User Review: Suunto KB-14/360RD
The KB-14 is a specialized optical sighting compass, primarily made for use by sailing enthusiasts, land or cave surveyors, and others who require a compass capable of taking extremely precise bearings (to fractions of a degree) to various targets.
As a personal sailing or hand-bearing compass the Suunto works well, with a stable dial that can take accurate bearings to shore targets even in a rocking kayak or canoe. It is also available with built-in illumination for cave or night-work, though the illumination button introduces an entry point for dirt and dust and can sometimes jam. The KB-14 is mounted in a solid block of aluminum and is quite sturdy for such a sensitive instrument.
However, as a general land navigation compass the KB-14 comes off as a little too specialized. Most would be better off with a standard baseplate protractor-style compass - these work much better with a map to plot courses than the KB-14 and will provide all the accuracy required for most wilderness navigation purposes (any experienced compass user can take bearings with 1.0-2.0 degree accuracy with ordinary waist-level sightings using only a baseplate compass). Also, the KB-14's optical thru-sight does not lend itself to taking bearings of the tops of mountains or other elevated targets without tilting the compass and introducing errors. If you still want a precise sighting compass for land nav, Suunto's KB-77 comes with a prismatic sight better suited for such work.