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The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
The rest of the MS Team
The drill has served me well for a full active climbing season. It has completely replaced my entire rack. On most of my climbs I now rely completely on the drill for all of my placements. At first it was a bit awkward drilling on lead. The weight of the drill can be difficult to manage one handed and beginners might be advised to carry a single wide range cam to rest on while drilling. However much of the weight lies in the external battery pack that you clip to your harness and after some practice I have been able to drill single handily with my stronger arm while hanging on my left. Also knowing that you can always rely on your last bolt it is possible to go further between protection than traditionally without compromising safety.