ROGUE 55A 42" Long term review-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Sep 2009

    ROGUE 55A 42" Long term review

    I've put several years and hundreds of hours of trail maintenance on this tool.
    Great tool for maintenance. Can do good initial build work as well, but excels at maintenance on trail systems where you are walking in and attending to established terrain.
    It's light-can carry and swing it all day no matter the terrain.
    42" handle length is great for steep terrain. For initial build and routing, it can rough bench and mark a route effectively.
    Pick is excellent for digging out rocks, positioning rocks for armoring/crib walls, breaking up hardpan, pulling rocks out of backslope etc.
    Doesn't move a lot of dirt, but punches well above its weight.
    It took me a while to really appreciate this tool since it appears and feels far less substantial than many of the standard Rogue tools with heavier heads and hickory/axe handles.
    If you're fit and can cover ground quickly, this tool will make you a high mileage trail maintenance super hero- it's so easy to hand carry and doesn't throw off balance when pack carried. Makes a big difference at the end of the day if you're covering a lot of trail miles.
    Easy to lash to top tube or rack system of a "build bike" with the 42" shaft.
    I've utilized it for a lot of build work, but now it really shines for maintaining established trail.
    It's the perfect tool for clearing/maintaining knicks and drains.
    It's the perfect tool for armoring tread in the backcountry(can dig, position rocks, tamp and buff no problem). Small size makes it easy to maneuver in and around rocks and tight spaces.
    It's great for tuning up backslope on steep, tight and narrow bench cuts where getting in to comfortable work position can be awkward and swinging a heavy tool quickly takes a toll.
    Cheap/affordable or whatever you want to call it, it's a high value product.
    I've abused this tool(or at least repeatedly asked more of it than I probably should) 42" Ash handle is way stronger than I thought it would be. Very serviceable lever/pry bar with the pick end if you watch what you are doing. Pretty sure I would have broken a longer handle on this tool when used for prying.
    Sand the handle and apply a coat or 2 of Formby's Tung Varnish once a year and you're good to go.
    Very light tool, so chopping/brush cutting effectiveness depends on keeping the edges sharp. Sharp edges are a requirement on the 55A more so than on heavier tools.
    Sharpen it with a bench grinder/dremel tool and you'll be laughing. Let it get rounded off/chipped/dull and you'll be swinging it hard and applying far more effort than you need to. Low weight/lack of heft makes it more prone to bouncing back, rotating on impact or not cutting when dull.
    All ROGUE/PROHOES do their best work when kept sharp.
    Last edited by 11053; 12-26-2018 at 01:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Reputation: ki5ka's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Great review, thanks 11...

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Apr 2018
    Thanks for the write up. I'm going to get one of those and a 55hr next time I see free shipping.

  4. #4
    Reputation: unrooted's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Has anyone tried the fiberglass handled version?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Feb 2004
    Yes. Work fine.
    I try to avoid sexual innuendo, but its hard.

  6. #6
    aka: SpeedyChix
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Love the ROGUE 55A. If I only had one tool it would be this.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dchester's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    55HR going on four yrs of thrashing the earth, cutting through roots, and displacing rocks. It also makes a great can crusher. Line up cans and smash. I've sharpened the entire thing a couple times and it keeps going. I now have the Travis and it's a winner too.

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