Dynafit Binding Screw Inserts — How Many Times?


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 26, 2011      

Here it is, the definitive answer to the most important question of th 21st Century: How many times can you put screws in and take screws out of Dynaift ski binding screw inserts before they strip?

Dynafit ski bindings insert test.

Dynafit ski bindings insert test (the binding was on the ski during the actual test).

I’ve mounted my Manaslu bindings twice. I took them all the way off, put them back on, then started running one screw in and out multiple times, tightening each time to the point where I felt it had proper tension for a binding mount. I got six more times before the screw stripped. So a total of eight.

At any rate, 8 EIGHT times is what I got. This is with a set of first generation inserts. Later inserts are said to be able to take more cycles, but not much more. Perhaps a dozen, this depending on how aggressively you torque the screws each time (just a bit too much torque, and that’s it, you’ll have a stripper.) Thus, I’d say a conservative rule of thumb is you can get six binding mounts out of a set of inserts before you’ll get at least one stripper.

Everyone, please refer to this post when this question rises. I’ll link it in FAQ’s and elsewhere.



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Comments

55 Responses to “Dynafit Binding Screw Inserts — How Many Times?”

  1. John S January 26th, 2011 9:49 am

    I have ordered a pair of Mustagh Ata SL skis, and I was planning on taking advantage of the inserts to do a home mount, but now I’m rethinking that. It seems that one needs to be very cautious or they will strip the insert threads. That would really suck!!

    How sensitive are they?

  2. Jonathan Shefftz January 26th, 2011 10:35 am

    Based on several setup, both for myself and others, I’d estimate about a 50/50 chance that at least one screw will strip upon insertion.
    However, that is based on keeping the threaded binding toe holes as is. If you ream them out first, then that might help considerably.

  3. Ben W January 26th, 2011 10:44 am

    I stripped one on the second use. I believe the reason may have been a slightly dirty screw. I’ve home mounted many pairs of bindings, include more than a few pairs of Dynafits, and never had any other problems. I’ve also reused old holes on skis without inserts with nary a problem. I’m not a fan of the inserts (or the Manaslus for that matter).

  4. KDog January 26th, 2011 10:53 am

    Lou,

    Any idea of the construction difference for the Guide models? They don’t have inserts, so is it a full size plate and of what material? Did the Baltoro have inserts?

    Also, what would you think about Quiver Killers on them?

    Is this enough questions for one post? :mrgreen:

  5. Jonathan Shefftz January 26th, 2011 11:02 am

    I should have added that the inserts do take a helicoil very well if the inserts strip. So for a shop with a helicoil kit, stripping is no big deal. For the DIY’er with limited resources though, it is a potential problem.

  6. Lou January 26th, 2011 11:04 am

    Let’s put it this way. If you DIY with Dynafit inserts, you’d better have the skill to fix a stripped one. Otherwise have a good shop do the work.

  7. Mark January 26th, 2011 12:11 pm

    Why bother to provide them if they are so wimpy that a DIYer can strip them on the first mount? 1) Swapability, and 2) DIY mounts seem like the whole point of inserts (given that regular mounts are, honestly, plenty strong – right?)

  8. Lou January 26th, 2011 12:16 pm

    Mark, the newer inserts are better, but yeah, I’m still not sold on the whole factory installed insert concept…

  9. Jonathan January 26th, 2011 12:35 pm

    Lou, how are your quiver killers holding up? I’m thinking about mounting some. Thanks.

  10. Lou January 26th, 2011 12:41 pm

    Jonathan, they’re fine. I’ve not used them a huge number of hours, but do have them on my uphilling skis so they’ve definitely been getting a workout. Louie has them on his Coombacks as well. Really no reason they should have any big problems, in my opinion, though the skinny little screws look a little funny and definitely need to be tightened correctly.

  11. Mark W January 26th, 2011 1:03 pm

    Voile and K2 have both employed and since discontinued the use of factory-installed inserts. I’m wondering when/if Dynafit will follow suit.

  12. Mark W January 26th, 2011 1:15 pm

    Lou,
    Wouldn’t skiing several days in between removing and reinserting the screws in Dynafit ski inserts be somewhat more scientifically-oreinted in making such a determination?

  13. Lou January 26th, 2011 1:18 pm

    Mark, yeah, perhaps that would be more scientific, but just impractical for my situation. I think what I found bears out other folk’s experience. Main thing is that these are not inserts for consumer binding swapping, they are simply a mounting aid. That’s what Dynafit says, so good to prove that out.

  14. Chris January 26th, 2011 1:20 pm

    also check out http://www.bindingfreedom.com for inserts, they’ll be coming out with an installation kit (featured on TGR) that looks pretty slick for those that are less mechanically inclined than a full on ski mechanic. I’ve had good luck with my swap plates, that i’ll stick with subsidizing bindingfreedom

  15. Keith January 26th, 2011 1:46 pm

    My experience with any type of self-threading screw has been that the way you re-start it in the existing hole is largely what determines how easily the hole will strip out. It is very easy for a self threading screw to start a new thread and cut up the existing thread ridges in the ski hole. This greatly reduces the subsequent holding power.
    To avoid this problem, put the screw in the hole and then with gentle pressure from the driver, turn the screw slowly ANTI clockwise until you feel it sink in a short distance. The screw and hole threads are now lined up and you can start screwing it in clockwise and you can be sure it will be going into the original threads.
    Keith

  16. Lou January 26th, 2011 2:07 pm

    Keith, super point, thanks.

  17. ronco January 26th, 2011 6:38 pm

    Lou,

    Is there a torque spec for mounting with the inserts? I’ve got a cool little torque wrench in my bike tool box I could use.

  18. Lou January 26th, 2011 8:14 pm

    Ronco, I tried to work with a torque wrench I had but I couldn’t set it low enough. I’ll bet a torque spec would be easy to figure out with some experimentation.

    BTW, I just finished doing a Puderluder insert in the stripped insert holes. It went ok, but one of them kept coming out when I tried to remove the insertion tool since there was so little friction holding the insert in. Thus, the process wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I used Loctite “plastic” epoxy, which perhaps grips the plastic the insert is made of, but doesn’t adhere to the top skin material.

    I have to say that after messing around quite a bit with the Dynafit inserts, I’d rather not have them. But they’re ok and can be delt with.

  19. Rando Swede January 26th, 2011 10:44 pm

    Curious to know how many folks stripped those old K2 tele inserts compared to how many strip Dynafit inserts. The K2’s seemed bombproof and I do not recall any issues from my shop days. It appears that Dynafit just missed the boat on this.

  20. Greg Louie January 26th, 2011 11:02 pm

    Tele inserts? How about snowboards?

    Different material, though – metal instead of nylon

  21. Bruce January 26th, 2011 11:42 pm

    Would it extend the life of the threads if you were to use less aggressive screws than the self threading screws used on the first installation for all subsequent installations? Is there such a thing?

  22. Walt January 27th, 2011 1:18 am

    If the new “radical” dynafits have a different hole pattern, how in the heck are we going to mount them to Dynafit skis like the manaslu or the stoke?

  23. Lou January 27th, 2011 7:58 am

    Answer: Using a different insert pattern that will eventually be the norm, or drilling dimples in the skis for the extra two holes, or by just drilling two holes.

  24. KDog January 27th, 2011 10:47 am

    @ Rando Swede,

    My wife skis K2 Dawn Patrols with inserts. No problems until she lost a screw on mountain and neither she or the shop guy at the ski hill knew about how inserts work.

    When she came home that day, I took a look at his “repair”. He had somehow torqued a standard rough thread binding screw into the metric insert. Needless to say, it was totaled and she has been skiing them in the next hole set forward position ever since.

  25. Ben January 27th, 2011 11:46 am

    These inserts seem designed to save weight. I don’t think one can count on getting a repeatable torque spec for a sheet metal screw into nylon. K2 inserts were metal and took machine screws – like snowboards, a more reliable and repeatable interface. But heavier. I think K2 stopped using them just because they stopped having a line of tele-specific skis?

  26. Anthony January 27th, 2011 5:33 pm

    Lou

    Very timely review – I was in Chamonix last week and rented a pair of Stokes with Dynafit ST bindings – the afternoon of the first day the toe piece pulled out on an easy red run in soft snow as the day was warm.

    It was quite amusing to sit up and see the toe binding rolling down the piste towards me and thankfully this only resulted in a long walk down to the lift – not a hike out of the backcountry across glaciated terrain.

    I dont know how many times the binding had been remounted but will never have the confidence to hire or borrow a ski with these inserts again.

    The hire shop did not charge me for the days hire – but that is not the point is it.

  27. Fred Porter January 27th, 2011 6:22 pm

    Lou, Do you think there would be any issue with installing QuiverKillers in the Manaslu inserts after having done one binding installation? Right now my Comfort binding is mounted toe aft/heel fwd. I could remove the toe, install the QKs, reinstall toe and adjust heel fwd to try it out.
    thanks,
    Fred

  28. Lou January 27th, 2011 6:40 pm

    I just did a couple of Quiver Killer inserts in my Manaslus. It’s tricky, as the insert plastic has very little friction and the insert tends to back out when you try and remove the insertion tool. The type of insert with a slot for a screwdriver might be better. And before 20 spammers from TGR start spraying links for Binding Freedom slotted inserts, here is the link:

    http://bindingfreedom.com/Threaded-Inserts-for-skis-individual-3001.htm

  29. Fred Porter January 27th, 2011 8:43 pm

    Thanks Lou, and thanks for that link. BF also has screw kits for Dynafit.

    Is alignment become trickier sice the inserts go in then the bindings are mounted?

  30. Lou January 28th, 2011 7:57 am

    Fred, after the inserts are in but the 1-hour epoxy still hardening, you screw the binding on and get everything aligned. The inserts shift enough so that everything ends up perfect.

  31. stephen January 29th, 2011 1:01 am

    ^ Excellent tip! Thanks Lou.

    FWIW, I think Dynafit should just use *metal* inserts (or no inserts) and be done with it. SS would be fine, but maybe they should use Ti for the lighter skis. 😉 The plastic inserts seem to be a can of worms, as does Dynafit’s failure to make the holes in the bindings large enough to allow the mounting screws to spin freely. I can understand that they would prefer people to buy as many bindings as possible, but making a successful mount more difficult isn’t my idea of the way to win friends and influence people. And then there’s the problem that there are now a number of different Dynafit mounting patterns with varying degrees of compatibility, with more on the way.

    No reason I can see why one couldn’t carefully saw or grind a screwdriver slot in the QK inserts if one has some already – like me.

  32. Will January 30th, 2011 2:08 pm

    Stripped 4 inserts on first mount. (embarrassed) Went to local shop, and for like 3 or 4 dollars each they helicoiled them while I waited. That was 2 years ago. Have taken the bindings off a few times since then and they seem to be fine.

  33. mc February 26th, 2011 11:57 am

    Hey Lou,
    I’ve epoxied my ST’s into the inserts and would like to change the position. I seem to recall something about heating the screws with a soldering gun? Is this correct?
    Thanks.

  34. HM December 25th, 2011 6:48 pm

    Heya Lou,

    I just got a new pair of the black Manaslus and tried mounting them up with a pair of Radicals. This is my second pair of Manaslus… I mounted the first successfully three years ago and skied them until they died. This time, I found that about half of the holes in the inserts were blocked; I couldn’t punch through them with an awl, or even with an awl assisted by a hammer! They were full of solid plastic. Is this a defect? I ended up tapping some holes and getting the screws in, but I removed so much material while doing that that I’m worried about the integrity of the connection. What d’you think? Have you heard of clogged inserts?

    –H

  35. Mike holm December 26th, 2011 6:40 am

    I’m planning a trip and am not finding any good snow in the states–I’m thinking whistler or banff.. Am I missing something?

  36. brian h December 26th, 2011 7:43 am

    Pretty good snow in southern Co (Wolf Creek) and New Mexico. Although most b.c. trips come back with reports of a sketchy snow pack. The last few storms layering on stuff that fell in early November.

  37. Mark December 26th, 2011 7:43 am

    wolf creek?

  38. brian h December 26th, 2011 10:18 am

    It’s an awesome (little?) ski area up on the divide east of Pagosa Springs, Colorado that usually can claim the most snow in Colorado. Classic, ‘old school’ Colorado ski area with some great hike-to stuff. No condos or hotel, just a day lodge. 6 or so hour drive from Denver, maybe 4 from Albuquerque. Most travelers stay either in Pagosa or South Fork, Colorado. Durango, Co is about 1.5 hours away. Durango puts you in striking distance of Wolf Creek, Durango Mountain/ Purgatory, Silverton Mountain, and Telluride, plus all the back country in between. Come on down!

  39. Lou December 26th, 2011 11:52 am

    HM, the clogged inserts are a known issue. We covered it somewhere here before… proper procedure is to simply drill out all insert holes before you start mounting, using a ski bit. Tapping is optional, I actually would not tap them. Lou

  40. Nate March 21st, 2012 6:34 pm

    Lou,

    When you installed your QK inserts, did you drill and tap first? If so, with what size bit? Any long-term durability issues with this setup?
    Since it looks like we might have enough of a base for a decent spring season in Tahoe, I’ve been thinking of pickup up a pair of Mustagh ATAs for a lightweight spring setup, but I’m currently running inserts on other skis, and I’m not terribly interested in buying another set of binders at this time.

  41. Lou March 21st, 2012 7:58 pm

    Hi Nate, I assume you refer to me using the QK in the Manaslu? It worked fine. I did drill and tap as otherwise there would have been no way of getting the insert to thread in straight and true. I used the same drill and tap one would use for other skis. I used “plastic” epoxy from hardware store, not sure that helped but whatever. Also, when you tap don’t go all the way in, leave a few threads for the insert to cut and kind of jam into, that gives a tighter fit for the insert. Lou

  42. Nate March 22nd, 2012 11:58 am

    Thanks for the tips Lou, that does answer my question. I figured the standard drill & tap was the way to do it, but just wanted to confirm that with someone before putting those nice big holes in some skis. Thanks!

  43. Martin February 9th, 2014 3:41 pm

    hey, I have been skiing the stokes for a few seasons and just broke a toe piece. When I pulled the toe off one of the insert is striped. I heard it’s a common problem since the inserts are not made for repeated use, so is there repair that can be done so the ski last and stays reliable? Thanks

  44. Lou Dawson February 9th, 2014 4:19 pm

    Martin, I’ve repaired quite a few of those by filling the huge hole with a blend of JBweld and steel wool, along with poking around with an sharp pick to anchor the plug. After plug cures super hard, drill and tap, then epoxy screw in of course. Depends on how big you are, how aggressive you ski, and which screw it is, in terms of how reliable.

    Some guys will install an insert such as Quiver Killer or Binding Freedom. I’ve done that method as well, but doing so still requires filling and tapping the hole.

    Lou

  45. Martin February 9th, 2014 7:56 pm

    Thanks Lou! sounds like a great fix. One more thing, How small would you cut the steel wool and what’s the size of the tap for binding screws. Thanks again that’s very helpful!!

  46. Lou Dawson February 9th, 2014 8:10 pm

    Martin, you just pull little wads of steel wool off the bundle, no particular size strands, let it all stick out of the hole and grind off after it cures. I don’t know the tap size, I just buy a “ski screw” tap from someone like SlideWright.

    http://www.slidewright.com/

  47. Lou Dawson February 9th, 2014 8:11 pm

    P.S., this is pretty advanced ski mechanics. If you’re doing it for the first time you might want to practice on junk skis, or take your skis to a pro. Lou

  48. Greg Louie February 9th, 2014 8:30 pm

    Martin, tap size is 12 AB.

  49. J.P. December 23rd, 2014 7:08 pm

    Lou,
    So I’m a big guy and i’ve pulled both alpine and dynafit bindings out of skiis. I’m just about to have a new setup mounted and i’m thinking i want to reinforce the mount right from the get-go. Would you reccommend helcoil or inserts? If inserts would you plastic vs metal? Steel vs Brass? I’m gonna have the mount epoxied regardless of course.

  50. Lou Dawson 2 December 23rd, 2014 7:41 pm

    J.P. If you’re pulling alpine bindings out of skis you need a whole other mounting and use paradigm. In other words, when is the last time a World Cup racer pulled a binding out of a ski, or someone in the Freeride championships? Sure, it happens, but so rare as to be a non issue. I’d say first look at your technique and RV settings. Please let us know the details, otherwise impossible to offer meaningful advice. Though I can say that if you’re pulling properly mounted tech bindings out of skis it might be time to cut bait and at least go to something like a Marker Duke, or Cast system.

    Another thing. Once you lock those bindings to the skis so they can’t pull out, are you not concerned that you might pull something else out, like a bone or ligament? Ski screws, DIN 24.98473321?

    Lou

  51. Lou Dawson 2 December 23rd, 2014 7:55 pm

    I had an incident recently when I used 5-minute epoxy in a large ski hole that had been filled with JB-weld. The 5 minute softened the JB and it all came out. FYI. Lou

  52. See December 23rd, 2014 9:21 pm

    World cup and freeride pro skis probably also much heavier construction— resistant to binding pull out.

  53. XXX_er December 23rd, 2014 10:41 pm

    hey Lou for kicks I put some 5 min on the end of a WW paddle blade to maybe absorb some rock hits but mostly to see what happens, It got all soft and fell off the blade

    How often do you really need a 5 min repair ?

    IME I almost always got time to use slow set epoxy overnite which is the best

  54. Lou Dawson 2 December 24th, 2014 1:26 am

    Yes, my epoxy mentor says the 5 min is not very good, use the slower cure of whatever variety. I’ll still use 5 min as mostly a hole sealant but amd shying away from it these days. Lou

  55. J.P. December 26th, 2014 11:03 pm

    Ah, well i should add maybe that both alpine bindings i’ve pulled out were on beatdown skiis that were well beyond their retirement date from all the rocks i used to ski on in Colorado. Also, one pair were Volants that i’d skiied a bend into just ahead of the toe. Plus skiing moguls like a kook.
    The World Cup/Pro thing makes me wonder tho. I mean your definitely right those guys don’t pull the bindings out too often; but then again those guys can retire a pair of skiis whenever they want pretty much. Do World Cuppers not reinforce their ski mounts?
    I’ve changed my ski style enormously tho and while still ski fast, I take it pretty easy. Skiis virtually never get off the ground and i’m exclusively in the backcountry so not much rock damage.
    The only dynafit toe i’ve ripped out was just smooth corn skiing but at the end of three previous seasons. I’m more than suspicious that it was a bum mount actually, which is what really concerns me. Partly i’d thought that inserts and epoxy would maybe keep somewhat questionable mount from pulling out.

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