Fire Starters- flint and steel

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Motomom34, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have a few different flint and steel fire starters. Not all are good in my opinion.

    This is my favorite. It sparks almost every time and has the wood handle so I can scrape some wood off to help start a fire plus it has the magnesium to help ignite things.


    This is a good flint and steel. Basic and dependable. Sparks easy, cheap no complaints. Fits in a pocket easily. Has the metal chain that you can clip onto the outside of your bag.


    This one is junk. I forgot where I bought it from but I cannot get a spark. I have practiced over and over and nothing. I have no clue why it will not work. I was thinking of taking some sand paper and rubbing it down. It makes no sense. Anyone had an issue of a fire starter not working?

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  2. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Some fire starters have a protective anti spark covering, maybe polyurethane. Sand paper is a good idea.
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  3. I have NO experience with one but would a "fidget" spinner work as an upper bearing for a fire drill? A real purpose for them?
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  4. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    So they are protected and don't start fires in transit... or make baby fire starters without approval.

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  5. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I have several of those ferro rod and hacksaw blade striker fire starters. I find I get the best spark from the larger rods. Getting that coating off first is critical too.
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  6. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    They coat them because if they get wet for very long they start to designate

    Moto I would use a different scraper
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  7. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Wolf Creek Forge steel and a piece of rock (flint) - strike sparks into cotton ball coated w/Vaseline = fire.

    I did buy fero-rods for the grand kids - easy spark. We are still working up to the 'classic' Flint & Steel.

    Making a fire with minimal equipment is likely the most important survival skill young people can master.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I got a few of those fero-rods but use mine a bit differently. I got a waterproof case designed to hold wood matches then filled it with shavings from the magnesium bar. I used a drill to make the shavings. A fire is much easier to get started especially if you use the method DKR recommended: cotton balls coated w/Vaseline. Frankly, I also keep a BIC lighter (lots of them) and don't mess much with the rod unless I feel like experimenting, why bother...
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I went through many combos of flint and steel as well as Fero rods and magnesium before settling on one system that works every time, so I went back and bought a dozen more. Add in an Alpine Lamp with the candle swapped out for a plumbers candle and you have one of the best, most capable fire starters around. I can get a fire going in the middle of a snow storm, in the dark, with wet wood using this set up, and the candle provides plenty of light, and later heat for every thing I would need. Its a simple system that works and weighs very little and takes up little space.
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Unless your yard is very dry......
    At five years old, I found a box of matches, so I did what young boys did. Dad got the backyard fire out before any real damage was done. :D
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  11. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    I have a couple of the ferrocerium rod fire starters, all the same fairly inexpensive brand. I bought them when I was the Cub Scout Den Leader for my son to teach fire starting. Less than $3 each and they all work really well.

    My favorite flint and steels are @Bear originals and I have a small and large one. Both are in bags. One is in my camping backpack, the other in a BOB.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  12. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Please elaborate with a few details. I think I get that you're using a Alpine Lamp with a plumbers candle installed. And, I assume that somehow you are using this to start your fire but...? And, what fero-rod and mag bar did you settle on?
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  13. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    For starting fires right now:


    For starting fires:


    Best to have both in super cold weather. Bic lighters are useless in crazy cold and wind.
  14. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey


    Sure thing! Don't know the brand of Fero rod and Magnesium ( picked up at a mil surplus store) what i find works the best: take the back side of a good knife blade and shave a small pile of magnesium and then using that knife to strike your sparks. I set the alpine lamp on it's side exposing the candle close to the mag pile and strike the spark. Now that the candle is lit, you have both light and a constant source of flame to light a fire with.
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  15. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @MountainMariner Is that number, 541-439-5155, a phone number or a NSN or ? I did find it on Amazon (link below) seems to be the best of its class but expensive: ~$70 You wouldn't happen to know a cheaper site? I admit I haven't looked around as Amazon 9-out-of-10 times is the cheapest... Seems like it's the ultimate ferro-rod, says got enough tinder in tube for 18-20 fires which probably means ~10 but even that is more than most.

    The Orion flares are ~$46 on Amazon for a set of 4 (link below). I got chem lights but no flares in these are handy.

    I never saw/heard of either of these before. Thanks!
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  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It's a phone number
    Holland's Shooters Supply
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  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Another really good way to get wet wood to light is gun powder, and even better if you have a round of tracer handy. Carefully pull the tracer projectile, dump on some powder and strike a spark ( make sure you are as far away as possable) the powder will ignite and burn both vigorously and hot, while the tracer will burn even hotter and longer! It's a super slick way to get a fire going in bad weather! Pro tip, dig a hole in the wood, place the tracer base side down at the bottom and fill with the powder and then light it off, the intence heat will instantly dry a good amount of the wood internally and super charge your fire starting! Bonus is the amount of light output will be minimized so opsec can be easier to maintain should that be a concern! Happy lighting!!!
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  18. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    Yes that is the manufacturer. They are pricey but the ultimate in fero firestarters. I keep the large one in a kit that goes with me everywhere along with the flares. (In the winter on the snow machine) The mini Lightning Strike is in my pocket on my person. Haven’t seen them for less than $70.00, sorry.
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  19. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Do you mean I need a file to get off the protective coating? This fire starter is a good reason why one needs to know how to use something before you really need it. Tell me what you would recommend to get the coating off.
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  20. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I just scrape with the striker tool, until the coating is gone and it sparks well. Not a problem.
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