Brand/company Q's...Is Notch owned by Sherrill? What brands are worth/not-worth buying from?

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
While learning of Weaver's behaviors towards Richard Mumford spurred me to finally make this post I'd been wanting to ask about brands-in-general for a while, I started serious climbing earlier this year and, upon getting my neat catalogues from bartlett's, wesspur & sherrill(am I missing another major outlet?), I must've read them 20x apiece, lol, before finally starting to piece-by-piece purchase my setup. I noticed very quickly just how inconsistently-priced items from the major companies were and, in many instances, clear-as-day examples of price-gouging, deception and other disreputable behaviors. Since I'm a climber, and since I believe that one of the biggest things one can do to change their world is to exercise discretion in how they spend their $, I'd really like to "get to the bottom" of brands-of-arboriculture, any&everything that anyone reading this thinks is pertinent or even interesting/novel/whatever, anything you think *may* be worth a mention, I'd LOVE to hear it!!

Some things I've picked-up (to be clear I'm still green-as-hell in this area so want to be clear that in no way am I asserting their superiority/accuracy, just stating what I've done so far, hopefully it's mostly/entirely OK but figure it's worth listing so I can get better & carry-on!) are, in no particular order,

- CMI is disreputable, not only do they price-gouge on some (many?) of their pulleys but their behavior towards Kevin Bingham for both the Rope Wrench and, subsequently, the Rope Runner, was pretty ridiculous IMO (saying they'd love his IP but won't give him a penny, at least Petzl told him that before meeting he should protect himself because they'll take something if they like it & are able to!) I also strongly suspect that their MBS #'s, at least on the micropulley I've got that's rated 18kN, are bunk. I'm unsure what 3rd party body verifies the stated-MBS's for these products but, if it's "nobody", that makes the #'s almost pointless for all but the most-reputable companies (as-example, I bought 2 cheap micropulleys for tending my prusiks - lol yup I use 2 prusiks/hitches when climbing srt, I'm lightweight and they work for me - both pulleys were <$20 on ebay, one by CMI and one by 'Xinda', both rated about the same (18kN and 20kN respectively), but the CMI one has gotta be the cheapest thing ever I couldn't imagine actually suspending myself from it (I know that's not its purpose, but with an 18kN rating I shouldn't need to worry), when I see how much larger/beefier the xinda unit is side-by-side it is so obvious that one company's MBS# is false, and I'm betting it's CMI inflating their chintzy pulley to 18kN, not xinda down-rating their beefier unit to 20kN...if I found there was any #'s manipulation from a company I'd lose faith in *every* MBS they ever listed (and the company as a whole, very likely!)

- Weaver....without derailing this thread, Weaver seems 100% in-the-wrong for Mumford's treatment, however if there's good arguments against that thought then I'd like to hear them (or, actually as to not derail this thread, just a link would be great!), having seen that they just sent Buckin' Billy Ray all this great free (and custom) gear, and gotten a beaming pro-Weaver youtube as-result, I'm left not only upset at Weaver but questioning Buckin' which I hate because he's always seemed such an ethical guy :/

- Notch & Rope-Logic seem to be in-house companies under Sherrill, I've got nothing against Sherrill being both a retailer + a "producer" (unsure if they actually make Notch gear, or simply have it made & have Notch+green coloring put on it to 'make it theirs'), what I do have a problem with is when this isn't disclosed, when, for example, Notch gets WAY more love in the Sherrill catalogue than in Bartlett's or Wesspur...Notch always seemed a good brand so far as pricing & selection, but not disclosing that it's owned by sherrill is deceptive IMO

- Retailers....any major "this retailer/outlet shuns brands X, Y and Z" considerations that are worth mention? When I'd thought Stein deserved all my $ (before I realized the difference between RC-Stein and Stein...), I couldn't help but notice that their helmets aren't even shown in the latest Wesspur catalog, seeing something like that makes it hard to think the catalogues are honest representations of the market but, rather, are pay-to-play (to a degree at least) advertisements, that the manufacturers of these products have WAY more control over the 'big 3' retailers than they'd like people to know / than they let-on!

Well, I won't go on anymore / think I've made-clear what types of things I'm hoping can be discussed here, again on Weaver I don't want to derail this I'm only curious if there is a "favorable arguement for Weaver's behavior" from the community's perspective (and would love a link instead of discussion here!), at the end of the day I genuinely believe that for most people, the biggest changes they make to the world are how they spend / don't spend their $ so I try to take into-consideration the companies I'll buy from, at the end of the day I'm happy with my chinese/xinda/lixada gear for sooo much of my non-life-support gear (ascenders/etc), still use Yale and Teufelberger for my life-support stuff because, hell, if something terrible happened I'd want to be sure it wasn't due to me taking a chance on a newer, foreign company, but yeah I spent like $50, shipped, for all my ascenders/micropulleys/etc when I would've spent >$200 if I'd gotten like-kind items from any of the major magazines, the price-gouging and deceptive-practices are rife in this industry it seems so again thanks for any&all thoughts/comments on companies/products/people/anything related to this to help myself&others spend their $ better both the value-received for it and the people/companies supported through such purchases!


[PS/late-addition: Would love to hear people's thoughts on the expensive rigging-blocks as-compared-to simple ringed anchors (whether great versions like the X rigging rings or even traditional O-Rings), when I saw Reg Coates' video reviewing the XRR's it blew my mind, I certainly agreed with his logic that it's a superior product in and of itself but the price-difference just blows my mind, it made me start to see the entire phenomena of using oversized, diesel pulleys('arbor-blocks') as one of ridiculous inefficiency, not only are you forcing the rope through such a tight bend-radius which is inherently inferior to an adjustable XRR's type setup but, when facing that obvious truth, it's hard to think how "innovative companies" could spend so long, making so many varieties of pulley-blocks, when the best-practice was so much simpler.....I think it's fair to say that they were either unaware, which I find difficult to believe, or they were happy to perpetuate the idea of pulleys/blocks being the most appropriate solution for heavy rigging / negative/block rigging, and the only presumable reason for perpetuating that would be to continue selling $100-300 pulleys, I mean I get that they've got a good weight of metal to them but multi-hundreds$$ for something like that when simple ringed setups are superior just seems like a total scam, excepting the minority of cases where you're actually trying to *raise* something instead of simply controlling its drop/descent, then the friction-reduction of a pulley is worthwhile even when considering the steep bends the rope is forced through, gah I couldn't imagine having an expensive 3/4" bull line and forcing it to do a 180, especially shock-loading it at that angle, 180'd over a 2" bend-radius like the omni-block (or at least the bigger omniblock, they make them with wheels that are like 1" and state incredibly high WLL for that 1" wheel, am not saying I expect the wheel to come loose I just think it's clearly terrible for the rope to be under extreme load when forced to a 180deg bend over a 2" or tighter diameter pulley!)
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
I can't speak on all of that, but rope logic was the splicing company for treestuff if I remember correctly that Sherill bought. Notch brand equipment is in fact owned by Sherill as well, and has been well documented. I believe they created a post on here for both events, purchasing treestuff and beginning to sell Notch equipment, as well as on other forums.


As for CMI I'm unaware of what your referring to with Kevin, maybe its true? I'm not sure, but the pulleys are higher priced because of the ratings and the fact that they are so light weight and small. As for them vs the xinda it could be the cheaper pulley was made with inferior parts, so that despite the larger size/ thicker metal it won't be as strong for its size. Just a guess

As far as blocks vs rings, I prefer rings in most cases as well except lifting like you mentioned, companies make blocks because there is still a use for them and they were around long before rigging rings. The higher price is due to the cost of building and testing involved in making blocks. I suspect the last thing you want to do is negative rig the size of wood that the DMM large block can handle, into a $50 version of rigging block. At that low of a cost, corners would have to be cut in strength rating or rope friendly edges.


Most of my responses are speculation, I'm not involved in any testing or building/ selling of these products. So take it for what it's worth.


I will say however that if you question some of your gear such as that micro pulley, build a break station between a tree and your pickup. You won't know the number of pounds that it breaks at unless you own the appropriate equipment, but it can give you peace of mind to see the amount of force that it takes to break. You could also pay treestuff of Richard Mumford to break it for you and give you the data.
 

Bucknut

Well-Known Member
First I've heard of CMI being disreputable or expensive. Ive always found their stuff to be functional and robust, while staying reasonably priced. Not usually cutting edge stuff, but solid and reliable.

Been running their big blocks for years in the right situations, and they are simple and well built. 40,000 MBS. Could hang a loaded bucket truck from it with the right rope. I trust it.
 
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JeffGu

Well-Known Member
...multi-hundreds$$ for something like that when simple ringed setups are superior just seems like a total scam...

You can build a go-cart in your garage for a few hundred dollars. A Lamborghini Aventador is hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What a scam. They should sell the Aventador for a few hundred dollars.

If you can convince the poeple who can afford an Aventador, who understand the engineering involved, the ridiculously marginal profits on building a car that will only sell a few hundred per year, and the advantages of the Adventador over a go-cart... that they're wasting their money and a go-cart made in your garage or in China is just as good... then Lamborghini will go out of business.

The rigging rings have some advantages... and some disadvantages... and if the market decides they're a superior alternative, then the DMM blocks will go out of production when all of us decide that the rings are the best way to go. I wouldn't hold your breath.

The cost of a chunk of aluminum has very little to do with the cost of a DMM block. They absorb the changing costs of the materials from year to year because it is a very small percentage of the costs of running a multi-million dollar factory, paying a highly skilled workforce, advertising, maintaining a distribution and retail network, constant work on improving and adding to their product line, maintaining tens of millions of dollars of production equipment, hot forges, CNC machines, etc. that aren't exactly the "garage tinkerer" versions of that equipment... all while competing with companies that would rather farm all of that out to a factory in a country with horribly low wages and work safety conditions that are deplorable.

Yeah, they're very expensive. This isn't them pulling any kind of a scam... it's what happens when customers get so spoiled on cheap crap from Walmart and the Dollar Store that they expect to be able to buy high quality products made in a western democracy for the same price.

That isn't going to happen. Ever.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
If you ever want a conduit friction saver and want the high quality one look for, "the original Dan House....". There is a big difference between the knock offs and the original.

If you care about your climbing gear, life, and how you would be treated should there ever be a failure, search the thread(s) on Kong products here.
 

SomethingWitty

Arkansawyer
Location
LR
I just visited wesspur for the first time.
They're really friendly folks. I had a kind of lengthy conversation about how I dislike their website compared to some competitors, and the response was nothing but grateful for the input.
They also have a clearance rack and a free rope scrap bin. Call them to place orders, ask what's on the clearance shelf, and ask for some free rope scraps.
 

theatertech87

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
Don't have much to contribute, but petzl has a corporate pricing policy... ever wonder why zigzags were $275 everywhere? Because petzl said thats what they needed to be sold for or you couldn't buy them for resale. The idea is to make the market "fair' so you can shop where you want, rather than the best deal, but it really boils down to inflated prices and higher profit margins.

I would assume, though I have no proof that other companies have similar policies (looking at you rock exotica *akimbo cough cough*)

Also thought I'd toss in that iron street is wesspur's in house splicing department, and ABR was the in house one for treestuff, and i think they had an arrangement worked out to make x-rings that has since been transfered to notch
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
Drama thread! Yay!

Ok so here is the deal. Sherrill is treestuff, notch and some other splicing company. They are like the Walmart if tree gear. They have a few exclusives such as the sole importer of Silky. They some how have their hands all over the big shot, and have “stolen” a few other inventions.
Kong sucks they made life support rings, which Sherrill sold. They broke and hurt or killed a few folks, both companies left much to be desired in how they handled this.
CMI is US MADE. Not cutting edge stuff, but pretty damn solid. They have been in the game for a long time, and not too long ago, if you wanted a block, it was pretty much a CMI or the clunky but bomb proof one that ISC now makes. Their micro pulleys always have left a little to be desired, but the price point is pretty spot on. Ever try production in the US? Never heard a peep of complaining about them.
Petzl well kinda sucks. A little more than a little bit.
DMM is pretty bomber, and makes great gear. I’ve found many of the carabiners get a little weak in the gate.
ISC is little used in the arb world but makes great gear. Snappy bomb proof gear.

Wesspur is just a good well rounded brick and mortar company. Never heard of them ripping anyone off, and producing others inventions without credit. They own iron street splicing. And hired local folks to make their throw bags and rope bags. They source US made when and where they can. They don’t (for the most part) go for exclusives (blue moon). There was a moment long ago when they messed up on my orders, but alsways fixes them in quick time. I ordered a pair of boots which the factory miss sized, I got a call when they got the return and said the dude who wore a size 14 tried them and they were big on him! Sent back a shackle pulley with a f-Ed up casting, same deal, a call back saying no one on the staff would climb on it. They never kissed my ass, but they are solid.

Weaver, well they have been pretty ok for 1980. They had a shitty rope bridge issue, and didn’t handle it well. Shoulda sent notices and recalled much sooner. Now there is the HASS thing. I can see both sides of this story and have some strong opinions. I think weaver is taking it too far.
Fuck lead shot in throw bags fwiw
 

treebing

Well-Known Member
Location
Detroit, Mi.
what are the inventions that Notch has stolen? I hear this all the time but never any examples. they only sell throw bags, carabiners, micro pulleys, a saw scabbard, rigging rings (they work with David Driver on those) a huge log carrier thingy, pole pruners, pole saw, a very unique foot ascender, pocket wedges, chainsaw files, quickies, rope runners, (they work with me on those) a great line up of storage solutions. I can't think of anything else. much less something stolen. I guess you could say they ripped off the Harrison rocket, and the faltheimer, but they were like the eighth entity to do so. Not the top of the line quality, but affordable, and Really, Notch is the only company that focuses exclusively on arboriculture. Tobe Sherrill is the patented inventor of the big shot so thats why they have that.
 
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DanHouse

Member
If you ever want a conduit friction saver and want the high quality one look for, "the original Dan House....". There is a big difference between the knock offs and the original.

If you care about your climbing gear, life, and how you would be treated should there ever be a failure, search the thread(s) on Kong products here.

Thanks for the unsolicited recommendation for my Rope Sleeves. It really pissed me off when Sherrill first offered cheap imitations only to find out theirs would break and the jacket would tear. Failed so often they took them off the market. Too bad for them.
 

SomethingWitty

Arkansawyer
Location
LR
Thanks for the unsolicited recommendation for my Rope Sleeves. It really pissed me off when Sherrill first offered cheap imitations only to find out theirs would break and the jacket would tear. Failed so often they took them off the market. Too bad for them.
I just bought a fresh one yesterday.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
what are the inventions that Notch has stolen? I hear this all the time but never any examples. they only sell throw bags, carabiners, micro pulleys, a saw scabbard, rigging rings (they work with David Driver on those) a huge log carrier thingy, pole pruners, pole saw, a very unique foot ascender, pocket wedges, chainsaw files, quickies, rope runners, (they work with me on those) a great line up of storage solutions. I can't think of anything else. much less something stolen. I guess you could say they ripped off the Harrison rocket, and the faltheimer, but they were like the eighth entity to do so. Not the top of the line quality, but affordable, and Really, Notch is the only company that focuses exclusively on arboriculture. Tobe Sherrill is the patented inventor of the big shot so thats why they have that.
Maybe not Notch, but old school Sherrill did? I thought the big shot was someone’s deal which was patented away from the inventor.
 

Brocky

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Maybe you’re thinking of ron, who came up with a pistol grip release that allowed holding the sling shot to fire like a pazooka. It was quickly squelched.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Just to clarify CMI has acted very reputable e in my opinion. We were not able to come to a deal, but I am very happy with the work that they do on the Rope Runner and the way they have treated me in general. Petzl on the other hand I have no love for.

Because of the petzl incident I've downgraded petzl to "I'll only buy it if it is the safest option" status. All my other business for caribiners, ascenders, etc. is going to other companies. That's about 90%.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
I just visited wesspur for the first time.
They're really friendly folks. I had a kind of lengthy conversation about how I dislike their website compared to some competitors, and the response was nothing but grateful for the input.
They also have a clearance rack and a free rope scrap bin. Call them to place orders, ask what's on the clearance shelf, and ask for some free rope scraps.

I can't for the life of me figure out why Wesspur doesn upgrade their website. They've lost so much business to that. I love Wesspur.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Don't have much to contribute, but petzl has a corporate pricing policy... ever wonder why zigzags were $275 everywhere? Because petzl said thats what they needed to be sold for or you couldn't buy them for resale. The idea is to make the market "fair' so you can shop where you want, rather than the best deal, but it really boils down to inflated prices and higher profit margins.

I would assume, though I have no proof that other companies have similar policies (looking at you rock exotica *akimbo cough cough*)

Also thought I'd toss in that iron street is wesspur's in house splicing department, and ABR was the in house one for treestuff, and i think they had an arrangement worked out to make x-rings that has since been transfered to notch

ABR changed to Rope Logic when Treestuff kicked it out of house to (I strongly presume) protect itself from liability associated with splicing life support and rigging equipment. In theory, a single employee could take out a multi-million dollar company by messing up a splice. Obviously, Wesspur does this as well with Iron Street.

If you can find a company that hasn't spun out their splicing operation, they are either naive, stand directly behind their splicing, or really super dumb. It would be good to find out which it is before buying from them. If they just have that much confidence and quality control, they would be the best to buy from.

I'm curious how ShelterTree handles this, and how they will handle it as their company transitions ownership.

Who else splices in the US?
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
what are the inventions that Notch has stolen? I hear this all the time but never any examples. they only sell throw bags, carabiners, micro pulleys, a saw scabbard, rigging rings (they work with David Driver on those) a huge log carrier thingy, pole pruners, pole saw, a very unique foot ascender, pocket wedges, chainsaw files, quickies, rope runners, (they work with me on those) a great line up of storage solutions. I can't think of anything else. much less something stolen. I guess you could say they ripped off the Harrison rocket, and the faltheimer, but they were like the eighth entity to do so. Not the top of the line quality, but affordable, and Really, Notch is the only company that focuses exclusively on arboriculture. Tobe Sherrill is the patented inventor of the big shot so thats why they have that.

Notch does have an arb trolley, but I don't feel like they "stole it" stole it... Wheeled carts have been around since before walls, 'parrently... :LOL: @Reg was just a bit smarter and faster off the line from his time as a playground seesaw engineer (that was after his hot dog stand apprenticeship)...
 

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