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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like this to be the definitive fire starting thread full of updated information and tips.

I have tons of new questions now that I've been working with Misch & Ferrocerium rods and magnesium blocks more.
Plus, whatever other ingenious ways there are to start a fire WITHOUT a Bic Lighter like Fresnel Lenses, Convex Lenses, etc...

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know it's been done already, but what's the difference between a generic
eBay Made in China ferro rods and rods with a "name" attached to them?
Honestly...to me, they all look identical down to the plastic handles & strikers.

The only difference I've seen is the price. Some are as high as $7 while others are $1.

I'm sure someone has had to compare them by now. Whatcha got?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Swedish Firesteel...is it really the cat's pajamas?

 

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Silver Wings
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Glycerin and Potassium Permanganate.

Both have multiple prepper uses you should already know. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Glycerin and Potassium Permanganate.

Both have multiple prepper uses you should already know. ;)
Actually Tex, I had to look that one up! LOL

:thumb:

I was actually thinking about what I could use in liquid form that I might have
in my pack that's highly combustible. First thing I came up with was Anbesol.
 
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I know it's been done already, but what's the difference between a generic
eBay Made in China ferro rods and rods with a "name" attached to them?
Honestly...to me, they all look identical down to the plastic handles & strikers.

The only difference I've seen is the price. Some are as high as $7 while others are $1.

I'm sure someone has had to compare them by now. Whatcha got?
I bought a couple of the dollar ones from China. They aren't 100% ferrocium. they have a small diameter, like 1/4" ,ferro rod embedded in another substance - thought it was magnesium, but it doesn't ignite. You'll get about 6 fires from one of them before they are cut down to the level of the stuff they're in. We took a couple of them to the Pathfinder gathering and found out how bogus they are. Had other 100% ferro rods, so no problems, but the China ones are whack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I bought a couple of the dollar ones from China. They aren't 100% ferrocium. they have a small diameter, like 1/4" ,ferro rod embedded in another substance - thought it was magnesium, but it doesn't ignite. You'll get about 6 fires from one of them before they are cut down to the level of the stuff they're in. We took a couple of them to the Pathfinder gathering and found out how bogus they are. Had other 100% ferro rods, so no problems, but the China ones are whack.
Thanks for that. I actually have a Pathfinder Ferro Rod.
Works fine by me. Helped me get a fire going in damp conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
On tinder...

Fine steel wool VS magnesium shavings. I don't see a difference in either.
Wouldn't the steel wool be the most cost effective and most convenient
form of tinder to use? A whole bunch of it can be picked up for a dollar.
 

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Improvise Adapt Overcome!
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I know it's been done already, but what's the difference between a generic
eBay Made in China ferro rods and rods with a "name" attached to them?
Honestly...to me, they all look identical down to the plastic handles & strikers.

The only difference I've seen is the price. Some are as high as $7 while others are $1.

I'm sure someone has had to compare them by now. Whatcha got?
As far as I know, there is no difference. There is an outfit in China that makes them for pretty much everyone, name brands and all.

There is a difference between American made Magnesium block, and the Chinese ones however.

I think the Chinese are confused. When they think of a Magnesium fire starter, they think of a normal ferro rod, with magnesium IN the rod itself. That makes the sparks it throws off burn hotter, and last longer.

So when you get a Chinese magnesium block, it's really some sort of recycled metal block, that they think is just the handle. They don't know the block has a function. However, the inbedded ferro rod has a magnesium content above that of a normal ferro rod.

In the American made ones, (Like the one from Doan), the block itself IS magnesium, but it has a normal ferro rod.

Either way, these are tools for emergency fire starting. If you plan on anything more than a few fires, during a crisis, you might as well just go buy a full sized ferro rod, and a matching rod of magnesium that is the same dimensions. It's an unbeatable pair if you know how to use them.

I suggest getting the biggest ones you can afford, if you re out there a lot.

Things like StrikeForce (Same as Pathfinder), Blast Match and others are still ferro rods. They are just gaditized a bit. I don't actually trust those anymore, due to a failure I had on a recent day hike. I would rather had a bare naked rod now.
 

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On tinder...

Fine steel wool VS magnesium shavings. I don't see a difference in either.
Wouldn't the steel wool be the most cost effective and most convenient
form of tinder to use? A whole bunch of it can be picked up for a dollar.
big differences:

1. temperature - FS = ~2498F vs. M = 3300-5600F
2. rate of burn - FS = moderate vs. M = fast
3. ignition source - FS = electric (i.e. battery or broken light bulb) vs. M = good lighter or hot (survival) matches
4. weight - FS = light vs. M = moderate (for the blocks...which also include a firesteel)

i carry both because i like to have not only multiple firestarters but also different methods of ignition and use. do what works for you.

another trick i have used is buying 'sparklers' for the 4th and cutting them into about 2" pieces with a wire cutter and putting them in my kit. once they start they burn hot and don't go out until they are done burning - they are great for starting damp tinder.
 

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I know it's been done already, but what's the difference between a generic
eBay Made in China ferro rods and rods with a "name" attached to them?
Honestly...to me, they all look identical down to the plastic handles & strikers.

The only difference I've seen is the price. Some are as high as $7 while others are $1.

I'm sure someone has had to compare them by now. Whatcha got?
There is already a video on youtube about cheap chinese magnesium bars, they simply dont burn! Ive got a USGI mag bar and a chinese mag bar here... Getting ready to do a video similar to that myself.

Bottom line is, even if it "looks" okay, doesent mean it *IS* okay.

The only two strikers I trust are Blastmatch and firesteel.com striker. Ive got a cheaper Coglands rod made in china and it works, but is a sub performer.

Believe me, when you really really need your gear to work (your really cold and wet?) the last thing you want is having a 50/50 chance of starting a fire.

HTH,
Andrew

BTW...

 

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With all the other fire threads below to read, hope it spreads.
I tried to buy some BSA fire starters one year, wouldn't sell me any: fire ban.
I know to carry more than a match book, but why would I carry weird ways to make fire?
So, will all the tricks show up?
Ice
Condom
Glass ball
9 volt and steel wool
Mirror
Binoc/camera Lens
Eyeglasses
Magnifying glass
Coke can and hershey bar
Chemicals and foil
 

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On tinder...

Fine steel wool VS magnesium shavings. I don't see a difference in either.
Wouldn't the steel wool be the most cost effective and most convenient
form of tinder to use? A whole bunch of it can be picked up for a dollar.
U can use a ferro rod to spark up steel wool?!
 
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