Pinned on September 2, 2013 at 8:26 am by Lindsey Matthews
Campers’ Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter.
Works Perfect – Just follow the directions UPDATED(3-28-2011) – SEE UPDATE SECTION AT END:I tried this magnesium fire starting tool – SE(Emergency Fire Starter – SE – ) out as well as the alternative from (from Doan Machinery & Equipment – “Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Fire Starter” ).Both tools work perfectly fine as described and were able to light up fine fibers(cotton, moss, dried grass) and paper without a problem. The Doan tool has more precise instructions and clearly states on the packaging to scrape the magnesium portion of the bar with a knife blade PERPENDICULAR to the edge of the tool. I found this to method made for the most shavings and larger shavings at that. The packaging clearly states that you want a QUARTER(U.S. Coin) sized amount (just shy of 1 inch or 2.4cm diameter) Then holding the bar at 45 degree angle to the pile of shavings drag the knife along the flint to create sparks. The directions remind you to hold the blade perpendicular to the bar while “striking” the flint. I would advise not to strike the flint as they are brittle. However, a nice quick full length drag of the blade down the flint creates a shower of sparks for easy ignition of the magnesium shavings.Both brands work fine. They are nearly identical in shape(the SE is a few mm longer). Each brand has a different finish/coating on the bar itself is about the only difference I can tell. The performance seemed to be identical or at least close enough to not notice anything to complain about. The big difference is the price. The SE(made in China) is about half the price of the Doan(Made in USA – Patented). It appears to me that they are both the same design with slightly different execution of it, and one is just made overseas so that is why it’s cheaper(unless there is less active “ingredients”(magnesium).One other note: The SE(Chinese one) also comes with a saw blade striker that does work but you need to wear through a protective layer of lacquer for it to work and it’s just small enough to annoy my large hands. I just stick with a cheap staineless steel pocket knife for this. I always carry about 3-4 blades when I’m out hiking(cheap folder that I don’t care if it gets ruined, sometimes a higher quality folder, always a fixed blade that is larger with full tang, and usually a multi tool(leatherman).You can’t go wrong with either tool. I’d prefer to buy American(Doan – the “other” one) in the long run though, especially for something I might end up having my life depend on.EDIT: One last note on product life- depending on how much magnesium you need to get your fire going each time, I think the flint will run out long before you ever use up all the magnesium.UPDATED: 03-28-2011There have been a ton of reviews mentioning that the DOAN tool being purchased is no longer made in USA or shipped as a knock off. Be careful which seller you buy from. I will be posting pictures later today that show the SE Tool side by side with the Doan tool. I no longer have the packaging to show what they look like however.The seller I purchased the DOAN GENUINE ISSUE from was known as “CLASSICAL FITNESS & HEALTH” / “Waterglider LLC”. They no longer have it stocked apparently.A GENUINE DOAN FIRE STARTER SHOULD HAVE THIS INFORMATION STAMPED ON ONE SIDE WITH AN ADDRESS ON THE OTHER. THE FIRST LINE IS THE NSN(Nato Stock Number):”4240-01-160-5618FSCM 62561MFR/PN 8702FIRE STARTING TOOLMAGNESIUMU.S. PATENT NO. 4,188,192″Reverse Side:”SPARKING INSERTMFD. BY DOAN MACH. & EQUIP. CO. INC.P.O. BOX 21334SO. EUCHLID, O. 44121SHAVING EDGE”
Handy and good for the price I bought this along with the Swedish Firesteel to test them out. I like this product due to the fact that you can shave the magnesium off and use it to start the tender, however I found that the flint was difficult to use and did not put off much spark. It did spark, though. The swedish firesteel throws of a much bigger and hotter spark and was much easier to use, however if you do not have good tender it doesn’t matter much. I think that having both of them together is good and they are both are a relatively inexpensive purchase if you consider how valuable they are when needed.