After collecting data for every ice screw available on the market we thought it would be interesting to compare the stats. Here’s what we found:

Per size, the weight difference from the lightest to the heaviest screw is just about 150 grams. The lightest screws are aluminum and made by Petzl and E-Climb. The heaviest screws include a foldable handle and attached sling, and are offered by Salewa and Grivel.

Fun Fact: Petzl’s aluminum screws are almost exactly half the weight of the Salewa screws.

You’ll quickly note that E-Climb is the only brand offering a screw under 10cm – pictures of this 6cm screw make the handle appear 3 times longer than the screw tube.

Fun Fact: There are no 11 cm long ice screws, though plenty of 10’s and 12’s.

Only 5 brands (Black Diamond, Cassin, DMM, Grivel, and Petzl) have screws available for sale in the US.

Note: Fixe and Stubai will be have screws in the future, Omega Pacific no longer makes screws.

Every ice climbing screw has steel teeth but E-Climb and Petzl make ice screws that incorporate an aluminum tube to reduce weight.

Fun Fact: E-Climb only makes aluminum ice screws.

Grivel and Cassin are the sole brands promoting reverse threading (we talk about the idea behind reverse threading in more detail on our run-down of Grivel’s updated 360 screws).

Fun Fact: 29% of the market seems like a lot of reverse threading but it’s worth noting that Grivel alone accounts for 25% of the ice screw market with their 18 screw options.

The most significant difference between ice screws is the handle design. All screws include a hanger, which is necessary to pass the UIAA tests, but not every screw includes a handle to enable faster placement.

There have been reported incidents of handles harming the rope during a fall, which may be why you’ll notice the number of screws incorporating a foldable handle is much higher than their non-foldable counterparts.

Do you rack your cams with color-coded carabiners? If so, color-coded screws could be your ticket as well. Color coding seems to go hand-in-hand with all the ice screw models that have handles, as the handle is usually the anodized part.

Fun Fact: When we took a tour to Black Diamond, Kolin Powick (Head of Climbing R&D) was quick to point out that the BD ice screw colors are arranged in the same order as their Camalots.

The trend seems to be moving from two clip-in points on the hanger with older models to one clip-in point on the newer screws. The UIAA actually has safety standards that state one of the clip-in points (eyes) must be at least 15 mm in diameter. If there are two eyes and both are designed for clipping, the second must be greater than 12 mm.

The three brands selling screws with attached slings are Cassin, Grivel and Salewa. The question becomes one of personal preference: is it better to have fewer quickdraws but more screw weight, or more quickdraws and a lighter screw?

Keep the stats coming

We’re curious to track these trends into the future, along with other gear facts. If you think of a comparison that we’re missing, let us know in the comments, and we’ll see what we can do!

You can see and compare all the ice screws available today at (you can also see if any ice screws are on sale there)

Alison Dennis

Alison Dennis

Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

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