Customer Reviews: Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch Fire Starter (Black)
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on September 14, 2009
I use ferrocerium rod based fire starting heavily. I start my charcoal grill without paper or starter fluid with these rods. They work well - if you know how to use them. They will not start a charcoal briquette directly for instance.

This product has a great idea behind it - to start a fire using gross motor skills, one handed. This means that if you are hurt, cold and tired you can still use it. Great idea.

The problem is, the plastic case is weak and in cold, brittle. I have had two of these in less than a year. The first died after being dropped on a rock while I was on a light day hike. I took it out to show it to a buddy, and with my butter fingers, dropped it. The case cracked and the spring went awry and the whole works came out. Busted. Now the ferro rod inside still works, but only two handed now, one hand to hold and the other to scrape.

Get it if you want it but I'm hoping for a more Murphy proof. I figure that a survival tool should handle a dolt dropping it more than once.

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on May 15, 2010
From folks trying to use this apparatus to start a grill, to those who bought the wrong thing (fire piston), and others trying to use it backwards... MOST OF THE REVIEWS AREN'T REVIEWING THE ITEM APPROPRIATELY.

It basically a fire-steel that you use one handed by applying thumb pressure to the *integrated* scraper and pushing *down*.

The spring is simply used to fully extend the steel *before* squeezing the scraper and applying downward pressure. The sparks are created when the steel is pushed inward... it is NOT a switchblade. But it IS one-handed.

This is an emergency (or backup) fire starter for use in the great out of doors.

And NO, I'm not affiliated with the company who makes or sells these. I didn't even buy mine at Amazon. However I like it and feel it's getting unfair criticism.
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on March 21, 2011
Seriously though... I own almost every firesteel you can imagine. I own all the storm proof lighters and matches.... Blast Match beats them all hands down. one or two downward strokes with good thumb pressure on the button with dry tinder and youve got fire!. Compared to the firesteel, Blast Match creates large longer burning sparks that are directed exactly where you want them without making a big mess. Firesteel is great, Blast Match is WAY better! Bought one for everyone I know.
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on January 11, 2009
this blastmatch with cotton balls oiled with vaseline are unstoppable!!!

raining no problem for the three items to start you camp fire.
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on January 7, 2010
I just got the blastmatch today and I love it! It gives off a huge amount of sparks and makes a flame easily. All of the bad reviews for this product I found to be completely stupid. Sure every once in a while the spring doesnt return the rod and it is just a little hard to open at first. Unless you are an incredibly picky and quick to anger person these few things shouldn't bother you. I highly recomend this and will be getting a few more for friends and family.
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on April 5, 2011
This is the BEST fire starter i have owned. 1 or 2 strikes will do the job perfectly fine. as long as you have nice dry tinder. Pine needles are NOT very good tinder. So try lint, or small dry grass or moss. hope this helps
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on January 7, 2010
The first time I used it, i got a fire going. it works great but its a little bigger than I thought it would be and it doesn't feel that well made.
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on June 24, 2010
1. Not a whole lot larger than a standard butane lighter.
2. Rounded edges for easy carry without it poking you in your pocket.
3. Striker is pretty efficient at removing only a small amount from the firesteel without a lot of wastage.
4. Firesteel rotates between uses fairly well so as to produce fairly even wear.

1. More than a bit on the heavy side because of the large diameter firesteel used.
2. You have to push against a solid object to activate the internal striker.
3. The plastic arms aren't very thick/strong and probably wouldn't survive the very harsh conditions that this firesteel is marketed for, i.e. a plane crash or other such harsh condition emergency.
4. The internal striker will only make contact with about a smidgen more than 2/3 of the length of the firesteel and so the rest of the firesteel will go to waste, unless an external striker is used, which defeats the point of having an internal striker in the first place...
5. The biggest con by far is the following. The striker is made in such a way that it can only be pushed down so far and so probably no more than about 1/4 to 1/3 of the diameter of the firesteel can ever be used before the striker can't be pushed in far enough to make contact with the firesteel. This means that you are carrying around all of that dead weight that can never be used for it's intended purpose, at least not by the built-in striker anyway.

This is a neat new concept for a firesteel; however, as it currently stands, it is fairly poorly implemented and could definitely use some more thought and re-engineering to turn a very mediocre product into a nice one. As it stands, you would be better off just buying a good firesteel and striker and that way you aren't carrying around any dead weight and can use every bit of firesteel in an emergency situation.

As has been demonstrated before by others on YouTube and whatnot, a standard firesteel can also be struck with one hand by holding the firesteel under your foot and striking with your good hand. This technique kind of defeats the only real advantage this product has over a standard firesteel in my opinion, which is being able to be struck with only one hand.

I'm still glad that I bought a BlastMatch, but pretty much only as a fun novelty item rather than something that I would want to depend upon in a life and death situation.
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on March 21, 2016
Obviously, judging by my profile name, I'm a girl. When it is time for me to start a fire, I need something that works right the first time with my smaller hands and does not break all my short but feminine nails. I have used a number of strikers and fire starters with hilariously varying results. Most are okay-ish. I don't like skinny little strikers that you have to rub with a piece of hacksaw blade which often has a back side that is almost as sharp and jagged as the business end of the blade. I don't like short micro strikers where you end up lighting your hangnails on fire along with the tinder because your hand was so close. (This doesn't actually happen but you get the picture.)

When I first bought this BlastMatch my husband immediately claimed it as his and it disappeared from the face of the earth for over two years. That should have been my first clue that it was the best striker out there. Every once in awhile it would resurface to light the fire pit in the back yard but it would quickly be whisked away to a back pocket and once again vanish from existence as rapidly as it had reappeared. I had no idea where he was hiding it so I simply had to resort to using other strikers I had purchased that worked well enough. They just were not as quick and easy as this one.

Let's talk about what I love. First of all, it has a big, thick firesteel rod that is the thickest I own. (See the picture I uploaded.) This means it will most likely last for the advertised number of strikes. Second, my son has been able to use this to start a fire on our camp outs since he was 7. It's really, really easy. to use. Not really that easy to open but you quickly get the hang of it. Basically you open it, use your thumb to depress the metal scraper on one side and then push down. A bright yellow, orange and white colored shower of sparks will greet you like an angry sparkler gone awry and set alight anything remotely resembling tinder. (A friend who first demonstrated his to us set the fine fibers of our living room rug on fire. After tamping out the little glowing embers, we were sold.)

My husband confiscated the first one I bought and would not so much as let me lay eyes on it so I decided to buy myself a second one. I had given the other crappy fire rods we had somehow picked up along the way to my boy scout son, which was surprisingly safe since they don't hardly light a thing, and proceeded to replace them all with a tool that worked. Since we have one BlastMatch from 2014 and one from 2016, I decided I would compare them side-by-side to see if the product has had any visible changes or become more flimsy as reviewers have insisted. I couldn't find a single difference. The plastic on each was the same thickness, the rod was the same diameter and they both opened with the same springy force.

They give a generous shower of sparks and if you get it anywhere close to a tinder ball, you are going to start a fire with one push. It catches that easily. I am very pleased with BOTH purchases and will continue to use these until they break. (If they do, I'll be right back here to complain.) While we don't use our BlastMatch every single day, we have used the original one somewhere around 50 or more times since my husband is a scout leader and it is still going strong with no cracks in the plastic and no damage visible anywhere to the striker. If you want to be on the safe side, wait until the price drops to twelve or less and then make your purchase. I have seen them as low as ten at various times of the year so your patience can pay off. And do not use your BlastMatch while drunk or trying to impress women. Not that the reviewers who broke theirs were either drunk or able at all to impress women - I'm just giving you some general good advice.

I bought both of my strikers at full price. I do not work for BlastMatch. I don't even particularly like catching things on fire. I just like roasting marshmallows. And Starburst. Happy camping everyone!
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on December 19, 2012
Don't even second guess this one, JUST BUY IT !!!!
There is only one word that can describe this item "PRICELESS"
Who am I? Why should you take my advise? I am a former US Marine and have been thru all sorts of different survival training, Mountain, Dessert, Winter, Jungle, and looking back, I can't tell you what I would have given to have one of these stuck in my pocket. This item is "PRICELESS"
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