Brooks-Range Scientist 35 Folding Snow Saw
Price Paid: $0
I feel like I could write a spoof of Goldilocks and the Three Bears using snow saws instead of porridge. This one's too heavy; this one's too small; this one's too weak...
But I seem to have found one that is just right. The Brooks Range Scientist 35 is no my go-to saw.
My favorite feature of the saw is that it folds. This gives me a full-sized saw, yet it stows in the pack nicely. I really like this because I don't use a saw on every trip, but when I need it, I want it to work. I actually use its case to carry nearly my entire snow science kit - density gauge, crystal card, thermometers, notebook, loupe, etc. It's a pretty small package.
The downside of the folding feature is that you more than likely have to take your glove off to close it. But, it only takes a second.
The saw is rigid enough to cut straight throw dense snow. You probably wouldn't consider this, until you use a flimsy saw. I point this out, because in photos it looks a lot like those flimsy saws. But it's not. It's made from high-quality, American steel, and will get the job done.
For cutting larger blocks and columns, the saw can be attached to a ski pole by using a ski strap. While this is less-elegant than some other systems, it is more versatile. You can use any pole. This is nice.
Lastly, the saw is laser-etched with a grid so it can be used as a crystal card. This is pretty great because you can just use the saw to pull out grains at suspicious layers - fast!
I see that as I write this review, it's listed at over retail price. Why not by it directly from Brooks Range?