Black Diamond Express | $59.95 | bdel.com ★★★★★
In lengths of 10, 13, 16, 19, 22 cm
In hard ice, you can place a Black Diamond 22 cm Express Ice Screw in under 20 seconds, and sometimes half that. The Express Screws with aggressive teeth that are longer and sharper than those of a piranha, are easy to stab into the ice to get them started. Once you've set the screw, you unfold the small coffee-grinder handle that is integrated within the hanger, and spin in the screw. When you are done, you fold the knob back up and clip the stainless steel hanger. Color coding on the handle makes it easy to visually identify each length. After you remove a screw, a puff through the tube usually suffices to clear the ice core. The Express Screws are standard on my ice rack, and are what I measure all other ice screws against. On Colorado water ice I find the 16 cm length the most useful. The 22 cm are long, but good in funky conditions, and I've used the 10 cm—and gladly—on super thin and otherwise unprotectable ice.