Top 10 Military Compasses Reviewed and Rated

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 SE CC4580
Test Winner: SE CC4580
Amazon Link
Having an actual compass can seem a bit quaint these days. You've got one on your phone right? And in our car? So why do you need an old antique looking real-life compass? Good question? Here's why, because your phone dies, and your car runs out of gas, and when all your electronics go South, your compass will keep on keeping on. And military grade compass is the way to go. They're built tough, for a reason and can be your main lifeline in the day or night. When you have a map and need accurate directions, these compasses need to be precise and error-free. Even though the majority are built to take punishment, they’re more than just compasses with a bulky amount of protection built around them.

Standout Picks

SE CC4580 military compass
The top spot on the list goes to the SE CC4580, the ultimate directional tool for any level. Never get lost and never worry about the accuracy of your compass, since this will be the last model you have to purchase.
Amazon Link
$10.99
Ueasy military compass
Without getting too fancy with some of the features Ueasy produced another great option for a compass that makes the list. Going beyond the basics while staying within a balanced scope is what made this one of the better compasses in the industry.
Amazon Link
$18.85
Rothco 3H military compass
The Rothco 3H Cammenga uses a well-proven classic design that gets the job done. And to top it off, it is used currently in some of the toughest conditions in the world.
Amazon Link
$101.74
Eyeskey military compass
Eyeskey went all out by providing an accessory rich compass that appeals to a wide range of users. With a little bit of learning, this can be the best compass you’ve ever owned.
Amazon Link
$15.99
SharpSurvival military compass
This Cammenga 27CS lensatic compass is well-made and therefore considered a premium compass. That is why it makes our list. It is durable, easy to read and made stand against wear and weather. What more could you want?
Amazon Link
$12.99
CMMG 3H military compass
Now, this is where things get interesting, as the official US Military compass enters the next spot on the list. Don’t let the ranking fool you, as this compass can stand up against any other on this list easily.
Amazon Link
GWHOLE military compass
This is another one of the rugged design you can purchase, built to take a beating. Even if it gets a little dinged up you’ll still get 100% accurate directions.
Amazon Link
$10.99
Under Control Tactical military compass
Under Control Tactical released this model to some pretty positive reviews worldwide. This one does a really good job with its design and only including necessary features.
Amazon Link
Brunton military compass
This Brunton TruArc will keep you on track. Or, get you back on track. It is easy to use with tool-free adjustments and precision.
Amazon Link
$16.49
Bukm military compass
Finding out which direction to go using this compass is easy and fun. The build is also solid, so there is little chance you’ll need to replace this as it gets older.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Value

Price was our starting point, and it made things easy once we got rid of the overpriced choices on the list. Once we were done, there really weren’t any overly expensive models in our top ten list. And when you consider all of the ones that were removed, none of them provided a much different experience than the lower cost items. We were able to keep the top-performing compasses on the list and move on to our next criteria after balancing out the top ten to reflect the change.

Accessories

Extras were next, which is a criterion directly tied to what a brand includes in their products. Lanyards, cases and belt clip options were all considered in the extras category. Products without any extras were not penalized since it is easy to throw in low-quality extras and pass it off as a bonus.

Those that had low-quality extras were left off of the list, as those extras only inflated the price. We judged the extras on the same level as the compass they came with, so not a lot of products passed this criterion. In some cases, it would have been better for them to not include extras, as their failure in this category nullified a rather robust feature set from the compass.

Ease of Use

We handled ease of use next, although a good portion of these criteria can be based on the user. But there are some things that a brand can offer to help users of all levels like clear sighting lines, a large dial, and a bubble level. Some handled this better than others, meaning their accuracy readings were easier to make out than other models.

Luminosity is another ease of use feature, which if done right makes the entire compass glow in the dark. Products that had spotty luminosity (left important parts of the compass dark) were removed from the list. This is another example of a feature that needed to be done right, or not included at all.

Advanced use of the compass is another story, and instructions helped to round out the top products on the list. Unclear instructions didn’t lead to being removed from the top ten, and instead, products were moved out of their spots. Brands that had a copy of their instructions online made a big impact on this criterion, which is helpful to customers that lose their original instructions.

Protection

When we looked at warranty coverage and length, there were only a few products that stood out. Even some of the better choices on the list only had an average of 1+ years of coverage. We moved products up the list that had better than average warranties, and also looked at the company’s customer service record in order to add more points. Using warranty as a criterion separated a lot of the good from the great ones, reshaping the entire list in the process.

10 Best Military Compasses

1. SE CC4580

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$10.99
SE CC4580 military compass
Amazon Link

The top spot on the list goes to the SE CC4580, the ultimate directional tool for any level. Never get lost and never worry about the accuracy of your compass, since this will be the last model you have to purchase.

High Quality Pouch
Included with the purchase is a water-resistant nylon pouch that adds an extra layer of protection. The compass by itself is tough, so having the pouch included keeps minor scuffs off of the model.

Extra Accessories
Ruler units on sides for inches and centimeters, and adjustable diopter sighting lens

Cost and Value
At a low price and with all of the extras, this is a value that comes highly recommended. The nylon case will protect your investment and keep it in tip-top shape.

Amazon Link
$10.99

2. Ueasy

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$18.85
Ueasy military compass
Amazon Link

Without getting too fancy with some of the features Ueasy produced another great option for a compass that makes the list. Going beyond the basics while staying within a balanced scope is what made this one of the better compasses in the industry.

Variety
This is only one of two compasses on the list that offers the customer more than one color. Available colors for this model are green, black and camouflage.

Lots of Features
This compass comes with a reference table for distance and scope, and a sighting window with sighting line

Cost and Value
Built like a tank and low priced, buyers can purchase this compass and never have to look back. Having some extra accessories would have been nice, but wasn’t necessary to boost the overall value.

Amazon Link
$18.85

3. Rothco 3H

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$101.74
Rothco 3H military compass
Amazon Link

The Rothco 3H Cammenga uses a well-proven classic design that gets the job done. And to top it off, it is used currently in some of the toughest conditions in the world.

Built Tough
The high expectations of the US Fighting Forces are what determined the specifications of this compass. Even with all of its extra durability, the weight doesn’t go beyond 7 ounces.

Sturdily Built
This compass is built to be shock, water and sand proof and has a powerful aluminum frame.

Cost and Value
With the company aiming at the mid-price range, customers that are serious about their compasses will find this one appealing. It has grade A materials and a lot of cool extras.

Amazon Link
$101.74

4. Eyeskey

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$15.99
Eyeskey military compass
Amazon Link

Eyeskey went all out by providing an accessory rich compass that appeals to a wide range of users. With a little bit of learning, this can be the best compass you’ve ever owned.

Increased Accuracy
Using a built-in bubble level allows this compass to give accurate results at the highest level. With such a massive decrease in errors, you’ll also gain the confidence to get to your target faster.

Your Forever Compass
This compass is built to be waterproof and shockproof and if for some reason it succumbs to the elements it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Cost and Value
This is a low priced compass that holds its value for durability and a lifetime warranty. You won’t have to worry about a product that breaks on you for no reason at all.

Amazon Link
$15.99

5. Cammenga 27CS Lensatic Compass

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$12.99
SharpSurvival military compass
Amazon Link

This Cammenga 27CS lensatic compass is well-made and therefore considered a premium compass. That is why it makes our list. It is durable, easy to read and made stand against wear and weather. What more could you want?

Lightweight
This Cammenga 27CS lensatic compass is well-made and therefore considered a premium compass. It is cast in aluminum, and it is not filled with liquid as are some other compasses. Therefore, it is a lightweight compass.

Extra features
This compass has a built-in magnifying glass, a small ruler, a belt clip, and a small cutout on the cover. It's kind of like a Swiss-army knife of compasses. It is also waterproof and can withstand the elements.

Cost and Value
This Cammenga 27CS is a premium compass. Because of that, it is one of the pricier options on our list. The price compensates for its reliability and quality.

Amazon Link
$12.99

6. CMMG 3H

Where to buy
Amazon Link
CMMG 3H military compass
Amazon Link

Now, this is where things get interesting, as the official US Military compass enters the next spot on the list. Don’t let the ranking fool you, as this compass can stand up against any other on this list easily.

It’s Official
Buying a product that has been used and tested by millions of professionals gives you a sense of pride and security. It’s also a good way to learn about the tools used in the US Military.

Damping System
This compass is built to last but it also has a copper induction damping system that keeps the needle centered.

Cost and Value
This is the first mid-priced compass on the list, and it is worth every penny. You will find only a few other compasses that have this many features crammed into one unit.

Amazon Link

7. GWHOLE

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$10.99
GWHOLE military compass
Amazon Link

This is another one of the rugged design you can purchase, built to take a beating. Even if it gets a little dinged up you’ll still get 100% accurate directions.

Color Selection
There aren’t a lot of compasses on this list that give the user an option of colors, so that is a nice bonus feature. You can choose between an army green or green when buying this compass.

Great Accessories
An 18-inch lanyard keeps this compass handy and safe and it also has a very handy conversion chart included

Cost and Value
Like all of the compasses so far the price is low for this GWHOLE model. With all of the extras included, it could lighten your accessories load and surpass its value.

Amazon Link
$10.99

8. Under Control Tactical

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Under Control Tactical military compass
Amazon Link

Under Control Tactical released this model to some pretty positive reviews worldwide. This one does a really good job with its design and only including necessary features.

A Good Foundation
This is an upgraded model of their previous compass and it includes a lot of improvements and new features. Some of the improvements include a floating luminous dial, magnifying viewer, and an adjustable luminous marching line.

Big Compass, Small Package
This is an interesting entry because it has a folded size of 75x57x30mm just to conserve a tiny bit of extra space. It also has a sighting window with sighting line

Cost and Value
The value is great, just make sure that you’re familiar with the basics of a compass. Buyers will spend a low price on this model, just like their previous one.

Amazon Link

9. Brunton Military Compass

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$16.49
Brunton military compass
Amazon Link

This Brunton TruArc will keep you on track. Or, get you back on track. It is easy to use with tool-free adjustments and precision.

TruArc Global Needle
No matter which hemisphere you are in, you can use this Brunton compass to navigate. The TruArc Global Needle system measures accurately in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Measures in two units
Just like how this compass works accurately in two different hemispheres, it also offers two types of measurement, inches, and centimeters. This way, many users can use this compass easily and understand the reading.

Cost and Value
For what this compass offers, it is definitely an affordable option that performs well. You can rely on this compass to get you back on track if you lose your trail. No matter where you are in the world, this compass will be a helpful companion.

Amazon Link
$16.49

10. Bukm

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Bukm military compass
Amazon Link

Finding out which direction to go using this compass is easy and fun. The build is also solid, so there is little chance you’ll need to replace this as it gets older.

Solidly Built
A metal case from this professional-grade compass is only the beginning of how well it is constructed. Even with the metal frame, it is still lightweight so you’ll hardly feel it in your pocket.

Helpful Accessories
This has an incredibly helpful adjustable luminous marching line. We also like its size, the dimensions are 7.6×5.7×2.5

Cost and Value
They are offering this compass for a really low price, so consumers should be pretty excited about the purchase. This would make a great gift for scouts or anyone that does a lot of hiking.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Live Science, How Does a Compass Work?, Website
  2. How Stuff Works, How Compasses Work, Website
  3. Gone Outdoors, The Benefits of a Compass, Website
  4. Gone Outdoors, What Are the Different Types of Compasses?, Website
  5. Lensatic Compass Blog, What is a Lensatic Compass?, Website
  6. Trails.com, How to use a lensatic compass, Website