I was taking an avalanche safety course and rapidly realized that it is almost impossible to conduct decent column stability tests without a snow saw. But I really didn't like the idea of carrying another item in my pack, particularly a sharp, pointy one! This is about the only shovel on the market with a saw that stows in the handle. Blade is made of the bomber T6061 aluminum alloy of choice.
And having now dug 20 odd pits with it, I can testify that both shovel and saw are excellent. Maybe underkill for full avalanche professionals, but for most of us backcountry travelers, this is the perfect balance of size, weight, cost, function. Good stuff!