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Old 10-02-2012, 11:25   #1
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Join Date: Feb 1999
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HF Magnesium bar w/striker

Looking around the net, I've seen a few people having issues with Harbor Freight & Tools magnesium bars w/striker. Too me, a magnesium bar w/striker is one of the most useful, and possibly inexpensive fire-making tools one can have. Whereas Walmart and sporting goods store have these for around $8, HF has them for $2.49 and often on sale for $1.99. Question is...does it work?

Well, I have a half dozen of them. I have them in the BOB, the GHB's, my EDC, in the saddle of my mountain bike etc. So I figured I try it out personally and see.

It worked fine.

It rained heavily this morning but I was still able to find some tinder dry enough to catch the flame. You need to scrape the black paint of the flint bar, but then it throws spark just fine. I scraped less than the recommended 'quarter size' pile, and scraped a bit on the tinder bundle itself. I fired right up without any issue. It was no different than the bar I bought from Walmart for 4X the price.

Maybe I'll make a quick YT video this weekend, but there are already some HF YT vids that demonstrate the same thing. Bottom line, it is a useful, and inexpensive survival tool.

I like useful and inexpensive
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Old 10-02-2012, 20:54   #2
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if you wanna start a fire with that kind of stuff... spend the same money and use misch metal. It simply better and its less work.

I have been camping all over the globe since the early 80's and have yet to ever need anything other than a couple of matches. If I had to use one I would choose misch and I do carry one just as a backup.
"I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive." - Ronald Reagan
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:09   #3
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I also have & use misch metal/firesteel/metal match/flint. But I like/prefer the mag bar when the tinder may be damp. I just don't like to rely on matches, but rather, I like to be very redundant when it comes to making fire. I'll normally carry several different ways i.e. a lighter, matches (wind/water proof), firesteel and a mag bar. None of these take up a lot of space or weight much in a pack.
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