Historic Range: $12.99-$37.95
Reviewers Paid: $14.99
4.5 in x 2.5 in x 0.5 in
1:24k, 1:63.36k, 1:25k
This compass has one major flaw. The compass directions (excluding the cardinal directions) are marked out on the dial with white tick marks and white numerals. These are constructed by silk screening black ink on white plastic in the areas where numerals or tick marks are not intended to be.
The problem is this: the black silk screened ink rubs off very easily. On only two trips into the back country (Red River Gorge Geological Area), 40 degrees worth of ink has rubbed off making the tick marks between 320 and 359 indistinguishable.
While the compass is easy to use, accurately finds magnetic north, and features a reliable and handy declination adjustment, I am displeased with the rate at which the dial face is deteriorating. If you do purchase this compass, I recommend keeping it in a close fitting non abrasive cloth case rather than keeping it loose in a pack pocket.
Note to Brunton: Instead of silk screening the markings on a flat piece of plastic, mold the face with recessed markings that won't rub off. Awkwardly (since Silva owns Brunton), my ancient (at least 20 years old) Silva 7NL has a full set of 180 distinguishable markings every 2 degrees since they are recessed.
I have used this compass for over a year. I have several others, such as a Silva orienteering model and a lensatic type. This one has become my main compass, the one I choose to take with me most often.
The declination adjustment works well and is a nice refinement in an inexpensive compass. It was easy to set with no tools needed.
The dial is easy to read. I've never needed the luminosity but it is good to know it's there. The compass body swivels easily on the baseplate. The fluid damping works well.
Speaking of the baseplate, I like the magnifying glass for reading map features. I also like the scales that are on the baseplate. So far I've only used the 1:24k scale. No scale (or wheelie map measurer for that matter) can give you a precise distance, but a rough estimate is often nice to have, and you get that with this compass.
It is well built. I have no doubt that it will last. The only reason I gave it 4.5 instead of 5 stars is that they did not include a lanyard. Making one out of para cord was no great problem, but Brunton could have included one easily, so they loose points for this. For the price, it's a great compass that I will use for many years.
Price Paid: $14.99