Are all Swedish firesteel the same?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by fortunateson, May 25, 2010.

  1. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    I just picked one up in a recent order from Sportsman's guide for $10.
    It goes by the name "Light my fire".
    Small kit with wooden handle.

    Anyway, I've played with it a bit and I'm not too impressed. It makes sparks ok and will start a fire easily enough, but I'm not really seeing sparks that are any hotter than I can make with my old magnesium firestarter.
    Add to this the fact that I'd have to carry separate tinder (whereas the magnesium bar is always there and impervious to rain), and I'm not seeing a big advantage.

    This is my first firesteel, so I dunno - Is this just a poor quality unit or are they all like this?
  2. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    From what I've seen Sportsman Guide= POOR QUALITY [yukface]

  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    There'a couple of different sizes too, I carry a bigger one, the rod is 2.5" long and about 3/8 in diameter, Yup you gotta come up with tinder, That's the reason I just ordered a zippo lighter even though I don't smoke; metal, refillable, reflintable should last a lifetime,room inside for a razor blade and a few fishhooks...for most uses its probably a winning combo..
  4. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Light my fire is the best quality.

    There is a difference in quality so be careful what you buy on evilbay or elsewhere. Only way to know is:

    1) Buy LMF products
    2) Spark it up and try it

    ETA: I think what is missing here is something your fire making strategy. That's what I don't like about the magnesium bars. You become dependent on the magnesium to get a fire started. Not to mention it's incredibly hard on your knife. Stop carrying tinder. Learn where and *when* to find tender. A LMF rod will light a pile of fine wood shavings. It's a little tougher, but it works. Knowing that, you only need a knife and a LMF rod to stay dry and warm. Using a softer, fluffier tinder and some drier grass makes fire lighting easy. Just think ahead and grab it while it's dry. No need to use store bought tinder or depend on magnesium. I now only use an Army model LMF rod as my primary. Don't like lighters or matches- they run out. That ferro rod will last another 5 years of use. It already has 3 years of use. Try that with a Bic or a pack of matches.

  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Mine has a black plastic handle( nub) that just says:" FIRESTEEL" along with itsattached striker( chrome it istamped "light my fire"), I am very happy with it..

    You are right knowledge and practice are lighter to carry and don't wear out.The biggest threat up here is hypothermia, not wolves, bears or two legged scum, I want fire starting with stiff hands to be less of a test of skill and as as easy; with as little dexterity, as possible.
    Crawling wet out of an iced over pond is no time to make starting a fire a game of skill...
    The "blastmatch"is another choice. It has a larger "steel"with its built in striker can be opened and operated with one hand. Nice thing about magnesium it burns at 5,000 degrees and can help get damp kindling going. Works in the wet, vaseline/ cottonballs make for one strike flame but I don't carry em daily unless I'm hiking.
  6. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    The sparks from a LMF device are 5500 degrees F. They obtain that temperature because of the many metals in the alloy, they contain magnesium ;)

    LMF lists the Army model as capable of 12,000 strikes. If you start a fire a day, it should last you 32 years. Of course some fires take more than one strike, but you get the point.

    I have several Doan's magnesium bars that actually corroded and crumbled to pieces. The striker was still good but the magnesium just fell apart. I don't know if that is common. I had them stashed in some gear. Maybe they got wet, I dunno. Just made me a bit worried.
  7. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Well I kinda like the idea of at least having the magnesium. If you're carrying the firesteel, you're already carrying something.
    AND, if you're carrying the firesteel, you really should be carrying tinder so might as well make that tinder a piece of magnesium.
    You're right about the effect on a knife.
    IMO, that can depend on how you use your knife. I always reserve the first inch near the hilt for use on the tough stuff. That leaves the sweet spot nice and sharp.

    Anyway, since these all seem to be a 2 part w/lanyard setup, I think I might look for a small chunk of magnesium to string onto the lanyard.
    Piece of an old bike frame or something.
    Can't hurt, right?

    BTW, the blastmatch has a little tinder box built in. I thought that was cool.
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