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Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Firestarter

4.4 out of 5 stars 273 customer reviews
| 7 answered questions

List Price: $19.99
Price: $9.38 & FREE Shipping
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$9.38 & FREE Shipping In Stock. Ships from and sold by ACME APPROVED.

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Total price: $29.28
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Technical Details

Product Description

This is the genuine G.I. Aviation Fire Starter with a magnesium edge and sparking insert. You can make a spark in just about any weather conditions. Government issue.

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Origin: USA
  • ASIN: B0002X1IOM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,958 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I bought both this and the Swedish Firesteel (Army model) because I like to compare inexpensive tools I will depend on to save my life. I prefer this tool to the Firesteel because it will ignite tinder easier due to the magnesium shavings (but the Firesteel would be a rugged alternative in areas where you could easily get tinder - see my review on that tool). Regardless, I had immediate success with both tools.

I believe other reviewers that gave this less than five stars were using this tool incorrectly. These are points of use I believe important:
1. You do not need (or want to use) a sharp knife. I use a basic metal jigsaw blade attached to a cord I put on this starter instead of the little chain. A short or broken Sawzall blade may be even better because it has a hole you can thread a cord through.
2. SCRAPE the magnesium into a pile, don't CARVE it. I bet the people who try to carve the magnesium (to make the pile of shavings) were butchering their knives.
3. You do NOT need to scrape it for ten minutes to make a pile (unless you are using a wet sponge for tinder :(). With good tinder and a piece of paper I made a pile smaller than a dime and got a fire going in under a minute. In fact, I bet with really good tinder you could just use the flint and start a fire. Experiment at home to see how little a pile you can make of magnesium and still start a fire. The key is to keep the pile together so you must obviously have some shelter from the wind. I do not recommend making a fire in very high wind unless you have the means to put out a forest fire (dig a pit or camp dark or FIND SHELTER!!!). It really helps to have something to collect the shavings on like a piece of plastic or paper, then you can funnel them into a little pile on a piece of bark or rock.
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17 Comments 464 of 471 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Even mountain biking, where you plan to be in the woods for only a few hours, things happen. You break a leg or taco a wheel and you're stranded miles and miles from the closest food and shelter. Sometimes you just get spun around or bonk and the best thing to do is lay down, call for help if you can and weren't so dumb as to not bring a cell phone, and do your best to keep comfortable until help arrives. And of course, this is all more so the truth when you're hiking, camping, or even taking a little day trip in an national forest area.

If you have a knife, some kind of water container, and this fire starter, you're set to make it through all but an absolute catastrophe--and even then you're better off than you would be without it. Fire is the first and foremost feature of civilization, which is where you ultimately want to be.

Magnesium lights up at roughly 1000 F, so this will start a fire on the first attempt if you've got the shavings in a nice little pile amongst some kindling. If you mess it up, no problem; you've still got a few hundred chances worth more of magnesium to fumble with. This is also a product that's been on the market likely longer than you've been alive, so don't think you got the last one they'll ever make.

With this, you just take your knife (the back works as well as the blade really) scrap off some magnesium in a little pile, put your little wads of bark or other hairy kindling (or pine cones, bits of cloth, or whatever you can scrap up as you can anywhere) along with your regular kindling, strike the flint side of the fire starter with the back of your blade or anything made of steel, and make sure to look away when it starts because the light is bright white like a halogen lamp on full.
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4 Comments 216 of 218 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This is one of the best fire starters you can carry. Another reviewer indicated it wasn't much good unless you have a sharp knife. Not only is a sharp knife not required, it's a very bad idea to use one. Shaving the magnesium then scraping the metal match insert with your knife will certainly work, but it will also dull your knife in short order. It is a much better idea to attach a piece of a hacksaw blade to it for this purpose. It works as well and lets you save your knife for its intended purpose - cutting. Even if you have no or hacksaw blade (or knife), a sharp piece of broken glass will let you shower sparks from the insert. That alone will get your fire started (though if your tinder is damp it's easier when you can also use magnesium scrapings). A cotton ball smeared with petroleum jelly makes excellent tinder to use with this device. A dry cotton ball also works; it just doesn't burn as long. Put several into an old film container then drop in it your pack with the magnesium fire starter. The bottom line is this tool is small, light weight, inexpensive, reliable and easy to use. These attributes make it an excellent tool and an outstanding value.
Comment 203 of 209 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Verified Purchase
((The following info inside the double parenthesis was added March 28, 2011 in response to a recent comment this review received. This was my first product review on Amazon, and I didn't realize that my review would show up on product listings from other sellers in addition to the seller my item was purchased from, and for that I apologize. My fire starter was purchased from Hobbytoolsupply. It appears that at least one other seller is selling the correctly advertised item, so the review shown below should only apply to the fire starters sold by Hobbytoolsupply. I added two pictures of the item I received to the main listing (pics added by Jeremy) so you can see the difference between what I received and the genuine item. I have not modified anything outside these double parenthesis since my original review))

I bought this fire starter because I needed one that would serve as a secondary emergency backup for me in the woods if my other multiple redundant fire starting options had failed me in some way. What I needed was a very durable high quality tool that was unaffected by rain or immersion in water, and after searching and reading reviews online I found that would be a government issue (Doan's) fire starter.

Doan's is in fact the brand that the government issues, and a Doan's fire starter is what is pictured in this listing, but that is not what I received. What I received was an unknown fake that was in a package that looked in every way like the Doan's package except the package didn't say "Doan's Machinery and Equipment Company, Made in the U.S.A." along the bottom of the front like it is supposed to. In fact the box said nothing about where the fire starter was made, what company made it, etc.
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14 Comments 151 of 159 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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