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on May 6, 2013
Yes I did Youtube how to use this thing because it didnt come with directions and this is my first fire starter. After watching the video a couple times, I did manage to get a decent fire going in my backyard. The striker saw that comes with it seems pretty cheap. The saw cant shave for squat and I found it easier to use the flat side. Just put the flat side at a 45 degree angle and the saw facing out (not towards you) use your thumb to apply force and slide fowards. I got my shavings this way. There's a very helpful video showing how to make starting a fire easier by shaving onto duct tape. Supposedly the adhesive on the duct tape it flammable and can act as a catalyst to make it burn quicker. Also because that its sticky, your shavings will not fly away in windy conditions (pretty smart). I have not tried this because I do not have duct tape around the house. I recommend learning how to use one and test out the one you buy before you go hiking, campin, etc, so when in a dire situation, you can be prepared.
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on December 18, 2013
This thing always works, no broken flint to worry about, no out of juice problems or it got wet or run over. It works period. every time and anytime. Bug out bag must. My pops loved it. It was a great addition to the emergency car kit I made him for Christmas. I keep one myself in my kit. Little Bic's are great but these are totally dependable not that I plan on being stuck alone in the amazon or the wilderness but it's a great small light weight item to have on hand. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, right??
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on October 4, 2012
Forget the Bear Grylls faro rod, or any other fire starter. There is no better product to start a fire that I have tried than a magnesium faro combination. Damp tinder? No problem. This one is the cheapest I can find and I works the same as all of them. You can cut off the little saw attachment if you want and just use the back of a knife.
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on February 12, 2015
I purchased this as an add on, just to qualify for free shipping. I never really intended to use this as a fire starter in case of an emergency.

As far as the product goes, although I have never tried to start a fire outside with it, I have been striking it just for fun when the lights are all turned off. The starter works and is fully functional. In order to create enough force for the sparks to appear, you need to use about as much force as you'd use to light a match when you are holding the side that is far from the tip.

Overall, if you are looking for something like this, I'd say you should go for it, it clearly worked for me and I am happy with my purchase.
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on December 27, 2012
I had just ordered one of these from egear. After getting it, and thinking somehow I forgot how to use one after a few years off the trails, I checked out a youtube video on magnesium fire starters [...]. Of the three he tests, the one hard Chinese variety was hard to shave filings off of and impossible to start.

I had the same experience with the egear provided magnesium block. I gather that whatever the alloy is in this bar with the magnesium makes it near impossible to shave and it won't burn with spark. With a blowtorch yes, with the included micro hacksaw blade no, with a knife it will spark, but it won't burn. Anywho, there are some proven manufactures which I am going to return to. These are a crap shoot if what other people say on their reviews is correct.

The bar should be soft enough to easily get shavings off of and obviously burn on spark. The one I received does not.

Just test whatever you buy before you go into the field. Best of luck
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on December 19, 2012
I don't know if other reviewers got a different batch, but two I received are perhaps a step above completely fake. The "magnesium" bar is hard and gummy, and much more difficult to get shavings from than any real starter I've ever worked with. The flint is at least real flint, but on both of these was so covered with the epoxy holding it to the bar that I had to carve down quite a way to get to a strikable surface. Worst of all, the "magnesium" shavings do not catch fire. After much frustration trying to start with the flint, I moved on to experiments with matches and then a propane lighter. Actually with a torch lighter directly on the shavings I did get a couple of crackling sparks, so perhaps there's something in there after all, but nothing that you could use to start a fire if you needed one. Don't waste your money on this.

p.s., if those others are real reviews; please at least try something before logging in to express that it sure looks like it will work.
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on March 12, 2014
I ordered two of these, gave one to my son who is getting into backpacking, and kept one at home to try for use in our survival bags. If you are expecting to start a fire as quickly as with a lighter you will be unsatisfied with this product. It takes a little work and patience. You have to experiment a little if you've never used one of these before. We carry cotton balls soaked with vaseline and they light up almost immediately, add tinder and you've got a fire going in a short time. Trying to light tinder by itself is a longer process but works just fine if you aren't of the attitude that "I have to have it right now". Will be getting more of these for all of our packs.
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on April 21, 2014
This item arrived and within 2 min on a windy day I had a fire in are fire pit not sue what the problem with all the negative reviews but the one I got worked just fine

Alright here is the updated review, The first one came in a cellophane wrap and had a silver color to the bar. It worked so well that I Tried to get some more for the camper and packs, Well the new ones came and there are a completely different product. They don't shave very well at all and the chips will not even light with an open flame like a lighter? watch what you get!!!
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on June 13, 2013
This is okay, haven't had to use it but have played with it a bit. The instructions that come with it (or more accurately, that do not come with it) make it tough to figure out how to use it if you've not used this kind of thing before.

It's good for camping and for emergency / survival prep, but I've always used matches or propane lighters and had to email the manufacturer to clarify how it worked. Maybe just me, but could it hurt to include a 5-cent piece of paper showing how to use it? (Better than trying to figure it out when you really need it, in the dark and the rain...) Certainly a good price for this kind of thing.
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on November 6, 2015
Magnesium strip fell out during first use. I'd suggest a higher quality if you need something to depend on.
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