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Grivel G12 vs BD Sabretooth

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I'm replacing my aging and dulling G12 for this winter. I prefer to use horizontal front point for most of my climbing (North East). Two obvious options here are: Grivel G12 and BD Sabretooth (Stainless Steel). Specs are pretty close to each other, BD is about 4oz heavier. Has anyone used both? How do they compare? Any boot fitting issues?




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I asked this same question here last winter - the general consensus is "Go with whatever you find in sale"


There was a pretty equal split of people preferring the grivel, preferring the BD, or saying they're identical.


So basically.... go with whatever's cheapest. I found a set of BD's for $90 and that pretty much settled it for me.

Edited by Jon H

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I use both on a regular basis. And hopefully this will help.


Better check the weights yourself. Out of the box the BD is lighter. Grivel published weights are typically without the bott. BD is very careful to publish their actual weights including the bott. What is listed below I weighted and is accurate.


Grivel G12 ful bot 35.6oz

Stainless Sabertooth full bot 34.2oz

Stainless Sabertooth full bot with Petzl bail & heel 30.2oz

Stainless Sabertooth no bot with Petzl bail toe and heel 28.4oz

Stainess Sabertooth. Neve heel, no bots with Petzl bails 25.4oz


More actual weights posted here:



While at first glance they are similar in design and performace they are not. The BD has an extra set of down points and it makes a noticable difference on varied terrain. That said I really like the Grivel on mixed, likely because I have used them there a lot. And I like to think the Grivel front point design has some advantages. That is only speculation but they certainly stay sharp a long time.


A fully featured horizontal crampon generally has at least 8 vertical crampon points. (Dartwin for example) While a G12 has 10 and a BD Sabertooth has 12. Doesn't take a lot of imagination to realise which will be more stable on moderate ice while using French technique. Same technique and places I get rests on hard technical ice. The Dartwin (which I climb in a lot) feels like a pair of roller skates compared to the other two imo with the BD a fair step up on the Grivel in the same conditions.


More here:




Fit? I use Petzl front bails on both of these crampons for a better fit. I also like the Grivel for fit on my single boots, especially the heel. It took Petzl bails and the asymetrical bar to get a better fit than that in the BD (BD is in the process of going to a thinner front bales) The BDs will fit anything but are a bit awkward without some work. No question the BDs fit my dbl boots better out of the box. Grivel's fronts don't fit a wide boot (dbls) very well. (boot size is a 45)


And Jon's thread from last year.




Price? Price being equal, I think the stainless BD Sabertooth offers a better value and better performace between the two. At 1/2 retail price I'd likely take what was on sale. Few will ever wear either pair out.



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I can get some good deals on crampons, so they both will come out to be the same price. I probably won't Frankenstein the crampons. I ask because I heard comments about how the new SS crampons don't stay sharp and a pain to resharpen.

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I ask because I heard comments about how the new SS crampons don't stay sharp and a pain to resharpen.


I have found the opposite. Surprised at how the BD came out of the box and how sharp they have stayed with use. I work with steel (stainless and chromoly) every day and was actually surprised by the durability of BD's stainless. Typically your observations would be true of stainless used in other applications. Obviously BD hit an alloy that works well in crampons.


I sharpen crampons from all the different manufactures and don't find one material or brand easier/harder than the rest.


If I wasn't going to change anything on the crampons..I think the front bails on the G12s suck...and personally wouldn't use them as they come from the factory.


The extra circle on the Grivel's bale wire is to absorb shock to keep the bale from breaking or popping off the boot lip. The loop gets in the way and is annoying on mixed. It is a piss poor design. Better to use a material that can take the shock and load instead of having to design around using it because you chose an inappropriate material.


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Not meaning to drift the thread to much but does anyone have any experience with the Black Diamond 12-pointer called the Serac? It's supposed to be an ounce lighter than the Sabertooth and looks fairly similar to the G-12 in shape to my untrained eye.

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Serac pro



Sabertooth pro



BD's web site shows them both at 2# 2oz for the clip models as a comparison for weight. I have not climbed in the Serac but from the design I would say they would climb every bit as good as the G12s. Which is saying a lot, as the G12s are a very good crampons. I think the less pronounced set of horizontal points might make the Serac a better NA crampon as we generally see less neve which is part of the G12s design. Make sure you get the solid connecting bar and not the spring bar if you want to use them on technical water ice or with a stiff boot. Nice to have the advantages of stainless as well.


Hard to believe the Serac doesn't weigh a bit less than the Sabertooth.

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I switched from old (pre-SS) Sabretooth to G12s.


The biggest difference is that the old BD steel was very soft. This is neither here nor there, since the new alloy is totally different and sounds much better.


The next big thing is the secondary points - the G12 are monstrous compared to the BD. I get a little more calf relief with them. The Serac may provide a similar climb in a BD crampon.


Mine are 39oz (on my accurate scale) with full anti-bott, which is quite disappointing. This is 1 oz less than my old BDs, but significantly more (5oz?) than new Sabretooths. That's a lot of weight.


Fit is better on small boots, as Dane noted, especially in the heel.


I am by no means looking to get rid of the G12 - they are a wonderful crampon and I'll gladly wear them out. But, if the BD fits your boot it seems to climb just as well at a much lower weight. If the new alloy holds up as well as Petzl and Grivel crampons they have a real winner.

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