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KenD500

Harbor Freight Magnesium Firestarter

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If y'all haven't seen the Harbor Freight ad in this month's Scouting magazine, it's worth a look.  There's a coupon for the magnesium firestarters.  With it I was able to get 6 for $20.49 (shipping & tax included).

Edited by KenD500

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The real deal is made by Doan Machinery and Equipment Company in Eastlake, Ohio.  It costs more than the imitations since it has a higher proportion of magnesium (easier to scrape shavings) and a better ferrocerium rod embedded in it.    http://www.oldjimbo.com/survival/doan.html

 

The real deal is called the "Doan Tool" by the military, who have used it for decades.

 

If you REALLY need a Doan Tool, you may regret the couple of dollars you saved by buying the imitation. 

 

"There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey.â€

 

John Ruskin

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I agree the Doan is better quality.  It's the one I carry in my day pack.  It's also ~$15.

 

I need these so my Troop can teach Webelo's how to start fires with ferro rods & strikers.  I don't have $75 in my personal Scouting budget for this month.  I do have $20.

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I do understand budget issues.  Probly' why I'd be no good in government.  ^___^

 

$7.49 - 10.xx elsewhere today.   (  Google           Doan fire starter     )

 

Buying the ferro rods separately and using WPJ-slathered cotton balls would also be worth a look for the budget-conscious.  The cotton balls are much more forgiving as tinder.  They catch nearly as well  and burn much longer, whereas the magnesium shavings flash off in mere seconds.

 

Pardon me if I state the obvious.  Others come here besides yourself.

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Pardon me if I state the obvious.  Others come here besides yourself.

And I appreciate you pointing out the Doan.

 

My Scouts will be using vaseline coated cotton balls, Fritos & popsicle sticks to teach the Webelo's.  Relatively easy, & inexpensive.  Plus watching a Frito burn is cool.  And making a fire with a ferro rod & striker is fun.

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Dryer lint is good if from cotton garments/linen/rugs.

 

Lint from dark cotton items is good for starting a fire with a magnifying glass. 

 

It is harder to fluff up after being compressed as compared to cotton balls.

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Those might make both nice training kits, and also nice prizes for competitions.

 

I have always had remarkably poor success with dryer lint. The stuff seems to suck up moisture from the air incredibly quickly. Also, synthetic or wool fibers in the mix don't start well at all it seems.

 

Note the final episode of the last season of "Survivor" for examples of how NOT to start a fire with flint and steel (while a million dollar prize is on the line). I still suspect that scene was scripted, but in any case it shows remarkably poor technique.

 

Another thing to note, if you teach people how to do a task with sub-optimal equipment they should be able to accomplish it with high quality gear. On the other hand if they learn with the ideal kit, they may not be as readily able to perform with substandard kit. Yet, when packing into the wilderness, or making a "go bag" or anything like that, certainly get the best stuff you can reasonably afford. Likewise, never pack anything you don't know how to use proficiently.

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My dryer lint always has dog hair in it.  We have 3 dogs.  Burning dog hair stinks!

 

I received the fire starters on Friday.  After removing the protective coating, they work fine.  Nice big sparks.

  • Upvote 1

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Thanks for the head's up guys.  While we are on the topic, does anyone ever have any success with the little hacksaw-like scraper harbor freight includes?

It doesn't seem to work well for me.

 

I use my knife blade perpendicular to the magnesium and it seems to work better.  The little grippy like ridges on the top of my knife (like where you may place your thumb for leverage) works better than the blade does for making sparks with the ferro.

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@@koolaidman - I got the best sparks using the back of my knife.  2nd best using the serrated edge of the hack saw blade & 3rd best with the opposite edge of the hacksaw blade.

 

I suspect it's due to the paint on the blade but I haven't scraped it entirely clean yet.

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