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#53523 - 11/13/05 04:32 PM Re: MagFire...
Woodsloafer Offline

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Upstate NewYork
My favorite firestarter tinder for years has been 1/2" cubes of parafin wax wrapped in wax paper. Better than vasoline/cotton balls and some of the commercial stuff.

Their is nothing so frightening as ignorance in action.
"There is nothing so frightening as ignorance in action."

#53524 - 11/13/05 05:01 PM Re: MagFire...

I grab some packing paper (light brown, about the weight of two sheets of news print. If you've ever moved, you know the stuff I'm talking about) and ran outside.
Would not catch a spark. It's paper fer cryin' out loud. Dry too.
Considering I'm on a different continent, I dont know the paper you are talking about, but I find it strange that it wont ignite. The alloys used the make these fire steels are designed to give off sparks greater than 3000 degrees C (Sorry dont do F) When Ive tryed using paper, it has never taken more than 2 scrapes to ignite, and the sparks have been hot enough to ignite paper laying flat on the ground with no other prep.
The packing paper you tried hasnt been treated with flame retardent has it?
I like Magnessium as a tinder too regardless of its problems. Its a Magnessium alloy because straight magnessium would be too explosive to use, but it burns with a temp at approx 5500 degrees C. Water will split back to hydrogen and oxygen at just over 5000 degrees, giving more fuel <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Hematite ground into a powder will burn at a similar temp, and one of its properties is that it provides its own oxygen when it burns, but again when used straight it can be explosive.

#53525 - 11/13/05 05:44 PM Re: MagFire...
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
OK, so how about a small, AquaPur-sized vial of paint flake in your kit? It's aluminum, but shoudl light about as easily as magnesium.


When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#53526 - 11/13/05 05:48 PM Re: MagFire...
groo Offline

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 722
Loc: Florida
Heck, why not premix some thermite (iron, aluminum). A little strip of Mg metal to light it with. Show me a tinder that won't light. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#53527 - 11/13/05 07:27 PM Re: MagFire...
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Shhh... the walls have ears.

I am planning on cutting down a magnesium firestarter so it is half the magnesium- it will fit int he kit better. I'm debating if I want to take a rough file to the remainder, and mix it into vaseline for dipping cotten balls into.

Of course, if you want a really interesting tinder, I've have very good luck over the years igniting super glue (!!!) with sparks. Have to catch it before it dries, but it burns hot and nice. Smear it on a little bit of plastic, like a dead phone card, give it a ten count to soften the material, and that will burn very nicely.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#53528 - 11/14/05 08:18 AM Re: MagFire...
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

Can someone make comparisons between the MagFire and the BlastMatch?

Also, has anyone tried Survival Inc's WetFire tinder?



#53529 - 11/14/05 11:03 AM Re: MagFire...

Can someone make comparisons between the MagFire and the BlastMatch?
Magfire seems to get more sparks but not with the included striker.
BlastMatch is easier to use if you want to use it one handed.
I think the MagFire give hotter sparks too.
Both work well.

I tried one of the WetFire Tinders when I first recieved my Ultimate Survival Deluxe Kit. Its the only time I tried it, but it was no trouble to light and burnt for a reasonable amount of time. The memory is a bit stretched to remember exact details, but I am going to get some more when I order another Deluxe Kit to throw in the car.
I always throw in a couple of different tinders into which ever pack/kit I'm using at the time just in case, and the Deluxe kit gets transferred to every pack I use because its convenient and all together.

Honestly I think the Spark-Lite is a better one handed starter than the BlastMatch. (at last, I found the Spark-Lites in Australia) I seem to be able to manage that better. If I was hurt, the BlastMatch might be a little bit clumsy.
But the blastMatch is part of the deluxe kit, and it does work well.
I have no problem buying it as part of the Deluxe kit, but I wouldnt buy it by itself. I did buy the MagFire by itself and I would buy another. I dont like the plastic end though, a little bulky. I would preffer to have a hole so I could use a key ring instead. That way it would be part of my EDC.

#53530 - 11/14/05 04:57 PM Re: MagFire...
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1204
Loc: Nottingham, UK
I've never had any success getting paper to light from a spark unless I've been able to make a fuzz. Some materials don't fuzz well - eg paper money is quite poor in my experience. It's certainly a good idea to carry known-good tinder rather than relying on improvising with what you find in the field.

I don't think much of the magnesium as tinder, though. The wind blows the scrapings away, or I knock it when I am trying to scrap, or something. It takes time and effort to make the scrapings, which I wouldn't want to try with cold hands.

And I found I didn't always get stuff to burn with it. For example, I once made a proud little pile of magnesium scrapings on a hex fuel tablet, and managed to get a spark to it without knocking it over - and it burned hot for a few seconds but not long enough to light the hex. All the heat went up instead of down (damn that physics). Maybe there is a way to do it, but it seemed to me I needed to use a secondary tinder - eg paper. Get the magnesium to light the paper, then use the paper to light the hex tab. So now I prefer TinderCard or the Sparklite tinder or cotton-wool based.
Quality is addictive.

#53531 - 11/14/05 05:20 PM Re: MagFire...
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
I don't doubt that the MagFire makes lots of hot sparks. But I feel that, given other products available, it is a solution in search of a problem.

I carry the Spark Lite kit, have used it many times, and it works just fine. The SparkLite "sparker" plus some of the SparkLite tinder balls is light, compact, effective, and cheap. Why bother with other stuff?

#53532 - 11/14/05 05:53 PM Re: MagFire...
7k7k99 Offline

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 375
Loc: Ohio
and you can use the spark lite one-handed, unlike the magfire. I think I will stay with the spark lite, and I have redundancy with the blast match and Doan magnesium along with those trick birthday candles

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