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Tool Talk => Swiss Army Knights Forum => Topic started by: craggus2000 on February 10, 2019, 12:24:22 PM

Title: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: craggus2000 on February 10, 2019, 12:24:22 PM
Hi all,

Just looking at these :  http://kck.st/2xDkczL (http://kck.st/2xDkczL)

For anyone who has one, can you comment on their quality /reliability?

This may sound like a daft question, but it's there any danger of them sparking if you pull them from the sak too quickly??!  :rofl:

Also do you know if they are available to buy from anywhere in the UK?

Thanks in anticipation  :)
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: this_is_nascar on February 10, 2019, 01:39:46 PM
I have one that's installed into my EDC Executive.  No chance of sparking while removing or inserting.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190210/9a51745c5344c47ec75a5eda4cb0ef02.jpg)

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 10, 2019, 02:52:13 PM
I have some in a couple of SAK's.

They fit well and I don't see any risk of falling out.

They do spark well, too. But they are small! (About the size of a toothpick....duh... :doh:) So they throw a small amount of sparks. I tested one out and started a couple of fires using vaseline cotton balls or waxed jute for tinder. Worked great.....

....until I snapped it in half.   :oops:

They are small and fairly fragile. It's important to strike them (gently) along the thin edge, not the flat edge. Or one could break them....   :facepalm:

Still, even with the one that was snapped in half, I could still throw a few sparks and light off some jute fibers.  :tu:

The Firefly ferro 'toothpicks' seem like a real tool to me, not just a gimmick. I wouldn't plan on using one as my primary fire starting tool, but as an emergency backup, when I might not otherwise have matches or a fire-steel with me. They seem like a good resource.

The caveat to all that is that you had better have some really good ferro-rod skills to use them. If all you have is that Firefly, you'd better be able to get some fine, fine tinder together that is dry and ready to take a small spark. I tested mine with cotton and jute, knowing that would give me the tinder that would work. But, odds are that if I don't have a proper ferro-rod or matches with me, I probably won't have prepared tinder either. So, I'll need to be very creative in getting good tinder pulled together in order to use that small shower of sparks. This might be a good argument to keep a couple of flattened vaseline cotton balls in your wallet as emergency tinder.

Don't know about UK availability.....  :dunno:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Rapidray on February 10, 2019, 03:13:01 PM
 :iagree: and especially striking on the edge, not the large flat surface.
Great review!  :cheers: :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: McStitchy on February 10, 2019, 04:06:55 PM
Ok, well.... I think I could use some of these.
Especially after reading Nix's review  :like:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Aloha on February 10, 2019, 04:17:41 PM
An additional option for your SAK if you use a lanyard are toggles.

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0732/7615/products/Ferro_Rods_Fire_Steel_Toggle2_by_Stockstill_Outdoor_Supply_580x.JPG?v=1542561831)
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 10, 2019, 04:22:29 PM
 :like:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Aloha on February 10, 2019, 04:33:56 PM
That pic was borrowed from the interwebs.  I've seen them also placed onto folks outdoors shoes, onto the laces.  Lots of versatility with the toggles.
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 10, 2019, 04:38:55 PM
I've never tried them, but they seem like a great idea.

I imagine they could be made fairly easily, too.
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Rapidray on February 10, 2019, 05:26:04 PM
An additional option for your SAK if you use a lanyard are toggles.

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0732/7615/products/Ferro_Rods_Fire_Steel_Toggle2_by_Stockstill_Outdoor_Supply_580x.JPG?v=1542561831)
That is interesting  :like: :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: smiller43147 on February 10, 2019, 06:14:51 PM
Not following this thread.  How are toggles related to toothpick fire starters? ???
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 10, 2019, 06:47:40 PM
My earlier response to Craggus' inquiry got me thinking.....

I decided to make a wallet-sized fire starter for that most unlikely situation where an emergency fire might be required.

I started with one (1) cotton ball and worked a bunch of vaseline into the cotton. I then stretched it out and flattened it. The squashed cotton 'ball' got placed in a thin envelope made from a plastic bag.

(https://i.imgur.com/gcmvBuh.jpg)


The envelope got sealed in one layer of duct tape. This small packet of fire-starter now fits easily into one side of my wallet. It adds a bit of bulk, but not an enormous amount.

(https://i.imgur.com/xG1Ubkm.jpg)


I'm quite pleased wit this so far. We'll see if after a bit of wear and carry if the vaseline works it's way out of the plastic and duct tape. Slippery stuff. But, for now, I think it will work.   :tu:

Thanks for the prompting, Craggus!
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 10, 2019, 06:52:42 PM
But wait.....

Does the wallet fire-starter work?

Only one way to find out......

(https://i.imgur.com/MEtqbdc.jpg)


I took half of the cotton out and fluffed it up as well as I could. The vaseline makes it stick together. Not ideal.  I dropped that in the snow and got out a Firefly.....

Two strikes later and I had fire!   :tu:


(https://i.imgur.com/WACLEfX.jpg)



Don't worry, the snow didn't catch on fire.  But the cotton did not go out. It kept burning and burning...and burning....

I didn't time it (sorry), but I'd estimate it burnt for about one (1) minute. Maybe a bit longer.  It burned itself right into the snow.......

(https://i.imgur.com/UrVlZsi.jpg)



I think this is a good result. I'll try testing another after I've carried it around for a while. 
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: CallsignBadger on February 10, 2019, 07:09:57 PM
Great idea  :like:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 10, 2019, 07:26:36 PM
 :cheers:

I blame Craggus.   :D
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: CallsignBadger on February 10, 2019, 07:31:20 PM
Not following this thread.  How are toggles related to toothpick fire starters? ???

Those toggles also throw sparks just like the firefly rods. They're a good alternative if you want something a little more substantial  :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Syncop8r on February 10, 2019, 07:50:53 PM
They are small and fairly fragile. It's important to strike them (gently) along the thin edge, not the flat edge. Or one could break them....   :facepalm:

Perhaps if there was a way they could be supported whilst being struck they would be less likely to break.  :think:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 10, 2019, 07:58:44 PM
I think you are right. You could lay the Firefly on a flat object to support it. I haven't tried that.

When striking with one now, as above, I support it with my finger and just strike gently, focusing on pushing down, along the long axis of the 'rod', and not trying to carve huge globs of burning metal from the little guy.   :whistle:

I'm certainly no expert with these, and there may be a few people out there with more experience and better ideas.  :tu:

Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Syncop8r on February 10, 2019, 08:10:31 PM
You could lay the Firefly on a flat object to support it.
Perhaps in a groove on a custom scale...
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: CallsignBadger on February 10, 2019, 08:12:47 PM
 :pok:  :D
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Top-Gear-24 on February 10, 2019, 08:40:08 PM
I like the idea of having a firestarter on my SAK all the time, but I just checked their website, and 3 of them along with shipping costs and customs fee and import tax would cost me around 50 Euro, if I buy 8 of them they would cost me around 75 Euro, and that's just too much in my opinion.  I admit it's the customs fee (15 Euro) and the import tax, which is 21% on the total (so the price of the goods + shipping + customs fee) that pushes them over the edge.

But all this makes them just too expensive in my opinion, 16,6 euro a piece if I buy 3, and 9,4 Euro a piece if I buy 8. Knowing I can get a full size "Light My Fire" scout firesteel for 12,95 Euro, and the bigger Army version for 18,95 Euro  ...  :-\

I hope one of the outdoor stores or webshops here will notice them and start selling them here (which would make them just as expensive probably  ::)).
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Mechanickal on February 10, 2019, 09:38:55 PM
:imws:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Aloha on February 11, 2019, 06:20:40 AM
Not following this thread.  How are toggles related to toothpick fire starters? ???

Just an idea for an additional option  :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: McStitchy on February 11, 2019, 07:22:32 AM
:imws:

 :imws:  :-\
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Mechanickal on February 11, 2019, 07:35:03 AM
:imws:

 :imws:  :-\
:iagree:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Top-Gear-24 on February 11, 2019, 02:38:54 PM
Maybe Mechy and I should contact them and suggest to become their European distributor ... :think:

What do you think Nick ? 

Ready to quit your day job and become CEO ?  :pok:

 ;)

Edit: We should also contact Victorinox to become their Belgian distributor, while we're at it  :whistle:.

Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Rapidray on February 11, 2019, 03:10:41 PM
I’ll be your first customer!  :cheers:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: kamakiri on February 11, 2019, 05:53:34 PM
Spendy...but all this talk and Nix's demonstration helped me pull the trigger.
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Mechanickal on February 11, 2019, 08:36:39 PM
Maybe Mechy and I should contact them and suggest to become their European distributor ... :think:

What do you think Nick ? 

Ready to quit your day job and become CEO ?  :pok:

 ;)

Edit: We should also contact Victorinox to become their Belgian distributor, while we're at it  :whistle:.
I'd probably keep more to myself than selling...
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: kamakiri on February 11, 2019, 08:42:53 PM
Got mine here and they take paypal. Also listed on Amazon.
https://tortoisegear.com/product/firefly-variety-8-pack/

(https://tortoisegear.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Variety8pkMIX.jpg)



Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: McStitchy on February 11, 2019, 09:04:33 PM
Got mine here and they take paypal. Also listed on Amazon.
https://tortoisegear.com/product/firefly-variety-8-pack/

(https://tortoisegear.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Variety8pkMIX.jpg)

Thanks Grant  :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Syncop8r on February 11, 2019, 09:06:36 PM
Maybe Mechy and I should contact them and suggest to become their European distributor ... :think:

What do you think Nick ? 

Ready to quit your day job and become CEO ?  :pok:

 ;)

Edit: We should also contact Victorinox to become their Belgian distributor, while we're at it  :whistle:.
I'd probably keep more to myself than selling...
Hoarder.  :pok:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Top-Gear-24 on February 11, 2019, 09:09:50 PM
Maybe Mechy and I should contact them and suggest to become their European distributor ... :think:

What do you think Nick ? 

Ready to quit your day job and become CEO ?  :pok:

 ;)

Edit: We should also contact Victorinox to become their Belgian distributor, while we're at it  :whistle:.
I'd probably keep more to myself than selling...

The more you'd sell, the more you could keep in the end  :pok:.

Or the more often you could go on a trip to ... let's say Switzerland for example ... plenty of good things to find there I believe ...  :climber:

 :whistle:

And you could call it a business trip  :pok:.
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Mechanickal on February 11, 2019, 09:53:34 PM
We might grow big enough to have our own special model made!

A Farmer X, but instead we'd call it the MechTop... (MT)


Or we'd end up in the gutter..
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Mechanickal on February 11, 2019, 09:55:15 PM
Hoarder.  :pok:
Uhm, yes...
Lots of toothpicks in the house with a knife attached to it...

Here's a portion of them:

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190211/605ec7af990d66d91dffc44f0893886d.jpg)
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: CallsignBadger on February 11, 2019, 09:56:15 PM
 :rofl:

I like where this is going :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Rapidray on February 12, 2019, 02:50:30 AM
Got mine here and they take paypal. Also listed on Amazon.
https://tortoisegear.com/product/firefly-variety-8-pack/

(https://tortoisegear.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Variety8pkMIX.jpg)




An excellent purchase  :like: :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: craggus2000 on February 12, 2019, 08:25:52 AM
Wow, didn't realise my questions would 'spark' off such an interesting thread!
Thanks esp to Nix for your great review and trials, they have been most informative  :like:

I think I need to find a UK seller for these, as the only downside is import cost. Makes each individual Firefly too expensive  :(
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: SAKPal on February 12, 2019, 09:51:49 AM
If you find someone please let us know
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: ddogu on February 12, 2019, 01:36:43 PM
An additional option for your SAK if you use a lanyard are toggles.

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0732/7615/products/Ferro_Rods_Fire_Steel_Toggle2_by_Stockstill_Outdoor_Supply_580x.JPG?v=1542561831)

Are those black rods fire starters too??
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Rapidray on February 12, 2019, 03:03:18 PM
An additional option for your SAK if you use a lanyard are toggles.

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0732/7615/products/Ferro_Rods_Fire_Steel_Toggle2_by_Stockstill_Outdoor_Supply_580x.JPG?v=1542561831)

Are those black rods fire starters too??
Yes
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Nix on February 12, 2019, 03:09:48 PM
The toggles look like short lengths of ferro-rod with holes drilled in them. Seems Like a great way to be sure to have a little ferro rod with you.  :tu:

Cheers, Craggus, for an interesting thread.   :cheers:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Aloha on February 12, 2019, 03:26:46 PM
An additional option for your SAK if you use a lanyard are toggles.

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0732/7615/products/Ferro_Rods_Fire_Steel_Toggle2_by_Stockstill_Outdoor_Supply_580x.JPG?v=1542561831)

Are those black rods fire starters too??

As Nix mentions they are ferro rods drilled out.  I'm sure one could make these.  I like the idea of these also as Nix says, so one could have a ferro rod on you at all times.  Place onto a shoe lace and be done with it.  Put it on a coat drawstring, paracord bracelet, lanyard to a knife, key ring, backpack, lots of options.

The SAK ferro rod is really neat so this could serve as an option or addition.   

Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: kamakiri on February 19, 2019, 07:37:16 PM
Got mine here and they take paypal. Also listed on Amazon.
https://tortoisegear.com/product/firefly-variety-8-pack/

(https://tortoisegear.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Variety8pkMIX.jpg)

Thanks Grant  :tu:

 :cheers: Glad to help! I had that link before I saw the kickstarter link in this thread.

-----

Got mine in a few days after ordering and finally had a chance to play with them.  Seems to work well enough and I didn't break it. Worked best for me in the last tooth groove of the Wood Saw. Spring from the Saw actually helped 'throw' the sparks.

RTFM:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7800/47095951102_f7513e703a_n.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7908/47095950852_953fb9066e_n.jpg)

I see why others have comments on the fit and retention.  I think they should have cast the tip a bit on the large side and with a thin 'shoulder' to it like a couple of mm that goes into the slot and make everyone trim to fit tightly.  I suppose there would be people unhappy with that, though.

I also think they should make one to go into tweezer slots and the electronic scale short tweezer.  Since this would only be for emergency use, IMO, I think it would work ok even that short.

Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: Rapidray on February 20, 2019, 12:21:51 AM
Got mine here and they take paypal. Also listed on Amazon.
https://tortoisegear.com/product/firefly-variety-8-pack/

(https://tortoisegear.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Variety8pkMIX.jpg)

Thanks Grant  :tu:

 :cheers: Glad to help! I had that link before I saw the kickstarter link in this thread.

-----

Got mine in a few days after ordering and finally had a chance to play with them.  Seems to work well enough and I didn't break it. Worked best for me in the last tooth groove of the Wood Saw. Spring from the Saw actually helped 'throw' the sparks.

RTFM:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7800/47095951102_f7513e703a_n.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7908/47095950852_953fb9066e_n.jpg)

I see why others have comments on the fit and retention.  I think they should have cast the tip a bit on the large side and with a thin 'shoulder' to it like a couple of mm that goes into the slot and make everyone trim to fit tightly.  I suppose there would be people unhappy with that, though.

I also think they should make one to go into tweezer slots and the electronic scale short tweezer.  Since this would only be for emergency use, IMO, I think it would work ok even that short.
Nice  :like: :tu:
Title: Re: Toothpick firestarters
Post by: McStitchy on February 20, 2019, 07:24:34 AM
Got mine here and they take paypal. Also listed on Amazon.
https://tortoisegear.com/product/firefly-variety-8-pack/

(https://tortoisegear.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Variety8pkMIX.jpg)

Thanks Grant  :tu:

 :cheers: Glad to help! I had that link before I saw the kickstarter link in this thread.

-----

Got mine in a few days after ordering and finally had a chance to play with them.  Seems to work well enough and I didn't break it. Worked best for me in the last tooth groove of the Wood Saw. Spring from the Saw actually helped 'throw' the sparks.

RTFM:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7800/47095951102_f7513e703a_n.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7908/47095950852_953fb9066e_n.jpg)

I see why others have comments on the fit and retention.  I think they should have cast the tip a bit on the large side and with a thin 'shoulder' to it like a couple of mm that goes into the slot and make everyone trim to fit tightly.  I suppose there would be people unhappy with that, though.

I also think they should make one to go into tweezer slots and the electronic scale short tweezer.  Since this would only be for emergency use, IMO, I think it would work ok even that short.

Thanks for the info  :hatsoff:
Good idea with the saws tooth grove.
I think I'll have to get a set until hiking season starts this year  :like: