Vulcan Fire Piston
The Vulcan is precision CNC machined from an aluminum alloy and has an ultra tough hard anodized type III coating (ember orange or granite gray) to protect it from scratches and general wear. The body has generous amounts of knurling to ensure that the fire piston stays in your hand securely, even when using gloves. The top of the fire piston features a removable cap that allows access to a watertight storage capsule, perfect for keeping your tinder or other small items safe and dry. The bottom cap of the tube is also removable, which allows you to be able to clean the tube when tinder and lubrication builds up as well as keeping the piston securely in place when not in use.
The second version of the Vulcan has the same features of the original, but in a slightly different body. We added some additional machining on the body of the tube to give even better grip and the interior of the tube has been polished smoother to give a better seal and longer life. Since we love the color orange, the Vulcan is now available in ember (burnt) orange in addition to the original gray.
How it works
Similar to a diesel engine, a fire piston works by rapidly compressing air and igniting a small piece of tinder held in place in the tinder notch. An ember is created instead of a flame, so relatively advanced fire starting skills are needed to take advantage of the ember once created. In order to properly use the fire piston, easily ignitable tinder such as char cloth or true tinder fungus is required.
The Vulcan works best when the piston and tube are both clean and free of debris. A minimal amount of the included lubricant will help the piston travel freely in the tube. Most lubricants like petroleum jelly or silicone gel can be used when the included lubricant is used up or lost.
These firesteels are made with misch metal, an alloy of rare earth metals that does more than just create sparks. What comes off these firesteels when you scrape them are more like molten globs of metal, burning much longer than a spark from a flint. They burn so long that you can stand up, scrape the firesteel, and watch the globs bounce on the ground.
Firesteels are the perfect tool for a lightweight, reliable fire starter. Water is no problem for firesteels. Get yours wet and just wipe it off before using. They can be scraped with almost any sharp edge to produce sparks, but the squared off spine (back) of a knife blade or the back of a hacksaw blade (not the teeth) both work particularly well. To use, just stick the firesteel down into the tinder and scrape along the firesteel with a quick motion and decent amount of pressure. The shavings will ignite and fly off of the firesteel into the tinder, and if you are using the right tinder, it will flame up or create an ember quickly and easily.
The firesteel blanks come with no handles or strikers, and are perfect for compact carry or your own firesteel project. If you are looking for ones with handles, check out our other firesteels for more options.
This lighter combines two very effective fire starting methods into a single tool. One side of the tool is a butane lighter with adjustable flame and the other is a permanent match. The whole lighter features very study metal contruction. The butane lighter is the blue flame style, which will light just about anything on fire. A drawback of butane is that it generally does not work well in colder temperatures, which brings up the permanent match. A wick on the striking rod soaks up lighter fluid, which will then ignite when the rod is scraped on the firesteel attached to the side of the lighter. An o-ring keeps the fluid from drying out, even after long periods of storage.
The Fresnel Lens
This little guy is small and light enough that there is really no good reason not to throw one in your wallet, pack, or anywhere else you can so that you have a fast and efficient way to start fires on a sunny day. Fresnel lenses act like magnifying glasses, which means that you can focus the sun's rays on a small point to instantly light many kinds of tinder. Char cloth works especially well in combination with a fresnel lens.