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Coghlan’s Fire Starter

After posting about my Firesteel.com fire starter, a couple of you asked about these Coghlan’s fire starters that can be found at just about any sporting goods store. I came across mine this morning, and figured I’d show you guys how it works.

The idea with this firestarter is very similar to other firesteels, except this one keeps everything in one unit. Basically it’s just a firesteel glued into a piece of magnesium. This allows you to scrape magnesium off of one side of the block, flip it over, and scrape a spark off of the other side to ignite the magnesium.

I’ve owned several of these over the years, just to throw into my pack when camping or backpacking, or to keep in an emergency kit or whatever. However, I don’t recall ever using one to start a fire, until this morning.

Same procedure as other firesteels, scrape the magnesium into a little pile. If you were in the woods, a piece of split wood, or tree bark would work well for holding the shavings. This fire starter does not come with a scraper, so having something to scrape with is a must. Lots of people use the spine of their knife, and that’s fine, but I prefer a dedicated scraper. Today I used my firesteel.com scraper, and it worked great, as usual.

I made a pile of shavings, and then made a few quick sparks on the firesteel. Once I figured out where the sparks were landing, I directed a spark onto the magnesium, and I had fire! If I were somewhere other than my garage, I would have set some tinder next to the magnesium (vaseline soaked cotton ball is my favorite) and I’m certain that it would catch fire and burn.

I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to get a picture of the magnesium burning, as it burns out pretty quickly, but you can see here that it does burn, and burns well!

These little Coghlan’s fire starters are great, as I said, I’ve owned several over the years, and there really isn’t anything to complain about. They work, and they are inexpensive, what’s not to love?


About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.

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