Mountaineering Axes/Piolets

Brands

Black Diamond
Petzl
Grivel
Omega Pacific
CAMP
Stubai
SMC
DMM
Simond
Cassin

Price

less than $100
$100 - $199.99
$500 and above

Recent Mountaineering Axe/Piolet Reviews

Black Diamond Raven

rated 4.5 of 5 stars How much can you say about an ice axe? This is not the lightest axe or strongest axe, but it's the best general mountaineering axe on the market. It does its job. Call me old school, but I believe an ice axe is the last place to try to save weight. You want something strong and burly. If you want to cut ounces, go for a jog and lose the love handles.The Raven is perfect for self belay and self arrest. Make you get it long enough — if you need something shorter, get a more technical axe like the… Full review

Black Diamond Venom Hammer Ice Axe

rated 5 of 5 stars When you need a second tool, but not necessarily a technical ice tool. "You know when it's good picket snow when you drive one in and you really wish you had a hammer." These were the words of wisdom from my crevasse rescue instructor. He was basically saying that snow should be really hard if you intend to place a picket in vertically, otherwise you should bury it dead-man style.  "So I need to bring two tools?" I asked. "No," was his response. "Well if all I have is a hammer, then how do I dig… Full review

Black Diamond Raven Pro

rated 5 of 5 stars This axe is strong, light and comes pretty sharp out of the box, though I did sharpen it more. For spring, winter or fall I take this thing up the mountain. Great design! I have used this axe as an anchor, a walking tool, a chopping tool and arrest tool. It is versatile and a great companion for my mountaineering journeys. Full review

DMM Cirque

rated 4 of 5 stars Excellent mountaineering axe for more technical use. This is a excellent lightweight mountaineering axe. It is very useful in all situations. It has a slight curve, making it excellent for swinging. It's worth practicing arrests with it if you aren't used to curved tools. It's comfortable in the hand and just all a round great mountaineering axe.  It works great on glaciers, and performs well on steep sow gullies. I couldn't be happier. I do wish it had an adjustable plastic handle.  Full review

Black Diamond Raven with Grip

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Raven with some really nice upgrades. The luxury model! First there was the BD Raven, then the lighter Raven Pro, and the Raven Ultra. And now the Raven with some modern upgrades. While this isn't as hard core as the Raven Pro, this axe is a nice notch up in other areas.  It comes with a slider leash and a comfortable dual-density handle, both helpful on a winter traverse. In my opinion, using an axe without a leash is kind of like driving a car without a seatbelt, since if you fall and lose the… Full review

Black Diamond Raven Ultra

rated 4 of 5 stars Light weight, good bite, good room under the head to attach a leash I have used this axe on several mountaineering trips. It bites well into snow and ice and is great for stabilizing the climber during steep approach hikes. I have practiced arresting with it many times and it is very effective at self arresting the climber. Full review

Black Diamond Raven

rated 2 of 5 stars The only positive with this product is the price, which although low for an ice ax not even worth it. The pick is narrow and rather annoying, it reminds me of a pencil. The adze is cut out in the center and is horrible for cutting steps (if you ever have to). The shaft offers no grip whatsoever. The only reason you should ever buy this ax is if you are ONLY going to be using it on very very easy slopes and want a cheap ax "just in case". Otherwise cough up some dough and go with a Grivel or Petzl. Full review

Black Diamond Raven Pro

rated 5 of 5 stars Most ergonomic ice axe I could find. Much more comfortable than the Petzl Icewalker in my hands. Not sure if the weight difference between the PRO version and the regular Raven is that significant. The ice axe handles well for self arrests and does not seem to suffer in mixed terrains on rocks. Overall the most comfortable ice axe I could find and gets the job done when it counts. Full review

Omega Pacific Mountain Axe

rated 4 of 5 stars I like this axe. I have used it on self-arrest practice and to climb steep, hard spring snowfields, no serious mountaineering though. It bites into the ice when I slip and cuts nice foot holds for the kids when I want it to. The point, I noticed, has a positive angle. The books say this isn't ideal and I may adjust it some with a grinder but the issue hasn't come up for me. As far as an axe is concerned, it does the job. I wrapped the head with athletic tape near the handle to save on my gloves… Full review

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