Magnesium Fire Starter
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(1155 customer reviews)
Campers' Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #2 in Sports & Outdoors
- Brand: SE
- UPC: 000001196405
- Model: FS374
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 3.00" h x .25" w x 5.50" l, .9 pounds
- Magnesium Fire Starter
- Ultra lightweight: 0.6 ounces
- Size: 2 3/4-Inch long
Most helpful customer reviews
900 of 917 people found the following review helpful.
Works Perfect - Just follow the directions
By S. Karl
UPDATED(3-28-2011) - SEE UPDATE SECTION AT END:
I tried this magnesium fire starting tool - SE(Emergency Fire Starter - SE - Emergency Fire Starter) out as well as the alternative from (from Doan Machinery & Equipment - "Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Fire Starter" Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Fire Starter).
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 has more precise instructions and 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 design with slightly different execution of it, and one is just made overseas so that is why it's cheaper(unless there is less active "ingredients"(magnesium).
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. I just stick with a cheap staineless steel pocket knife for this. I always carry about 3-4 blades when I'm out hiking(cheap folder that I don't care if it gets ruined, sometimes a higher quality folder, always a fixed blade that is larger with full tang, and usually a multi tool(leatherman).
You can't go wrong with either tool. I'd prefer to buy American(Doan - the "other" one) 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
209 of 223 people found the following review helpful.
Handy and good for the price
I bought this along with the Swedish Firesteel to test them out. I like this product due to the fact that you can shave the magnesium off and use it to start the tender, however I found that the flint was difficult to use and did not put off much spark. It did spark, though. The swedish firesteel throws of a much bigger and hotter spark and was much easier to use, however if you do not have good tender it doesn't matter much. I think that having both of them together is good and they are both are a relatively inexpensive purchase if you consider how valuable they are when needed.
123 of 131 people found the following review helpful.
Most reliable fire starter I've ever used
Those saying this doesn't work obviously aren't using it correctly and you're giving people bad advice in telling them not to waste their money. This product is used by outdoorsmen everywhere and is the easiest, most reliable way to start a fire. Most people who have watched some of the survival shows have seen this product. I'm not going to recommend that anyone mimic Bear Grylls with anything else he does but when you see him start a fire in about 5-10 seconds, this is what he is using.
I've used it while mountain climbing/backpacking for years and have NEVER had one bit of trouble in getting a fire started. I would rather have this product than matches or a lighter. It will last longer and can light tinder that isn't completely dry. Magnesium burns at over 1000 degrees and lights when even the smallest spark hits it making it more reliable than a simple butane lighter. I can light dry tinder without even shaving off the magnesium first and just striking the flint. Swedish Fire Steel (also in my backback) doesn't come close to this in reliability. Mine didn't come with a blade and even though I keep a small hacksaw blade taped to it, it's generally easier to just use a pocket knife. Because having a fire is so important, I always keep 3 methods of fire starting in my pack but this would be the one I would pick if I could only have one.