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Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Firestarter
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- Magnesium shaving edge.
- Sparking insert.
- Government issue.
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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.
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I tried this magnesium fire starting tool(from Doan Machinery & Equipment - "Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Fire Starter"Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Fire Starter) out as well as the cheaper(about 50% less) alternative from SE(Emergency Fire Starter - SE - Emergency Fire Starteralso available on Amazon).
Both tools work perfectly fine as described and were able to light up fine fibers(cotton, moss, dried grass) and paper without a problem. The Doan tool listed here clearly states on the packaging to scrape the magnesium portion of the bar with a knife blade PERPENDICULAR to the edge of the tool. I found this to method made for the most shavings and larger shavings at that. The packaging clearly states that you want a QUARTER(U.S. Coin) sized amount (just shy of 1 inch or 2.4cm diameter) Then holding the bar at 45 degree angle to the pile of shavings drag the knife along the flint to create sparks. The directions remind you to hold the blade perpendicular to the bar while "striking" the flint. I would advise not to strike the flint as they are brittle. However, a nice quick full length drag of the blade down the flint creates a shower of sparks for easy ignition of the magnesium shavings.
Both brands work fine. They are nearly identical in shape(the SE is a few mm longer). Each brand has a different finish/coating on the bar itself is about the only difference I can tell. The performance seemed to be identical or at least close enough to not notice anything to complain about. The big difference is the price. The SE(made in China) is about half the price of the Doan(Made in USA - Patented). It appears to me that they are both the same, and one is just made overseas so that is why it's cheaper.
One other note: The SE(Chinese one) also comes with a saw blade striker that does work but you need to wear through a protective layer of lacquer for it to work and it's just small enough to annoy my large hands.
You can't go wrong with either tool. I'd prefer to buy American in the long run though, especially for something I might end up having my life depend on.
EDIT: One last note on product life- depending on how much magnesium you need to get your fire going each time, I think the flint will run out long before you ever use up all the magnesium.
There have been a ton of reviews mentioning that the DOAN tool being purchased is no longer made in USA or shipped as a knock off. Be careful which seller you buy from. I will be posting pictures later today that show the SE Tool side by side with the Doan tool. I no longer have the packaging to show what they look like however.
The seller I purchased the DOAN GENUINE ISSUE from was known as "CLASSICAL FITNESS & HEALTH" / "Waterglider LLC". They no longer have it stocked apparently.
A GENUINE DOAN FIRE STARTER SHOULD HAVE THIS INFORMATION STAMPED ON ONE SIDE WITH AN ADDRESS ON THE OTHER. THE FIRST LINE IS THE NSN(Nato Stock Number):
FIRE STARTING TOOL
U.S. PATENT NO. 4,188,192
MFD. BY DOAN MACH. & EQUIP. CO. INC.
P.O. BOX 21334
SO. EUCHLID, O. 44121
This is one case where you get what you pay for. It's not always true, but this item kicks butt and the cheap one I have seen was crap.
Don't mess around with cheap junk. In this case, I'd hate to be stuck and NEED to start a fire; I'd be thinking about the 6 bucks I saved while I froze to death! LOL
I compared this with my old Cohlgan Magnesium Firestarter and the quality is quite apparent.
The magnesium on the Doan is much softer and scraping magnesium was super easy. The surface is very shiny, soft and uniform.
The magnesium on the Coghlan is almost impossible to scrape. I damaged several knifes trying to get a good pile.
Over time, my Coghlan magnesium started to change color turning darker and degrading. I'm sure the magnesium is blended with something else that is causing it erode.
The Flint on the Doan is also softer than what I'm seeing on the Coghlan and it's easier to produce large sparks however I can see the surface is starting wear out quicker.
In conclusion, don't waste money with cheap Chinese knock-offs or other brands. You really get what you paid for and Doan definitely is the way to go.
"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." Sold by Reiss Innovations, LLC and Fulfilled by Amazon.
The one I received was NOT G.I. & was sold by Abco Deals. The glue on inferior products like this always gives way on the flint strip insert & you end up losing it. I have had a Genuine U.S. military issue for over 20 years & it's still good & I've been through several of these & they always come lose. I'm getting very upset with the e-bay way amazon is doing things now. When I buy something I expect it to come to me as advertised. If this continues I will cancel my amazon credit card & shop anywhere else that has what I want even if it's more expensive; at least I'll get what I paid for!!!
Most recent customer reviews
Flint is not the best material. I had better to use a separate Flint/sparker.