Flint and Steel Kit Review
In this latest post on the TI website I’m going to be reviewing a flint and steel fire making kit created by Mikhail Maletkin of flint-and-steel.com.
I have long been a practitioner of primitive survival skills (going on 20 years now). And in that time I’ve made a number of flint and steel kits for myself as well as other primitive fire making kits such as bow drill and hand drill kits.
Especially when it came to my own homemade flint-and-steel kits, I’ve never considered them any more then objects of utilitarian purposes. They help me make fire, that’s about it. This kit I’ll be reviewing here, goes way beyond that. But before we get to it, I thought I’d provide…
A Short History of Flint and Steel Fire Making
I hear a lot of modern survivalists talk of using “flint and steel” or “firesteel” for fire making, but what I find they are actually referring to is modern fire strikers, which are actually made from ferrocerium alloys.
Although I’m a big fan of modern ferro rods and typically have one with me, these are not true firesteels.
True firesteels go way back. If you’re not familiar with the flint-and-steel fire making, it is one of the oldest forms of making fire that we know of. Although it is most commonly associated with the fire-making method of choice for our pioneers, early explorers, and frontiersman it’s been in fact around since the age of steel (essentially, from the Iron Age onward, as early as 1200 BC).
And If you’ve never made a fire from real flint and steel I encourage you to do so. I find (and I’m not unique in this) the process of using a real firesteel with some flint somehow connects a deeper part of yourself with your ancestors — something that the modern ferro rods just don’t quite accomplish.
OK, enough of the history lesson let’s get on with the product review…
Flint & Steel Kit Review
The first time I heard about these kits was when my friend Bill reached out to me asking if I’d be willing to review a product made by a Russian friend of his. He was going on about how his friend made these wonderful flint and steel kits that were works of art. Skeptical, but always willing to help a friend out, I gladly welcomed the product not expecting the prize that I would shortly receive.
On receiving the package I was blown away by the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail and quality that these kits are created with. Mikhail, the creator of these kits, is clearly an artisan of the highest order and his passion shines through.
Everything in the kit (other than the tin that holds the char cloth) is made by hand. Mikhail comes from a long line of artisan blackmiths, so the skills and methods used in the manufacture of these kits has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation.
The bags are made from sturdy leather and are solidly assembled. There’s a front flap with a leather tab and clasp to keep the kit shut.
On the back is a belt loop for easy attachment to your hip.
Opening the kit you’re presented with a set of instructions, and two rolls of natural jute twine for tinder.
Under the tinder there are two inner pockets which contain a firesteel striker and a tin of charcloth. And in the main area, you’ll find two chunks of flint.
The steel striker is carefully forged and quenched over charcoal in the same manner that Mikhail’s ancestors had done. For the char cloth, Mikhail scorches linen fabric himself to create a high quality cloth tinder. Again, the attention to detail even down to the placement of the char cloth within the tin is quite impressive.
How to Use the Flint & Steel Kit
If flint and steel fire making is new to you, you may think it’s a difficult skill to learn. In reality, it’s a very simple and elegant process that takes a little practice. The instructions Mikhail includes are very clear and when followed you’ll be making fire in no time.
Here’s a short video of me demonstrating how to create a spark and turn it into a fire:
Where to Purchase a Flint and Steel Kit
If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of these (Mikhail has a number of other kits as well, so be sure to check them out) you can do so at flint-and-steel.com. You won’t be disappointed.