Fire-starter Hack




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Roger-X had a fire-starter with a pathetic striker.

These are the improvements...

Step 1: Blade

The original striker that came with it was pathetic and blunt.

We replaced it with a blade given by a friend.  I don't know what tool it came from, but his employers make expensive wooden furniture, and find it cheaper to replace slightly-blunt blades than to sharpen them.

Happily, the blade already had two holes drilled in it, presumably for attaching to the tool.

Step 2: Safety

Unfortunately, the blade is, well, a blade.  Being sharp all the way along, every strike drew blood.

Not a useful feature, but easily solved by adding a whole 5g sachet of Sugru as a safe grip.

That's it.

The whole job took less than five minutes, but the fire-starter is now easily ten times more effective than it was.

Finalist in the
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    26 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I've found that using the back of your knife blade makes a good striker, and one that is interested enough in preparedness to have a firesteel should have a knife on them anyway.

    But, this is workable for a redundant unit. Just make a little cardboard sheath for the striker.


    5 years ago

    To protect yourself while carrying it in your pocket take a small piece of corrugated cardboard and slide the blade in between the outer sheets into the corrugation. It has worked for me in the past.

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Stanley makes a small light duty hand plane that uses a blade just like that. Home Depot sells them in a 5-pack for about $2 or $3.
    To protect your pockets and fingers, cover the sharp edge with a small piece of duct tape.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Regarding the comments about the blade I am fairly certain it is a scraper blade from a paint scraper like this one:

    They have tungsten carbide edges to hold up for prolonged use and the blade is interchangeable as it is quite tricky to sharpen. (it is too hard for normal sharpening tools, most probably needs a diamond sharpener to get any result).

    As they are becoming dull you just get a replacement blade and keep working.

    Great tip to give it a second life on a fire starter though. It is probably going to work for a loong time before needing replacement.



    7 years ago on Step 2

    can anybody loan me a fire starter ?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I had the same issue. Then i just sharpened the blunt striker that was attached with a rotary tool. Much better. Proved quite useful on a School survival class trip.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    Good idea, the generic strikers are generally poor .However I always have at least two pocket knives on me plus one in each vehicle.Piece of hacksaw blade works well too & they have a whole at each end..


    8 years ago on Step 2

    Thanks Kiteman I like the idea as I have one of those fire starters and the striker that comes with it is crap. I will have to give this one a try. I think the blade is from an electric plane.

    I hope you did not loose to many fingers while testing your idea.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Tell that company to sell them on ebay in large bunches they get money are are very easy to sharpen.

    I got one of these blades from Ric (I'm guessing that's where you got yours from), It is the best thing for fire strikers.
    I will be adding sugru to mine asap.

    3 replies

    Sorry for the delay, I didn't know you'd replied.
    If you have a spare blob, that would be great. I can't see me using a pack full of the stuff.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    (Oh, and whatever the tool is, it is apparently powered, rather than hand. Maybe one of those bench things that shaves rough timber down to a smooth, precise size? A plane on steroids?)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Cheap, easy, and useful--a rare combination! I'll be updating my strikers soon. Thanks for the great idea!

    Not to sound like a know-it-all, but maybe I can help solve a mystery. I think the tool you're thinking of is a jointer/planer. The small size of this blade and the furniture-making background leads me to think that this might be a blade for a shoulder planer, which makes tenons on the ends of boards. Tenons are little tongue-shaped doodads at the ends of boards that fit into slots on an adjacent board for a strong, good-looking joint. Think flat rungs on a wooden ladder fitting into the rails of the ladder.