Top positive review
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Good sparks for a cheap firesteel
on April 27, 2010
Not a premium firesteel, but for the price it works well. The included striker is a bonus: You don't have to mess up a good knife blade. I haven't used it much, but it makes adequate sparks with sufficient pressure. Durability is unknown, but I'll carry this as a backup firestarter.
At first use, it will take some scraping to clear the black oxidation. Once you're through the oxide layer, firm pressure and a quick wrist will generate lots of very bright sparks.
Dryer lint is an excellent firestarter, and takes a spark well. For emergency fire kit, knead some vaseline (petroleum jelly) into some cotton balls. Penny sized pieces of this gooey mess burns quite well and for a while.
The instructions say to scrape a pile of metal off the firesteel. With dryer lint, cotton balls or other good tinder, this is a waste of time.
UPDATE: June 2013: Since the review was posted, I have used it occasionally and have lit many fires with it. Bottom line: it's light, it throws good sparks, and lights fires. Now the rod is getting a little thin from use, but it lights fires just as well as an expensive one that has a much larger diameter rod, at 1/4th the weight. Bumped my review to 5 stars.
Oh: the description is way off: this is not a magnesium bar, it's a standard ferro-rod, just like the other thousand or so products that are just like it.
The only improvement I made was to take the loop of line holding it together, and get rid of the loop... a longer lanyard on the striker makes this easier to operate... Just untie the knot, and use a double overhand knot on each end to keep the firesteel and striker from being separated.