The absolutely brilliant new Tech Machine Ice Axes from Grivel are, well, brilliant. We've passed them round 5 different testers so far this season and everyone has come back with a resoundingly positive response. These axes work, and they work well.
"The geometry of these axes is absolutely spot on, the feel, the swing, the way the tool moves is really, really good. But it is the perfect ice axe? Not quite, but it comes close...
I really like the steel head, that will last much longer than the ally head on the nomics. Less keen on the handle, I prefer the extra control you get with the nomic handle, index finger over the upper "ledge", not so easy with these
Have used the alp wings for about 4 or 5 years and was so dissapointed when the new grivel range came out, most other manufacturers seems to have gone with the same 3 axe styles that petzl have, i.e. the walking/mountaineering axe, the quark style curved axe without the extra grip and the nomic style curved with the grip. Grivel have missed out the middle one and just gone with the light machine walking style axe, the tech machine technical style axe and then all the super technical dry tooling axes. Will probably end up going with something like dmm's apex next year as I don't ever see myself venturing past V or VI in a million years, but grivel make the best quality tools and especially picks by far, compared to the quark or the apex the machines are just a world apart, if only they did a middle of the road curved tool for the non-super stars.
Have tech machines, best tools I've used (over nomic/fusion). Perfect swing and feels quality, nice and solid.
Downside is the mixed pick with hammer/ adze steepens the angle of the tool and ruins its reach and swing... Bring out the ice pick with at least a hammer attachment grivel! Or you will continue to loose sales to the nomic!
I'm sure the head is aluminium, at least that's the impression I got from the weight. I haven't got mine to hand to check but I'm pretty sure. Also does nobody else find the upper handle too high up the shaft making the axe unstable on marginal holds? finally I find the spike gets in the way and snags the wall giving you a false sense of well placed pick.
It is however my favourite axe.
Thanks for that, you guys are obviously well ahead of the curve as there's not much info floating around the web about them, look like quantum techs with the new head...decisions decisions, hopefully get a play with them at some point, they don't look to have as aggressive an angle as the apex's but the picks look sweet.
Climber Phil18 Feb 2015
In reply to ColdWill:
The 3.0's are ideal WI 3/4 tools. 5's are ok if not overly featured as due to the low pick angle they don't hook too well. Also quite a bit of pick shift when you go in to the top handle. If used what they're designed for they work really well
I'm also shopping for a Quark-style axe, but also prefer the brilliant pick of the Grivels.Now I'm surprised that the Grivel Machine 3.0 is in the same league as the Petzl Quark (i.e. moderately technical mountaineering/alpine ice tool). These Machine 3.0s look really flamboyant compared to the almost humble looking Quarks. I'd be mistaken for some kind of rock climbing star...
Thanks for the North Machine tip, but it is a carbon fiber premium category like the Cobra.
Climber Phil22 Feb 2015
In reply to Aldaris:
The 3's are a good tool. If you want to hook better you can always fit the mix pick, but then the swing will be badly affected.