticed it has a decidedly hand-made look to it. Not that hand-made is bad, as many fine things are crafted by hand, but it was certainly not as precisely cut and finished as my BD or the Metolius Freenut tool I borrowed once. The metal edges are burnished to remove burrs, but are done so just a little unevenly. The flat surface is polished in an array of circular spots, except right up by the palm protector, where it switches to the dull matte finish of the raw Ti stock. Personally, I wouldn't have minded if they had left it raw all over (except for the edges, of course). But beauty is as beauty does, and if appearance were it's
only defect, it would have scored much higher. Its more serious flaw is that the wire gate is a bit sloppy, and the very first time I thumbed it open and released it, it closed crookedly, off to the side of the hook, and not looped over it. I nudged it the opposite way and it seemed to close better, but does not impresss one with sturdiness. Absent is the precision feel I have come to expect from climbing equipment. Securing one end of the wire gate is a big button of metal which
promises never to neglect its duty, but the other end is bent and poked through a hole in the stock. The stock is so very thin, it doesn't appear terribly secure, like it could pop out and render the gate useless at any time. I fear the gate will not last, and this tool will fall from my harness at some inopportune time. It will always be tethered for this reason. It's first use in the field was trouble-free but I'll have to post an update after more mileage to note whether or not my fears are ungrounded.
Follow report: The small end of the wiregate frequently pops out of it's tiny hole, rendering the gate useless. It pops back in fairly easily, but this isn't what I want to be doing when I'm hanging on a cliff with one hand. I haven't figured out a fix yet. On the upside, the thin tip let's me dislodge the very smallest nuts. Not sure I'd buy it again.