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Discussion Starter #1
Today I bought a 50g Ignition steel firestarter made by the Swedish manufacturer Primus. I've added an image.

It may be just me, but I find it works pretty poorly. You really have use some force to get some sparks at all, and to get a nice bunch of flying sparks, you really have to hit the piece of magnesium with some force. The piece of metal you get with it to scrape it, is rather useless in my opinion. I use a small cheap knife (I wouldn't use my survival knife for it, I think it would ruin the edge).

So far I didn't succeed in lighting a piece of toilet paper or some fuel to start a BBQ with. I think it would probably work on denatured alcohol or petroleum, but not on dry material.

Does anybody have other experience with this firestarter? Does anybody know another good manufacturer of firesteel?

 

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I had one of a different brand name quite a few years back and I had the same problems as you did. I even put some lighter fluid on a paper towel and couldn't get it to ignite. I must just not have 'the touch.' I'll have to stick with BIC lighters.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The same here. I'll look out for another kind of firelighter, maybe its better, but for now I'll stick with kindling and matches.
 

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Firstly, my experience with the firesteels is that the striker is not good enough as is. I usually have had to clean up the edges and hone them to get a good sharp edge. As issued, they are stampings, and with a stamping you get one face of the stamping having a rounded edge which is where the die first presses into the metal, and the other side having a ragged edge where the blank has torn out. The rounded edge won't work worth a toss for striking the flint. The ragged edge will work OK, but cleaning up both edges makes it much better.

You won't have much success trying to light a piece of paper with a fire steel. You need tinder. The spark catches in the tinder and glows, and then you light larger pieces from the glow.
In some instances you can get a flame directly from the spark falling onto some types of tinder - teased out cotton balls, with a little petroleum jelly, for example.
The main thing to remember is that you need something to catch the spark on that is similar in mass to the spark, like a fine fiber. I have used the cotton balls previously mentioned, teased out fiber from a cotton rope, some plumbers hemp (jute) that has been teased out, and of course, charred cotton cloth.
Sometimes you can get an alcohol jell or liquid in small amounts to light off the spark, but I've never been able to get it done reliably. Also, some people have been able to consistently light ESBIT tabs with sparks, but I haven't spent much time looking at that.
There are some good sites out there that talk about lighting fires with flint and steel and making tinder. Look around.
Don't be discouraged that you haven't had success first off. It takes time and trials to be successful. The firesteels are very good survival tools once you know how to use them properly.

BTW, use Search function here on this site and look up Firesteel - plenty of info.
 

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dont use the edge of the knife use the back of the blade which works superbly if you have a sawtooth spine if not take a sander and make the corners on the back of the blade slightly sharper but not sharp enough to cut
Today I bought a 50g Ignition steel firestarter made by the Swedish manufacturer Primus. I've added an image.

It may be just me, but I find it works pretty poorly. You really have use some force to get some sparks at all, and to get a nice bunch of flying sparks, you really have to hit the piece of magnesium with some force. The piece of metal you get with it to scrape it, is rather useless in my opinion. I use a small cheap knife (I wouldn't use my survival knife for it, I think it would ruin the edge).

So far I didn't succeed in lighting a piece of toilet paper or some fuel to start a BBQ with. I think it would probably work on denatured alcohol or petroleum, but not on dry material.

Does anybody have other experience with this firestarter? Does anybody know another good manufacturer of firesteel?

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies people. I've practiced with it a bit, and let it pass through the hands of a few other people. After some practice I can now produce better sparks :cool: I'll try to light some tinder tomorrow.
 

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dum dum
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It's basically the same as my little boyscout fire steel. I am always able to get tinder started, but I usually use the cotton balls and petroleum jelly firestarters...they work like a charm every time.
**this got me thinking...I can't find the vaseline, so I am going to try a couple of other starters...cotton balls with bag balm and cotton balls soaked in gel babyoil...videos to follow if they work...

***ok, bag balm didn't work. Then my fingers were all baby oiled up, so I couldn't get even a spark...so I dried off my hands and used my multitool scribe blade as a striker...and almost sent my place on fire. haha...I'll make a video when I can get more organized, but until then, here is what my test piece looked like:


...also, I've seen folks use a piece of a hacksaw blade...not the toothed side, but the backside filed to an edge.
 

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I use the teeth of a old well used hacksaw blade that had fine teeth,
works great. I even use one on my doans mag bar to make the
as well as sparks shavings.
 

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It's a Jeep Thing
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I've found that dryer lint (cotton only) works very well for catching a spark. I keep an old 35mm film cannister full of it in my bag.
 

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dum dum
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I have always had problems getting a fire going with the standard rods without the use of magnesium. Check out MISCH rods. These things are soft and throw out little molten globs that burn for a few seconds. Below is a link to some reviews for a misch rod that RAT cutlery is producing. I have also head Aora rods are better.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=589730

The link leads to THIS:

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Is there a direct link to a website for the product?
 

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http://www.ratcutlery.com/fire_kit.htm

The above link is directly to RATs website. This hot little potato is still in testing but will be available soon. I highly recamend creating a log in to blade forum and going to RATs MFR forum. There is a wealth of reviews on there. This company is truly amazing. All there products are field tested in the puruvian jungle by there sere school before the MFR it!!!!! These misch rods are available from some other places just google "misch rods" I however will wait for RATS case that billet container on the end of the rod is AWSOME!!!:thumb:
 

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dum dum
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http://www.ratcutlery.com/fire_kit.htm

The above link is directly to RATs website. This hot little potato is still in testing but will be available soon. I highly recamend creating a log in to blade forum and going to RATs MFR forum. There is a wealth of reviews on there. This company is truly amazing. All there products are field tested in the puruvian jungle by there sere school before the MFR it!!!!! These misch rods are available from some other places just google "misch rods" I however will wait for RATS case that billet container on the end of the rod is AWSOME!!!:thumb:
DANGIT! I had the bright idea (and just finished sketching out my rough plan) of making one of these things and incorporating a compass in the end of it...but was slightly stymied by how to make a compass work in the presence of iron...and then you post that link and I swear their fire tool looks JUST LIKE my sketch, except their compass screws off the handle! GRRRR!!! Another "day late, dollar short!" Oh well, impressive idea I must say! :thumb:
 

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Earthwalker.
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I have never had trouble with my ''LIGHT MY FIRE'' steel,it could be that the scraper is rubbish,as 7.5mas said use an old hacksaw blade,these work well.

also i used the spine on my knife but it has to be flat,if its rounded it won't work.
 

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I have two "light my fire" steels. Last year,I lit EVERY fire in my woodstove with them. They work great. Your problem was you were trying to start too dense of a material. Paper towel ain't going to do it.Its got to be fluff,like dryer lint,cat tail fuzz,wild rice flower fuzz,etc. I have used inner bark of dead cedar,but you have to manipulate it to a fuzzy state.Cotton balls with vaseline are the most common.Steel wool works too.
 

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I have the Primus and as with any other fire starter you need good good dry tinder mine has worked flawlessly. A couple key points one must remember the steel/flint alloy oxidizes (depending on use) so the first few scrapes simply clean off this oxidation don't expect much at first.
Second point some people make the common mistake of holding the steel/flint still and striking the striker towards the tinder bundle this many times ends up just knocking your bundle around more than anything. You want to hold the striker as close to the bundle as possible and pull the steel towards yourself (away from the bundle) this directs the sparks right where you want them and is much more efficient. GL guys
 

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Sweat more, bleed less!
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The problem you speek of is because the filings that are shaved off arnt big enough, therefor there burnt out before they can reach to the tinder.

It seems to be common with cheep fire steel.
 

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Run the edge of the steel across a bench grinder. I have had luck leaving the burr on the edge, and I think it produces a superior spark. As for tinder, dry cotton balls have worked for me, as does drier lint. It is super light, very compressable and flamable.
 

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Sweat more, bleed less!
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Run the edge of the steel across a bench grinder. I have had luck leaving the burr on the edge, and I think it produces a superior spark. As for tinder, dry cotton balls have worked for me, as does drier lint. It is super light, very compressable and flamable.

cotton with petrol jelly is the absolute best imho. thes water proof and holds a flame for much longe than stright lint or cotton. :thumb:
 
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