By Jason Wagner
This thing…this magnesium fire starter is a rather interesting curiosity that could easily save your life…if you’re very patient, or you’re one of those people whom are easily entertained by activities such as scraping rocks together all day long.
Well, let’s start with why this is an overall great product – you shave the magnesium block with the included blade until you’ve got a small pile of shaving that are easily set off to the tune of 5,500 hundred degrees Fahrenheit…a little bit of trivia is that magnesium was the primary incendiary used in the bomb by the US air force during WW2 and it continued to serve on the frontlines until the full deployment of napalm.
Let’s rewind a bit; the magnesium fire starter is cheap and it comes in a fairly rugged package, which means you’ll want nothing more than to have a box full of these, and at about 4 dollars, which is what I got mine for how couldn’t you want at least one lying around?
You see, I love how it heats up quickly and hot very much like thermite, but what I hate is how it takes so very long to shave off enough shavings to create enough of them to actually start a fire…The deal is that the serrated blade is plain and simple a poor design and thus it takes a fair amount of time to shave off enough of the magnesium…the magnesium block itself is great, it’s the blade that’s the problem, but despite my gripes I can let all of that slide…it does a well enough job I suppose…I just wish that the serrated blade could do the other function it was designed for…striking the flint in a manner that creates some sparks; no, instead you’ve either got to get rather lucky with it, or you’ll just have to use the back of a knife, or if it’s a knife you don’t mind dulling a tad – the edge of a knife. Like I said, you can use the back of a knife to light the sparks, and the knife that I used in that manner was my Ka-Bar fighting knife and it worked splendidly and given how a good fighting knife is a practical necessity to every reasonable survivalist I suppose the blade attachments inability to reliably strike sparks isn’t the end of the world, but I’m certainly not going to act like the design is perfect, either.
Beyond its undeniable capabilities as a fire starter, I was taken aback by both its lack of weight and its compact body. The fact that this fire starter is as lightweight as it is makes it ideal for tagging along with you no matter how lightly you like to travel.
I suppose you could say that I’m not too impressed with this as a magnesium firestarter, but I cannot help but admire that, no matter how basic this one is it’s a magnesium block with a flint attachment on its side and so long as you’ve got something to strike the flint you can have a fire going no problem…that’s something worth commending.
Magnesium is magnesium and this magnesium heated up terrifyingly fast, burning whatever was under it at a breathtaking speed and with that, I can say with confidence if you need a cheap magnesium fire starter that’ll do the job, this one is practically perfect for you. As a final word, I think it to be fair that I mention that it is my intention to purchase some more of these just to have them lying about, because…because they’re cheap, they’re got good at their job, they look nice lounging around in a emergency supply room and they’re encased in a fairly protective layer of packaging which all combined make for something worth stocking.