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Petzl stop Vs other descending devices

Keris82

Member
What are people's opinions on the new petzl stop vs the old version, also vs other descending devices such as the rig, auxiliary device and ID?

I have the old version of the stop but I don't have the hand strength to push the brake when descending without getting cramp so need something easier to use. I like the look of the new stop but have heard mixed reviews on it. What are other suitable options for caving?
 

hannahb

Active member
I had the same problem and swapped to a Petzl Simple, which doesn't have a handle. I would recommend one, despite the disadvantages (e.g. they're not as good in rescue/hauling situations, and you've to take a bit more care when rigging).
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
The old Petzl Stop is better than the new one but as the old one is no longer made, nor are parts available for it, it's academic; if you want an autolocking descender there are many available. Currently using a Petzl Rig as a protest vote, lol!
 

pwhole

Well-known member
I think if you want a handled descender, the new Stop will feel like a vast improvement, simply down to the downward pull, which is way less painful than the old one. I use a Rig for work, and love it, but I suspect would need thorough cleaning to maintain it for underground use. I stopped using a handled descender for caving as it's less faff and easy to clean, but does need more care, and obviously a braking carabiner is essential rather than optional. The Raumer Handy is my tool of choice for that job, and is so effective that the lack of a handle on the descender isn't really an issue, as you can completely stop any motion simply by lifting your hand up beyond 90°.
 

topcat

Member
Just a thought for the OP 're hand strength; try generating most of your lever force by a 'shoulder push' rather than simply a hand grip round the Stop.
 

Fjell

Active member
The only problem I ever really had with a Stop was because it has a metal handle. On long drops on dry rope it can get to the point of being almost impossible to hold without thick gloves. The longest I have ever done on it is a 160m freehang and it was really sizzling.

I use a bobbin a lot and we have one of the new Stops to see if it is better than the olds ones after some truculent muttering. Seems OK so far and you have some control over speed with the handle. Outside of the UK people use the bobbin a lot more in rather deep caves. My wife doesn’t have problems holding any Stop open, so maybe that is a wear issue? The problem she does have is it not locking very well for some reason (but I don’t?) - it stops better if you are heavier?

We always use a Handy and that is the cheese. It is also safer than a krab as you can’t jam the descender in it. I nurture a thought that if the descender failed you might even survive the night just on the Handy - it’s certainly strong enough, and more likely to work than a krab. I am never going to use one of the weird krabs that run the rope over the top of the descender plate and erode the krab you are hanging on - it just looks very ad hoc and it sticks out at 90deg too much for me.
 

pwhole

Well-known member
Indeed - in fact, one could argue that you should buy a Handy first, and then decide which descender looks best next to it? ;)

Having now handled a BMS Micro-Rack, I am quite tempted, as my next descender. It's quite heavy, but then my modified Banana is too. But let's not go there again ;)
 

badger

Member
I prefer the new stop over the old stop. I also like the petzl rig, but not used it enough to be really confident with it. I am not really a fan of the simple, basically as I have grown up using the stop, and for no other reason, plenty of people I now would choose the simple over the stop. I would try to see if you could get a selection of decenders and practice using to see which you prefer before making a choice
 

Brains

Well-known member
Friend of mine grew up with ladders and fig 8, while teaching him SRT he couldnt get on with a Stop and quickly adapted to a Simple. Interestingly he uses an ordinary breaking krab as a Raumer doesnt do it for him.
Personal choice I suppose, as long as you are happy and secure
 

topcat

Member
The Handy is good and gets better and better the thinner the ropes are......and it can be used upside down for those fat furry club ropes....
 

JoshW

Active member
Viva la rig!

I also believe simples have a place particularly for those learning to understand the principles.

But viva la rig.
 

snebbit

Member
I really like my new Stop, no problem with cramp on long descents anymore. I do worry that I'll find it easier to accidentally go full throttle in a moment of panic or thoughtlessness but so far it hasn't happened. I feel the speed control is massively improved too, it's more analogue than on-off.
 
my proper SRT days are long behind me now but I never got on with a Stop. Used a rack a fair bit but have limitations and care, especially in tight UK caves with lots of shortish pitches. I ended up using a simple with a shunt for the many years of SRT in Alpine systems when I lived in southern Germany. I always felt a bit safer with a backup in case I somehow lost control of the rope (rockstrike etc) and the additon of the shunt meant you had one more versatile bit of kit in case of emergencies (stand-in prussik, useful for rigging etc). I am so out of touch with SRT these days I have no idea what modern options there are nowadays!
 

Keris82

Member
I do already use a handy which might be contributing to the issues with my old stop. A friend has kindly said he will let me try his new stop. My partner also has a rig and I think an ID too so I can try all 3 and see how I get on! ☺️
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
The new Rig does wear out a bit faster than the old version sadly as a lot of the wear gets concentrated on the metal pin next to the cam (rather than the cam itself), which seems a bit of a design cockup since they just added stainless wear plates to deal with wear on that. But the auto-locking is quite nice...

However, despite a lot of people (who haven't tried it) assuming they won't be tough enough for underground or will require cleaning/maintenance, I've never had any problems with any of mine nor given it any more attention than any other of my metalwork. I'm pretty sure they are fairly bombproof. I've just taken my new one to the bottom of the Berger without problems (where it locked up quite happily on the French 8.5mm rope albeit I do only weigh 70kg) and down the ropes in the Dachstein - some of which (due to the mud tracked up from the bottom) are very _very_ quick and only occasionally did the Rig not bite straight away at rebelays. In fact the bottom 100m or so are so bad I don't even bother putting my Pantin on until I get to the first water stop to scrape the mud off gear...

I suspect most new cavers will greatly prefer the new Stop to the old one with its superior handle and longer-lasting stainless bobbins (albeit unreplaceable - if you really want your descender to last 30 years, Petzl make the Simple for you and have even made the top and bottom bobbins the same so you only have to carry one spare on exped...)
 

underground

Member
I'm in two minds about the new Stop. I like the action, but it's a faff in tight stuff as the 'natural' position is to have hand with palm facing you on the handle, which seems to naturally make my elbow stick out. I just turn my hand round in that case. I'll also happily hang on it at a pitch head without a lock which is probably a really bad habit to get into consistently.
 

pwhole

Well-known member
Indeed, and a handleless descender is even better on tight pitches as you can keep your am out of the way altogether - and use it elsewhere if necessary.
 
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