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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hopefully my final comment on BD stainless

Is it just me or is it really hard to get a simple and straight forward answer in any public forum?

I posed this question on the BD website (and on the Super Topo thread) and added the bold insert here on the "recall":

Dane Burns @ Cold Thistle
17 Apr 2012, 11:52PM
"In the Fall of '10 or early winter of '11 BD obviously made an inline change and added 30% or more material to the front point area on the frame of the Sabers where they have been breaking.

 We have been calling them Gen I and Gen II for clarity's sake.

As late as last Fall (2011) you could still buy Gen I Sabers at retailers online and in person.

Was there ever a recall internally of the Gen I crampons and replacement with Gen IIs. (the answer is yes in at least one retailer's case)   If you own Gen Is will BD replace them with Gen IIs prior to a failure? Thanks for the reply."

The BD answer is here:

and reprinted here:

18 Apr 2012, 4:04PM
"@Dane Burns As previously stated in our QC Lab post on the Black Diamond Journal and in Peter Metcalf's post on, our designers and engineers always look for opportunities to improve designs through in-line adjustments. These iterative design tweaks are part of any BD product, be it a carabiner, crampon, ski boot, headlamp or trekking pole. And, as stated previously as well, we stand behind all of our products, including all stainless steel crampons."

Looks to me like they are standing behind the crampons.  Swapping Gen Is for Gen IIs should be easy as BD really does stand behind the product.  Here is their warranty info:

North America:

Black Diamond Warranty and Repair
2084 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84124

The EU:
Black Diamond Equipment AG
Christoph Merian Ring 7

4153 Reinach, Switzerland
p: +41/61 564 33 23
f: +41/61 564 33 24

Here is how you tell the difference:

"Interesting observation from a picture. 2nd gen Saber on the left and 1st generation Saber on the right. Serac's look to have added the same amount of material to the forward rails. Difference across the flat, in the same area as the breaks above, has gone from .53" to .70". Or if my numbers are correct, a 38% increase in material to the rails. The center bar on the front points went from .50" to .62" or 24%."


sdizzle said...

Dane I certainly appreciate the work and foresight of many parties on this subject, but do see the reasons to move on. Isnt it true however, that several breaks have occurred with the new (gen II) crampons? Thanks

Dane said...

"several breaks have occurred with the new (gen II) crampons? "


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that info. Is there anyway I can tell if my Sabertooths are 1st or 2nd gen without removing the anti snow plate? If no, how hard is it to remove and replace the ani snow plate?

Dane said...

No way to tell unless you pull the botts. Easy enough to do and put back on though. Takes only a minute or two. And it is worth knowing I think.

A-Bomb said...

I'll have to check my Sabertooths tonight. Thanks for the info. I wouldn't know about the issue if it weren't for this blog. Fortunately, mine have only been used for galcier travel so far. I was planning on getting into more technical ice climbing in the coming year. I think I'll be reluctant to use my sabertooths for that...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dane,

Yes, it is a bit perplexing why they can't give more straightforward answers. When you check their warranty, it makes it sound like they only have a one year warranty, so it's unclear whether they "stand behind the crampons" past one year. Also, as you and others have pointed out, the second generation seem to be breaking as well.

Personally, as I purchased my "Gen I" crampons in Canada, I'm going to send them back to MEC with a very nice letter - explaing that although I don't believe everything I read on the internet - would they pretty please consider replacing them with Grivel G12's, as I just don't like having to second guess my gear anymore than I have to. I'll post later what happens.



Anonymous said...


Hi there. In case you're curious, just an update. I did send my 1 generation sabretooths back to MEC with a very friendly but assertive letter, explaing that although there was nothing technically wrong with them, I didn't like having to second guess my gear. Much to MEC's credit, they exchanged my crampons for some Petzl Sarkens. Needless to say, I wrote MEC back, and thanked them for their excellent customer service (that's been my general experience over the years).