Make Fire in the Toughest Conditions with Magnesium Bar and a FireSteel

MagSlab magnesium firestarter by

I discovered that also makes a unique magnesium bar fire starter. I’m highlighting it here for your (fire starter) interest. It’s a special combination of a soft magnesium bar along with their highly effective FireSteel rod. Here’s more information:

The popular MagSlab™ FireStarter by combines a unique special soft magnesium slab with built in FireSteel, a genuine Super Scraper, and two feet of 550 paracord (thousands of survival uses) as a lanyard.

This a true value in any survival or outdoor kit.

MagSlab fire starter by

How To Use MagSlab Magnesium Fire Starter

scraping a magnesium fire starter

To use the magnesium as tinder, simply scrape a small pile of shavings off the soft magnesium bar. (Use the attached Super Scraper). Gether them into a small pile, about what would fit on a coin. 

Flip the MagSlab over and use the same scraper/striker to scrape the 3/16th inch by 3 inch FireSteel rod along its length. Aim the sparks at your pile of magnesium shavings. 

When a spark from the built-in FireSteel hits the shavings, the magnesium will easily catch on fire. It will burn at a temperature of more than 4000 degrees F (2200 °C).

Make sure to have some additional natural tinder and kindling handy to add to your burning magnesium to build your fire.

Magnesium Advantage as Fire Starter

A big advantage to carrying a piece of magnesium for tinder is that it will not become damp or wet.  It will burn even if you have totally immersed it in water.

It’s another great combination for starting fires under just about any conditions. is a sponsor of our site and I would appreciate it if you visited them to have a look: MagSlab Fire Starter Kit by

Add a Larger FireSteel Rod for Backup

*Note: I recommend you also carry a larger FireSteel.  While the built-in FireSteel on the MagSlab FireStarter is excellent as a backup, the larger FireSteels are easier to use and give a correspondingly greater shower of sparks when scraped.

( View all of their FireSteel rods here )

Fire Steel Sizes

Specifications for this Fire-making Kit:

  • Slab of soft magnesium that burns at 4,000 degress F: 3-inches long x 1-inch wide x 3/8ths-inch thick
  • Built-in FireSteel that makes 5500 F (3000 C) sparks that will start a fire in the toughest conditions: 3/16ths inch diameter x 3-inches long
  • Super Scraper – specially designed to maximize the amount of sparks from your FireSteel, also useful for scraping shavings off the magnesium slab.
  • All attached to a Lanyard Cord made from 24-inches of genuine 550 paracord made to military specifications (a million and one uses).  Color may vary.


  • Genuine FireSteel, Magnesium Bar, Super Scraper, and 550 paracord
  • Huge, robust sparks that you expect from a FireSteel
  • Easy to use and safe (Common sense required when using any fire-making gear).
  • Premium FireSteel formula that takes your firemaking to a whole new level
  • 5500 F (3000 C) sparks that will start a fire in the toughest conditions

Continue reading: A Fire Starter Kit List

How To Start A Fire When Wood is all Wet

Batoning Wood | How-To


  1. They work. They never go bad in storage. They take up little space. They are not expensive. You will probably never use one completely up.

    I’m most likely to use a butane lighter to start my fires. Most times I don’t set out to start a fire in a rainstorm. Most times I don’t need fuel impregnated cotton balls and a small tarp to shelter my fire-making from the elements.

    Being a prepper/survivor means being ready and able when conditions are not ideal, and you have no control over circumstances. Better to have it and not need it than to………………..

    1. totally agree with your comments Dennis . I own and have practiced with various fire steel and magnesium fire starters . My every day carry is a lighter or 2 , reliable and quick :)

  2. Gadgets are fine,but for dependability in almost any situation it’s hard to beat a good old road flare.

    1. I go with Ken on this. This is not a gadget. This is a survival item. How many road flares can you carry in your back pocket? I own some of these and can tell you they do work.

      1. You’ve got your mind made up so enjoy the stroll thru lala land.
        If you can’t carry the weight of a few road flares please stay home.
        Your chances of survival are not good!!

  3. Great concept by Fire Steel!

    However beware of cheap magnesium fire starters (from china?) much harder to scrape and far less success in my experience in igniting with attached fire starter. Maybe a low grade alloy? Military grade is not that expensive for the years of service you will get out of it.

    One is none….

  4. I have several fire steels in my various kits and in my truck glovebox. Along with the fire steels that provide a good spark, I keep a wad of very fine (0000 size) steel wool in a ziplock bag to help catch the spark and start the tinder.

    Over the years, I have had better luck with steel wool as opposed to scraping off magnesium from the block. It is a bit quicker.

    My #1 goto for fire starting is still a Bic lighter. ( like Dennis ). I try to stay away from using my TP stash for a fire starter after all, one must have their priorities clearly established.

    The more time I spent in cabins and off grid locations, the better I got at splitting wood and creating tinder and kindling. I also got better at setting aside or spotting sapwood and pitch pockets on trees or on recently fallen trees. A handy skill butt practice will make one better at this skill.

    1. Calirefugee;

      “I try to stay away from using my TP stash for a fire starter after all, one must have their priorities clearly established”

      Dang RIGHT!!!!!! I might freeze to death, but I’ll have a clean……. nevermind… LOLOL

      1. – NRP,
        Believe me, you want to have your priorities in order. Just try using that 0000 steel wool for TP!
        – Papa

  5. – Agreed, I am most likely to use a standard Bic butane lighter to start any fires needed. The whetstone pocket on my old Camillus M-5 (Aircrew Member’s Survival Knife) that is still my EDC in the woods has one of the military magnesium blocks with the inserted fire steel at one side. I have several others for use or practice, but that one is there because it will always be able to start a fire if needed. (There is a piece of plumbers’ sandscreen epoxied to the metal back of the sheath should I lose my stone and have to resharpen the knife.) The pocket also contains a short piece of file for striking sparks or using to cut small bits of metal by dragging the teeth over whatever, should I have to. There is also a sail needle Gorilla-taped to one side and a big-eyed regular needle should I need it. Both are magnetic.
    Granted, road flares are nice if you have room for one in your bag. I do try to Be Prepared, though, should I not have my bag. I have literally gone for an un-looked-for swim and had a fire within ten minutes of reaching shore and getting warm and dry with that gear.

    Also agree, the Chinese copies I have tried have been worthless. Threw the couple I bought away to be sure I didn’t pick up one of them by mistake.

    – Papa S.

    1. – Correction, not file but hacksaw blade. Missed it when I was typing up the comment.
      – Papa

  6. I have the gobspark firesteel with the magnesium blocks in both cars and both GHB.
    I learned about them from you, Ken!
    Not long after my order arrived I received another small package from Firesteel. They sent a smaller firesteel as a thank you! That one is in my “purse”. Great company!
    luv ya’ll, Beach’n

  7. Buy a good pencil sharpener and put it in your kit. You can use it to make a lot of shavings in just a few seconds. Twist pencil-sized twigs into it and out comes wood shavings.

    The really important thing with this method is that the twigs are dry inside even if they are soaking wet on the outside.

    If you find the right kind of pencil sharpener with a little storage area for the shavings you have a ready-made tinder storage.

  8. Butan lighter was sufficient for me to make fire in any circumstances. I was in war. I am hunter. Never ever I had situation where I need something else then lighter. Ordinary lighter!

    1. Veteran,

      No argument from me (or most of us here). The propane lighter is a wondrous invention by mankind. Small, light weight, efficient, and inexpensive. Even when it finally runs out of fuel after lighting hundreds of times, the built in ferrocerium rod and steel striker wheel remains capable of producing the spark needed for multiple
      more fires.

      1. Dennis,
        Buddy you are right! It is a great invention.
        My grandfather told me that he remembered time when there was only fire stone and steel to make fire. Fuel were dry mushrooms. But it was before ww2. And never again our family had situation to make fire without lighter and match. So last 100 years we hadn’t need for primitive technology to make fire.
        My advice is to spare money for more useful gadgets.

    2. Veteran this is true however there are different circumstances in “survival”. Yours is one where you survived a war. I too carried a lighter in my web gear. In fact, in the Balkans, we carried multiple zippo lighters cause your guys loved them things and we could trade and sometimes ease the tension when trying to talk by giving up one.
      Falling out of a boat and having to make it till rescue could be one where I’d rather have one of these magnesium bars or a firesteel because they work better wet.
      If I’m in a recent rain where most material is wet these work better because the magnesium can dry out the material.
      If you fly when traveling you can carry firesteels where you can’t carry a lighter or anything with fuel on your person or in your carry on luggage with our TSA rules. I always want something with me if we crash and I make it.
      I have found though that at most airports now smokers will leave their lighters in the smoking area for others to use. I’ve actually gone over and collected one for use during my stay even though I don’t smoke. I did leave it when I flew out a few days later too. Just a little survival tip for those who have to fly.

  9. Antibiotics and medicine generally, fuel and ammunition are important things!
    I experienced situations when I needed this things and I hadn’t them.

    1. Veteran could you go over to the general comments section and tell us about the antibiotics need please?

  10. – Veteran, Dennis,

    I understand Veteran’s comment about never needing anything other than a butane lighter. Once upon a time, I too would have said that, too. When a friend managed to tear a hole in his boat some years ago, I had one in my pocket. When I got out of the water, it didn’t work; it was too wet. This was November, it was cold, and I was very glad to have the magnesium block in the pocket on my knife sheath. I had a fire going and big enough for all three of us that were in that boat to dry out.

    It was a little bit of a laugh, when the young lady accompanying us, who was going to take the boat back to the main camp, had to strip out of most of her clothes to wring them out, hang them up and dry them out. To her credit, her comment was, “Shut up and start stripping down yourselves. It’s too cold to wait for the cloth to dry out!”

    We did manage to recover all the gear and patch the boat so that it was usable. I don’t recall what they called the log we hit, but down further south it’s called a ‘sleeper’
    When the lighter dried out, it worked just fine. An hour later.

    – Papa S.

    1. – Norml Chuck,

      I did have a road flare, we did recover the bag it was in. When I needed it though, it was under a couple of feet of water, about twenty feet out.

      – Papa

      1. I always have a Bic, Zippo and fero-rod in my pocket. Honestly I never had to use the fero-rod to make fire as the other 2 are always there. But I frequently use the fero-rod to practice with it. and it’s fun to use to get a fire going with it.

        In the Winter I use it all the time to light the wood stove in the garage.

  11. I practice with mine at least once a year, be sure to take the time to try it out, it is not as easy at it looks on TV.

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