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By patrick donahue
From Gunnison, Colorado
Jan 24, 2013
me climbing at lost horizon, NH
so im in the market for my first pair of tools and i was wondering what your thoughts where on the BD Reactors? i want a tool that will be good for steep ice, the occasional mixed route, and also some alpine climbs. i am also looking at the bd vipers or the cassin x all mountain tools

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By Kyle Morgan
Jan 24, 2013
We bought them as our first tools based on some user reports from UKclimbing forums and the brief review in Rock and Ice, but not much is written about them.

Pretty hard to go wrong at 133 a tool (direct from BD).

blackdiamondequipment.com/en-u...

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By Spencer N
From Dover, NH
Jan 25, 2013
I just bought a pair as my first tools and I've climbed with them for one day. Before that I spent a day with a mix of BD Vipers & Cobras and Petzl Quarks.

The offset grip on the Reactors was a little weird at first and it felt like I had slightly less clearance to swing over bulges, but I'm really happy with them for the price/at my skill level.

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By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Jan 25, 2013
I'm climbing on a pair right now, and I'm really happy with them. You might want to switch to one of the mixed-specific picks if you start doing a lot of dry-tooling, I thrashed the stock picks pretty fast the other day messing around on a mixed line.

Also, the shaft above the main grip is a little slick for matching on your tools, so you'll probably want to wrap it with something. The top of the main grip is pretty effective though for keeping your hand from sliding when you're matched.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jan 25, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
My good friend and main climbing partner has a pair, he likes them...leads 4+ with them without a problem, AND has less of a knuckle bashing issue than I do with my new version Quarks.

They seem really durable, great value, and have a nice swing.

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By Richard88
From Sheridan, WY
Jan 25, 2013
piney creek canyon
Great tools....I've been using them for 3 years now and they have served me very well and I'm sure they will continue to do so.

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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Jan 25, 2013
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My first tools were Reactors and I spent two seasons with them until I bought some cobras. They are the best ICE training tools in my opinion. They are heavy, but very forgiving. The metal piece on the upper part of the handle allows for good positioning of the tool for matching or resting. I found them easier to climb with than my cobras (you have to pay attention a bit more) but once you get the cobras you should have graduated away from the laziness that will happen with bad technique.

I'd get them if I were you. They are very much ICE tools - not really made for a long alpine ascent and such.

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By Bryan Karban
Jan 25, 2013
Can opener
The BD Reactors are an OK tool. They are designed as an inexpensive first tool for leashless ice climbing. Since the Raptors first came out, other companies have come out with better tools with a similar price point. I would check out the Cassin X-All Mountain for a better all-around tool. Also, the Trango Raptor has received good reviews. If you want to get into mixed climbing, go with the Raptor. They are very similar to the Petzl Nomics, but only cost $175 each. Check it out here:

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/...

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Jan 25, 2013
Middle
For $132ea they are a steel. Certainly a budget tool but for the sale price a good value. The Trango tools are a good value too but for the sales price I'd buy Reactors.

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By Eric G.
Jan 25, 2013
I've had a pair for several years, great first tool, great price. However, out of all the newer generation leashless tools that I've swung, the reactors don't compare favorable IMO. Not a very nice swing, but, hey, could just be my shortcomings.

I think the real point to make is that the axes available on the market right now are all of such decent quality, that it'd be hard to go wrong with most any modern leashless tool that met your price point.

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By kevinhansen
From Albion Idaho
Jan 26, 2013
Why I do it...
Ben Brotelho wrote:
My good friend and main climbing partner has a pair, he likes them...leads 4+ with them without a problem, AND has less of a knuckle bashing issue than I do with my new version Quarks. They seem really durable, great value, and have a nice swing.


Echo the knuckle protection. The Reactors are my second set of tools. My first were straighter shafted "BD Shrike" tools, and I'd come home with swollen, black and blue pinkies.
I say forget about price. Like good boots its better to cry once. I love my Reactors. Didn't know they were economical.
I've used them handle down into deep snow, they are "OK" but you can tell they are not designed for Alpine climbing. Would I take them glacier hiking on Rainier? No. Too heavy and too short.
Keivn

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By jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Jan 27, 2013
hi
If you want a pair, act now as they will not be available from BD for next winter. They are no longer making them.

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By randy88fj62
Jan 28, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
I have one season climbing vertical waterfall ice and alpine with my Petzl Quarks. I love the adjustable trigrest as you can adjust the grip for the thickness of glove you are using.

I just got back from switzerland where I used a set of BD reactors for a 4 pitch waterfall climb. They feel about the same except I did not like the way the picks felt. My personal opinion is that the petzl quark picks stick better.

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By Portwood
From Your moms house last night
Jan 31, 2013
Me
Grivel Matrix all the way, with Easy Slider. Will work for all but hard mixed. They even plunge great. I would recomend them as an "all around tool"

grivel.com/products/ice/ice_ax...

Or the Quantum Tech, little better for the steep mixed and harder ice

grivel.com/products/ice/ice_ax...

97% of the time the Matrix will do the job (for me) and is probably one of the better tools for the mountains (as opposed to just cragging).

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jan 31, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
randy88fj62 wrote:
I have one season climbing vertical waterfall ice and alpine with my Petzl Quarks. I love the adjustable trigrest as you can adjust the grip for the thickness of glove you are using. I just got back from switzerland where I used a set of BD reactors for a 4 pitch waterfall climb. They feel about the same except I did not like the way the picks felt. My personal opinion is that the petzl quark picks stick better.


Petzl and Grivel picks are far superior to BD picks it seems.

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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Jan 31, 2013
11th hour of the Sundial
Portwood wrote:
97% of the time the Matrix will do the job (for me) and is probably one of the better tools for the mountains (as opposed to just cragging).



you know I still climb on Grivel light wings which are the predecessor to the new matrix/quantum light versions. and yeah they really do climb great even though I've never tried them on really hard mixed/dry routes. personally I modified some petzl trigrests to do the job of the easy slider and am having great results with it going straight leashless. simple swing simple function simple climbing, I also have a quantum tech in the collection and am still preferring the lightwings...... ultimately everyone has their own style so what works for me isn't always right for everyone else....

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