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What Ferro Rod based Fire-Starting System do you have?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by Marion David Poff, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Marion David Poff

    Marion David Poff

    Oct 8, 1998

    I wonder.... who is using what?

    Do you use the mil surp type magnesium bar with the ferro insert?

    Do you use the Light My Fire brand FireSteels? If so, which one?

    Do you just have a Ferro Rod, or a Misch Metal Rod?

    Who uses the RAT Cutlery deal?

    Myself, I have the LMF FireSteels, which I pair with a carbide sharpener as a scraper or one of the Super Scrapers....


    I can get a fire with a normal scraper, even the feckless LMF ones. The first one I had, had a hacksaw blade cut down. Those are nice. I still have mine floating around. Now, I think it is well worth your time to buy a separate scraper. I get lots of sparks off these.

  2. IUKE12


    Nov 25, 2005
    I no longer use my LMF steels, much prefer the misch metal. Going Gear and firesteel dot com steels are my go to fire starters. In combination with the super strikers or spine of my knife. I do have a few mag bar types stowed away in less used kits.
  3. Marion David Poff

    Marion David Poff

    Oct 8, 1998
    So, the rods at firesteel.com are misch metal?

  4. PhotonSD


    Mar 17, 2009
    I have both the Doans Machinery Magnesium Bar with Ferro Rod attached and the Going Gear Misch Metal Rods that I mounted into Rock Maple and Mahogany with brass tube eyelets. Making these firesteel was 3/4's of the fun. For fire kits I have the usual Petroleum Jellied Cotton Balls and Jute twine. But thanks to a recent Garage Sale find I have Fresnel magnifiers as a back up as well as Military Storm proof matches and a lighter. Oh and no they don't all fit into an Altoids tin, going to try a Sucrets tin this week. Oh, almost forgot, I made my own strikers out of hack saw blades and attached them with string. They work well with both types of rods. Good Luck
  5. Dnalsi


    Feb 25, 2009
    I've used several of the firesteel.com rods.

    Based on the wiki definition of Mischmetal

    and then reading the firesteel.com "What is FireSteel?"

    I'd say yes they are Mischmetal.

    I buy the blank rods and add my own handles of antler or rifle brass.

    L - R in the photo.
    2 FireSteel Armageddon rods (3/8 x 4) with antler
    3 Survival rods (5/16 x 4) two have 30-06 brass, one blank
    4 Ranger rods (1/4 x 3) three have .243 brass, one antler
    4 Pup rods (3/16 x 2.5) three antler, one blank

    I scratch the end of the rod with a file and then the rods are JB welded into the handles.
    The scratches provide more "grip" for the JB weld.

    I like the design of the FireSteel scrapers.
  6. bladz


    Feb 12, 2008
    I prefer the LMF models. I have some of the smaller ones from Going Gear, but the misch metal ones tend to scrape off and not produce spark for me unless I scrape like hell very fast. With the LMF scout(my favorite size) I can scrape slowely and direct the spark exactly where I want it without knocking the tinder around. In fairness to the misch metal, if I scrape hard and fast, I get what looks like glowing molten lava. However, I can't direct it where I want very easily. I carry a 3/16" one, scrape it slow and use it like magnesium.
  7. WolfTracker


    Mar 8, 2007
    I still have quite a few of the firesteel.com pieces with some nice handles that Stomper made for me. They have been excellent performers for me. Fire starting, lighting the barbeque, stove lighting(although I no longer do that due to metal burns on the stove). They work like a champ. However, as of late, I've been leaning towards the nanoSTRIKER (yes, I'm biased :) ) due to the size, form factor and ability to create such a hot spark.
  8. RobbW

    RobbW Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    I've never used Going Gear, just LMF, but from your description it sounds like you could improve things by pulling back on the firesteel, rather than pushing forward with the scraper. It won't mess with your tinder as much this way.
  9. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    I have a 4 X 1/2 inch misch metal one but don't use it because it's too heavy/big. Right now I'm playing around with flint and steel but have an LMF steel on my key chain. It's the mini one but I do have the scout that I use from time to time if I know I'm going to be using firesteels a lot. Just to save the mini for emergencies.
  10. bladz


    Feb 12, 2008
    Definitely. Still can't seem to get enough speed, consistently, with the desired accuracy. I'm not completely unable to get it to work, I just am much more comfortable with the LMF and a slow, consistent, accurate spark.
  11. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Currently I have a couple of LMF firesteels, a Strike Force, A Going Gear Badger, a small F.S. dot com, and lately I've been edc-ing a nanostriker by EXOTAC
  12. PropThePolecat


    Jan 31, 2009
    Ive got 2 LMF firesteels, the small and big ones. And ive also got one from Primus thats about the same size as big LMF one.
  13. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    The LMF can produce hot sparks with more pressure, less speed in the strike, and less distance on the stroke. I can consistently ignite most tinders only using about 1/4 to 3/8 inch of length of my LMF. However I have been able to ignite damp cedar bark with the big globs from the Going Gear firesteel and have yet to be able to do that with the LMF. Now I need to try the nanostriker on the damp cedar bark as it has a mischmetal ferro rod too.
  14. bladz


    Feb 12, 2008
    There is definitely a place in the kit for both. I will keep my LMF Scout on my sheath and/or attached to the lanyard on my Vic Farmer and will continue to practice with the misch metal and keep one in my kit.
  15. KuRUpTD


    Aug 5, 2008
    Goinggear mischmetal rod, Doans magnesium bar and LMF Scout.

  16. somberbear


    Jul 14, 2009
  17. Snakedoc

    Snakedoc Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    At first I was using a LMF that worked fine at home, I had bad luck with it in the field. Rescue Mike gave me a large ferro rod that took the place of the LMF. With the large rod and some great instruction from Rescue Mike I became very successful lighting fires while out and about. I won a misch metal rod from Sharp Eye that I have fell in love with!! Over the summer at a family camp out I taught my Nephew a few things about fatwood, PJCB, and the ferro rod.


    I have recently added a blastmatch to my kit. It works alright.... But not exactly what I had in mind. I do like it for being able to cup my left hand around the tinder pile and striking with my right hand. Like I said it works alright but it is not as sturdy as I thought it was going to be.
  18. smersh

    smersh Banned BANNED

    May 9, 2009
    Mischmetal here. The awl on a SAK Farmer is a great striker (when used left-handed -- you get a better bite that way).
  19. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    I have a Doans block, an LMF steel and some GoingGear fire steels. All of them work good for me. Keep the Doans block and a small GoingGear steel in my backpack, the LMF is in my desk right now and some of the other GoingGear fire steels are stashed in various small packs.

    Practice using them in the same conditions you would when you have to use them and you will do fine with any of them. :) Normally I pile some tinder like Fatwood shavings, grass or stalky brush then put a Vasaline soaked cotton ball on top. The cotton ball will ignite from almost any sparks :thumbup:

  20. ZombaiO


    Sep 30, 2007
    I have a LMF Scout and a no-name firesteel :)
    They work great with a firesteel scraper or with the spine of a knife :)

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