A great lightweight and dependable fire starting tool…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $17
A great lightweight and dependable fire starting tool that takes up hardly any space and works in any weather. The flint is readily replaceable, making this a good long term investment.
- Works in wet weather
- Very lightweight (10g)
- Awkward key/zipper clip
From Vargo Outdoors:
A trusty Titanium tool which gives a dependable spark even in the worst conditions. This spark lighter even works after being doused with water, this is a great choice if you want a reliable way of lighting a stove whilst still being super lightweight. A built-in clip lets you easily store this little gem while you're out on the trail.
With the function to replace the flint this tough piece of kit will last a lifetime.
- Weight: 10g
- Length: 63mm
There isn't too much to say about this little item, but I think it is neat enough that it is worth mentioning in a review and bring it some extra attention.
First off, it is basically the flint from a lighter, but attached to a very lightweight piece of titanium as opposed to a fuel compartment. This makes it very small (63 mm long, with a narrow and tapering width). It is seen pictured next to a penny below.
The size is ideal for either having as a main spark source for starting a fire, or as a handy back-up stowed away in your pack. I personally use this as my main source, and keep a few weatherproof matches as a backup. So far no backups were needed.
I have seen the weight listed at 8g on the Vargo website, and 10g on other retailer sites. My kitchen scale reads 10g, although I am wondering if 8g is the weight if you remove the key/zipper clip. Either way, it is very light!
As can be seen in the photo below, there is a removable side panel which gives you access to the flint. It can be easily removed and replaced with most standard lighter flints. Vargo claims you can get 1000s of sparks with one flint, so ultimately that is pretty good given the cost and convenience, and fairly reasonable given the ease of replacing the flint.
My only complaint is with the key/zipper clip. It is too small to easily fit on thicker zippers or key chain rings. If the gap where it clips in were about 2mm bigger, it would be great.
One of my initial concerns about using this item as opposed to a ferro-rod is that it doesn't throw sparks as far, which means you have to set the spark closer to the flame, and if you have hairy hands like myself, you get a lovely odour of burnt hair once the flame flares up on certain stoves! I was pleased that it actually makes a big enough spark that you can start the flame from enough of a distance to not worry about that.
Here is a quick video of the flint lighter starting up an MSR Reactor.
Additionally, Vargo note that you can use this even when wet so it is a great tool for use in wet weather, or for having to start fires if cold and wet in an emergency situation.
I have used this for the past year, often in cold humid weather. It always works with no problems. The durability is great. There is not much that can go wrong. It is small, lightweight, and quite practical. Highly recommended as either your main or backup fire starter. Because the flint wheel is replaceable with most standard lighter flints, it can essentially last you a lifetime. I give it 4 stars, with one being lost for the fact that the key/zipper clip is a bit awkward to use and could have been designed a little better.