Topic:
Filter by Activity:
Loading...

QC Lab

Before any piece of Black Diamond gear makes it on to the shelves, it spends months, sometimes years getting put through the wringer by our team of Quality Control engineers. Through extensive and meticulous testing, both in the lab and in the field, the QC Lab team help ensure that you can count on your BD gear to be as durable, reliable and as strong as possible every time you head into the mountains or out to the crags. Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of the most common gear-related questions.

Visit our QC Lab Archive page to see all posts.

QC Lab: How Ice Screws Are Made
Check out this QC Lab with KP and the crew as they tour you through our factory floor and show you firsthand how we manufacture ice screws.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: OFF-AXIS AND TRI/QUAD-AXIAL LOADING
Recently, Kelly Cordes emailed KP and the QC crew, posing a lengthy question about the dangers of off-axis loading while at the belay. Our lab answered the question and got inspired to do a few more tests along the way.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: FULL STRENGTH HAUL LOOPS
This month KP and the crew tackle a question that is often heard at the base of the crag. What does full strength really mean?
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Worn Anchors
Over time cold shuts, leaver biners and chain links wear from countless lowers. Will these grooved-out anchors hold? Will the sharp edges trash your rope?
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Remounting previously drilled skis
Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of climbing's most common gear-related questions. This month, KP and the crew tackle the issue of mounting a pair of skis that have been previously drilled.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Autoblock Misuse
Lately I've been getting quite a few questions on the use of the Black Diamond ATC-Guide and/or similar "autoblock"-style belay devices—and another installment of QC with KP was born.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Gear Doesn't Last Forever—Ice Tool Picks
This month is first part of a series the QA engineers are doing on gear lifespan. Gear, no matter how well designed and constructed, doesn't last forever. First off, they'll focus on ice tool picks.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: What is the strongest rappel knot?
Rappel knot choice (Double Fisherman's, Ring Bend or Euro Death/Overhand) has always been up for a large amount of debate.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Slings and Quickdraws
This month, KP and the crew present Part III of their Gear Doesn't Last Forever series (check out Part I and Part II), where they investigate the complex world of slings and quickdraws. Enjoy.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Can a hot belay device melt my slings?
Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of climbing's most common gear-related questions. This month—how hot do belay devices really get?
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Girth Hitching a Stopper
In this post, KP weighs in on a weird one, but curious nonetheless. What happens when you girth hitch a stopper to a bolt hanger?
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: The Electric Harness Acid Test
This month, the Quality crew investigates a mysterious harness failure and dives into the effects of chemical contamination on climbing textiles.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Choosing the Right Carabiner
Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of climbing's most common gear-related questions. This month we talk about carabiners.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Dangers of rope worn carabiners
There was an accident a few weeks ago at the Red River Gorge where a climber fell going to the second bolt and the rope was cut completely through by the fixed draw's sharp-edged, rope-end carabiner.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab—Re-slinging Camalots and C3s
One of the most common questions we get at Black Diamond is regarding reslinging our Camalots, Camalot C3s and Camalot X4s. Gear doesn't last forever and eventually your cams will need to be reslung.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: How Sketchy Is a Sharp-Edged Carabiner?
I've yanked a lot of worn, sharp-edged biners off of routes, and I've tested a lot of them. It's not the ultimate strength that makes me the most nervous; it's the risk of cutting a rope.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: To Screamer or not to Screamer?
This post comes direct from QA Manager Corey LaForge, who returned from a recent ascent of the Eiger Norwand with some questions about Yates Screamers that he promptly put to the test here in our lab.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Sharpie for marking the middle of a rope?
Here's the question I get asked/emailed probably more than any other: "Can I use a Sharpie to mark the middle of my rope? "My answer: "I don't know."
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Connecting Two Slings Together
Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of climbing's most common gear-related questions. This month we talk about connecting slings.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Retiring Old Ropes
Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of climbing's most common gear-related questions. This month, KP and the crew look at retiring ropes.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Gear Doesn't Last Forever—Crampons
Our QA engineers take a look at the realistic life span of a crampon.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: How strong are Himalayan fixed lines?
Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of climbing's most common gear-related questions. This month features fixed ropes from the Himalayas.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Via Ferrata
This month, KP and the crew discuss a via ferrata accident (NOT involving Black Diamond gear) that happened in Europe this summer, along with the ins and outs and proper use of via ferrata equipment.
Read Full Story »
QC LAB: Daisy chain dangers
I see it all the time. People at the cliff with one or two daisy chains girth hitched to their belay loop or tie-in points, and using them as a personal anchor system when at an anchor. Wrong.
Read Full Story »
Tech Tip: Taper Trimming Your Skins
Dialing in your new backcountry kit for the season? Straight from our design crew, this latest tech tip about taper trimming your skins will help make the uphill a little more enjoyable.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: How strong is the Spinner Leash?
In this post KP weighs in on the intended use and risks of using the Spinner Leash. Read below for more knowledge and insight from our Director of Global Quality.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Weakness of Nose-hooked Carabiners
I've seen and/or heard of only a handful of carabiners that have broken in the field, and most have broken in the same way: nose hooked. The nose of the carabiner gets hung up on something.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Draws in a Gym
As you know, I've tested many fixed quickdraws from sport routes from all over the country. A while ago a gym owner asked me about replacing draws at a gym and how they compare to draws outside.
Read Full Story »
QC Lab: Sling Strength in 3 Anchor Configurations
A few weeks ago a crew of super badass climbers rolled through the QA lab and one question came up more than just a few times: "What is the strongest way to rig an anchor at a belay?"
Read Full Story »
No Results Found