Finding a balance of high quality and a decent price is often hard to come by, especially so when finding a tool that you need to get the job done. Rogan USA has set out to make tools that can take a beating from any user for many tasks that may be needed. Specifically, we will be looking at the Recon- A tool made of quarter inch thick piece of carbon steel that has been handcrafted in the USA.
First, let’s break down what the Recon is made for. It is a chisel style tool that specifically allows for splitting and battoning wood, prying, digging, and hammering. This tool does not have a sharpened edge, so you will not be using it for the same purpose as a sheath knife. The solid construction makes the Recon ready for most any task in a survival, rescue, camping, or bushcraft scenario.
During use, there was never a point where I felt as of the tool would not get the job done. With the tip being in the form of a chisel, it is incredibly easy to dig into the ground. After digging through both dirt and a sand/rock mixture, I truly understood the digging capabilities of the Recon. If roots are present while digging, the chisel tip will help dig through them with little effort. The construction allows for an easy scooping motion backwards while you dig. Simplicity truly sets the design ahead.
Next up in testing was battoning wood. Using the chisel tip to start the initial cut in the wood, I was able to easily slide the knife in horizontally and use anther piece of wood to then split the length of the cut. Just a reminder to not use a hammer or other metal object on the Recon while battoning or chiseling- this will damage the metal. Since the Recon does not have an edge other than the chisel, battoning can be rather difficult when first starting, but it becomes easier the farther you split the wood.
At first, I thought I would have rather had a blade; however, there was no need for a blade with this tool. Not having to worry about a sheath to protect yourself or gear was a huge plus. You can stow the tool safely in your pack without issues and when you need it, you can safely retrieve it.
In comparison, I have used expensive tools such as the KaBar BK3 which happens to be incredibly strong and well made. For much less, you can receive a tool from Rogan USA that functions the same with just a great integrity minus a bladed edge. The only area that is lacking in comparison would be a coating on the tool. Although this may be true, all you need to do is preventative maintenance. Simply oil and clean the steel then you will have little to worry about.
You are receiving multiple tools in one, and though the tool is hefty it surely weighs much less than carrying multiple tools would. Since the width of the tool is only one inch, it is easy to slide into MOLLE webbing for storage and have easy access to. With such a simple design, you have little to worry about. There are no moving parts or an intricate design to cause damage to. I had no issues using the Rogan Recon for its intended purposes. It would be incredibly difficult to cause damage to the tool while using it in its intended form. I am incredibly impressed with how the tool performed.