What is a Global Needle?

Before you can fully understand a "Global Needle", you must understand a few basic principles of a compass.  In order to get an accurate reading from a compass, the compass needle needs to be "balanced" in the capsule, so it does not drag on the top or bottom of the capsule.  But, because the horizontal and vertical components of the earth's magnetic field vary considerably in different locations, a compass needle that "balances" perfect in North America will drag or stick in South America.  As a result of these magnetic variances, the compass industry has divided the earth into 5 "zones", as identified in the map below.  All of the standard compasses sold at The Compass Store are balanced for zone 1 (since most of our sales are in North America).

However, Suunto has developed a patented Global Needle that will perform perfectly with needle tilts of up to 20 degrees.  This allows a single compass to be used effectively in all 5 of the earth's zones (see below).  So when we say that a compass is outfitted with a Global Needle for true world-wide performance, now you know what we mean.

But, what if you're not a world traveler? Why would you want a global needle? Well, the global needle's unique ability to handle tilts up to 20 degrees makes it perfect for hikers that don't want to break their stride. Not having to level the compass exactly makes it easier to take an accurate reading while you're still moving along the trail.

See our compasses with global needles.

A special thank you to Suunto for the use of the zone chart, above.



Required Service for Christmas Eve Delivery
Check to see when your order will arrive!

FREE Newsletter / What is a Global Needle? / How To Use A Map & Compass / What is Declination?
Find Your Declination Value / How To Use Your Declination Value / Compasses with adjustable declination / Return Policy


See how long it will take your compass to arrive!

The Compass Store is a division of ROC Gear, Inc., your online specialty gear supplier. After reviewing The Compass Store web site, please be sure to
visit the other ROC Gear divisions at The Waterproof Store and The Altimeter Store to find more gear you can add to your outdoor wish list.
ROC Gear is located at 116 Commerce Commons, Commerce, GA 30529. Phone: 706-955-0245.  E-mail: mail@rocgear.com.
©2000-2013 The Compass Store.  All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy.