|Front View: Closed||Rear View: Closed|
|Front View: Open for Rigging||Rear View: Open for Rigging|
I acquired my SUT from Kangjin Liao in 2017.
The SUT is 196 mm. tall, 101 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 223 g.
The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.0 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. The stamping has a number of reinforcing ribs. A 14 mm. wide rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a shoulder pin which enters from the rear and is expanded in front. The cam, cam spring and a spacing washer are mounted on this pin. The handle below the cam has a two-part hand grip molded into place. The center green portion is hard plastic, while the black portion has a "rubbery" feel. The hand grip has an index finger support. A 15.1 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening, and a second 10 mm. hole is punched beside it. A 15 by 17.8 mm. oval hole through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam. An arc-shaped slot is punched below and concentric with the cam pivot. This slot is enlarged at both ends and narrow in the center. The cam safety rides in this slot.
The cam is a skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 32 to 50 mm. over an angle of 43°, giving a 30° cam angle. The cam has seventeen small conical teeth, all of which have their axes approximately parallel to each other. The central teeth have their axes in line with the cam pivot. The tooth pattern is (4.3)(1H1)(2.3.2.H)^2(3.2)^2 where "H" indicates a mud relief hole. Unlike some other ascenders, the inner cam face radius appears to be constant. A spring-loaded manual safety passes through the cam and the arc-shaped slot in the shell. The head of the safety forms a 15 mm. diameter round-headed button. The safety shaft is 11.8 mm. in diameter, then narrows to 4 mm. inside the cam, then increases to 7.5 mm. where it passes through the shell, and finally to 11 mm. Normally a spring pushes the safety toward the front of the ascender, and the enlarged 7.5 mm. portion fits into one of the large areas of the slot. Depending on which end of the slot it is in, this either keeps the cam from opening enough to release the main rope or keeps the cam from closing. Pushing the head of the safety aligns the 4 mm. shaft with the shell, allowing the cam to move through it’s full range of motion.
The right ascender is anodized bronze and the left one gray.
The front of the rope channel is printed with an up-pointing arrow, "MAX 4KN," "ROPE 8≤Ø≤13MM," "SUT," and "CE1282." The frame is printed with the the Reading-Is-Dangerous icon.
The SUT is one of the following handled ascenders sharing the same cam safety design (which is also found on the Camp Solo):
These are well made ascenders. All sharp edges have been removed. Admittedly, we don't have as much experience with Chinese metallurgy and quality control as we have with American and European devices, but I find nothing visibly wrong with these ascenders.
All of these have comfortable handles. The location of the index finger supports on the Magideal and SUT are fine for my large hands.
I like the location of the reinforcing better on these than the location used on, say, the Kong-Bonaiti or Petzl Ascension. Accidental bending at the pit lip is still a concern, but the reinforcing helps.
The lower attachment hole could theoretically have the same safety problems as the one on Clog Version A. The attachment points are simply holes in the shell, but on the Blanzo and the Camp Solo, the "rubber" handgrip encircles the holes. This provides some rounding but since the metal edges do not appear to be beveled, I would prefer not to tie directly into them. Considering the proximity of the attachment points to the main rope, I would recommend using a small maillon for most attachments in order to reduce the risk of sling abrasion.
The Magideal and SUT also have outer lower attachment holes, but these are too small for a normal carabiner. I'm not sure the extra holes are needed at the base. Except for the Petzl Pompe, I've never found a real need for a second hole. Some people like them, and I might find them more appealing if they were large enough for a standard carabiner to fit through.
The upper attachment holes are located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. Note that such a carabiner will prevent putting the ascender on or off rope, so one's climbing system must be designed accordingly.
These ascenders use several different cams, but in each case the cam is very well made and the cam teeth are very well done. The Magideal and SUT cams are essentially identical. The Blanzo and Camp Pilot, Versions B & C have the same tooth pattern, but the rows on the Blanzo are in four groups (4, 2, 2, and 3 rows per group) while aside from an isolated top tooth, all of the rows on the Version B & C Pilots are evenly spaced.
When I first encountered the design on the Camp Pilot, I found the safety took a few minutes to get used to. After minimal practice I decided that this is one of the easier safety designs to operate for stamped-frame handled eccentric cam ascenders. Single-handed operation of thse ascenders is fairly easy with the either hand. Closing an locked open ascender is accomplished with a simple push on the button.
Overall, I like these ascenders better than most stamped-frame handled ascenders. The price of the Chinese ascenders was much lower than that of American or European ascenders.