by PorkToasterFromWIfrompoor customer supportBrunton's "Patented, tool-free declination" was horrendous on the unit I received. I nearly tore the skin off my fingers trying to adjust it. I eventually suited up with a sturdy pair of leather work gloves and was able to turn it all of several degrees. Seeking help I wasted my time sending an email to Brunton support. I never heard back.
Another issue I had with the unit I received was the vertical line on the sighting mirror. Mine wasn't vertical, leading to an odd view when sighting. It seems like the mirror has some extra space in the area it's glued into and it wasn't glued in properly. Maybe Brunton should outsource the gluing of the mirror to Asia if USA isn't able to do it properly.
I took it back to REI and bought the Brunton 15TDCL. The tool declination adjustment on it works fantastic and I am happy with it.
Date published: 2012-04-14
Rated 4out of5
by Fred 1234fromAccurate, easy to read, bad instructionsI just got this Brunton and it is my favorite compass, but it has room for improvement.
It is my favorite compass because it is very accurate and you really can get 1 degree accuracy. Most other compasses are just too sloppy to get closer than about 2 degrees consistently.
It also has a larger magnifier than most compasses, and the magnified index mark combined with the 1 degree ticks on the bezel really do allow you 1 degree accuracy.
I also really like the circle in a circle needle. It is easy to read and people don't accidentally align it 180 degrees out like you can with other compasses.
First, the instructional literature is horrible; it looks like leftovers from previous models and does not address any of the specifics of this model. Particularly disappointing is the section relating to how to adjust the tool free declination. Brunton, you need to get some better material on your website and some videos. Here is the trick: the declination scale on the back (bottom) side of the compass does not move; it maintains a fixed relationship to the black ring. What moves (with a huge effort) is the clear center sealed capsule that contains the needle. In my compass, that capsule was so stiff that I could not move it at all with my fingers. Finally I very carefully removed the back declination scale disc and removed the capsule and added a little silicon spray, reassembled the compass, and now it works fine and is reasonably easy to adjust without having it accidentally change declination. You don't need to remove the back ring to add the silicone spray.
This compass has three clinometers. Two are lame and inaccurate, one is good. The clinometer on the cover pivot only reads to the nearest 5 degrees, and requires you to look down at the bubble and then sideways at the hinge, so you are lucky to get within 10 degrees. This feature is not ready for prime time. The other clinometer scale is printed on the white cards that sit behind the baseplate. Unfortunately, these marks only serve to conflict with the similar but not identical marks on the clinometer inside the needle capsule. It is so bad that I added a piece of white paper behind my compass so i could read the in-capsule clinometer.
Third problem is that the cards have a number of typos and errors in them. The cards are a good idea, but the info needs editing. (clinometer instructions relate to a previous model; formula errors in height measurement formula sign and spelling error, knot info poor choices, etc.). The multiple scales of UTM readers are nice, but would like to see a heavier gauge plastic.
The sighting mirror works well, but since I also want to use this as a signal mirror, it would be better if this had a full size mirror like other sighting compasses.
Brunton added a bubble level to this model, but unfortunately, you can't view the bubble at the same time you are shooting a bearing, so you are loosing an opportunity to improve the accuracy. Hopefully the next model will fix this.
There are no luminous marks on this compass, so i will keep my Suunto MC2G for night work.
Overall, it is great compass, more accurate than any other and easier for most people to read than other models. It just needs some refinements.
Date published: 2012-04-07
Rated 2out of5
by Man TrackerfromDepends on your experience.It depends on your experience and financial standing if you will like the Brunton Model 70M. For me, it's a NO.
I have an extensive background in navigation and navigation equipment. One of my most treasured navigation tools is a Brunton 8099 Eclipse. I treasure it so much, I have a backup to my backup. I would like to have a dozen more. Once, a bubble appeared in the vial. I sent it to Brunton thinking they would toss it and send me another. They actually repaired it. It has worked fine since.
The 8099 Eclipse is quick, smooth and easy to read. Compared to the Eclipse, the 70M is unstable, slow, and more difficult to read. I would have expected such performance if I had paid $20 for the 70M. While researching the 70M, I was sure it would surpass the 8099. I was wrong. It took a step back. A big step.
Silva used to produce excellent navigation compasses. They also had a severe setback in performance. I have some old Silva units that one would have to pay much more than the original price for me to let go of them.
If you are considering purchasing a 70M, search for an 8099 Eclipse first. It will be half the price and twice the compass. Brunton will likely go the way of Silva. So, get an 8099 while you can still find them.
If you are determined to get a 70M, you will likely be getting one of units that I'm going to return.
Date published: 2013-05-21
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