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Reviews > Snow Gear > Axes and Shovels > Black Diamond FlickLock Snow Saw > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

Black Diamond FlickLock Snow Saw
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
May 16, 2013

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 27
Location: Elkford & Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

BD FlickLock Saw

Product Information

Manufacturer: Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd.
Manufacturer's URL:
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Model: FlickLock Snow Saw
MSRP: US $44.95
Listed Weight: 160 g (5.6 oz)
Measured Weight: 164 g (5.8 oz) saw only, 265 g (9.3 oz) with sheath


The Black Diamond FlickLock Snow Saw is a, well, snow saw. It has large serrations with teeth in groups of three. The blade is 35 cm (13.8 in) long, and has a line and “30 cm” (11.8 in) printed on it on one side. Also printed on the blade is the Black Diamond name and logo. The handle is made from black plastic and has the Black Diamond logo moulded into it. The handle is marked with “35 cm” (13.8 in) where the blade ends. The key feature of the FlickLock Saw is the ability for it to attach to compatible Black Diamond poles (I have a set). The end of the saw handle has two holes (for two different pole sizes), and the lower section of a pole can be inserted into the holes with the FlickLock mechanism open. Once the lever is closed, the saw stays on the end of the pole.

The FlickLock Saw comes with a sheath which seems to be made from some kind of plastic. The sheath is printed on one side with the Black Diamond logo and name. The saw slides into the sheath and it covers the blade entirely.
Attached to Pole

Field Conditions

I have been using the FlickLock Saw since 2009 as part of my snow kit. It has primarily been used for snow study work in test pits, for cutting and isolating columns. I have used it on the end of my pole about 5 times for when I need to reach farther with the saw than I can reach with my arm, for extended column tests and for cutting cornices. In addition to snow work, this saw was an essential piece of gear for clearing a heli-pad on an overnight avalanche/rope rescue. I spent several hours cutting down trees up to about 10 cm (3.9 in) in diameter with the saw. It has also been used for some winter trail clearing work to make enough space for a stretcher. I estimate that I have used the saw about 20 times for snow or tree sawing, in addition to carrying it around a lot, in temperatures ranging from -25 C (-13 F) to 10 C (50 F).

I carry the saw inside the sheath in my pack, against the back panel, with the handle facing up. The saw is stored full-time in my search & rescue pack in the winter, always ready for action.


General Use
The FlickLock Snow Saw does a great job of cutting snow. The markings on the blade and handle make it very easy and quick to cut a 30 cm x 30 cm (11.8 in x 11.8 in) column. The saw also does a great job on trees with some effort. I was very impressed by how well it cut. The handle is reasonably comfortable to hold, considering that it’s not a full gripped handle. I also use it with gloves on, which probably makes it more comfortable. The mechanism to attach the saw to compatible poles works well. It has come in handy numerous times while out in a group with people with normal length saws. I’m not sure what else to say about it…it’s a saw. The sheath also works well. I’ve never had any cuts through it.

The saw is still in good shape. It has some rough spots and discoloration from tree pitch. I suspect that it’s not as sharp as it was originally, but it still works fine for snow. The sheath shows no sign of wearing through, and isn’t even rough on the inside from the blade.


The Black Diamond FlickLock Snow Saw is a snow saw that does a great job cutting snow and wood, and attaches to compatible poles to extend the length.

Thumbs Up:
Cuts snow
Cuts wood
Markings on blade and handle
Sturdy sheath
Attaches to compatible poles

Thumbs Down:

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Reviews > Snow Gear > Axes and Shovels > Black Diamond FlickLock Snow Saw > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

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