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CMI

Version A Version B Version C
Version A Version B Version C
 
Version CD Version D Version E
Version D Version E Version F
 
Version G Version H Ultra
Version G Version H Ultra

Overview


Version A
(#312, 1463, 2404)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I don't have a record of when I acquired this figure eight, but I am fairly certain that it was in the mid-1970s. In 2015 I acquired a duplicate online from David G Keenan II (gamesandstuff4sale). I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The CMI Standard, Version A is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 136 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, and 16 mm. thick. The rope hole is 45 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 11 mm. The shaft length and width are 46 mm. and 25 mm., respectively. The eye measures 26 mm. by 25 mm. My eight weighs 111 g. in the used condition shown in the photo.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters.

Comments

The CMI Standard, Version A is a typical example of a full size, forged, aluminum eight. The hard coating on this eight works very well. I've used these eights (I have several) on muddy cave ropes for years, and they hold up well, but once the coating wears through, its time to replace the eight. After the coating is breached - like it is on this one, they wear quickly - like most eights, but sometimes the anodized layer develops a sharp edge. The CMI standard eights have a nice shape with gentle curves that normally give a smooth rappel. Their eye is not designed for belaying.

The earliest record that I have for this eight is this advertisement from the October 1974 issue of Off Belay magazine:


Version B
(#313, 1237)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I don't have a record of when I acquired this figure eight, but I am fairly certain that it was in the late-1970s. I acquired second one on eBay from Robert Hollobaugh in 2009.

The CMI Standard, Version B is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 137 mm. tall, 72 mm. wide, and 17 mm. thick. The rope hole is 44 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 12 mm. The shaft length and width are 47 mm. and 25 mm., respectively. The eye measures 25 mm. by 25 mm. My eight weighs 120 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters, and the rear has "ALCOA," also in raised letters.

Comments

Version B is almost identical to Version A. I acquired it after using Version A started showing some wear after a couple year's use. The dimensions are slightly different, but this may be accidental. The unambiguous difference is that Version B has "ALCOA" forged on the back, while Version A does not.


Version C
(#1062, #1063)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired two of these eights from Craig Kubanoff in 2007.

The CMI Standard, Version C is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine are 138 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, and 16 mm. thick. The rope hole is 45 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 11 mm. The shaft length and width are 46 mm. and 25 mm., respectively. The eye measures 26 mm. by 26 mm. My Version C eights each weigh 110 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters.

Comments

One of my CMI Standard, Version C eights is black and the other gray. The only difference between Version A and Version C is a tiny difference in a mark forged on the rear of the eight: it is filled in Version A and outlined in Version C. It serves no functional purpose to the user. I acquired my two CMI Standard, Version C eights as part of a large assortment of climbing gear which included among many carabiners, chocks, SLCDs, and ice screws, two pairs of Clog, Version C eccentric cam ascenders, a Salewa 9/11 with spring, Version B Sticht plate, and the item I was most interested in, another Famau descender. One of the Version C eights will go into use with the rest of my regular climbing gear.


Version D
(#1464)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired my CMI Standard, Version D from David G Keenan II in 2015.

The CMI Standard, Version C is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 138 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, and 16 mm. thick. The rope hole is 45 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 11 mm. The shaft length and width are 46 mm. and 25 mm., respectively. The eye measures 25 mm. by 25 mm. My eight weighs 110 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters.

Comments

One of my CMI Standard, Version C eights is black and the other gray. The only difference between Version A, Version C and Version D is a tiny difference in a mark forged on the rear of the eight: it is filled in Version A , outlined in Version C, and outlined with three internal dots in Version D. It serves no functional purpose to the user.


Version E
(#914)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired this eight from On Rope 1 in 2002.

The CMI Standard, Version E is forged from aluminum alloy. Mine is 136 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, and 16 mm. thick. The rope hole is 45 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 11 mm. The shaft length and width are 46 mm. and 25 mm., respectively. The eye measures 26 mm by 26 mm. My Version E eight weighs 106 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters, and the rear has "MBS," "44.5 KN," and "10000 LB.," also in raised letters.

Comments

Version E is essentially the same as Versions A, B, C, and D except it is unfinished. Without the hard coating, it will wear much faster than the superior earlier versions.


Version F
(#1124)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired this eight from from Larry Moore in 2007.

The CMI Standard, Version F is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 138 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, and 16 mm. thick. The rope hole is 45 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 12 mm. The shaft length and width are 46 mm. and 26 mm., respectively. The eye measures 25 mm. by 25 mm. My Version F eight weighs 119 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters, and the rear has "FORGED" and "M," also in raised letters.

Comments

Version F is essentially the same as Version E except for the different format used for "Cmi" on the front, and different words forged on the back.


Version G
(#1190)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired this eight new on eBay in 2009.

The CMI Standard, Version G is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 138 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, and 16 mm. thick. The rope hole is 45 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 12 mm. The shaft length and width are 46 mm. and 26 mm., respectively. The eye measures 25 mm. by 25 mm. My Version G eight weighs 118 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters, and the rear has "FORGED" and "M," also in raised letters.

Comments

Version G is essentially the same as Version F except that it is hard-coated, and more interesting, it is red. Traditional type II soft anodizing readily accommodates different color dyes, but type III anodizing (traditional hard-coating) creates a tighter pore structure that generally requires a gray or black dye.


Version H
(#1372)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired my CMI Standard, Version H as new old stock from Speleoshoppe in 2012.

The CMI Standard, Version H is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 139 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, and 16 mm. thick. The rope hole is 45 mm. high and 51 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 11 mm. The shaft length and width are 46 mm. and 26 mm., respectively. The eye measures 25 mm. by 25 mm. My Version H weighs 118 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters, and the rear has "FORGED" and "M," also in raised letters.

Comments

Version H is essentially the same as Version F except that it is hard-coated.


Ultra
(#315)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired this eight from Skinny Skis in 1987. I acquired six more from Bob & Bob in 2017.

The CMI Ultra 8 is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 104 mm. tall, 62 mm. wide, and 10 mm thick. The rope hole is 39 mm. high and 45 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 9 mm. The shaft length and width are 31 mm. and 19 mm., respectively. The eye measures 18 mm. by 12 mm. My eight weighs 45 g.

The front side of the shaft has "Cmi" in raised letters, and the rear has 'ULTRA "8," also in raised letters.

Comments

The CMI Ultra 8 is smaller lighter than almost all other functional figure eights (toy eights don't count).

The rope hole is shorter than normal, so it may provide too much friction on stiff or muddy ropes. The thin loop does not provide as smooth a rappel as larger eights do.

I suspect that the Ultra 8 coating would hold up much like the standard eight's, but once it wore through, there is very little margin for additional wear. Under some horrid caving conditions, I could imagine the eight wearing through and failing in one rappel. I recommend not using this eight on anything except clean, flexible climbing ropes.

The eye is too narrow to accept two full size locking carabiners. The eye is too small to be used for "Sticht" belaying. At times the eye is too small to accept the maillons or carabiners one has on hand. I recommend choosing another eight and leaving this one in the toy box.