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#108318 - 10/11/07 01:31 AM GEAR: RR's fire starters
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2199
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
I was generously given the 1-hand and mini mag/flint bar by Ranger Rick for evaluation. My thoughts:

I had a chance to test RR's 4-finger fire starter. Essentially, it's the top of a cigarette lighter. It contains a ring on the bottom, which allows the user to put a finger through it and balance it while striking the sparker wheel. I found it to be a nice, compact package, that quickly lit the tinder tested (cotton balls, Coghlan tinder, dog hair, and dried grass). What I really liked about this device is that it felt very stable - it didn't wiggle around and disturb the tinder pile that I had started. With it's size, it's easily joined my EDC supplies. Also, it does have room for at least one cotton ball, allowing me to carry some ready tinder in case it's ever used. This is, to me, a significant advantage and selling point over other single-hand strikers.

I also had the chance to play with RR's flint/magnesium bar. It's about the same length as the normal Mag bar that most of us know, but about 1/4 the width of that bar. The included striker did take about 10-15 scraped before it effectively began throwing sparks. It did a good job of scraping magnesium off, and did thrown off an impressive shower. One thing to note is that it is NOT sharpened, so it's appropriate for EDC or soft-carry packs. Of course, the striker could be sharpened to make an improvised blade if desired. While effective, I did notice that it had a similar drawback as the full sized mag bar: striking it can disturb the tinder pile and mag shavings. As such, I plan to use it as I do a mag bar: a back-up fire starter, most likely left in a daypack and forgotten about. The really nice thing is it's size. It weighs significantly less than the full size mag bar, meaning that if you like the style, it'll easily disappear into a pocket.

#108320 - 10/11/07 01:50 AM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: MDinana]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
So, can we see these somewhere?


#108323 - 10/11/07 02:40 AM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: Susan]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area

#108331 - 10/11/07 10:18 AM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: philip]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2199
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Yeah, that's the 1-hander. His mag bar is like the normal one you find at walmart, but about 1/4 inch thick, so you don't have this monsterous magnesium hunk of metal hanging around. Brigade QM or RR's website have pics.

#108339 - 10/11/07 12:49 PM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: MDinana]
bigreddog Offline

Registered: 07/02/06
Posts: 253
What is the advantage of the 4 finger starter over a mini-bic? I appreciate a size difference, but neither is exactly bulky, and the mini-bic gives me an actual flame for quite a while, then the flint stiker when the gas runs out.

#108343 - 10/11/07 01:37 PM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: bigreddog]
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: The Netherlands
I agree
''It's time for Plan B...'' ''We have a Plan B?'' ''No, but it's time for one.'' -Stargate SG-1

#108361 - 10/11/07 03:27 PM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: JIM]

The only advantage I can see is that this type of striker should have much more flint inside than your average lighter...which only needs to last as long as the fuel does (though it typically lasts longer).

I recently bought a Spark-Lite kit from Adventure Medical because I wanted the tinders I've heard such good things about for my pocket kit. The striker is so small I've started carrying it in my pocket next to my lighter as my lighter is windproof and uses a piezo-electric igniter. I'm very curious to see how long it lasts. I carry a modified firesteel in my pocket kit as a mainstay anyhow. At least it will 'throw' a spark and I know when I'm running out (though I've yet to even come close)...there's no telling when you'll run out using a Spark-Lite or this RR striker...not to mention the question of what happens if the spring or wheel fail.

#108362 - 10/11/07 04:00 PM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: ]
bigreddog Offline

Registered: 07/02/06
Posts: 253
I was under the impression that the RR version was salvaged from lighters rather than being a custom built object.

Personally I carry a bic (simple, one handed, intuitive for others, the flame duration lets me do other things (light a candle for example), cheap) and a firesteel (nearly infinite sparks, hot enough to ignite improvised tinder) for back up.

I can see how the RR 4 finger and the sparklite get advocates, they are tiny, light and one-handed, just my my thoughts

#108422 - 10/12/07 01:25 AM Re: GEAR: RR's fire starters [Re: bigreddog]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2199
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Yes, essentially it's the top of a Bic lighter. But, unlike most of the bics available lately, there's no child lock, so it's fairly easy to spark.

other thoughts: allowed (probably) on planes, takes less space, can store tinder, though one could argue that the fuel is tinder with a lighter.

Anyway, it's just something to think about if you feel like adding a slightly different method to your fire starting ways.


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