Light My Fire FireSteel 2.0 (Review)


Ever since I was a young child, I have always been a bit of a “pyro” at heart and loved to set fire to things just to “watch it burn.” That probably sounds pretty horrible, though I can assure you that I never once started an uncontrolled fire. It was just the usual small twigs and leaves being introduced to consuming heat with pretty much anything I had on my person at the time. From magnifying glasses, to matches, to lighters… there wasn’t a whole lot that I didn’t end up getting my sneaky little hands on.

***And in case my mother ever reads this confessional, I can’t exactly confirm or deny who wrote the random words on the street out front of our house with rubbing alcohol as a kid. Oh, and the driveway. You see, I have a mischievous little kid brother whom I liked to blame everything under the sun on during our youth. C’mon, get that mature judgmental look off your face! You know good & well that you would have done the exact same thing. In fact, you might have a younger sibling as well and can’t stop grinning from ear to ear right now. Just know you’re in good company! My younger brother and I were both pretty skilled at making fires growing up, likely because our dad was a pro and taught us [most] everything he knew. He can still make a pretty mean fire to this day!

As I’ve gotten a little older and now have a 1 year old son of my own, I’ve become a little more responsible with my fire making skills. I’ve learned so much throughout my lifetime of camping trips with my family for days on end and watching my dad effortlessly start the hottest of fires, even when the weather wasn’t cooperating and the wood was hardly dry at all. He still managed to get it going and keep it going. In addition to my dad showing me the ropes, I’ve studied fire making quite a bit over the years and learned the skills to find dry tinder material wherever I’m at that will readily take a spark or flame to light my fire.

Of the many methods that I have used to make fire over my lifetime, the one that I have always been most fond of is the simple spark & tinder. The romantic aspect of flint stone & steel being used to start those old warm campfires out west in the 1800′s during the pioneer days is something that that does not quickly escape my all-encompassing fascination with fire. Though I have always felt like I was born in the wrong era, I’m gladly accepting of the modern conveniences that it has provided. One of those conveniences is something known as Ferrocerium. Unlike the old flint & steel used back in the day to provide a minimal spark to start your fire, ferrocerium (or a ferro rod) is a man-made metal rod that is capable of producing 3,000 °F sparks when scraped with a sharp (or at least 90° angled) blade. That’s sufficient to get most tinder going into a flame. Just a little fluffy dry tinder, a little oxygen, and a hot spark will have a fire going for you in no time.

In the realm of ferrocerium fire starters, there are a TON of options that you can choose from. Just search Amazon and eBay and you’ll find more choices than you can shake a stick at. But of all of them, to me, there is one that stands far above the rest. It’s the single fire starting tool than I keep so many of in nearly all of my survival kit items.

 

 

It’s the Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army model! This particular FireSteel produces an astounding 5,500 °F shower of sparks that pretty much guarantees your dry tinder will go up in flames! You only need to firmly scrape the length of the rod towards your dry fluffy tinder bundle and let nature do the rest. My reason for this being my “go-to” item is pretty simple; it has no moving parts, it is waterproof, and it works every time without fail. Each Army model of this FireSteel lasts for approximately 12,000 strikes. That doesn’t mean that it will necessarily provide 12,000 fires, but just that you’ll have 12,000 individual strikes to use over the lifetime of the FireSteel. I sometimes will get a fire going with a single spark, but it generally will take me 2 – 3 strikes to really get my fire started. Once you become proficient with it, I’d say that that’s a pretty general amount of strikes a person will use each time… however, your personal mileage may vary.

Since I’ve been using the Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel for years, I’d like to go over the possible Pros & Cons for this crucial piece of my fire kit.

Pros

  • No moving parts
    - There really is not anything to break on this item. That doesn’t mean that the ferro rod that’s glued into the handle won’t break; only that I’ve never had one break on me in the over 10 years of using them.
  • Produces a 5,500 °F shower of sparks
    - Unless you’re trying to light a fire underwater, you are almost guaranteed to get a flame going in your tinder bundle with the amount of white hot sparks FireSteel’s throw off!
  • Usable up to 12,000 strikes
    - Opposed to other fire starting methods such as lighters, matches, liquid/gel fuel, and solid fuel; the FireSteels combustible source will not be quickly spent. It’s a great long-term option.
  • Included Scraper with Built-In Survival Whistle
    - With the included scraper tool, there is no need to carry around a knife or other sharp edged tool to use the FireSteel.
    - The scraper also includes a built-in survival whistle. I’ve used the whistle on several occasions to scare off black bears, wild boars, and other wildlife.
  • It’s Waterproof
    - With the exception of saltwater (see below), the Swedish FireSteel is waterproof and can be fully submerged and continue to work. Like any other tool or piece of survival kit, I wouldn’t recommend putting it away wet. Always dry it off before storing it with your other gear. Even a little light lubricant of some kind should help the longevity of it.

 Cons

  • Ferrocerium is Susceptible to Corrosion
    - The most unfortunate thing about ferro metal is that it is susceptible to corrosion. Specifically, the kryptonite of ferrocerium is sodium chloride… or common salt. Because of this, you MUST be cautious about what you allow it to be exposed to, such as sweat and salt water.
  • You need tinder
    - You’ll only ever get sparks from your FireSteel, never a flame. You must be able to secure or provide tinder to get a flame going. While this isn’t necessarily a negative, it’s something that you need to be mindful of if you’ve never used one before.
  • The Scraper is Removable
    - The included scraper is attached by the lanyard, which is great. But it is possible to detach the scraper from the FireSteel, which could in turn become lost. Of course, you could easily remedy this by attaching both to a tied piece of paracord.

Without fail, this is the one item that I make sure I have on my person at almost all times. I have duplicate FireSteels in several knife sheaths, my fire kit, my Pocket Survival Kit, Hiking Packs, etc. Of course I usually always have several other means of starting a fire; but if my FireSteel isn’t my backup, it’s my primary method. Whenever I travel, I make sure I have one with me. Whether it’s while out camping or in a possible survival situation, the one thing you do not want to be without is fire. The one item I will always personally reach for is my Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0!

For more information on the Swedish FireSteel and other great Light My Fire products, you can visit their website or Amazon page:  http://lightmyfire.com & http://www.amazon.com/lightmyfire

They can also be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LightMyFireSweden

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Please Note:  I am in no way affiliated with the company Light My Fire, nor have I been paid or given any product to review. I have purchased all of my Light My Fire products out of my own pocket and I chose to write this review based on my many years of experience and appreciation for the quality of their products.
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Brandon  
Social Media Marketing Manager, The Camping Trail