The best small cams?


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 101 - 113 of total 113 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Sebastopol, CA
Jun 12, 2009 - 04:59pm PT
Interesting thread, thanks for the test data and pictures.

I also prefer Aliens, simply because they are easiest to fit.

Despite the QC problems, it seems that an intrinsic mechanical cam failure is still less likely overall than a failure due to my inability to find the best placement for that cam. It will probably pull from being loaded incorrectly much sooner than it will disintegrate like the ones in the photos. Also, the strongest cam does me no good in a fall if it's back on my harness because I couldn't find a *&^$#@!! way to fit it.

Anyway, the best small cams? Ones that are backed up with a second piece.
Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Jun 12, 2009 - 05:37pm PT


Big Wall climber
Jun 12, 2009 - 06:09pm PT
Is that a pink thing you're wearing there, Russ?

Jun 12, 2009 - 10:42pm PT
Yeah, after you take a single lead fall on one, where can you take the now useless piece to be recycled?
T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Jun 13, 2009 - 12:23am PT
I love my aliens but I don't really trust them anymore. Sad because the concepts behind them are awesome and work very well.

I have thought about rebrazing mine. I haven't looked at it seriously but the first thought is you gotta be really careful not to melt the fabic sheath and plastic. The heat might affect the temper of the lobes if you dwell to long also. The weep hole is an excellent idea. I've done my fair share of brazing and silver soldering before I learned to MIG and TIG weld.

The temper might be explained as Chinese 6061 T6. I tested a few samples at the shop a couple of weeks ago that did not measure up to the same specs as US T6 material. Just one reason that I use only US made materials.

The hersay story about torching and quenching doesn't add up. That's how you anneal aluminum. I have done it in my forge. You have to "soak" aluminum with heat for an extended period of time. I haven't heat treated aluminum but I have done various types of steel.

Where's Tom? Probably not up yet. He's a late night kind of guy. He knows the gig when it comes to cams. I'm the machinist, he's the engineer. The fields kind of overlap.

The reason no one is knocking them off?
1) Not cool business to rip off somebody's design.
2) Not great to buy a company that has lost face and might be facing lawsuits you would inherit.
3) CCH has been making cams for decades. They have tooled up for it and know all the ins and outs of it (their QC isn't great though). Investing a lot of time and money up front is what would be needed. Why not? Refer to reasons 1 and 2.
nikki trauma

Trad climber
san francisco, ca
Jul 8, 2009 - 11:35am PT
for me, aliens (black through red) place the best and have held my falls. i do understand everyone's concern though. maybe this forum should act as an open letter to the CCH guys to get it together a little more. i love the product and i love that they're hand made by a grass roots company - but if a lot of folks are afraid to climb with them then maybe it's time to sell the patent to a company that will manage the quality control issues a bit better?

Trad climber
c-ville, virginia
Jul 8, 2009 - 12:50pm PT
It is like this for me. Most of my aliens have held solid falls, including a 45' foot factor 1.8 or 9 on a green. And they fit better where the pro is marginal and or hard to place. Just this past weekend coming out of the bombay on the Naked edge I was able to get two relatively solid aliens where I couldn't get any of my other cams to fit. When you are looking at 50/50 placements a 1% to 5% chance of mechanical failure just doesn't seem that important. That said I like TCUS - new type - the old heads suck for 00-1 sizes, aliens for green to red, with offsets and C4's for anything grey and above.

Jul 8, 2009 - 03:22pm PT
my standard are TCU's. but smallest C3 will fit in finer seams than the littlest TCU. I pulled an alien on short fall years ago (probably b4 I knew how to place gear well) and have not climbed on them since. ultimately it's whatever you feel safe on, plug it and chug it.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 8, 2009 - 05:55pm PT
F*#k aliens, they got funked if you looked at them too long, way before the dimple phase. Good for maybe one, bold ascent.

They were on to something with the design, too bad they couldn't make it work.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
way, WAY out there....(OMG)
Jul 8, 2009 - 06:07pm PT
Nice placement, Russ.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Feb 28, 2010 - 01:54pm PT
This is a great thread, especially all the photos. I am adding in a link to my Small Calling Device Review and Small Camming Device Buyers guide


Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Jun 9, 2014 - 09:50pm PT
Guess I'm unusual...but after 37 years of extensive climbing (and being a renowned gear slut) I still like Metolius Ultralights the best!

Social climber
Jun 10, 2014 - 10:56am PT
I have one set of Metolius TCUs, one set of Power cams, one set of Master cams and one set of offset Mastercams. The color coordination helps my sketched-out brain know what piece to grab, yet I still have a variety of pieces.

I usually just carry the Mastercams and offsets now, then BD for the big stuff.
Messages 101 - 113 of total 113 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews