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I just read the article in my OL mag about survivor steel fire starters. I have way too many questions, so hopefully I can get s

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  • I just read the article in my OL mag about survivor steel fire starters. I have way too many questions, so hopefully I can get s

    I just read the article in my OL mag about survivor steel fire starters. I have way too many questions, so hopefully I can get some insight. When I bought the first fire steel from the sportman's show, the guy used a dull metal attachment and rubbed back and forth quickly to start the sparking. I have also seen people use the back of a knife and push one hard swing on the steel to shoot a nice layer of sparks. Bear Grylls shows to use the actual blade of the knife and scrape one hard motion to cause the sparks. I use the Bear Grylls way, but find my survivor steels are getting choppy and bumps on them, probably from changing pressure on the steel. So what is the proper way? Or is there another way I just don't know aobut yet even. Thanks campers/hunters.

  • #2
    I've got an old magnesium fire starter and I always used the back of the blade. That was an interesting article and may have to pick up that Swedish knife with the fire stick in it.

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    • #3
      This may make hard-core survivalists turn up their noses, but when I want to start a fire, I use a lighter. I understand that survival steels have their place, but 2 or 3 Bic lighters weigh next to nothing, and don't take up much more space in your kit than that survival steel. Or you can use a fancier style, if you so desire. I'm not trying to tell you what to do - just saying how I do it.

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      • #4
        I have gone through a couple of fire starters myself and I understand that they wear out quick and can get uneven and bumpy. Using a serrated blade can wear out the rod very fast. Using a fine edge blade just removes a lot of the ferrocium and produces a lot of sparks while using up your rod. The bast way to use the rode is to use a striker of metal piece that comes with the rod.

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        • #5
          @DSM, I used to use magnesium as well but when fire steel got hot (no pun intended) it seemed the way to go. @huntfish,I agree completely with you. I still carry a Zippo with me everywhere I go at all times, and I never smoked before in my life. @ Wolf: I agree that using the sharp end of a knife or serrated eats the steel quick. I have switched to the backside of the knife from now on due to my last fire starter purchase not even coming with the metal striker piece. But, do I still go for the hard scrape on the surface or should rub back and forth quickly with my tinder to start the fire? I've seen both done and not sure what's most effective.

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          • #6
            I carry a BIC in my pack too. The fire steel is a last resort. I also carry cotton balls with petroleum jelly rubbed into them. My best luck with the fire steel is one long strike. That's the problem I see with some of these is that they are too short.

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            • #7
              I carry a BIC in my pack too. The fire steel is a last resort. I also carry cotton balls with petroleum jelly rubbed into them. My best luck with the fire steel is one long strike. That's the problem I see with some of these is that they are too short.

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              • #8
                I have not 'had' to use the fire starter but I can see how it can get rough through use. I pack a couple bic lighters for most routine use. I have found that in real cold they do not work well until you warm them up some. Also, I have had the flint fall out of a bic type lighter so always carry a spare.

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                • #9
                  Rubbing lightly back and forth on the rod can produce a lot of sparks if done right. Pressing hard for one strike also produces a lot of sparks however it uses up the ferrocium. I would try both and see which works best for you.

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                  • #10
                    dom what parts of PA do you hunt? Im in PA also. SW the hunting is good.

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                    • #11
                      @25-06:I will deer hunt opening day of rifle in Brookville near Clarion. I also hunt in Avella in Washington County, behind my fiancé's house. I archery hunt where I work in Kilbuck and Aleppo Townships. I have hunted some of Westmoreland County as well near Export area. You?

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                      • #12
                        Thats cool were not far off. I hunt mainly Fayette county. But I spend some time hunting Westmoreland, Washington, Somerset, and Allegheny counties.

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                        • #13
                          Hi...

                          There are many manufacturers of ferro rods. Too many of them...regardless of the cost...are VERY poorly made. I suspect yours is one of them.

                          The PROPER way to use one is to hold the knife, etc. still, while pulling the rod UP its length. This keeps the rod and sparks closest to the tinder.

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                          • #14
                            I use the striker that comes with it. I also make a spare out of a length of old hacksaw blade. This works great if you are using the rod attached to the back of a magnesium block. Use the side with teeth to shave some off and the back to strike the rod. If both my factory striker and my homemade striker failed, I would use the back of my knife.

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