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By Phum1986
From conway, Ar
Aug 13, 2012
New trad climber accumulating a beginner rack. I've been using mostly cams and nuts where I could. Are hexes a good addition? Or should I save the money and get more cams?

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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Aug 13, 2012
Just get more cams.

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By Karl K
From Phoenix, AZ
Aug 13, 2012
Only get hexes if you want to get a lot of gear for the money, want the most bomber pro around (when placed well), and would like to have 8 different pieces for the weight of two cams.
Plus, learning to place hexes well will make your cam placements better.

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By Johnny D
From Fort Collins, CO
Aug 13, 2012
this is a hat
Hexes have their place in your quiver, especially on super long alpine rock days when you don't want to waste SLCD on belays.

YMMV, but I think you'll find that you'll quickly grow out of hexes once you start leading harder pitches. Hexes are typically less than $20, 1/3 the cost of a cam.
My advice is to climb with partners with diverse protection on their racks, see what you like, and save your money until you can figure out what you are comfortable placing when you're gripped.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 13, 2012
Bocan
Well they are a much cheaper way to double your rack. It will cost you less than $100 to do that. And they are lighter.

Not a bad way to start a rack, then you can slowly save up for cams.

But also like said above you'll end up using cams later. I still keep my hexes though.

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By Tom Grummon
From Golden, CO
Aug 13, 2012
Top of Montezuma's Tower
When I started my rack it was just nuts and hexes, which made me surprisingly good at placing passive gear. When I'm climbing on just my rack, I definitely bring hexes to double up in some sizes. But on a recent trip to squamish we ended up having 3 racks and the hexes almost never found their way on my harness.

They are great to place when you can, but when you start climbing harder you will find you place them less and less often just because its so much easier to place a cam.

For what its worth I like my hexes and am glad I have them. it beefs up the size of my rack for not a lot of weight/money.

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By Rob Lilley
From Greensboro, NC
Aug 13, 2012
Bouldering at Stanage Edge, England.
Hexes are brilliant and an unjustly ignored piece of gear these days, many people prefer to just stuff a cam in quickly and climb on.

I would highly recommend you invest in a set of DMM Torque Nuts, they're lightweight, versatile and about the most confidence inspiring piece of gear you'll ever place.

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By Superclimber
Aug 13, 2012
My hexes live in the corner of forgotten toys. Stay away from wired hexes. The DMM Torque Nuts might be sorta useful if your heart is set on getting hexes.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Aug 13, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Some people love 'em, some people use 'em as paperweight. Personally I bring a couple unless I'm on something where I already know the pro, or on something that I know won't take them.

The pros have already been mentioned. Lighter than cams. The cons, clunky and not quite as versatile in placing, takes longer sometimes, etc. However, you can cover a good range of two or three sizes (considering you can place it using the ends) with one piece.

Nice to have as an extra piece for building anchors, and there's nothing quite like the thunk of a bomber hex placement to inspire confidence. You'll be just fine with nuts and cams if you don't want to diversify.

As far as wired vs. slung hexes, it's 6 of one, half dozen of the other. I like the wires personally, because I can use them to place higher or deeper, and place one handed (not that you can't place one handed with a slung hex, I've just found it easier with the wired variety). Others don't like them because they're much more prone to moving or walking out of their placements. YMMV

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By SlowTrad
From St Paul, MN
Aug 13, 2012
They are nice for building top rope anchors at Devil's Lake, WI, which is Baraboo Quartzite that is uber low friction. I have also discovered that cam's in an anchor can dissappear if not monitored closely.

Seriously, I used to place BD Hexes on just about every pith I climbed BITD, but I generally only bring them along now if I am doing a climb I know will take hexes. I climb a lot of the same stuff in the midwest a lot, so I know the routes and can remember my placements.

They are also kinda nice to fill in holes you have in your cam arsenal, like if you are doing Assembly Line on DT and don't have enough #1-#2 cams, #5-#8 hexes will fill in.

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Aug 13, 2012
Middle
I bought more cams just so I didn't have to hear the clank of my hexes.

I still have them though.

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 13, 2012
OTL
Tricams.

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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Aug 13, 2012
Let me clarify my answer a bit:

I see you live in Conway. I assume your rack will be biased towards East Coast climbing - shorter, harder routes on steep rock; often granite cracks. In that case, cams, hands-down. Visit any crag on the east coast and look for hexes - they are rare. Cams rule.

Yes, hexes are lighter. Not 8x lighter; more like 2x if you get light cams. They are also cheaper. If you were mountaineering out west, they would make much more sense. You're usually standing on good holds when you make a placement, and every ounce you carry up the approach will slow you down.

Every single person I've climbed with on the East Coast bought hexes to expand their rack when they started. They all leave them in the closet now.

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By Unassigned User
Aug 13, 2012
Auto-X Fil wrote:
Let me clarify my answer a bit: I see you live in Conway. I assume your rack will be biased towards East Coast climbing - shorter, harder routes on steep rock; often granite cracks. In that case, cams, hands-down. Visit any crag on the east coast and look for hexes - they are rare. Cams rule. Yes, hexes are lighter. Not 8x lighter; more like 2x if you get light cams. They are also cheaper. If you were mountaineering out west, they would make much more sense. You're usually standing on good holds when you make a placement, and every ounce you carry up the approach will slow you down. Every single person I've climbed with on the East Coast bought hexes to expand their rack when they started. They all leave them in the closet now.



Meh wrong! Like Matt said, TRICAMS!!!! They are awesome!!

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 13, 2012
Bocan
J Hazard wrote:
Meh wrong! Like Matt said, TRICAMS!!!! They are awesome!!


Yep, my hexes are in the closet, but my tricams are an essential part of my rack.

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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Aug 13, 2012
I use the Red and Pink tricams a ton. Brown and Blue less often, because I don't usually bring them. I probably should, though.

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By slim
Administrator
Aug 13, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
all my hexes
live in texas....

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By mmainer
Aug 13, 2012
For a beginner climber looking to build out their rack for a nice price, they are a great choice. I would recommend going with the equivalent of BD #5 and up... which will get you 6-7 pieces for roughly the price of a single cam. There are actually a lot of old Chouinard Hexes floating around out there for cheap. Re-sling them and they should be fine. Even after you add another set of cams, you'll probably find hexes useful from time to time.

In wider cracks that really flair along the axis of the crack they are great for building opposed placements - those are situations where cams simply won't work, or with cracks that flair inwards a lot. In fact there are a couple classic routes I can think of where I always bring a few since I know there will be really good placements for them allowing me to save cams for elsewhere.

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By mmainer
Aug 13, 2012
And BTW all you folks who recommend just buying cams instead... do you all have trust funds? Seems like cams just get more and more expensive and it's ridiculous to imagine folks being able to build a decent rack at $60-70 per piece.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Aug 13, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
slim wrote:
all my hexes live in texas....


lol +1

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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Aug 13, 2012
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!
Con: They will make it difficult to lead a 5.11c splitter crack.
Pro: For starting out, you will learn to set good pro and most easy routes were put up 100% passive.

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By CLW
From Ontario
Aug 13, 2012
I love my hexes, I place them on just about every climb. I sometimes grab my partners set and go up with doubles! Once you learn to place them, like others have said, 110% bomber. However, I am mostly climbing Ontario limestone so I would much rather go with passive pro over a cam. I love the slung WC hexcentrics and really dislike the wired hexes.

My suggestion, find someone to borrow a set from or that's willing to get rid of them dirt cheap. Try them out, see if you like them. I got my set here off MP, silver to purple (7 in total) for about the price of 1 new cam.

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By JoeR
From Eugene, OR
Aug 13, 2012
One great thing about hexes that hasn't been mentioned:

Using hexes forces/teaches you to find and use the most efficient rest stances and placement heights. They really help to train yourself out of the "it's hard now, place cam as high as I can reach off this bad jam" mentality. Placing high gear has its place here and there, but learning to place good gear from the most restful stance possible at an efficient height is priceless.

I love my WC slung hexes in the larger sizes, wish they went bigger. The smaller stuff I just use nuts.



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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 13, 2012
Bocan
mmainer wrote:
And BTW all you folks who recommend just buying cams instead... do you all have trust funds? Seems like cams just get more and more expensive and it's ridiculous to imagine folks being able to build a decent rack at $60-70 per piece.


Or something similar. I literally bought my rack cam by cam. Started with nuts etc, then hexes. Occasionally I was lucky and got super blow outs on the old metolius powercams before the range finder and I could actually afford to buy like 2-3. I probably spend over 5 years putting it all together.

Now however I have too much. haha!

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By Tim Zander
Aug 13, 2012
So many people are overstating the positive sides of hexes... the package deal for BD hexes(7 of them) is just over $100, you can get 2 cams for that... so I would say you can get 3-4 hexes for the price of one cam(not 6-7 as one poster said, what cams cost you $105 each?).

Also look into buying used cams, you can easily get good quality and good condition cams for $25-35 each.

And wait for sales, don't buy them for less than %20 off as a start.

I've got two sets of hexes that both sit in the closet collecting dust. I always carry nuts, but cams are generally a waste of money and space in my opinion.

Also, if you reallllly do want to buy hexes, sure as hell don't buy them new. As you have read there are many of us here with them sitting around unused, I'm sure you could find many people looking to sell them cheap to you.

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By Vaughne
Aug 13, 2012
Tim Zander wrote:
...I always carry nuts, but cams are generally a waste of money and space in my opinion...

I've never heard anyone say that before. Typo?

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