Author Topic: Lightning Strike Fire Starter  (Read 12100 times)

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Offline mneedham

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Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« on: July 18, 2015, 05:34:44 PM »
I just got back from Scout camp with my boys.  While I was there, I taught the fire making portion of the Leaders Introduction to Outdoors Skills (IOLS).  One of the guys had this Lightning strike product and I will say that it is large and pricey, but works very well... 

https://www.hollandguns.com/

They make a couple models, I tested the large one...

M

Offline xj35s

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2015, 07:13:57 PM »
Oh ell no! Why is the mini the same price of the large? Did you notice the Vaseline cotton ball lit exactly the same as their "tinder".

 I do like the barrel effect of the sparks. The set screw was a good idea too.
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Offline mneedham

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2015, 07:38:20 PM »
Oh ell no! Why is the mini the same price of the large? Did you notice the Vaseline cotton ball lit exactly the same as their "tinder".

 I do like the barrel effect of the sparks. The set screw was a good idea too.

LOL - I hear you...  but it works really, really well..  I've messed with a lot of fire steels and I like the Gobspark by Firesteel.com.  But I was seriously impressed with the lightning strike's function.  The Scoutmaster that brought it, got it as a prototype (I think it was designed by an Eagle Scout). 

The Gobspark:

http://firesteel.com/gobspark-armageddon-firesteel/

Offline xj35s

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2015, 03:31:06 AM »
Well this is the first time I've seen square firesteels. I wonder if they would fit in the lightning now?

http://firesteel.com/square-firesteels/
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Offline mneedham

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2015, 05:46:20 AM »
Well this is the first time I've seen square firesteels. I wonder if they would fit in the lightning now?

http://firesteel.com/square-firesteels/

Not sure, but those are pretty cool...  The Gobspark is just awesome though, it throws lumps of molten fire, I've never seen anything like it.  I got one with the palm scraper, its great!

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2015, 07:09:02 AM »
$60? Wow!  I might pay half that but $60 is a deal breaker.  I would worry that the soft aluminum around the slot would eventually wear away from being rubbed by a hard striker, too.  Finally, I don't think they are giving full credit to the quality of the ferro rod.  Looks like one from Firesteels.com. I think i will stick with CB&PJ in a pill bottle for now.
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Offline hiwa

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2015, 08:49:22 AM »
Looks like a good idea , but I just couldn't see myself carrying a firesteel that size around. I prefer the LMF scout. I have them stashed everywhere and one is good for at least a couple hundred fires or more. That's more than enough spark ability for something 3" long and it's always on me.

Offline mneedham

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2015, 10:23:11 AM »
Yep - I agree with all comments, but having tried one, I'd like to have one (but not at $60 lol)...  Cool and very functional concept...

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2015, 09:45:37 AM »
I would do some research into the ferro rod chemistry before assuming that any particular brand is actually "better" for a  given purpose than any other.

Ferro rod blanks available in bulk from Ebay are in my experience indistinguishable in appearance and performance from the ones being sold as brand name products.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 10:49:12 AM »
Didn't you do a video side by side test of those different ferro-rods one time, PW? ???
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Offline mneedham

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2015, 03:04:03 PM »
PW - You raise an interesting point.  I have had a a couple of dud ferro rods.  A guy on another forum made my daughters some really nice horn-handled fire starters that wouldn't throw spark.  There seems to be different technologies too, The Gob products from firesteel.com are clearly not normal ferro rods, they don't throw spark, they give off gobs of molten fire lol...  We should do some research...

Offline xj35s

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2015, 04:16:40 PM »
mneedham. Have you tried any of the ones from axeprice on e-bay? I have a bunch from him and the 1/2x6" was cheap. I got two and one I cut in half.

I do have a light my fire and it does very well too.

 My new exotac is not impressive. I get sparkler size spray. I did manage to light wet birch bark but it took a lot of that rod to do.

For price and performance I'll stick with axeprice.
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Offline U.W.

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2015, 05:35:04 PM »
I would do some research into the ferro rod chemistry before assuming that any particular brand is actually "better" for a  given purpose than any other.


Good advise,


and if I may...


I would attach a lanyard to any, or all, of those fire steels (cause we know what'll happen if you don't  :-[ )

u.w.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 12:17:34 AM »
PW - You raise an interesting point.  I have had a a couple of dud ferro rods.  A guy on another forum made my daughters some really nice horn-handled fire starters that wouldn't throw spark.  There seems to be different technologies too, The Gob products from firesteel.com are clearly not normal ferro rods, they don't throw spark, they give off gobs of molten fire lol...  We should do some research...

A few years ago I wanted to buy some firesteel blanks in bulk to add handles and re sell. I had bought a few gobsparks from firesteel.com and used them. When I contacted them to see about a volume discount, they refused to offer one, even if I wanted to buy 50 at a time.

I contacted an eBay seller and worked out a MUCH better deal for 50 "ferro rods" and when they arrived they were indistinguishable in performance from the gobspark rods from firesteel.com. I was so impressed with my discovery that I made a video hoping to encourage other people to try the eBay rods and save some money.

If you read the gobspark page on firesteel.com very carefully you will note that the only difference in the gobspark vs their other rods is the handle! At least that is how the site reads as of right now. Websites change and this might be read a year from now and then who knows.

That said, both the gobspark and the eBay rods that I tested  perform differently than the Light my Fire brand rods. Those require less pressure to spark, and produce a smaller more condensed ball of sparks, and tend to last longer before needing replacement.

I also believe the little ferro rods glued into most magnesium fire starters like the Doans are of the softer, eBay type formulation.

Based on my own purchase experience and the ability of both types to start fires, I believe the best choice is the least expensive choice. The popular narrative is that certain brand names are superior to others but that hasn't been the case for the rods I've used. The cheapest, bulk rods from China that I could find performed the same as the name brand ones I purchased.

So while I am all for a small business making a profit, I also want my fellow outdoor enthusiasts to get the best deal they can. And I think that the price you pay for name brand ferro rods is just paying for the privilege of buying from a company with a nice website and logo, maybe some videos, etc.

I will say that the single biggest factor in the quality of sparks you get from a given rod has far, far less to do with where you bought it than with the tool you use to strike it. Some perfectly good rods are sold with broken bits of hacksaw blades that don't strike worth a crap. A good, sharp, slightly less than 90 degree angle on a hardened piece of steel is the best. Stamped strikers are hit and miss. The little squarish strikers from firesteel.com with the black plastic handles work really well. If you have access to lathe parting tool blanks those work very well also.

When comparing and evaluating ferro rods you must use the same striker or the results are meaningless!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 12:29:05 AM by PetrifiedWood »

Offline xj35s

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 07:16:30 AM »
I am glad you brought that up. This guy has interesting "survival" stuff for sale and some good kits. In them he adds a drill bit, which is multi use around camp.

He mentions using it as a scraper for the ferro, and it works!! A little tricky with a sharp bit but a little tape or gloves...


http://www.m4040.com/Survival/navbar.htm
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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 11:37:18 AM »
The videos on the site just came across as infomercials to me: "Has this ever happened to you?" No. No it hasn't because I'm not an idiot.

For $60 bucks it's outright ridiculous. You can get the same amount of sparks from just about any ferro rod with the right amount of pressure. If it was priced the same as a regular ferro rod and one didn't mind the large size, maybe it could be worth getting. As it stands however, I can do everything this product can do and much more with a $0.99 BIC lighter.

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2015, 02:48:10 PM »

  I watched a very informative video a while back about this subject,  it was very well done and in simple terms,  the fellow that made the video gave a short explanation of the metallic make up of ferro rods using technical names, then said "now that you've heard it, do your best to forget what you just heard".
  Basically there's only two kinds of fire steels,  Ferrocium and Mitchmetal (sic),  now there's a myth going around that the European made fire steels are the good ones,  those made in China are the bad ones,  but the truth is that they are all the same,  they are a metal made of a formula that includes Magnesium and Iron,  one type (European) has more Iron, that type is harder,  gives off hotter sparks,  the sparks are easier to direct or aim,  and the rods (because they are harder) last longer.
  The other (Asian) type has more Magnesium than iron,  they are softer,  their sparks are not as hot but are much bigger, like globs of molten metal that kind of dance around and continue to burn after they land, but being a softer metal they don't last for as many strikes and wear out faster.
  When using the harder type fire steels one has to process their tinder to a finer consistency and make sure that it's as dry a possible,  the tinder needs to be able to take the sparks the instant they land,  when using the softer fire steels the tinder can be a bit damp,  and a bit less refined,  while the sparks from the softer steels are not a hot,  the large globs the form make up for it and the chances for fire are increased.

  So there you go,  there's really no better fire steels, one's as good as the other,  it all depends on how one processes their tinder, what they use, and what kind of steel they are used to,  a $3.00 ferro rod from Dick's or Wally World is just as good as the $60.00 super lightening stick from the high end on line vender,  and sometimes easier to get results with. 
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline mneedham

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2015, 04:41:36 PM »
The videos on the site just came across as infomercials to me: "Has this ever happened to you?" No. No it hasn't because I'm not an idiot.

For $60 bucks it's outright ridiculous. You can get the same amount of sparks from just about any ferro rod with the right amount of pressure. If it was priced the same as a regular ferro rod and one didn't mind the large size, maybe it could be worth getting. As it stands however, I can do everything this product can do and much more with a $0.99 BIC lighter.

LOL - Yep, I don't really look at ferro rods, bow drills, flint/steel as survival tools, they are primitive skills to me, and that is what I tell my scouts.  A friend of mine has spent more nights in the woods that anybody I ever met, carries two lighters and makes fun of people that carry anything more..  I'm not with him (I like gear!).  I will say that I have pretty fair amount of experience with ferro rods and The Armegeddon GobSpark and Lightning Strike function differently from say, an LMF Ranger IMHO... But I will quit yapping and put up a video...  Great discussion!

Offline mneedham

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 02:23:29 PM »
OK - I made a brief vid and did a lot of yapping lol...  I put it in my Challenge thread as I will use it with my scouts.  I think I can better articulate the difference that I see with GobSpark product now, I think the rod is softer and lot more material comes off with each strike.  But, as my wife my would point out, Ive been wrong once or twice..

Scroll down to the bottom of thread..

http://bladesandbushlore.com/index.php?topic=11505.new#new

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2015, 10:32:02 AM »
The videos on the site just came across as infomercials to me: "Has this ever happened to you?" No. No it hasn't because I'm not an idiot.

For $60 bucks it's outright ridiculous. You can get the same amount of sparks from just about any ferro rod with the right amount of pressure. If it was priced the same as a regular ferro rod and one didn't mind the large size, maybe it could be worth getting. As it stands however, I can do everything this product can do and much more with a $0.99 BIC lighter.

LOL - Yep, I don't really look at ferro rods, bow drills, flint/steel as survival tools, they are primitive skills to me, and that is what I tell my scouts.  A friend of mine has spent more nights in the woods that anybody I ever met, carries two lighters and makes fun of people that carry anything more..  I'm not with him (I like gear!).  I will say that I have pretty fair amount of experience with ferro rods and The Armegeddon GobSpark and Lightning Strike function differently from say, an LMF Ranger IMHO... But I will quit yapping and put up a video...  Great discussion!

I think the ferro rods are almost as good as a lighter, and in some ways better since they don't need to be dried out thoroughly before they can work again. If the conditions are dry already, then there is no question a lighter is the easiest way to get a fire going.

Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2015, 01:42:17 PM »
The videos on the site just came across as infomercials to me: "Has this ever happened to you?" No. No it hasn't because I'm not an idiot.

For $60 bucks it's outright ridiculous. You can get the same amount of sparks from just about any ferro rod with the right amount of pressure. If it was priced the same as a regular ferro rod and one didn't mind the large size, maybe it could be worth getting. As it stands however, I can do everything this product can do and much more with a $0.99 BIC lighter.

LOL - Yep, I don't really look at ferro rods, bow drills, flint/steel as survival tools, they are primitive skills to me, and that is what I tell my scouts.  A friend of mine has spent more nights in the woods that anybody I ever met, carries two lighters and makes fun of people that carry anything more..  I'm not with him (I like gear!).  I will say that I have pretty fair amount of experience with ferro rods and The Armegeddon GobSpark and Lightning Strike function differently from say, an LMF Ranger IMHO... But I will quit yapping and put up a video...  Great discussion!

I think the ferro rods are almost as good as a lighter, and in some ways better since they don't need to be dried out thoroughly before they can work again. If the conditions are dry already, then there is no question a lighter is the easiest way to get a fire going.

Good point, but the ferro rod works only as well as your tinder. If your tinder is wet, you have to dry it out, the same way you would have to dry out a lighter. If you have managed to protect your tinder from the water, then you could have done the same with the lighter. I can certainly dry out a lighter in the time I need to gather and prepare appropriate tinder for the ferro rod out in the woods (assuming everything on me is wet). And, a lighter is just so much cheaper.

I'm not advocating that anyone use one method over the other. I suppose I just never saw the practical advantage of the ferro rod over a lighter or matches. If I want to do traditional fire lighting I will use flint and steel. If I want to start a fire for practical reasons, I would use a lighter, or if the conditions are really bad, a stormproof match. The ferro rod just falls in some type of middle ground that doesn't do anything for me.

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2015, 07:28:32 PM »

The videos on the site just came across as infomercials to me: "Has this ever happened to you?" No. No it hasn't because I'm not an idiot.

For $60 bucks it's outright ridiculous. You can get the same amount of sparks from just about any ferro rod with the right amount of pressure. If it was priced the same as a regular ferro rod and one didn't mind the large size, maybe it could be worth getting. As it stands however, I can do everything this product can do and much more with a $0.99 BIC lighter.

LOL - Yep, I don't really look at ferro rods, bow drills, flint/steel as survival tools, they are primitive skills to me, and that is what I tell my scouts.  A friend of mine has spent more nights in the woods that anybody I ever met, carries two lighters and makes fun of people that carry anything more..  I'm not with him (I like gear!).  I will say that I have pretty fair amount of experience with ferro rods and The Armegeddon GobSpark and Lightning Strike function differently from say, an LMF Ranger IMHO... But I will quit yapping and put up a video...  Great discussion!

I think the ferro rods are almost as good as a lighter, and in some ways better since they don't need to be dried out thoroughly before they can work again. If the conditions are dry already, then there is no question a lighter is the easiest way to get a fire going.

Good point, but the ferro rod works only as well as your tinder. If your tinder is wet, you have to dry it out, the same way you would have to dry out a lighter. If you have managed to protect your tinder from the water, then you could have done the same with the lighter. I can certainly dry out a lighter in the time I need to gather and prepare appropriate tinder for the ferro rod out in the woods (assuming everything on me is wet). And, a lighter is just so much cheaper.

I'm not advocating that anyone use one method over the other. I suppose I just never saw the practical advantage of the ferro rod over a lighter or matches. If I want to do traditional fire lighting I will use flint and steel. If I want to start a fire for practical reasons, I would use a lighter, or if the conditions are really bad, a stormproof match. The ferro rod just falls in some type of middle ground that doesn't do anything for me.


I removed the stuff I posted earlier....

WT,
 I suggest ya, go out & get your body wet in the cold so you are shaking. Make sure your disposable lighter is wet also. (I mean cold like things are freezing as soon as they hit the cold air....) Then tell me about how good that stuff is... And how good you are getting that disposable lighter to light....
 :P

Don't believe everything you read on the internet...


   Particularly about disposable lighters that are wet & cold, if YOU are wet & cold & shaking like a dog crapping a peach seed.
 ;)


Or... Do the "Oven Mitten" test...Might give ya the idea, even in warm temps....


ETA- I proved that wet charcloth & F&S works, & others demonstrated the same thing. How about you go & try out your bic lighter soaked in ice water with a Pet.Jelly cotton ball for example, & at the same time drop a decent F-rod & another Pet Jelly Cotton ball in the same container so they soak in ice water at the same time. Put on some oven mittens, pull them out  & see which one you can use to light the PJCB faster with the Oven mitts on...


Unless you "throw" the deal, I know which will be more successful first....& in the long run, if ya do it more than once.


Wanna bet?  Maybe I should make another video to prove the point? or you can...
 ;)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 08:56:46 PM by MnSportsman »
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2015, 07:39:49 PM »
A few years ago I bought a Corona axe sharpener.  It is a rectangular piece of Tunsten Carbide brazed to a steel handle.  Never really liked how much metal it removed from the axe but it makes a darned fine ferro rod striker. For that matter, a small file could do your sharpening and strike your ferro rod.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2015, 09:41:21 PM »
Depending on how soft the ferro rod is, you can shave off some of it slowly without igniting it to create a very good tinder. Takes a lot of patience and care to get a big pile without accidentally making a spark before your pile is big enough to light damp secondary tinder. The mag bar is better than a ferro rod alone in that regard.

Offline xj35s

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2015, 05:58:55 AM »
Are you guy's aware that some electric hot water heaters have a magnesium anode in them? they are about 5/8" in diameter and about 8=10 inches long. you can buy one at the local hardware  for under $20. Just make certain it say's magnesium and not aluminum. The longer ones all seem to be aluminum.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2015, 06:09:04 AM »
  I have to agree with JB on this one,  over the years I've carried strike anywhere matches (the kind that you could light with your thumb nail, on your jeans, or even on your teeth if need be),  then a Zippo lighter, a Bic, and then Mag bars came along, and finally Ferro rods.
  If I had to choose only one fire tool it would be a Ferro Rod,  but if I had to select "the one" or "the best" of all the above for every occasion,  I couldn't,  because there is no best all around fire making tool in my opinion,  what works best at any given time is more dependent on the weather and material conditions.
  If the weather is mild and the wood and tinder are dry any fire starter will work well,  and a lighter such as a Bic or a zippo,  or even matches would be the quickest and easiest way to go,  but if it's freezing or below,  the Bic and Zippo are not going to light unless they are pre heated in an inside pocket or held against your body, throw in cold hands and or wet tinder and it'll be a fail.
  Again, if the weather is nice, the sun is shining, and the tinder is dry a magnifying glass will work ok,  as will flint & steel,  but if it's overcast and damp your in trouble,  however I've used a flint & steel along with a candle stub in bad weather to get the candle wick lighted which dried off my tinder and got my fire going,  but if you're cold, wet, and trembling and you need fire now,  flint & steel is not the best way to go.
  We all know the old saw about "two is one, one is none",  in my opinion nowhere is it more true than when you're choosing what to carry for fire making tools for an extended stay in the woods,  most of us carry at least three methods,  some of us carry a couple of more.
  Another old saying comes to mind "dress for the occasion",  when we're discussing bushwhacking, backpacking, or the like probably the three most critical bases to cover are clothing, fire, and hydration,  having a bit of extra clothes with you,  three ways to make fire in most conditions, and a metal water container is a good habit to get into.
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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2015, 06:10:58 AM »

The videos on the site just came across as infomercials to me: "Has this ever happened to you?" No. No it hasn't because I'm not an idiot.

For $60 bucks it's outright ridiculous. You can get the same amount of sparks from just about any ferro rod with the right amount of pressure. If it was priced the same as a regular ferro rod and one didn't mind the large size, maybe it could be worth getting. As it stands however, I can do everything this product can do and much more with a $0.99 BIC lighter.

LOL - Yep, I don't really look at ferro rods, bow drills, flint/steel as survival tools, they are primitive skills to me, and that is what I tell my scouts.  A friend of mine has spent more nights in the woods that anybody I ever met, carries two lighters and makes fun of people that carry anything more..  I'm not with him (I like gear!).  I will say that I have pretty fair amount of experience with ferro rods and The Armegeddon GobSpark and Lightning Strike function differently from say, an LMF Ranger IMHO... But I will quit yapping and put up a video...  Great discussion!

I think the ferro rods are almost as good as a lighter, and in some ways better since they don't need to be dried out thoroughly before they can work again. If the conditions are dry already, then there is no question a lighter is the easiest way to get a fire going.

Good point, but the ferro rod works only as well as your tinder. If your tinder is wet, you have to dry it out, the same way you would have to dry out a lighter. If you have managed to protect your tinder from the water, then you could have done the same with the lighter. I can certainly dry out a lighter in the time I need to gather and prepare appropriate tinder for the ferro rod out in the woods (assuming everything on me is wet). And, a lighter is just so much cheaper.

I'm not advocating that anyone use one method over the other. I suppose I just never saw the practical advantage of the ferro rod over a lighter or matches. If I want to do traditional fire lighting I will use flint and steel. If I want to start a fire for practical reasons, I would use a lighter, or if the conditions are really bad, a stormproof match. The ferro rod just falls in some type of middle ground that doesn't do anything for me.


I removed the stuff I posted earlier....

WT,
 I suggest ya, go out & get your body wet in the cold so you are shaking. Make sure your disposable lighter is wet also. (I mean cold like things are freezing as soon as they hit the cold air....) Then tell me about how good that stuff is... And how good you are getting that disposable lighter to light....
 :P

Don't believe everything you read on the internet...


   Particularly about disposable lighters that are wet & cold, if YOU are wet & cold & shaking like a dog crapping a peach seed.
 ;)


Or... Do the "Oven Mitten" test...Might give ya the idea, even in warm temps....


ETA- I proved that wet charcloth & F&S works, & others demonstrated the same thing. How about you go & try out your bic lighter soaked in ice water with a Pet.Jelly cotton ball for example, & at the same time drop a decent F-rod & another Pet Jelly Cotton ball in the same container so they soak in ice water at the same time. Put on some oven mittens, pull them out  & see which one you can use to light the PJCB faster with the Oven mitts on...


Unless you "throw" the deal, I know which will be more successful first....& in the long run, if ya do it more than once.


Wanna bet?  Maybe I should make another video to prove the point? or you can...
 ;)

The condescension is extremely unnecessary. I will not address any of your statements until you reevaluate your tone. If you want, we can start comparing how much time each of us has actually spent in the woods in cold and wet weather...I'm not sure how favorable that comparison will be to you.

Offline xj35s

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2015, 09:50:19 AM »
Not sure about the bic over ferro debate. I know I can start a fire in ANY conditions with a ferro. I've done it many times. wet, cold, single handed, with gloves on. Always with a great tinder like birch bark though. Even used different knives. Yes I use the edge of the blade on some of my knives.

 here are a couple of helpful examples of the magnesium rod I was talking about.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RV-Camper-Trailer-Suburban-Water-Heater-OEM-Anode-Rod-Magnesium-232767-/371170029622?hash=item566b753036&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Suburban-232767-RV-Water-Heater-Magnesium-Anode-Rod-/181793797408?hash=item2a53c13520&vxp=mtr
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2015, 01:18:30 AM »
Gentlemen, please refrain from name calling and personal attacks.

This doesn't need to go there. Nobody needs to question anyone's credentials in order to have a reasoned discussion.

I removed an offending post. I hate having to do that more than once in as many days.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 10:04:46 PM by PetrifiedWood »

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2015, 11:25:36 PM »

Gentlemen, please refrain from name calling and personal attacks.

This doesn't need to go there. Nobody needs to question anyone's credentials in order to have a reasoned discussion.

I removed an offending post. I hate having to do that more than once in as many days.




PW, You are quite right... Although WT did question my credentials, with the post I am quoting below, so I am answering him with a post that should not be considered offensive by any reasonable person.



The condescension is extremely unnecessary. I will not address any of your statements until you reevaluate your tone. If you want, we can start comparing how much time each of us has actually spent in the woods in cold and wet weather...I'm not sure how favorable that comparison will be to you.


 I am. As a matter of fact.... It would be quite favorable to me...


  Here is a quote from Mark Twain(Samuel Clemens) to help explain why I say that:


Quote
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.






Something to think about... And I hope it doesn't take 7 years for some folks to figure out.











 
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2015, 11:37:15 PM »
So to get back to the topic at hand...

I have dropped a lighter into a mud puddle before and had it fail. Fresh water can usually be dried out and they work again. But gritty mud cannot be shaken and blown out. And if you don't have fresh water to rinse it out right away, mud will mess up a butane lighter pretty bad.

Also salt water is pretty bad for them as well. The ferro rods are pretty reactive, but the lighters use the same material in their "flints" so they both suffer that weakness. Also the steel spring under the flint in the lighter is a dissimilar metal and could aid in galvanic corrosion.

Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2015, 11:11:14 AM »
If you take off the metal guard you can clean out the mud. As a kid I used to take apart lighters and put them back together. There really isn't much to them. As with any tool though, you have to take care of it. I'm sure we can think of conditions under which any tool will fail.

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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2015, 06:52:47 AM »
  WT makes some good points,  the flame from a Bic or other quality Butane lighter is usually instantaneous,  and in the right conditions will be all the fire aid one should need to get a fire started,  now "right conditions" doesn't mean best conditions, and yes, as Ross says they will work in freezing temps providing they are kept warm, butane will generally light at temps above 32* F.,  below that the Butane liquid won't vaporize into a gas.
  Ross is also right when he says Bic and other quality butane lighters of that style are generally pretty easy to take apart and work on if they become dirty or clogged with mud, debris, or pocket lint,  those types of open top lighters are prone to picking up that sort of thing,  but,  if ones dexterity is compromised because of cold or injury the small parts may be very difficult to manipulate,  and the work is usually done in those conditions with the help of ones pocket or belt knife,  or a multi tool if available,  which could introduce yet another hazard,  and if in the process one or more small parts are lost or damaged the lighter is worthless.
  So far we are discussing the Bic lighter in the "right" conditions,  but what if we aren't on a simple hike,  what if the simple hike turns into a survival situation,  your canoe has tipped,  you've fallen through the ice, you trip and fall injuring your hand or arm,  you need to get a fire going within seconds because the longer you go without one,  the more you shake and the number your fingers get,  if your storm matches get wet (and they do),  if your lighter got wet and cold or got some muddy water in it's works,  you could be in a serious way,  if none of those things happen to your Bic,  but by some rare chance the gas valve got depressed in your pocket or a piece of pocket lint didn't let it close all the way the last time you used it and all the gas has leaked out,  now what,  well the sparking wheel and ferro nub may get you enough spark to get some drier lint or cotton ball going,  but maybe not.
  I agree with WT that if you don't generally have a need for or routinely use a ferro rod or mag-bar to start fires it may not be high on your priority list of things to remember to take with you,  but a ferro rod is pretty much idiot proof, can be used wet, easily used one handed with a bit of practice, isn't bothered by dirt or debris, has no parts that usually fail,  and it doesn't matter how cold it is or how high your elevation,  and yes,  elevation does affect the performance of Butane lighters,  a quick search of the effects or cold and elevation on Bic type Butane lighters on line will give results of testing and practical experience with them in those conditions.

 Whether one likes or chooses to use a Butane lighter over a ferro rod or other means to routinely light their camp fires or stoves really is a personal choice and actually there is no better or best way to get ones fire started,  but not carrying several means, one of them a ferro rod or mag-bar is taking an unnecessary risk in my opinion when venturing out into the forest or wilderness areas,  especially Alone.   ;D
 
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2015, 09:43:20 AM »
Ahh man? Dagnabbit. How did I miss the same discussion in this thread vs, the other. oh well.  ???

This Lightning Strike is kinda expensive. Does anyone use one of the more expensive refillable lighters? Some are said to be waterproof, are shrouded, use piezo electric starters, hold more fuel and who knows what else. Any/all these things seem to address the weaknesses of cheap disposable lighters.

It's not always cold, or high altitude. Why not pick and choose gear based on the situation/season/time&distance to be traveled?
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2015, 12:04:15 PM »
Ahh man? Dagnabbit. How did I miss the same discussion in this thread vs, the other. oh well.  ???

This Lightning Strike is kinda expensive. Does anyone use one of the more expensive refillable lighters? Some are said to be waterproof, are shrouded, use piezo electric starters, hold more fuel and who knows what else. Any/all these things seem to address the weaknesses of cheap disposable lighters.

It's not always cold, or high altitude. Why not pick and choose gear based on the situation/season/time&distance to be traveled?

  The Lightening strike may be a great fire starter,  but extensive testing has shown that there are only two kinds of Ferro Rods,  hard and soft,  the hard rods throw more and hotter sparks,  the softer rods throw less sparks but they are much bigger and burn much longer,  they are all basically the same composition and therefore the same quality regardless of price or where they are made,  and they all work equally well when one knows how to use them.
  In my opinion $60.00 dollars or more for a Ferro Rod with a comparable value of a mag-bar or ferro rod that costs under $10.00 bucks at most Box stores or sports shops is foolish.
  If you do a little research on line you'll get a lot of hits regarding Butane and liquid filled lighters,  also test results about how they work in cold and high altitudes,  several papers that I read agree that higher priced refillable lighters on average don't perform as well or as reliable as Bic and other quality disposeable lighters.
  Price is not always the deciding factor as to what tool or piece of gear will give the better value or service over time and under varying conditions.   
                                                                 :shrug:
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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2015, 06:26:28 AM »
Ahh man? Dagnabbit. How did I miss the same discussion in this thread vs, the other. oh well.  ???

This Lightning Strike is kinda expensive. Does anyone use one of the more expensive refillable lighters? Some are said to be waterproof, are shrouded, use piezo electric starters, hold more fuel and who knows what else. Any/all these things seem to address the weaknesses of cheap disposable lighters.

It's not always cold, or high altitude. Why not pick and choose gear based on the situation/season/time&distance to be traveled?

Just as a point of clarification, cold is indeed a problem for lighters (have to keep them relatively warm), but altitude is not. A few years back there were some allegations in the interwebs about lighter leaking at high altitude, but that was proven incorrect. Even Mythbusters did an episode on it, showing lighters work fine at altitude.

I suppose the reason why a lot of people don't use fancier lighters is the same reason I don't use them. A regular BIC lighter works well enough. They've been used on every mountain in the world and on both poles. They are light and cheap. I guess there is no incentive to fix what is not broken.

Keep in mind that here we are intentionally trying to come up with extreme scenarios that would lead to the failure of a lighter. Something like that is as likely to happen as you getting struck by lightning while holding your ferro rod. A scenario where you fall through the ice, your lighter gets damaged, your waterproof matches get wet, you have frostbite on your hands, and are suffering from hypothermia, yet can manage to find dry and easily prepared tinder to light with a ferro rod and gather any meaningful amount of wood to prevent immediate death or incapacitation, is mostly a theoretical exercise. During actual use, even under extreme conditions, a regular lighter is fine. It is however a tool, and one has to take care of it and work within its limitations. 

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2015, 05:13:33 PM »
I can speak from experience when saying that butane lighters do work at 10,000' elevation. I used to smoke, and had no problem lighting up at that elevation on a nearby ATV trail. Nether do my in-laws, who still smoke. I would do a definitive cold weather / altitude test but the road is impassable in winter unless you have a snowmobile.

I do know that propane regulators in gas grills will freeze up and quit working on low temperatures. But I had no problem using a lighter (kept in my pocket) in -12oF weather either.

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Lightning Strike Fire Starter
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2016, 12:07:22 AM »
Edited to remove my post here as I strayed off topic, although I addressed part of the discussion that was made earlier regarding cold/inclement weather & fire lighting items.


I saved my post though & will try to figure out how to post it in a more appropriate place than here.

 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 12:14:53 AM by MnSportsman »
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)