Some people use a hatchet to split wood in the outdoors. Others use a machete. If you want to split wood in the backcountry with something more exotic than those pedestrian blades that everyone carries around with them, you should try the Buck Knives Compadre Froe.
No, it’s not a traditional L-shaped froe that you keep on the surface of the wood and hit with a mallet. Instead, it’s designed to be able to split wood all by its lonesome, allowing you to perform the whole wood-cutting process using just a single hand, so you can nurse a beer, hold a flashlight, or even scratch your itchy butt using the other.
The Buck Knives Compadre Froe ditches the L-shape of traditional froes in favor of a machete-like form factor, with the handle coming at a slightly downward angle to the blade. Similar to the machete, it has a long 9.5-inch cutting edge, albeit in a shape that’s very distinct compared to what you’ll find on typical machetes. According to the outfit, the tool is ideal for use in clearing, heavy chopping, batoning, and wood splitting, making it a very useful tool to have within your reach in any backcountry setting. And with that length of edge, you’re going to have to be blind to miss whatever you’re swinging at.
It has a thick blade (almost a quarter of an inch) made from 5160 spring steel that extends throughout the full 16.5-inch length of the tool, including the 7.25-inch handle, giving it a continuous structure that should keep it perfectly suitable for the toughest field work. Combined with a full tang, it boasts superior strength that will allow it to absorb a ridiculous amount of impact, so you can swing it wildly when clearing a bushy area of the woods without worrying about inflicting damage on the blade. Do note, swinging a large blade wildly can inflict damage on your fellow campers, so you might want to be careful when doing that around the campsite.
While the Buck Knives Compadre Froe obviously excels at chopping and similar big-swing tasks, the outfit claims it can do detailed work just as capably, with the handle providing all the control necessary to wield the blade with precision. Boasting an ergonomic grip, the handle features a Micarta scale that’s impervious to oils, solvents, and water, making it slip-resistant in almost every imaginable condition. That’s right, you can chop wood in inclement weather using this thing without missing a beat.
The blade, by the way, has a Cerakote ceramic coating that, they claim, enhances numerous physical properties, including hardness, impact strength, and resistance to various elements, including chemicals, corrosion, and even just good old wear-and-tear. Each one comes with an accompanying leather sheath that you can use to keep the blade protected when not in use, as well as a stainless steel attachment ring for mounting it to your pants, your pack, or anywhere else where it’s most convenient.
The Buck Knives Compadre Froe is available now, priced at $180.