Light and strong, the DMM Spire Tech performed well in Lucy Wallace’s review of the best walking axes for 2021.

The new lightweight ice axes from DMM are a bit of a departure from the heavy-duty mainstay tools that the company is renowned for. The DMM Spire Tech, and its straight-shafted sister the Spire, are made from high-strength aluminium, light and very strong.

The pick and adze are a single piece of steel alloy. The head of the axe feels very comfortable in the hand, the chamfered pick is excellent, and the adze is generous and broad, one of the best for shifting snow that I’ve used in a tool so light. There are a couple of holes for attachment points in the head. A leash is not included but it would be easy to retrofit.

A 12-degree curve in the shaft doesn’t interfere when plunging the axe into snow. Machined grooves in the shaft help with grip, and look very smart, like silver gills. Rubber would be more effective, but that does add weight. The 55cm option that I tested is the longest available (but the standard Spire goes up to a whopping 75cm).

DMM suggest that this axe is well suited to walking, mountaineering and ski touring, and I agree – it’s a great allrounder. It’s also excellent value for a high-quality winter tool that not only does what it should but does it well.

Read more: 6 of the best walking axes reviewed