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Old 02-25-2008, 02:18 PM
scarcherpilot scarcherpilot is offline
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Question Magnesium Fire starter



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This weekend the weather was nice, so I finally decided to test the magnesium firestarter I bought a few months ago. I don't have much to show for it other than skinned knuckles and a couple of questions.

The several knives I tried to scrape off the Magnesium with didn't seem to scrape very much. Seemed like alot of work to get very little off. The knives were cheapo ones, but sharp nonetheless. Is there a better way to shave the filings off?

After skinning my knuckles several times on the concrete I was trying it on, I decided to use my file on the multitool and that seemed to shave off the magnesium much better.

My question is this...would it make more sense to pre-shave this at home and place the shaved magnesium in a small baggie for later use rather than trying to use it in a SHTF scenario when you might be tired...hungry, scared etc. so that you can just pull out the amount you need rather than spending time shaving it off?

Just curious about your thoughts on this if you have used magnesium firestarters before.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:30 PM
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ive had pretty good luck with my magnesium firestarter and have used the cheapest knife around (97c @ walmart). i got a small pile of mag. dust and i put it on some tinder and it usually lights right up... i use the back of the knife for the flint. try again and tell us about it
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:40 PM
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if you want to prepare the magnesium dust ahead of time, i would certainly pack it very well! I wouldn't want your BOB exploding because somebody wrecks into your car, and the edge of your bag touches flame and goes poof
Old 02-25-2008, 03:50 PM
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I've never had to use the magnesium shavings myself. I just use the spark and tinder. If the tinder is dry and fluffy, it'll take a spark. I also carry my 20 of my little cotton ball fire starters.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:43 PM
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I use the saw blade on the Leatherman SuperTool and it works great. I can start a fire this way within about 90 seconds after getting everything raedy, even in a wet and cold environment.
Old 02-25-2008, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RayG IA View Post
I use the saw blade on the Leatherman SuperTool and it works great. I can start a fire this way within about 90 seconds after getting everything raedy, even in a wet and cold environment.
I use a piece of hack saw blade. I broke it to the same length of the fire starter and putt it on the bead chain so it always with the Mag block. I use the edge of the blade like a file to get shavings off and it works very well.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:30 PM
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I tried one while camping this past weekend. Too time and energy consuming. Some scraps of paper and a match was all I ended up using.
Old 02-26-2008, 05:35 AM
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i use the back of my metal file on my swiss army knife and the fire starter. actually works out pretty well in all honesty
Old 02-26-2008, 06:47 AM
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:08 AM
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I found that the file on my multi tool (Gerber) works great.
Old 02-26-2008, 07:17 AM
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i carry sweedish steel, a back up magnesium block with attached hacksaw blade, and a zippo with extra fuel. i've used the saw blade and file on my Wave to scrape the mag. for a fire, either works well for me. the key is the tinder and the sparking flint, not the magnesium.
Old 02-26-2008, 07:23 AM
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After practicing a bit I have no problems using the magnesium fire starter. I think practice is the key. I bought one strickly to practice with. At first I tried to shave the magnesium off like trying to whittle a stick, this did not work very well. Then I read the directions. You have to scrape the magnesium off by hold the edge of the blade 90 degrees against the magnesium and then scraping down, I have enclosed a picture just in case I have totally confused you!

Click image for larger version

Name:	magnesium-sparks.gif
Views:	17
Size:	33.3 KB
ID:	2902

I try to conserve as much magnesium as I can by not using it unless I have to.

Tbull
Old 02-26-2008, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarcherpilot View Post
This weekend the weather was nice, so I finally decided to test the magnesium firestarter I bought a few months ago. I don't have much to show for it other than skinned knuckles and a couple of questions.

The several knives I tried to scrape off the Magnesium with didn't seem to scrape very much. Seemed like alot of work to get very little off. The knives were cheapo ones, but sharp nonetheless. Is there a better way to shave the filings off?

After skinning my knuckles several times on the concrete I was trying it on, I decided to use my file on the multitool and that seemed to shave off the magnesium much better.

My question is this...would it make more sense to pre-shave this at home and place the shaved magnesium in a small baggie for later use rather than trying to use it in a SHTF scenario when you might be tired...hungry, scared etc. so that you can just pull out the amount you need rather than spending time shaving it off?

Just curious about your thoughts on this if you have used magnesium firestarters before.
I have had the same problem as you. I am going to practice with mine more when the weather becomes more tolerable. As for shaving the magnesium ahead of time, the package says not to do it. it says the magnesium will react with the air and loose the fire starting property. i have not help a match to the whole block to test this theory, but i can see where it looks like it has changed from where I scraped it clean.

I will try to get in touch with scruggs to see if it would be ok to scrape it a head of time against the directions.
Old 02-27-2008, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for all the ideas. I did get it it to start, but it seemed like it took forever the get the "quarter size" pile they recommended.
Old 02-27-2008, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarcherpilot View Post
Thanks for all the ideas. I did get it it to start, but it seemed like it took forever the get the "quarter size" pile they recommended.
it seems easier to pop the bullet off of a .22 round and use the powder.
Old 02-27-2008, 10:48 AM
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I car'nt get on with the magnesium block i've tried a hacksaw blade a knife i just car'nt get to grips with it. I think ill stick with my fire steel but keep my magnesium as a back up,I've also just used the flint part and that worked ok.
Old 02-29-2008, 10:31 AM
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I use the back of my hunting knife. Alittle pressure starting on the corners and working around the edge of the block works great. Starting on the corner creates another peak or edge next to it. Scrape that peak off and so on.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:41 AM
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ive only used mine a few times but i found i didnt need nearly the recommended quarter size pile, just 20-30 seconds of shaving was plenty to ignite some paper. the tinder is more important, it wont start leaves on fire but something finer will explode and take off. but if theres the slightest bit of wind forget about it, thats what the firesteel is for.
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