DMM Halfnuts & Wild Contry Superlight Rock
DMM and Wild Country are renowned for their trad gear and nuts quality. Both UK companies provide the largest nuts selection in the industry. I sometimes consider them as a single brand because what you should remember is both brands used the same matching size/colour. That means you can mix every DMM nuts with any Wild Country without any confusion. North American climbers are familiar with the popular DMM Wallnuts, Alloy Offset and Wild Country Rock but not to other interesting and innovative nut sets. So let me present you the Ultralight Choice Award winner DMM Halfnuts and Wild Country Superlight Rock

Before starting, keep in mind that both nuts are nearly identical but DMM provides a size #7, which brings the total nut in the set to 7, instead of 6 for Wild Country. 

Those nuts are easily noticeable by their single wire instead of the usual swaged loop (double wire). They are also skinnier than their close cousins: the Wallnuts and the Rock. Those modifications make the Halfnuts set (1-7) and the  Superlight Rock set (1-6) roughly 35-40% lighter than the equivalent Wallnuts and Rock. The weight difference is highly noticeable and those modifications are a huge improvement considering the low and limited evolution of nuts in history. These are an easy way to add protection to your rack without adding weight and bulkiness.

Size DMM
#1 Purple 10g 15g 10g 16g
#2 Green 10g 26g 11g 25g
#3 Silver 15g 28g 19g 28g
#4 Gold 16g 30g 20g 30g
#5 Blue 18g 32g 21g 32g
#6 Red 21g 39g 24g 36g
#7 Gray 22g 40g - -
Total 112g (115g) 210g 105g (106g) 167g
Average 16g (16.4g) 30g 16g (17.5g) 28g
Weights in brackets are from our own scale.
* Update 2021-03-17: In 2021 Wild Country changed the claiming weight for numbers more accurate with what we got. The table is up-to-date and this new information is only visible in the product user guide. It hasn't been changed on Wild Country website as this is written. The previous total weight for the set claimed by WC was 97g. It's now 105g.

Those single wire nuts have a standard parallel curvy shape on front-to-back and tapered shape side-to-side for flaring placements. This gives two distinctly different nut shapes in one lightweight nut. Also, the small profile of the nut makes them exceptional for tiny pin scars and offset crack. I can understand that a low profile means less contact with the rock surface but a smaller nut may well be able to seat better and therefore have a higher area of surface contact than a larger one. It's pretty easy to find an excellent placement with these. The square head makes the nut easy to use on all sides, more than other usual rectangular heads. The problem with the rectangular nuts is the range difference for the orientation on the same nut. As an example, you grab a #5 for a placement front to back orientation but realize after testing the piece that an offset orientation would be better. Then you can't just side way your #5 because it's going to be too wide. You have to put back your #5 and grab a #4 or #3, killing time and energy (and fun). You will be surprised how often you're going to use both orientations with the single wire nuts.

One more advantage is the nuts are less bulky and much more cleaner when racked. How many times your double wire nuts are mixed with your trigger wire, lobes, or stem of your cams, your nut tool, and draws? Or the nut's head moves way up on is own wire or cross inside the wire loop of another nut? Those messes are annoying, it is killing time and energy to fix. Single wire nuts are way cleaner.

On the downside, these single wire nuts are rated 4kN to 6 kN instead of 7 to 12 kN for the Wallnuts and 7 to 10 kN for the Rocks. They also can't be used as a "sling" to make fortunate quickdraw by clipping a carabiner on both ends, or to girth hitch two or more together to makes a long sling for wrapping a tree or other features.

Above: Some tricks! A "nut sling" and a "nut draw". Only with double wire nuts.

Users might also notice that a single wire kink more easily so don't be too rough on your nuts while cleaning them. Yes! double wire nuts are a bit more versatile and stronger but still, the good of the single wire nuts outpaces so far the minus. If a full set #1 to #12 was available, I would have only this.

DMM Halfnuts vs Wild Country Superlight 
What to choose? Like I said both nuts are nearly identical, however:

1) The DMM have colour tags that match the heads, which makes it more user-friendly.

As you can see in the picture, the DMM tag is also smaller. Wild Country made matching colour tags years ago but stopped it for unknown reasons. It's kind of annoying considering how easy it is to do. Every climber has, at least once, grabbed the not wanted nut because the tag did not match the colour. Anyway! Not the end of the world. If it's very important for you, you can paint it or put colour tape on the WC.

2) Wild Country smartly put the clipping wire loop in the back-to-front orientation of the head (see next picture). This way the nuts rack side by side on the smaller side of the head, but for such a tiny nut it isn't a big deal on the bulk of the rack. For DMM, it's the opposite, like the Wallnuts or the WC Rock, which makes sense for the last two because they are both wider (side to side) than deep (back to front).

Some of the DMM nuts have longer wire than the Wild Country. The blue #5, above, have the biggest length difference between the two sets.

3) The shape is more square on the tip and the back of the head for the Wild Country. It appears that the DMM design is lighter because it seems to require less aluminum but not significantly.

4) As you can see, no big difference in a side-by-side comparison. However, it changes for the price, the Wild Country Superlight Rock is cheaper. A good economical way to purchase a 7-nuts set would be to buy the Wild Country Superlight Rock set 1-6 and the single biggest #7 Gray (extruded) DMM Halfnuts. Keep that for you, it's a secret. 😉

Despite the quality of those nuts I have rarely seen climbers used them in North America. They just seem to be unknown. I understand that the DMM Halfnuts was released recently (2020) but do you know that the WC Superlight has been available since 2007?

Above: My old Wild Country Superlight with colourful tags, same as the DMM Halfnuts.

The DMM Halfnut and the Wild Country Superlight Rock are clearly much lighter than the common nuts. Added with other cool benefits, they are also very close contenders for a Performance Choice Award. Of course, they aren't as strong as a normal nut but in my opinion, some protection is better than none and these nuts provide placements you would not normally get. They are also much cleaner, less bulky and easier to operate on all sides. Supplementing your regular nuts with single wire nuts will provide you all the benefits of both worlds. But like I said, I would be very satisfied with only those light nuts in a 1-12 set.

If you have read this long analysis to the end, you deserve a gift! You can use this coupon code HALF10ROCK for a 5% discount. If you have not read it and just jumped to the discount code, I guess nobody will know.

For more Verti Call Choice Award follow the next links.
Performance: The top products no matter the price!
Ultralight: The lightest products without sacrificing the performance!
Value: The best quality for the price!
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Posted by Marc-Olivier Chabot

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