I really liked the Flint Striker from Coghlan’s I reviewed in September. It works really well but sometimes you need a little more. The Magnesium Firestarter from Coghlan’s not only gets the spark you need, but also provides you some tinder that burns a little hotter than dryer lint.
To use the Magnesium Firestarter, you just shave a pile of magnesium from the block onto your tinder. Then you take your pocket knife and scrape the back along the striker side to create your spark. Then the magnesium then ignites and also should catch your tinder on fire. Check this video onwhich is what I used when I was trying to tweak my starting technique.
Why magnesium? Magnesium burns at about 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have something that burns this hot near your tinder, it will catch on fire faster. Without the magnesium, you can start a fire, but with it you can start it faster.
Some outdoorsmen swear by these. The best part about this Magnesium Firestarter and the Flint Striker is that they can still be used if they get wet. Matches generally can’t unless you have water proof matches.
How did Coghlan’s version of a magnesium fire starter work? I found that the magnesium was a bit hard to scrape and my knife had an issue creating the spark with the flint. What I did do was use the scraper that came with the flint striker. Then I was able to consistently create a spark. I tested this with dryer lint like I did for the Flint Striker and I was able to get it to catch on fire.
Coghlan’s was nice enough to send me a sample that I can keep and now it’s a part of my camping gear I take on every scout and family camping trip.
The Coghlan’s Magnesium Fire Starter is only $6.29 at
What I liked: Great for starting a campfire in a pinch. Great for starting a fire when your NOT in a pinch too.
What needs improvement: The flint seemed to be really hard to get a spark with the back of the knife. I am not sure what caused this on the Coghlan’s I have used other similar fire starters and they worked just fine with the back of a knife.