Ferro Rod, Flint, and Stainless Steel

Sep 27, 2014
Being a newb around steel, I am a bit hazy on the concept of being able to use stainless steel to spark Ferro or Flint. Can you spark ferro with any metal? Is there some stainless that will spark flint? How do you know which?

A ferro rod just needs a sharp edge, any kind of sharp edge. But you'll need a carbon steel for flint.
If I recall correctly, there is an important difference to note:
The spark is caused by either the ferro rod chipping off and igniting, or from a part of the steel chipping off and igniting.

Flint itself is only special in that it is hard and sharp, and therefore able to chip off bits of steel. In that light, I would phrase my response as:

1) Unsure if any Stainless can spark easily
2) Anything hard/sharp can spark ferro
3) Flint can be used to spark high carbon steels (examples include 1095, W1, W2)
Just FYI, some stainless steel have more carbon that 1095. Just a few examples would be S35vn with 1.4% and D2 at 1.55%.

1095 has 0.95% carbon
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It isn't the carbon that makes the hot spark. It is burning iron in the oxygen in the air. Stainless steel has significantly less iron in it. The carbon will help the iron burn, but any amount of carbon in a knife steel will do the job. A few tenths of a percent won't change it much.