Your attention please: Now with new improved pictures…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $4.19
Your attention please: Now with new improved pictures of FIRE!
Finding a flint and steel fire-starter is no challenge. What if I told you this is a flint and steel fire starter that sits in a magnesium block, and that the magnesium ACTUALLY WORKS!!
Not enough? I also include pictures of fire in my review. Now that's a Friday review for ya! Read on!
- The magnesium "shaves" from the block rather than chipping off the block
- The magnesium burns "white" hot as expected
- There are lighter weight fire starters
I had this type of magnesium-block fire starter before, so I had a certain expectation of how well the magnesium should shave off the block and how well it should play its part in fire starting. Like many others here, I've also had a bit of science in my education and I've "played" with magnesium in the lab before (many years ago). In other words, I have a pretty decent idea how it is supposed to behave in pure form.
I always thought the reason my old magnesium-block starters didn't do an amazing job was because there must have been a metal mix required to keep the magnesium stable in the open air. I had no idea how bad (useless) my other magnesium-block starters were until I got this one.
Here is the magnesium block with the rest of my fire kit. Note how it looks like every other magnesium fire starter block you've ever seen. So how do we tell one from the others? I can't. However I can tell you that this is the SE Magnesium Fire Starter you find at Amazon (ASIN: B00J7YE9KC).
Check out how the magnesium nicely shaves off the block:
One strike on the flint and here's the initial "sparky" ignition (not actual sparks - it's the white flash of the magnesium we're seeing here. No sparks were hurt during the making of this fantastical review... well, I may have hurt the feelings of a spark or two but that's it):
...now at full burn... does this review feel festive yet?
...and final flame out. All good things must come to an end.
Whoever manufactures these understands what the product is supposed to be doing. They understand that the magnesium should create a white-hot flame that would melt other metals like Aluminum. They understand that a basic metal edge (back of a pocket knife?) should be able to create shavings from this magnesium block and that with minimal effort this should create a small but useful pile of magnesium to put in the middle of your tinder.
I don't know why I've come across so many magnesium block fire starters that don't work right, but this one hits the nail on the head.
What I'm saying is: this manufacturer understands their product's purpose and chemistry (metallurgy?); and this fire starter ROCKS!
P.S. - I threw away my old magnesium-block fire starters (all of them) and I am ordering 5 more of these for me and my sons.