As a boat owner who owns just about every anchor made and one who has physically & thoroughly tested my anchors, more so than probably any other sailor I know, including the use of a digital load cell. I know why I use the anchor I use and why I don't use many of the others I own. I not only dive on my anchors but have physically and set them in shallow water monitored the behavior I have also set them in very challenging hard sand intertidal areas and load cell tested them on my own vessel in mud hard sand, eel grass & kelp. I don't know too many other boaters who go to that level of testing to make sure they are using the right product for themselves.
With 80% reverse thrust on our motor I can drag my 35# CQR around nearly every mud cove I have tried and this is AFTER it has been properly set. It has also un-set and not reset on us numerous times as my Fortress has too but I still use it as the stern anchor and there is no better anchor for a stern anchor IMHO.
Many of my other anchors, some old & some new, including the Fortress & Bruce, hold the entire 300-700 pounds of measured reverse thrust in nearly every bottom, the CQR does not. I my CQR's, I currently own two, had been great performers I would have never spent a dime trying to find a better anchor.
I have been meaning to do some more extensive holding tests with my digital load cell, which reads from 2 pounds to 5000 pounds, but have not had the time to do it.
I started doing this stuff, & invested in my own load cell, because I felt I could not trust any of the manufacturers or any of the tests I saw & read which were mostly pathetic in terms of any sort of scientific & fair comparisons. I also find I can't trust the manufacturers to be honest.
The Sail magazine tests were about the most fair except they gave some preferential treatment to a few of the products and not to others, so again, flawed. No anchor should have had ANY preferential treatment. PS is a joke when they compare a 22 pound plow to a 35 etc. etc.. Where are the 180 veering tests in difficult or hard bottoms??
Many folks think that their anchor holds well but may not have experienced loads greater than a few hundred pounds. I know one 40 year 100k+ nautical mile boater who still high tails it for a mooring every time winds are predicted above 25 yet he still uses a CQR. He does not trust his anchor in winds much over 25, pretty sad.....
The video below is just 17-20 knots and the loads are just a few hundred pounds on a 36 footer. The anchor I use has been tested to hold 5000 pounds in a hard bottom but I don't have many areas of real hard bottoms where I anchor on a regular basis. I do have them but soft mud is more common. I have been able to measure a peak surge load of 1.6k on it in very soft mud and she held great. I jsut don't have the ability to load her up any more than that unless we get a hurricane or I borrow my buddies lobster boat.
Digital load cell:
YouTube - Anchor Loads In 17-19 Knots On A 36 Foot Sloop
Reverse thrust for anchor setting:
YouTube - What Happens When I Back Down on My Anchor
P.S. The anchor I have been dragged down on most by is the CQR, like this guy in just 15 knots.....