LittleHammer on WeighMyRack

LittleHammer WMRLittlehammer has just been listed on WeighMyRack along with all the other nut tools. It is pretty exciting to see it there!

I’ve always loved WeighMyRack as it brings all the gear from every brand together so you can search and compare which is exactly what climbers want to do, only you had to drag around manufacturers sites and store sites, never seeing them side by side. You can tell climbers have set up the search parameters as you can sort gear by weight or price or brand or other features
that make it easy to compare the gear that meets your needs. This works really well.

Alison from WeighMyRack has been really supportive of LittleHammer and also Rack Sack — a previous Kickstarter project (Rack Sack is up for redesign and relaunch). She reviewed text and made really good suggestions which was very kind.

So check out LittleHammer in amongst the competition on the greatest climbers resource!


The 8 Most Innovative Climbing Products Coming in 2017 | WeighMyRack Blog

We are stoked to showcase the climbing gear that is testing the limits as the climbing brands create totally unique products. These are the designs that will continue to creatively push the industry forward.

Source: The 8 Most Innovative Climbing Products Coming in 2017 | WeighMyRack Blog


Climb Design is helping out on the climbing side of Mirawara, a not-for-profit that helps get young people outdoors: climbing, walking, camping and more. There are not many (good) options for exciting things to do in Central Victoria so we hope to offer enriching experiences for young people. This crowd funding campaign will help us buy climbing gear, licences and insurance. The more we raise the less we have to charge the kids. We’ve had a good response operating informally with climbing trips but we need to get set-up properly.

The Big Zipper rope protector


Our new easy to use rope protector

IMG_0528The Big Zipper is, well, a big zipper. The other rope protectors that close with velcro are tricky to use one handed — you open one end and the other end closes, the velcro sticks to your slings and they are kind of chunky to carry too. The curly plastic ones are pretty cool but are also difficult to deploy.

The Big Zipper closes and opens easily. You can zip it closed as you descend or zip it open as you jumar up.  It is a generous 1m (3’3″) long rope protector, which is a handy length for those long rounded granite edges.

Buy Big Zipper here AU$29

You can set up several Big Zippers on your rope before you start abseiling. Slide them down with you then set one on the rope by attaching the cord french prusik style using the small carabiner, easy to do this one-handed while you maintain your brake-hand. Once Big Zipper is in position zip it closed as you descend. Repeat when you get to the next spot you’d like to protect your rope from.

Ascending the rope is easy with Big Zipper, once you jumar up to it simply zip it open until you get high enough to unclip it.

If it’s too tight a spot to use the whole meter, simply leave it open and fold the unused bit underneath.

The Big Zipper is made from a high strength self healing nylon zip and nylon webbing. It rolls or folds to pocket size. It’s not intended to be indestructible, more an affordable, light, easy to carry, and easy to use protector to increase the life of your rope. Big Zipper comes with attachment cord and small carabiner and is madly made in Australia.

The big zipper has no sticky or curling bits to wrangle. It’s simply a zip closing nylon webbing to take the bite out of rough surfaces or hard edges to prolong the life of your rope.


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Mirawara is a local initiative to entice young people outdoors — walking, camping climbing, and more. With a sensitivity to environmental and cultural aspects of our great outdoors, and the grounding experiences it can give people, we hope to grow Mirawara into a sustainable enterprise. Check it out and if you are in Central Victoria keep an eye out for our upcoming programs.image

LittleHammer 1.2

We’ve just sold out of V1.1, this new batch has the same trigger and impact weight but we moved the whole track back 5mm to give just a little more reach and make firing easier for small hands.

The current stock of v1.2 and v1.1 will be the last of the 304 stainless steel LittleHammers. After this we’ll be switching to 7c stainless steel which will increase the price by around $50 but make LittleHammer stronger. Rock Hardware and Bogong also have some stock of the pre-7C versions.

LittleHamer 1.2

LittleHammer on El Capitan

Littlehammer on rackReading and watching films about big wall climbing in Yosemite is about as close as I’ll get, but it still inspires. If I can’t get there at least something I made will; LittleHammer excels in big wall / aid climbing.

So here’s an offer to those lucky climbers in Yosemite this season: send a photo or video of LittleHammer on an El Capitan climb and the first two we receive will get one of our bosuns chairs / belay seat very handy on the wall and super light. Hell we’ll even post it to you in Camp 4!

New gear

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

LittleHammer HT
Yep, doesn’t look much different on the outside but it’s way stronger, this is a sample of LittleHammer 1.1 in 7C

After a long search we’ve found a high tensile stainless steel for LittleHammer. Its called 7C, and we found a machine-knife maker who can supply us.  7C’s tensile strength is 1600 mpa – over 3 times stiffer than our standard LittleHammer. We investigated titanium, chromoly, and duplex stainless steels but this is the one. It has to be water-jet cut and this will increase the price but we feel it’s worth offering  a high tensile version for uncompromising users. LittleHammer HT we’ll call it. Details on price and availability will be released soon. We will continue to offer standard LittleHammers alongside the HT version.

We are about to launch the first of our textile products, these are the labels. First up is a new rope protector that is easy to deploy one handed. Details will unfold here over the next few weeks.
textile labels

Trad is Rad T-shirt competition

The winner of the size small Trad is Rad T-shirt from Omaha Screen Co is Michael from Germany with this great entry:

What is great about being a small climber? Well… when you are a small climber, you have more skill. When a tall climber just reaches the next grimp you need more ideas, be more creative. Strength is not everything, you have to be flexible so that’s not a problem to bring your foot to your hand and stand up for the next hold.
For a small climber it’s not just sport, it’s a kind of art :)

Thanks to all those who entered, we love it when people engage with Climb Design.


Now here’s some art:
Trad is Rad shirt

Winner of the stuck gear epic…

The winner of a LittleHammer 1.1 is Peter from the US with this great entry about his stuck gear epic:

It was our first road trip – to Arapiles in December. I guess you could say we were clueless bumblies. In amongst all the sunburn, epics on grade 11s, near-benightments on single pitch climbs, and run-ins with cougars at the Nati pub, we lost our one and only cam on Cassandra.

Collectively we’d managed to get the draws on it and were taking turns redpointing it. Because of the traverse at the top to the chains, we’d placed a wire in a horizontal slot above the slab, so that anyone working the route on top rope wouldn’t face a nasty swing.

After several hours of holding flailing bumblies, when it came time to clean that nut it wouldn’t budge. So I went up, placed our one and only cam beside it, and went to work with a variety of nut tools, rocks (to use as hammers), slings and god knows what else.

After about an hour of hard work I finally got the damn thing free, and went to remove the cam. Which had walked. Way back into the crack. So far back I couldn’t reach it, and being a bumbly I couldn’t figure out how to operate the triggers with the nut tools.

After another hour or so I gave up, and a mate (who’s cam it was) had a go, with equal non-success.

So to save a $10 nut we lost a $80 cam, our only one on that trip. For all I know it’s still there.

Peter will receive his LittleHammer 1.1 shortly. We were a little late announcing this competition winner, I got my competition dates mixed up. Will be announcing the Trad is Rad competition on the 16th.

Thanks to all those who entered.

Aid climbing practice 


Hanging belay and 1:1 haul of about 20kg.  This simple and short haul seemed to go OK. Training for a trip to Mt Buffalo. Got to finish my portaledge and will take some new prototypes to field test.

Just got to get fit enough to carry 35kg on a downhill scramble for 2 hours then spend a few days hauling, climbing, and living vertical!

My very first cluster, and yes those are Jumars


At Bogong

All set up for the LittleHammer demo at Bogong in Melbourne today, 26 Feb. If you are in town drop by and say hi. If you’re curious about LittleHammer you can try one out today.

Bogong now has LittleHammers in stock and I’ve shown some of the great staff there how to use it, a couple of them have even taken LittleHammer out on a climb so you can talk to them about it. Working at Bogong must be a dream job for a climber!

Competition entries

Had some great responses to our two current competitions.

Stuck gear epic

This great one from Peter:

It was our first road trip – to Arapiles in December. I guess you could say we were clueless bumblies. In amongst all the sunburn, epics on grade 11s, near-benightments on single pitch climbs, and run-ins with cougars at the Nati pub, we lost our one and only cam on Cassandra.

Continue reading Competition entries

LittleHammer reverse impact

Another of the unique features of LittleHammer is the ability to use the impact in reverse by connecting a piece to the handle end hook. This was mainly aimed at Peckers / Beaks / Tomahawks and used in hammerless aid climbing.

Here’s some great feedback from very experienced climber and aid Guru who goes by the name M9 online: Continue reading LittleHammer reverse impact


Ever wondered what the small burr on the inside of the hook was for? There was a lot of debate about including this feature in LittleHammer, but after breaking a bottle neck off trying to open it with the impact I thought this was a bit calmer, even though it’s in the “but wait there’s more…” category of design features! Continue reading Opener

LittleHammer Demo at Bogong

Bogong Logo w web_150Come and check out LittleHammer on Friday the 26th Feb, lunchtime 12 to 2pm at Bogong in Melbourne CBD: Bogong Equipment, 374 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne (as if you don’t know!)

We’ll have a demo crack set up and gear you can jam and remove with LittleHammers.

I’ll be there to show you how it’s done and answer any questions. Bogong will have LittleHammers for sale.

More Details on the event page

Big thanks to Bogong for hosting this, see you there!

Trad is Rad T-shirt giveaway

I was rapt when my Trad is Rad shirt arrived from Omaha Screen Co — I love that graphic. Then I find I’d ordered the wrong size: a small! Must have pressed the wrong button and not read my receipt email… that’ll teach me to look at those things!

Trad is Rad shirtSo I contacted JJ at Omaha and asked if I could swap it. JJ replied “keep it” and that he’d send me a medium and another climbing shirt if I sent him a Climb Design belay seat. All good by me. He’s into climbing photography and needed something comfy for long hanging sessions. Our belay seat will do the trick: supper light and very comfy. Continue reading Trad is Rad T-shirt giveaway

Stuck gear epic — giveaway

Celebrating LittleHammer 1.1

It is exciting to take LittleHammer one step further with the launch of version 1.1.

To celebrate this mile-stone for Climb Design we are giving away one of the first run of LittleHammer 1.1.

It’s a competition: tell us the story of an epic you’ve had with stuck gear, either getting it out (what ingenious method) or the ensuing retreat, rescue, forced bivvy; or the lamentations for a favorite piece that you had to leave behind. The story we like the most wins. Continue reading Stuck gear epic — giveaway

LittleHammer 1.1


 Here is the first of the new LittleHammer 1.1 featuring trigger modifications, changes to the impact weight, and a brushed finish on the stainless steel. The overall shape has remained the same. Revising the tolerances of the trigger will make assembly easier; no hand filing to tune each trigger!

Check back here soon for news of our LittleHammer giveaway celebrating V1.1 and a demonstration session in a… the, Melbourne CBD climbing store

Order your LittleHammer 1.1 here

littlehammer 1.1
Just picked these up from laser etching


LittleHammer at Rock Hardware

Steve at our favourite climbing gear store Rock Hardware in Bendigo Central Victoria has landed the global exclusive of being the first stockist of LittleHammer.

Rock Hardware is a great place to get gear and good advice and we’re pretty lucky it’s close to where we live.

Steve and John ave actually used LittleHammer and have given great feedback and advice on marketing which is very much appreciated.

So if you’re up this way climbing or live around here drop by Rock Hardware to have a look at LittleHammer and chat to Steve or John about it.

38A Neale Street, Bendigo — hours and contact

Test firing LittleHammer

Each LittleHammer had it’s trigger tuned during assembly and was test-fired 10 to 15 times. In that process a couple of times I noticed that test firing without something to absorb the energy can buckle the spacer. I didn’t make the connection at first as it seems counter-intuitive and I can’t quite explain this as firing into something solid should be a higher load.

So it’s best to fire LittleHammer into something solid, or at least pinch-grip the hook end when you test-fire it to absorb some of the energy.  Continue reading Test firing LittleHammer

Kickstarter almost done

Posted the last of our Kickstarter backers LittleHammers today, so it’s pretty much done, just a couple of backers who haven’t responded with details yet, will keep chasing them.

So due to a miscount in the early days I’ll have a few of LittleHammer 1.0 to sell, will either do that through demos or online, stay tuned for details.

Kickstarter was a great experience. So good to get the support that allowed us to get LittleHammer this far. We learnt a lot!

LH last Kickstarter batch
Last Kickstarter batch of LittleHammers ready for packing.

Where to next? Well there is the backlog of orders from our other business… but climbing wise we have a couple of prototypes that are looking likely as new Climb Design products.

Oh and first a little holiday. We hope all Climb Designs friends have a great break: restful or climbing hard!

LittleHammer feedback

Here’s the first of the written feedback we’ve got on LittleHammer, this is from a very experienced climber and aid specialist who goes by the name ‘M9’ online, Originally published on Chockstone the Australian climbing forum, republished here with permission of the author. Thanks M9 for your considered response, this is part of the conversation that will help evolve LittleHammer.

I received my LittleHammer in the mail late last week, so many thanks climbdesign!

I too had opportunity to use a prototype on the North Wall over the Buffalo Aidfestival weekend.
It is a beautiful bit of craftsmanship and works really well, though takes a little getting used too. Continue reading LittleHammer feedback

LittleHammer 1.1

CLIMB DESIGN LittleHammer prototype #7 2
Photo by Stéphane of the Nuts Museum

We are offering  pre-orders for the next batch: LittleHammer 1.1. This is testing the water for regular production and online sales.


Changes for 1.1 are mostly about production and assembly. Adjustments to the trigger tolerances will make assembly quicker and some modifications to the impact weight assist loading, all great learning from the first batch. There will be future versions that will analyse and incorporate user feedback from the Kickstarter batch being delivered to backers now.

Here’s the link for pre-ordering, hosted at usethings online store (our other business)

Price is AU$94 and postage ranges from around  $15 in Australia up to $26 internationally.

This is a limited batch of 100 to see what the pace and scale of orders are, if there is big demand we will increase the batch size or schedule more production runs. Once we get a sense of demand we’ll be able to set up to make LittleHammer more redly available.

LittleHammer #1 delivery

After almost two years since its conception this is the first LittleHammer to be delivered. The first twelve are individually numbered and this is the very first one I assembled this afternoon.

Its new home is with my friend Dave who is an industrial designer. When he saw the secret prototype at the beginning of the year, he placed an order for the first one; this was quite a confidence boost at the time and helped me forge ahead with the whole project.

Thanks Dave.

Almost with you

LH etchedThey are here. Final finishing process is the laser etching of the logo; picked these up this morning. This individually numbered batch of 12 are the first to go out to special Kickstarter backers. Assemble, pack, and post is all that’s left to do!

Really happy with the etching and the rumbled finish. Expect to hear more about LitteHammer as the media samples go out for review.

Laser cutting done

200 LH7LH7 first run

Just picked up the stainless steel bodies from Online Laser in Bendigo. They’ve done a great job and were very patient  when I kept coming back for another prototype! Good turnaround on these one-off’s helped me get to the big order sooner.

Now time to get going on the finishing.

LittleHammer evolution

LittleHammer evolutionFinally settled some details of the laser cut body for this first production run of LittleHammer. We got up to prototype number seven (at the bottom of the photo). It’s now good to go and the production order was made yesterday.

The refinements where needed after sorting out the spring spec. I’d increased the impact power (spring rate plus the travel to impact) and made adjustments to the trigger pivot, the curve of the back, and the reverse impact hook. Also refined the bottle opener which is now a small tooth on the inside of the front hook.

The laser cutting will be ready early next week then I can start the finishing, which is grinding a tiny bevel on the edge of the body for comfort and then rumbling it with an abrasive medium for an even surface, then laser etching the logo is the last step before assembly.

There is a little work to do on packaging and shipping while these other processes are underway but we are looking good for our Kickstarter fulfilment schedule.

box of 200 impact weights
200 LittleHammer brass impact weights

LittleHammer production update

It was exciting to see the work NS Engineering in Bendigo have done with the impact weight production yesterday. Actually got to watch some being machined in the multi-part jig they designed; this whole process is pretty clever. The impact weight assembly is the most complex part so I’m glad we started that early, the full 200 will be ready within a fortnight.

Continue reading LittleHammer production update

Kickstarter success! LittleHammer is go

Thirty days has flown past and we have exceeded our Kickstarter funding goal with the help of our 129 backers: a big thank you for giving LittleHammer a chance. Here are some of the stats from the campaign:

  • 129 backers from all over the world, many first-time backers, climbers who heard about LittleHammer online and word of mouth (a big thanks to those who spread the word)
  • 159% funded, we reached 100% before halfway
  • 21,964 views of the campaign video, lots of positive comments about it so a big thanks to Stewart and Cath of People Pictures, also Emma our climbing star!
  • 12,658+ visitors to the campaign page (missed the first days data)
  • 16,081 campaign page views
  • 1,671 visits to

Add to this social media traffic from Facebook and Instagram, then the active forum threads in the US, UK, and Australia, along with some promotion on great climbing sites. LittleHammer struck a chord with climbers and created its own momentum.

Reaching our funding goal early gave us the confidence to start production, the impact weight is under way and we are testing the body and new springs; some small adjustments, then those orders will be placed next week. So looking good for our Kickstarter fulfilment schedule. Also hope to have media samples early to send out for review to the media who have supported our campaign.

So here we go — LittleHammer is coming into the world!

Stainless steel springs

stainless steel springs LHWe just got a sample batch of the stainless steel springs. These will be better in the weather but have slightly less power than the spring-steel springs. I’ll run some trials and will either change the stainless steel wire size or move the trigger catch further back — a bit of fine-tuning to do; although some said the original spring was hard to pull back;  got to strike a balance between function and usability.

Experimented with polishing one of the stainless steel springs
Polished the stainless steel spring in LittleHammer, compared to the one below, as supplied.

Rack Sack returns

Rack Sack 2 lo resJust picked up three new Rack Sacks from Industrial Sewing Workshop. After the Rack Sack Kickstarter campaign fell short (but set us up for LittleHammer) one backer from Norway was still keen for two, so Cathy agreed to make up a small batch.

It was great to have another go at the design and Rack Sack 2 is much improved, plus beautifully made by Cathy. Not easy to do with such a complex bag.

Got to say I’ve been missing my Rack Sack prototype while it was used as a reference for the new batch, it was back to gear tangles again, hard to do when you know there is a better way.

We will retail them for AU$360, contact us to order and get your gear sorted.

LittleHammer in Premiers Design Awards

LittleHammer hook-end view loadedLittleHammer is up for the 2015 Premieres Design Awards in the industrial and product design category. Fingers crossed for October when the results are announced.

The Premier’s Design Awards recognise and reward Victorian designers and businesses using exemplar design effectively and sustainably.

The LittleHammer campaign is going well at 117% funded  by our 101 backers, still with 10 days to go. This is the best opportunity to get a LittleHammer as we’ll be busy with production and fulfilment for our Kickstarter backers for a few months at least. After that we’ll look into regular production and distribution so it will be a while before we can sell them direct. Our time is metered out between LittleHammer and our other business usethings so we can’t move as fast as we’d like to.

Having reached our funding goal early has enabled production orders to be made which will help us get the reward LittleHammers sent out early, or give us more leeway if there are any problems.

We’ll get some samples out to media as soon as we can so you can get independent reviews, things should really start to take-off after that.

LittleHammer 100%!

Kickstarter 100 percent
Photo by John Reid

We have reached our Kickstarter funding goal this morning thanks to all the great people who have backed LittleHammer. This is very exciting to get to go into production and be sending LittleHammers out all over the world.

We’ve also got some more great press coverage over at Gear Junkie:

LittleHammer has struck a cord with all the climbers who have ever had problems with stuck pro. If the current rate of new pledges keeps going for the remaining 17 days of the campaign we’ll be getting up near 200%. We’ll be able to pay  for the next stage of the patent and develop some cool packaging.

LittleHammer on Epic TV

Got a great post on Epic TV:

Never Lose A Stuck Nut Again With This Spring-Loaded Nut Key

Tim Preston climber and self-confessed ‘tinkerer’ may just have come up with one of the best climbing Kickstarter campaigns we’ve ever seen. He’s designed a new nut tool he’s dubbing ‘little hammer’ which helps to unstick nut, cam and RP placements by delivering a percussive force via a spring-loaded weight. Tim lists a lot of the obvious advantages in this video, but the potential in terms of removing stuck gear, avoiding bloody fingers and speeding up the process of seconding are obvious. We think it looks great and with twenty days left on Tim’s Kickstarter campaign, there’s still plenty of time to get in on the ground floor with what may very well become a new standard in climbing gear.