salvaged firesteel

BlastMatch, one-handed fire starter

BlastMatch

Several years ago I was given a BlastMatch firestarter to review. It’s a good idea and is designed for one-handed operation. That’s a real plus if you are injured, but the actual operation ran counter to my technique for using these things. Additionally, I had trouble getting it to open reliably one-handed. Since then it’s been gathering grime in the bottom of the camping box.

The BlastMatch requires you to place the steel against your tinder pile, depress the tab containing the striker bar and press the handle downward toward the tinder. This is easy to do, but I’ve found that if you don’t have a stable surface below the tinder it can get knocked over. This requires you to gather your tinder and start over.

The technique I use with standard firesteels is to place the tip against the tinder and pull the steel backwards while holding the striker bar stationary. This results in a good shower of sparks even if your tinder is on a leaf or piece of bark.

That being said, I pulled the old BlastMatch apart to salvage the steel. I found that it was mounted in a heavy plastic ferrule with a nub on the end. I drilled out a piece of Axis antler, applied some 5000 lb epoxy and pressed  the two together. After a little shaping on the belt sander, here is the finished product.

The finished product is quite hefty. I included a picture of my small Buck neck knife and a coin to give you and idea of the scale.

 

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