The ESEE ® KNIVES FIRE STEEL is built from 1095 Carbon Steel and heat treated to be used as a fire making tool for use with true flint and charred material. The edges of the Fire Steel also work as a Ferrocerium (Ferro) rod striker, and the center divot is designed to be used as a bow drill socket. The Fire Steel comes packaged in a hinged-lid tin that can be used to make char cloth or other charred materials. Fire Steel size: 1.5" x 3.25" x .188" thick.
USING THE FIRE STEEL FOR TRUE FLINT AND STEEL: Break a piece of natural flint or chert rock until you have a sharp edge. Hold a piece of char cloth on top of the flint's sharp edge using your thumb and index finger. With the other hand, hold the Fire Steel with your thumb in the divot hole so one of the long Fire Steel edges is facing outward. Strike the flat face of the long edge in a downward motion along the sharp edge of the flint. This should be a smooth glancing stroke that lightly touches the edge of your flint as you strike. If you abruptly slam the steel into the flint it will break and dull the edge of your flint. Done properly, the sharp edge of the flint will shave a microscopic piece of the hardened steel away from the Fire Steel. During this process, this small piece of steel turns into a molten spark that will fly upwards as your Fire Steel travels downward. Keep striking until one of those sparks lands on the charred material and begins to glow (this is known as ﾓcatching a spark"). After you catch the spark, lightly blow on it until it expands in size, then place it in the center of your tinder bundle. Gently wrap the tinder bundle around this coal and blow on it until it bursts into flame.
USING THE METAL CONTAINER (TIN): The tin can be used to make char cloth, or to char other natural materials. Properly charred material will readily catch a spark from true flint and steel, as well as a Ferro rod. Charred materials can be carried in your kit to provide an easy way to start fires using both primitive and modern methods. It should be noted that if you plan on using charred material to catch a spark from true flint and steel, the char should be stored and/or carried in a waterproof container so it doesnﾒt absorb humidity and moisture.
HOW TO MAKE CHAR CLOTH: Use any 100% cotton materials (no synthetics) and cut it into squares roughly the size of the tin. Place the cut pieces in the tin and put the tin on a heat source such as hot coals. As the tin heats up you will begin to see smoke coming from around the lid (The material inside is smoldering because it lacks the oxygen needed to catch flame). Once the smoke stops, the material should be completely charred black and easily torn. Remove it from the heat source and allow it to cool before opening. It is now ready to use. There are numerous natural materials that can be charred in the same way: Punk wood (soft hardwood going into the rotting stage) and the inner bark of some trees such as Poplar are a couple of examples.
USING THE FIRE STEEL AS A FERROCERIUM ROD STRIKER: Hold the Ferro rod in one hand and rake the edge of the steel down the Ferro rod. It will cause a shower of sparks from the Ferro rod. There are several different methods of using the Ferro rod, so find what works best for you. One way is to firmly plant your hand holding the Fire Steel on the ground over your tinder bundle, then quickly pull the Ferro rod upwards (away from the tinder bundle) raking it along the steel's edge. When done correctly the sparks will fall into the tinder.
USING THE FIRE STEEL AS A BOW DRILL SOCKET: Hold the Fire Steel with the divot side down. Insert the top of the bow drill spindle into the divot. While bow drilling the Fire Steel tends to heat up, so you may have to ﾓcup" the steel using the tips of your fingers and the bottom of your palm. You can also add insulation between your palm and the Fire Steel using green leaves, a small green stick, a piece of your shirt, a glove, or other materials.
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