Today one of my granddaughters and I were experimenting with different types of fire starting devices. It ended with us making a video of Randy lighting Vaseline soaked cotton balls in a short video which we posted on you tube. Now Randy is interested in prepping and has been studying it for some time.
What we are doing with her is having her do everything herself, so that she really learns how to survive. So we spent this afternoon on fire starting. One thing she has learned is how that there is a learning curve on almost everything. None of us are born Daniel Boones.
Today we used four different fire starters, a cheap magnesium one from Harbor Freight which costs $2.99, The Sparky from Amazon which sells for around $15.00, a large good quality fire steel which sells for about $15.00 and the Lightning Strike from Holland Shooters Supply which cost about $50.
In the following video, you can see how they each function in the hands of someone with a minimum of training.
As you can see, they all do the job. Some are a little easier to use than others. To me the magnesium fire starter from Harbor Freight can be a bit hard to use. The magnesium scrapes of easily enough, but the striker is pretty poor. If I were to carry this, I would carry a backup striker.
The Sparky works well and it has the advantage that it can be used one handed. The large fire steel works well and will do the job. Now we come to the last the Lightning Strike from Holland Shooters Supply. Like Randy says this is the Cadillac of fire starters which is a bit pricey. It is not cheap but it puts out a large volume of sparks when used correctly. When the strike wears out you can purchase spare and reuse the unit. I like the fact that it lets you carry tinder in its base. I have a Lightning Strike in my own kit.
All of these fire starters work and could save your life in an emergency. From what I have observed when there is a failure, it is normal the fault of the operator not the device. You need to practice.