Photo courtesy of:
Every fall I start thinking about ice climbing again, what I learned last year, and what I find are the important things I want to work on this year and the kind of climbing I most enjoy.
Over and over again for the last half dozen years I think the ability to use one tool in the most effective manner is the most important advantage with the newest ice tools. Some tools allow you to take advantage of that opportunity better than others.
But no matter the style of tool, being able to easily match hands on an ice tool and make the lest amount of placements per foot of vertical gain is what we are looking for and what is really important.
The fewer the placements the better your endurance. The more positions you can use on your tool the more your strength will last, short or long term. That will happen on vertical ice or less than as well.
The more you move your hands around and use them in slightly differing manners the warmer your hands will generally stay.
These are videos I have posted previous. But if you haven't seen them it is worth taking a close look at how the climbers in each use their tools. Both the videos are getting dated now for gear but the climbing techniques shown are not. Hopefully you'll get some new ideas of your own from what you see.
and another example here:
I like having options!