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Black Diamond Reactor ice tool reviews
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By Spencer Malcolm
Feb 19, 2013
Standing atop the citadel

I am thinking about purchasing the black diamond reactor ice tool, I would appreciate if some of you out there can post what you think of them... Thank you


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By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Feb 19, 2013

Great all around tool. Versatile, affordable, durable, slightly heavy (so you just get stronger)...


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Feb 20, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

theres a reason its soo cheap


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By shoo
From Boston, Massachusetts
Feb 20, 2013
Rock wars, Red River Gorge

superkick wrote:
theres a reason its soo cheap


And that reason has more to do with marketing and hype than reality.

The reactors are a really well-balanced tool and probably one of the best "budget" tools out there. The design is a bit odd, since it doesn't really have the clearance you'd expect from a tool with offset grips, and it doesn't plunge well like a "regular" grip. However, it does the most important thing right: balanced an angled for an easy stick.

Would I rather have a pair of nomics or cobras? Of course. But it's $100+ less PER TOOL than either of those, and climbs pretty damn well.


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By Spencer N
From Dover, NH
Feb 20, 2013

Reactor review thread from january


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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Feb 20, 2013
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These were my first tool and they were worth every penny. Very good for beginners. As you get better, you'll graduate away from them but they are awesome tools IMHO.


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By Gunkiemike
Feb 20, 2013

Agree that they are a good value and an appropriate first choice. But BD picks still require more effort to remove from the ice than say a Petzl. If you can score a pair of Reactors for under 200, go for them. But a little bit more should land you a pair of gently used first gen. Quarks (which will suit you for YEARS).


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By Brian in SLC
Feb 20, 2013
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

I thought the head weight was a bit light, so, added a set of the larger hammers. Made a fair difference for me.

Great tool for the money.


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By Dane
Feb 20, 2013
Cham '11

Gunkiemike wrote:
Agree that they are a good value and an appropriate first choice. But BD picks still require more effort to remove from the ice than say a Petzl. If you can score a pair of Reactors for under 200, go for them. But a little bit more should land you a pair of gently used first gen. Quarks (which will suit you for YEARS).



Good comment all around.

Reactor is underated imo. Older Quarks a much better tool by comparison and every bit the equal to the current Cobra and with better picks. YMMY of course.


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By Spencer Malcolm
Feb 20, 2013
Standing atop the citadel

I read in a different post that black diamond was discontinuing the Reactor. Any word on why that is?

And thank you all for the great posts so far...


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Feb 20, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Gunkiemike wrote:
Agree that they are a good value and an appropriate first choice. But BD picks still require more effort to remove from the ice than say a Petzl. If you can score a pair of Reactors for under 200, go for them. But a little bit more should land you a pair of gently used first gen. Quarks (which will suit you for YEARS).


I disagree. I have the new gen quarks and they swing and have balance like the dickens, but they are insufferable to remove sometimes! A real sumbitch!


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By Mocco
Feb 20, 2013

Big difference in picks between first and second gen Quark.


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By Gunkiemike
Feb 20, 2013

Mocco wrote:
Big difference in picks between first and second gen Quark.


Indeed there is; that's why I specified first Gen. Quarks. The new ones are too light and hang up in the placements like an old fashioned BD pick.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Feb 21, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Oh...good call didn't notice that. Any experience with pick weights on the new quarks?

I was using a friend's axes this weekend which were much heavier than the quarks and I loved the solid swing, but I really like the balance of the quarks over any other tools I've tried.


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Feb 21, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

I like the new quarks with pick weights much better. stilla pain to remove because of those new picks though!


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By Dane
Feb 21, 2013
Cham '11

Takes two minutes with a file to fix the newest Petzl picks so they aren't sticky in ice. Old Cascade pick was a better water fall ice pick. New ICE pick is a better mixed pix in factory form. Still decent on ice.

New Quark is simply a Nomic with a straighter grip. No one seems to bitch about the Nomic. New Quark set up the same way a Nomic would be for climbing will climb virtually the same. Old Quark and Cascade picks is still a great tool and every bit the equal of a Carbon Cobra but with a better pick imo.

No hammers or adze, pick weights and a Cascade pick or a Ice pick set up on the new Quark or a Nomic is a sweet combo for technical ice.

Petzl pick mods here:

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/10/petzl-picks-again.html


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