Fire Pistons

12:03 a.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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How many of you have used the Fire Pistons that compress air to start a fire?  I have seen these things and they look cool, but was curious as to what you all think. 

3:42 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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I don't own or use them currently, but I am really interested in them and would like to get or make one sometime.

6:15 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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Website says they cost between $49-95 and $80. I can buy a lot of Bic lighters or 10 thousand wooden matches for $80.

7:28 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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I actually did a little (not much yet) looking into these things....they actually look pretty ingenious.  Not to mention, if you decide to make your own, looks like you could save a good portion of the money Gary saw them for!  I like things that have a very cool "sciencey" approach to doing everyday stuff!

8:08 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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Yes and the turkey calls the company makes are easy to make at home too. I am not a techno but I assume someone could make a copy and make one themselves? And one can learn to make a bowdrill and start a fire like people have for millions of years. Or use flint and steel. Or a small magnify lens if the sun is bright. Also a D battery and a piece of fine stell wool works.

8:45 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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LOL...yeah making one is best as the cost is hard to justify.  I have never seen one used (except You Tube) and it seems that the flint is the best.  Yet...the cool factor is way up there.

8:50 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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Matches, wooden can be waterproofed by dipping the head in a little melted wax. I also keep mine in a old orange medicine bottle and there are wahts called a match safe which is waterproof.

In Boy Scouts they say make a fire with two sticks rubbed together, just make sure one is a match. LOL

Check out this website:

8:58 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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I made one and it worked really good with char cloth. I broke it because I didn't make it robust enough. I am going to turn another one on my lathe.

Bow drills and hand drills are 100% harder to use and if your not near a forest good luck getting hard wood to make a hand fire.



10:02 p.m. on December 8, 2010 (EST)
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I have and often use my fire piston. I rountinely only take a fire steel and a fire piston. Once you get the hang of them they are just as easy to use as a bic. I really like the fire piston for my woodgas stove because the ember doesn't blow out like a bic and i can just dump it into the tinder bundle in the stove and presto fire.

Bic's are easy and cheap though!

My fire piston is an old one passed down to me from my Grandfather. You can find cheap ones online for like 25-20$ and they will last you forever. I recommend to get the ones that use a string seal vice an o-ring. You can take almost any piece of natural material and put it in a piston and make an ember out of it with a compression or two. You can even ignite completely soaked punk wood with 2-3 compressions.

10:11 p.m. on January 7, 2011 (EST)
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The "piston" starter is centuries old. I have seen them in a museum, don't recall if it was in France or Germany, but it is old technology.

Diesel engines are based on this principle.

Edit- I just visited the link, and the examples that I saw were about 8-10" long, not those handy looking little guys on the site. I will stick to my Bic with flint/mag backup!

1:24 a.m. on January 24, 2011 (EST)
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Fire pistons are a lot of fun to play with, but I wouldn't want to have to depend on one for every day use. Firesteel/magnesium type strikers are a better choice, at least in MHO(but the again, everybody has one). 

12:44 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes, it's a very important thing to have in your pocket when your matches got soggy and you have to make a campfire. I will buy this thing for sure.

May 24, 2018
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