Black Diamond Venom Hammer

Priced: $149.95 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 9 reviews.
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Black Diamond Venom Hammer -

The Venom Hammer by Black Diamond is the choice for technical mountaineering routes where performance, light weight and durability are paramount. A modular piolet with a curved shaft, the Venom plunges into snow cleanly, self arrests and provides solid placements in steep alpine ice. The interchangeable pick design gives you a choice between the Venom Classic Pick and the Venom Tech Pick, which has a more technical reverse curve. Both pick options self-arrest on snow. Comes with a Tech Pick and a Lockdown Leash.

The Venom by Black Diamond. A technical piolet for steep couloirs, plunges and self arrests.

FEATURES of the Black Diamond Venom Hammer.
SPECIFICATIONS of the Black Diamond Venom Hammer.


  • Don't forget an Axe or Pick protector to protect your delicate nylon gear and keep your pick ding-free


  • Dual-density molded grip provides insulation and a comfortable grip

Weather and Wind:

  • The Venom's slight bend at the top of the shaft increases vertical performance without sacrificing the ability to plant the shaft in the snow


  • Ergonomic-shaped head is easy and comfortable to grasp when in mountaineering mode


  • Slight bend just below its head offers more clearance when swinging the tool
  • Excellent for steep mountaineering route, especially when paired with another lightweight axe; excels in couloirs, plunges and self arrests
  • Ideal counterpart to your ice axe on a mountaineering trip
  • Venom Hammer is equipped with a Tech Pick (geared for ice climbing), the Venom Adze comes with the Classic Pick (best for self arrests)
  • CEN-certified
  • Accepts Venom Classic and Tech Picks, Lockdown Leash included
  • Replaceable pick can be re-sharpened after each trip
  • The interchangeable, classically curved pick is designed to provide solid placements while ice climbing as well as to self-arrest securely
  • An ideal alpine leash, the Lockdown, is included with this versatile axe
  • Investment-cast, stainless steel head and spike
Oregon Mountain Community
The Black Diamond Venom Ice Axe is a hybrid piolet tool which excels in steep and technical terrain. The Venom Ice Axe with Adze mimics your technical tools with a curved upper shaft for extra clearance in steeper ice and snow and Tech Pick while a traditional spike ensures smooth plunging on the uphill.
A long snow route with a couple pitches of ice is the hardest type of climbing for which to select an appropriate tool. It used to be that you could either have a good ice tool that sucks for self-arrest or a standard ice axe that can barely climb a pitch of easy ice. Not anymore. Black Diamond designed the Venom Ice Axe to self-arrest and plunge into the snow easily but still offer good ice performance.

Mountain Gear
Compact and light, the Black Diamond Venom Hammer is an angled tool that excels on steep alpine ice.
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Country of Origin:China
Head:Head, Hammer/Adze, Spike
Head Material:Stainless Steel
Head Style:Hammer
Interchangeable Heads:yes
Leash Included:yes
Length:57 cm
Pick:Tech Pick
Shaft Material:Aluminum
Shaft Rating:B Rated
Weight:564 g
Weight with Leash:1 lb 4 oz / 564g
Compare specifications to related products.

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Subcategories of Ice Axes & Tools:

Related Categories:

Black Diamond

Black Diamond Venom Hammer Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Best Alpine Tool

These are my go to tools in the mountains; 57cm hammer and adz, both with the tech pic. These climb alpine and waterfall ice very well while still performing on snow climbs and self arrest.
They plunge well for a good boot ax belay, though like most axes these days the venom has a "B" rating instead of the "T" rating of heavier axes that are designed and tested for that specific use.
I own viper ice tools for only WI days and other full ice axes but they rarely see action because the vipers are so adept. They climb waterfall ice better then the old BD X-15s. I rarely can give a 100% recommendation.
It would be better if the ax had the tech pick option when purchasing. I would also like to see a more visible paint job like orange or yellow because it can be more difficult to find when searching around the tent at 0dark30.
jonnymtman at Mountain Gear on 08/08/2010

Not aways my first choice to bring on a trip but definitely good to add to the quiver. nice for snow routes where you consider not bringing an axe but might need to pound something or if you run into a slight bulge of ice. Not something I would particularly want to climb serious ice with but there are climbers out there way better than I who easily could. Grip is nice, leash works well, and the picks are easy enough to change if you have the tool though I prefer the bolt heads on the cobras for tightening in the field.

Eric Carter at on 01/15/2013

I thought this must somehow suck because it's so much cheaper than many others in its class but it doesn't. It's sharp, aggressive and a valuable tool. I bought this as a compliment to my long ax for more classic alpine climbing and used it on Mt. Hood's Old Chute yesterday. I would have been significantly less happy without it. I am 6' and I got the 50c which feels plenty long for what I want it for.

one5220235 at on 04/19/2012

If you want a tool that can be used for a bit of mountaineering as well as some steeper ice, the black diamond venom is it!! Perfect versatile ice tool when you need one that can do many different things. Id recommend it to any alpine climber.

Sterling Watson at on 12/12/2011

a great alpine tool

Tested this tool on a moderate alpine snow gully with some ice forming. Tool performs well, nice balance and overall weight, and having a straight shaft was nice for plunging into the sun-softened snow at the final headwall where the cornice had broken away.
KB at Mountain Gear on 07/07/2006

This thing rocks! I was looking for an axe that I could use for self arrest but would also work well on some semi steep ice/snow, and the venom does the trick. Seriously, you can't go wrong having this tool with ya.

Sterling Watson at on 06/01/2012

Like many have said before. When you have a pair they really add up in weight department. Other than the weight this is a sold tool.

Aaron Slaven at on 05/26/2012

Perfect balance

A great balance between a traditional piolet and a high angle tool. Great for anything from moderate snow to easy mixed alpine.
Snouchrocket at Mountain Gear on 07/07/2008

Neutral Reviews:

This has been my go to axe when engaged in steep glacier travel and light mountaineering. It can work for a bit of easy vertical but certainly not what it was designed for. Also use this bad boy on ski tours over icy terrain as I do not (yet) have a whippet.

Arthur Debowski at on 04/11/2011