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257 of 264 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is what it is, and that's a good thing
Firesteel IS a great tool for starting fires. it sparks great and starts fires no problem. it took me 3 strikes to start my first fire. didn't need to scrape the coating off, either.

Firesteel IS NOT a magic wand that you can wave around and command a fire to start on anything. you still need to prepare for a fire, i.e. tinder, kindling, etc. and aim where...
Published on June 1, 2007 by Ground Pounder

versus
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Good and the Bad
The first time I used this product it worked as advertised.
The second time, while sparking, the item came apart. It sliped out of the tan handle(knob remained in my hand) I searched in the dark umg. Found it and started my fire. Could have been ugly. Will try to glue back into handle because its hard to hold onto without it.
Published on December 16, 2008 by Wayne J. Rode


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257 of 264 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is what it is, and that's a good thing, June 1, 2007
Firesteel IS a great tool for starting fires. it sparks great and starts fires no problem. it took me 3 strikes to start my first fire. didn't need to scrape the coating off, either.

Firesteel IS NOT a magic wand that you can wave around and command a fire to start on anything. you still need to prepare for a fire, i.e. tinder, kindling, etc. and aim where you are throwing those sparks. It works very easy, but you still need to understand the basic concept of fire starting before you question whether it works or not.

I would definitely depend on this tool in a survival situation!
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800 of 851 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good item with proper tinder - but the mag is easier, July 5, 2007
By 
B. Beach (Telluride, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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Lanyard is plenty long and it makes lots of sparks (after a couple of scrapes to remove the paint). If lanyard was not long enough one could exercise ingenuity and put on a longer cord.

It would easily light propane, but if you try to ignite a piece of sheet paper you will have trouble. Sheet paper is not fine enough and is not proper tinder (though you could shred and rumple it to make good tinder). You need a finer tinder bundle. Paper towel was also unsuccessful. I had easy success with toilet paper and dryer lint. It sparks more if you slow down and increase pressure a little. If the woods are wet and you can find no dry tinder you are in trouble, which is why most people carry tinder or fire starter or pick it up on the trail when they can.

I think it is easier to use the magnesium fire starter with a basic metal jigsaw blade as the magnesium shavings will ignite paper towel easily, and can also ignite paper if you make a dime sized pile of shavings (when igniting paper don't set the end of the magnesium fire starter on the paper as when you scrape the flint the vibrations will jiggle the shavings all around). Even better than a jigsaw blade may be a short hacksaw blade because it has a good hole you can put the cord through.

In summary: if you carry or can find/make good tinder the Swedish firesteel is tough, simple, and a good product. For normal people who want a firestarter that is somewhat easier to use carry the magnesium. That is what I will carry, in addition to good tinder (cotton balls with vaseline mushed in), and a very good lighter (more lights/space than matches).

P.S. Just watched Bear G. in Man vs. Wild (Discovery channel) use this after a major rainstorm starting a fire on the first strike BECAUSE he had previously harvested and protected some very good tinder. He did not use a magnesium firestarter. It does produce a 5,500°F spark, but it needs a purchase (tinder). Also I want to repeat that the lanyard I got was plenty long, but hey it's just a piece of cord that you can cut. Live bold. Also the first time I tried to make sparks I made plenty. I do not see how someone could not (unless they had the metal striker upside down - read the directions!).

P.P.S. Watched Bear G. in Ecuador (?) NOT be able to start a fire with grass using this because everything was wet and darkness came in not enabling him to search for better (dry) tinder. With typical Bear pluck he stuffed his shirt with the grass for insulation and kept his chin up. I bet the mag would have started a fire.

P.P.P.S. Watched 'Survivorman' take a mag starter out into the desert and easily start a fire, but he used the edge of his knife to make shavings and strike the flint. I don't reccomend dulling a knife like this, use the back or anything else. Also he CARVED off magnesium and I have found just SCRAPING works well. Finally on the magnesium starter the flint is a small rod on the side and you don't whack it like in Jeremiah Johnson, but you just scrape it. I think I read one reviewer that broke his flint and I bet he was whacking it, just like in the movies.

This is a long review because this is a survival tool and you should have confidence in it's capabilities.
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118 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Fire Starting Tool if You Practice With it, February 26, 2009
By 
MDSWA (Spokane, WA) - See all my reviews
This is a high quality firesteel and works very well. It takes a little practice and some basic firebuilding skills to be able to use it effectively. With a little coaching even my 9 year old son was able to light several fires with various types of tinder. You need to use good tinder and practice your technique to get a good shower of hot sparks right where you need them.

My son recently did a science fair project where where we experimented with several different types of tinder and ignition sources to see which was the best way to build a fire in the wilderness. We tested everything we could get our hands on in both wet and dry conditions. Everything worked OK when dry but after we soaked tinder, matches, lighters, etc. the list got a lot shorter. The lighters and regular matches were all useless. The lighters (butane) eventually dried out and worked again)Waterproof matches still worked but you can only carry so many of these - some broke and some didn't light. The firesteel and Coughlin magnesium block still worked but it took forever to scrape the magnesium block, the shavings kept blowing away, then when we applied the spark the magnesium shavings flashed and were gone almost instantly. We were able to make it work but it was a pain and dulled my knife. Some say to use the back of your knife blade to avoid this.

The best combination(s) when wet was waterproof matches or the fire steel and cotton balls soaked with vaseline and some of the commercial tinders including wet fire pellets and coughlin fire sticks. We scraped the wet fire pellets and fire sticks and scraped the firesteel to send a shower of sparks into the the small particles of tinder. The result was an instant fire that didn't blow out easily. These things lit even when wet. I can usually get a fire going in 1 - 5 scrapes. The resulting flame from the tinder was steady in the wind and also lit our kindling (dry sticks, pine needles etc) easily.

We gathered all sorts of tinder at home and in the woods and found lots of things that worked. Cotton balls and dryer lint work great. Any cotton or fuzz from plants works, fine dry leaves as well. I can light shredded paper without too much work. Fine dry grass (shredded / pounded and fuzzed up if necessary) and certain types of tree moss light easily. The finer the tinder the easier it is to light. Cattail fuzz is extremely flammable and lights easily. I had difficulties lighting pine pitch scrapings with sparks but included them in my tinder nest to sustain a fire long enough to get kindling going.

Bottom line is these things work and are a fail safe way to start a fire if you have basic fire building skills. This includes carrying or gathering dry tinder, making a nest for the spark, and having kindling and larger firewood pre-gathered to build and sustain your fire once you get it started. I carry one as an absolutely reliable way to start a fire if I need one. I also carry some waterproof matches, a Bic butane Lighter and some commercial tinder (wet fire or fire sticks). Of all these methods I have the most faith in the firesteel. It was also a lot of fun to learn how to use.
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150 of 160 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Product - Slight Learning Curve, May 28, 2008
This product is terrific.

There is a slight learning curve involved with this product that breaks down into two parts:

1) You must know what type of tinder to use for this. If it is not good enough tinder, it will not light.

2) Realize that short, very hard strokes with this is the key. Longer, slightly softer strokes do produce many sparks, but it is the short, repetitive strong ones that create very big and hot sparks which will ignite the tinder into a flame.

Enjoy!
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89 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice tool, December 26, 2006
This "flint" is more expensive than the magnesium bars but it is a little more convinient for making sparks because it has a small handle and an attached striker (you have to find your own tender). I did not have a problem using the attached striker as another reviewer did. I also skipped the step of taking the paint off. I just scraped firmly and the ammount of sparks was crazy. My only complaint is the price but if it lasts as long as claimed it is a bargain compared to matches or lighters.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gary - Swedish Fire Steel, Army Model, November 22, 2007
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The Swedish FireSteel Army Model is a substantial hunk of flint. At approx 3/8" diameter and 2-1/2" length it should last for many years of repeated use. I tested this flint against 2 others I have: a combo flint/magnesium, and a survival mini-flint inlaid in a whistle. Quite honestly, all three worked about the same in a garage test using a cotton ball as my fire starter, but the mini-flint shows immediate signs of abrasion. The fire starter material (tinder) is the key element. If you have a good fire starter tinder, it doesn't take much of a spark to ignite it.
I was not impressed with the included striker; I got better spark using a knife blade.
FYI: the FireSteel Army Model Flint has a black surface coating that has to scraped off before the flint is functional.
In summary, I would definitely recommend the Swedish FireSteel Army Model, but it may be overkill depending upon your needs.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Firestarter!, February 7, 2011
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This review is from: Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle (Sports)
I am an ultralight hiker and I love this thing! I keep it around my neck and because it has a whistle, I don't need to pack an extra one. If you had the Swedish Firesteel army (1.0) and bought this one you will notice that the firesteel on the 2.0 model is thinner. The grips are awesome and feel more durable than the last version. 1 thing to note is that if you are looking for gigantic sparks that will light anything, this may not be the product for you. If you are not very good at starting fires, you might want to look at a mishmetal striker. (You can pick them up from Goinggear.com) But since I am experienced in fires, I like this one. The whistle I think is a great idea. It is about as loud the the Jetscream whistle from Ultimate Survival Technologies. (Which is deafening) All in all, this is a great firesteel for the money and I highly recommend it.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Gadget and Firestarter, August 17, 2007
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I bought one Firesteel for myself and one for my son. We both like to hike and hunt, and this little gadget goes in my survival bag from now on. I have experimented with it and found that if you are selective about the tinder (dryer lint, cotton balls, very fine strips of newspaper) it will start a fire on the first stroke almost every time. The downside is the cost. They are pretty pricey for an item like this at $15 each. Also, I don't like the fact that the vendor Jazebra charges w-a-a-y too much for shipping and handling. With the shipping and handling charges, it costed me almost $40 to get two of these things. Amazon should stock these items in house so customers can get the free shipping.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One RANGERS veiw on the S. Firesteel, August 22, 2009
By 
SGT "Ranger" (Columbus, MS USA) - See all my reviews
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Well,.. First of all let me tell you that I have recently returned to civilian life after being in the USARMY for 5 yrs. I was pinned with the well known " RANGER TAB " and have went out on several missions where my team and I could have use of some really nice gadgets like the Firesteel. Only untill you have to go without nothing does it make you prepare more so for the next time so you dont have to " GO without". Having nothing really makes you appriciate the little things that you've left behind. And in the woods,desert,Jungle, or any where else you might find yourself without the lux. of the modern world there is definately nothing that will lift your moral more than a nice fire. I remember countless times when I would sit staring at a small fire and feel the stress of the day just kinda go away. I would feel some of my lost hope come back to my sences and motivate me to keep pushing on to the objective.

Enough of history,( I could go on and on! haha) The Swedish Firesteel. I have always wondered if these little gagets would work,.. I have started fire in Training with an accual flint stone. However those can be almost impossible to find. And I am capable of making fire in every possible way. Although I do have to say I think there is nothing better than a good ol' Bic lighter (2). But lets face it,.. the bic lighter CAN be busted and you are stuck trying to make a fire with your boot lace and some twigs sweatin ur ass off for 30-45 mins! NO THANKS! Well as I search for products to make what I plan on selling, a ruck sack made for survial. I ran accross this product,.. well the curiosity got the better of me and I ordered 2, one for me and one for my brother who is also a survival freak. I recieved the FireSteel and had to try it out imediatly. I went outside and gathered up a handfull of dry material, and sat down. After 4 strikes the material was glowing red and yellow. I couldnt believe how easy it was!

Needless to say, this FireSteel will permantly be a addition to my attire every
single day. I have to say I cant beleive that it worked so damn well. But anyways I've written enough. E-mail me with any questions. I am considered a survival expert and would love to hear from like minded people. [....]
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!, March 2, 2007
By 
Kak (Seattle Wa) - See all my reviews
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I have never had any luck with the cheaper magnesium type firestarter, so I thought I would try this kind. I am so glad I did. It was a great investment. It took a few minutes to get the hang of it, but once I did it was so simple to use. It works when wet, which is helpful when camping in the Pacific Northwest. I tried it with some dryer lint as tinder and it lit in one stroke. Highly recomended.
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