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Ferro-cerium fire starter.
An example of the element Cerium

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Ferro-cerium fire starter.
This is a great little gadget, a BlastMatch fire starter from www.survivalinc.com. It consists of a hefty (ca. 1/2" diameter) stick of iron-mischmetall alloy (mischmetall is a mixture of various rare earth elements typically containing a majority of cerium, so this alloy is also known as ferro-cerium). Ferro-cerium is what lighter flints are made of, so this is basically a giant lighter flint, which creates sparks when struck or scraped with something hard. This gadget includes a hard steel blade and a spring mechanism that lets you scrap the blade hard against the ferro-cerium stick just by jabbing the stick down on a hard surface. The net effect is that if you hold it firmly and push it hard down onto a surface, you get a shower of sparks flying off it, enough to light any sort of dry tinder, paper, etc. It's meant to be used as a camp fire starter or survival tool, but if you enjoy showers of sparks, this is way too much fun to leave to wet mornings in the woods.
Source: Survival, Inc
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 24 February, 2007
Text Updated: 24 February, 2007
Price: $25
Size: 2"
Composition: FeCe
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