Ice Tools

Recent Ice Tool Reviews

rated 5 of 5 stars
Petzl Nomic

Great ice tool for waterfall ice and mixed climbing! Taken me from Rjukan to the Alps and back again! Great ice tool! I bought mine used though a friend (so I do not own the newest generation). It's been perfect for me, climbing WI 3-5 and mixed alpine routes. I can't think of much more to wish for in an ice tool. I was so lucky as to get different blades with the tool, so one for training, one for mixed, one for alpine, and one for water ice. Great swing, even without weights. The only thing I… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
CAMP X-Dream

Ice climbing dream. For pure WI these are my favorite ice tool to date. The slim pick usually is a one swing wonder, which makes steep climbs less tiring. With my Nomics I feel like I have to battle-axing in to the ice, but not the X-dream even with the "mixed" pick. The handle has two positions ice and Mixed, I keep mine on the ice setting.  The difference is that the mixed sets the handle angle a bit more aggressive.  My only gripe is the little adjustable plastic grip rest on the upper shaft,… Full review

rated 3 of 5 stars
Grivel X Monster

I've used these axes in mixed conditions and on ice and found they perform very differently. On ice they are the perfect level of aggressive and terrific for beginners as the price makes the sport a bit more accessible, and they are simple to use. Though a bit heavy, they have a good swing, and are very comfortable to hold. Grip tape on the upper handle is essential, but easily added. The picks are very durable, and can take a great deal of abuse. On mixed and rock these perform rather poorly. The… Full review

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Black Diamond Fusion

This is going to be a bit of a comparison between the Petzl Nomic and the Fusion. I have been using both now for the last three years, these are my conclusions. For pure steep ice I prefer the Nomic. It swings less like a battle ax (Fusion being the battle ax) and the pick sticks more securely but yet is easy to remove. BD has some catching up on with their pick tech. The Fusion alway seem to take more effort to get a solid stick, and when it's in it takes a bit to get the pick dislodged. For mixed… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Cassin X-Alp

I've bought my new Cassin X-Alp 6 mounts ago and they are great. I've tried them on WI 4-5 even on WI 6 and they were fabulous. I would put them on the same line with Petzl Quarks, just find the handle with finger guard and they would be just perfect for any type of climbing. Previously i had DMM Fly, Simond Naja, also used Quark and Nomic... but i can't compare it with X-Alp. For the money they give the most universal of these ice axes and i just love them a because of that. Although their usage… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Black Diamond Fusion

My Nomic is a Fusion. When leashless became the new game and all the companies started pouring out new axes to go outside and overhang on mixed routes, and when we all started needing more clearance from our ice axes Black Diamond invented the Fusion.  For 5 years now (give or take) they taken me everywhere. Perfect? Untrue. Best tool ever made for dry tooling? Yes, after a few tweaks. I started by adding micro hammer heads, always useful for putting in the "once in a while" pitons. And hockey… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Simond Chacal

I have tried a variety of tools through the years. My 4 favorites, you will see a review on each. The Simond Chacal with interchangeable tips (not uncommon these days) was one of the leaders of time gone by. Quality and durability equals my other three favorites too. Nice feel, relatively easy (with the right tools) to change the tips.  Easier to do at the top or start of a climb but possibly mid climb too.  Strongly recommend taking a Craftsman Combination Wrench and grind the open end off then… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Petzl Nomic

I'll preface the five star rating by saying that I have never owned an off-the-shelf ice tool that performed this well without any modifications. I've owned or used most of the new generation leashless tools (Petzl Ergo, BD Fusion, Simond Scud/Coyote, Grivel Monster/X-Monster) and none have come close to the overall high performance of the Nomic. Most of the tools listed above specialize in either ice climbing or mixed climbing, but the Nomic performs at the highest level for both ice and rock. Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Black Diamond Viper

Great ice tool for pure ice climbing. Even with the add on features (fang, ...), it's not as good as the new specialized tools for dry tooling. And, with their curved shafts, they lose some of their usefulness in alpine settings. You can get by with your Vipers just about anywhere; but they're really in their element on pure waterfall ice. They have a nice weight/heft to them. Not too light, not too heavy. The shape gives really good clearance over bulges. The handle is nicely shaped (hourglass… Full review

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