Mastering Screw-On Holds and Wooden Volumes: Techniques and Tips



Rock climbing is a sport that constantly evolves, and so does the variety of holds and features available to climbers. Two key components that add depth and complexity to climbing routes are screw-on holds and wooden volumes. In this article, we’ll explore the different techniques for attaching these elements to climbing walls and how to maximize their use in your climbing gym or home wall setup.

Understanding Screw-On Holds

Screw-on holds are climbing holds designed to be attached to climbing walls using screws or bolts. They come in various shapes, sizes, and textures and are a versatile addition to any climbing route or training setup. Here’s how you can effectively use screw-on holds:

1. Selecting the Right Holds

  • Size and Shape: Choose holds that match the intended difficulty and style of the route. Smaller holds with incut edges are great for increasing difficulty, while larger jugs are more suitable for beginner routes.
  • Texture: Screw-on holds can vary in texture, from smooth to textured surfaces. Experiment with different textures to provide variety and challenge on your routes.

2. Proper Placement

  • Pre-Drill Holes: Before attaching screw-on holds, pre-drill holes on your climbing wall to match the screw holes on the holds. Make sure the holes are correctly spaced and level to ensure a secure fit.
  • Distribute Holds: Carefully plan the placement of screw-on holds to create interesting and challenging routes. Vary the distance between holds and use them to define specific climbing sequences.

3. Securing the Holds

  • Use Appropriate Hardware: Always use the correct screws or bolts that are compatible with the holds and climbing wall material. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommendations.
  • Tighten Securely: Ensure that the holds are tightened securely but not overtightened, as this can damage the holds or the wall.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically inspect screw-on holds for wear and tear, and re-tighten them if necessary. Replace any damaged holds promptly to prevent accidents.

Exploring Wooden Volumes

Wooden volumes are 3D climbing features that add depth and dimension to climbing walls. They can be used to create interesting overhangs, corners, and unique climbing challenges. Here’s how to make the most of wooden volumes:

1. Volume Types

  • Volumes come in various forms: These include cubes, pyramids, wedges, and more. Each type offers distinct climbing experiences, so experiment with different volumes to diversify your climbing routes.

2. Installation Tips

  • Sturdy Mounting: Ensure that wooden volumes are securely fastened to the climbing wall with appropriate hardware. Use screws, T-nuts, or other mounting systems recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Positioning: Strategically place volumes on the wall to create interesting movement patterns and challenges. Overlaps and underclings can be created using volumes to test climbers’ technique and strength.

3. Route Setting

  • Creativity: Wooden volumes offer endless possibilities for route setting creativity. Use volumes as starting points, intermediary holds, or finish holds to create unique and engaging routes.
  • Setting for All Levels: Volumes are versatile and can be used in routes for climbers of all skill levels. Adjust the positioning and orientation of volumes to suit the difficulty of the route.


Screw-on holds and wooden volumes are valuable additions to any climbing wall, offering a wide range of possibilities for route setters and climbers alike. By carefully selecting, placing, and maintaining these climbing features, you can create routes that challenge and inspire climbers while providing a dynamic and enjoyable climbing experience. Whether you’re setting routes in a gym or building your own home wall, mastering the use of screw-on holds and wooden volumes will enhance the climbing experience and keep the sport exciting and ever-evolving.


Electronics technician, mountaineer and climber, dedicated to sports training and climbing fanatic with more than 15 years of experience., One of the creators of ROAC Climbing Holds (RXCLIMBINGHOLDS). Dedicated to creating high resistance and ergonomic holds as well as designing electronic training programs for climbing.

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