The Wired Hexentric Nuts by Black Diamond is a timeless form of protection that has retained its relevance as the most versatile, inexpensive protection available to climbers. The unique design of the Hex allows each piece to fit four crack confi gurations. Made of 6061-T6 aluminum; durable swaged cable.
DECENT FEATURES of the Black Diamond Wired Hexentric Nuts
Wide range of placements in all conditions of climbing
Size #11 and #10: Double 'em over on the rack and I have yet to need a sling to extend a placement, the wire is super long! On solo trad routes I have put these in horizontal flares and verticals with slight flaring, with a solid yank to place, these won't move. #10 was used as part of a rappel anchor and was easy to remove afterwards. Even a sand covered quartzite liked these (not so with some of my other passive options). Since these "cam" themselves into place, I choose these over my BD nuts! Get a whole set, it's lighter (and cheaper) than cams!
I go to a school that embrace cowbells as a traditional accompaniment to sports, so I figured hey, why not go for broke and pick up the #11 and see what all this "cow bell" fuss is all about? When I got this thing in the mail I wasn't sure if I should hang from it or use it as a weapon. Finally, on a trip to do some easy trad climbing, I got to use this beast. Unfortunately it was only to keep my belayer from slipping on some leaves and tumbling down a descent corridor and not something more illustrious but hey, it worked!
These things are great for what they're designed for. They do not replace cams, and at the more difficult spectrum of climbing, are often altogether left out of the equation. But for the beginner looking for a few extra cheap pieces, or the budding alpinist looking for lightweight protection that is cheap to bail off of, these things rock. I rarely leave the ground without a few and they get placed on nearly every climb. Nothing feels more solid than a bomber Hex!
I always keep a bigger hex in my trad rack just in case if I run into something to big to easily protect with my other pro. It is a hell of a lot cheaper than a cam, and I have used it pretty consistently. Smaller sizes are kind of useless compared to nuts, but the big stuff is great.
I keep a few of these with me for anchor building as they are lighter than cams and large tri-cams and lets me conserve my active protection for lead climbing. The color coding is OK, but I would have liked the same format as my nuts.
Why would you bring a hex? Because it's lighter than the equivalent cam? The largest BD hex is 206 grams and a 3 camalot is 201 grams. On a climb at my limit, I'd rather have the cam. On a climb well below my limit, I'd rather climb higher and place a different piece and leave the heavy hex at home. It's implicit in this review that the smaller hexes are not useful.
"Use the larger sizes to supplement your trad rack."
I don't see much different between the small sizes and a nut, but the larger sizes can do the job of a medium Cam. Ok, you've heard that before, but the larger sizes are also good to use with your nut tool as a hammer.