The Buck Compadre Series of outdoor tools comprises a camp knife, axe and a froe. All are manufactured from 5160 spring steel, feature Micarta handles and the blades are Cerakoted.
5160 Spring Steel is used in large knives and bladed tools because it’s durable, flexible and tough. Plus it also has chromium added for hardness. Cerakote is a ceramic and polymer coating that when applied to steel adds a hard-outer layer of protection, which is durable and resistant to corrosion as well as most solvents and chemicals. Here Buck has used a Cerakote Cobalt finish which is a dark matte charcoal colour with a fine silver metallic.
Micarta is a rigid composite material made from laminated paper, fibreglass, cloth or other materials impregnated with a plastic resin. Depending on the fibres used in its manufacture - in this case, linen - it has a canvas-like textured feel that won’t escape your grip. It’s strong and durable plus resistant to solvents and grease. It also tolerates extremes of heat or cold, resists moisture, nor becomes brittle with age.
To the camp
The Compadre Camp Knife weighs 7.1oz and offers a full tang construction with a 4.5” drop point blade that measures 9.5” long. The ergonomic handle feels excellent in the hold and has a lanyard hole. The blade features a finger guard and has ridging on the rear of the spine for extra grip.
The axe weighs 23.4oz, has a blade length of 3” and an overall length of 12.75”. The handle is 7” long and crafted to have finger contouring on the forward area, which is combined with flaring towards the rear, giving a very secure hold. The axe and froe have exactly the same configuration, dimension, and design of handle, which facilities their ability to be used one or double-handed. Incidentally, while not its sole requirement, the back edge of the head can be used for hammering in tent pegs etc.
Friend or froe
Traditionally, a Froe is a tool for cleaving wood by splitting it along the grain. It’s most often an L-shaped tool, used by hammering the back edge of the blade into the end of a piece of wood, in the direction of the grain, then twisting it.
The Compadre froe is a heavy-duty, durable, multipurpose woodworking tool. The 9.5” blade is perfect for clearing, heavy chopping, splitting and batoning. It weighs 23.2oz and has an overall length of 16.75”.
This range of tools is of the highest quality in both build and design. They’re well balanced which transfers over to the handling, making them safe and effective. They offer great edge retention, and the handle configurations are ideally suited to the corresponding blades. They come supplied with genuine black leather sheaths; the knife having a belt loop attachment while the axe and froe incorporate stainless steel attachment rings.
Thanks to Pete Wadeson and Gun Mart for writing and letting us share this review.