In previous posts we’ve covered the basics of how to Booty Gear stuck in a crack. This process works well for any standard nut nool. 20-21 cm is the industry average length for the ~13 tools commercially available in the US (~$6-25). And there are 10 or so additional tools that can be found on various non-English language websites, like this one. Outside of the US, you’ll even find a few tools that are 22 cm – 26.5 cm.

Maybe you’re satisfied with your nut tool length, but are disappointed with it’s pirate plundering performance due to a lack of extra features. Either way, read on for an example of how [and why] you might create your own perfectly personalized piece of pro-plucking paraphernalia.

Coming up Short

20 cm is nice, but since most nut tools are basically the same length, any gear that is set deeper or has been pushed deeper by people working with 20 cm tools is either inaccessible or yours for the taking, if you have a longer nut tool. In this situation, size does matter.

If you can read Czech or Russian (or want to spend an evening learning new words like Экстрактор для закладок КРЫСА) you will be able to find a 22+ cm tool. But the difficulties of convincing those companies to ship to the US and shipping costs make this a prohibitively challenging endeavor.

Opportunity Seen

I wanted access to the subset of stuck gear not workable with a 20 cm tool. As climbers we’re all into coming up with solutions and solving puzzles, and chances are we’re gear geeks as well. Combine this with being cheap bastards, and the enjoyment of plucking free gear, and the idea of making my own [slightly longer] nut tool was born.

For the record, I’m not a metal worker or CAD expert, or designer for that matter. These are not Capt’n Booty traits. But I know how to use basic image editing software and order things off the internet. Turns out, those were the only necessary skills.

computer model BBB nut tool


The process was fairly straight-forward:

  1. Come up with a dream design
  2. Mock it up in Adobe Acrobat
  3. Send it off to be “printed”

For the design, I looked at my current nut tool and all the other available models. I took all the “best” features and design elements and combined them to create the one nut tool to rule them all.

In the end I made a 24 cm-long tool – increasing the size by 20% (4 cm longer than standard). I also made the hook at the end more pronounced than other tools for more grabability. Finally, I added wings to the back end to trigger cams if needed.

designing BBB

Manufacturing Details

Once the design was worked, I needed to find someone to actually make it. There are plenty of options and, as any self-respecting booty pirate would, I went lookin’ for the best value.

Local Metal Working Shops

I called around to a number of metal working shops. Conclusion: too expensive.

Big Blue Saw (online)

I talked to some really nice folks at Big Blue Saw. Conclusion: Needed a large order to make it cost effective.

Lasergist (online)

In the end I went with Lasergist to do the cutting. Lasergist (along with BBS above) have a vast number of choices of material and finishes. Based on my current nut tool and specs online, I decided that 2 mm AISI 304 Stainless Steel would be the best choice. And why not go with back-side brushing and laser engraving my logo?! (oh no, now I need to come up with one!). $26 and a week later Bryan’s Bootie Buster (B.B.B.) arrived!

length comparison of nut tools

Needless to say I’m super excited about the design and quality. The guys at Lasergist did a great job laser cutting the tool to my exact design specs, and the engraving looks killer. I hammered the wings into fully deployed mode and have it racked on my harness for the next big outing.


Editor’s Note

If you’re reading this post because you fell victim to a gear-eating crack and had to leave a piece behind because you didn’t have a long enough tool, these links below may be helpful to re-stock your rack. Or you can make your own Booty Buster and go get that lost treasure!

See (and compare) every nut
See on sale nuts and nut tools
See (and compare) every cam
See on sale cams only


Bryan Hains

Bryan Hains

Bryan is a SF Bay Area-based dad (when not climbing) and climber (when not dadding). He also messes around with honeybees which, like climbing, to outsiders seems crazy and stupid.

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