American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The BlastMatch

Laura has asked to work on firestarting today and she specifically requested my well-used Ultimate Survival BlastMatch as her ignition source.

While the one-handed operation of the BlastMatch is nice I don't think it'll replace my firesteel for regular carry any time soon. It's got a bigger firesteel rod but the case is also quite a bit bigger than my Light My Fire Army Firesteel. There have also been some complaints about the fragility of the BlastMatch case and I've personally seen a rod separate from the casing during normal use. I have never personally had any problems with the BlastMatch I own and use.

Laura likes the BlastMatch because all the components are self-contained and she doesn't have to use a hacksaw blade or knife as a striker. Gripping the handle tight enough to strike the firesteel is a bit difficult for her and certainly is not a one-handed operation. This may be due to the heavy use the BlastMatch has seen and the reduced diameter of the rod over time or it may simply be that the BlastMatch was not designed for 7-year-old hands. Either way, she will get it to work but she needs two hands to do it.

One thing I've noticed about the BlastMatch is that it spares the bottom .75" or so of firesteel. You can see the band of coated firesteel in the picture. That has never been touched by the striker. I don't know if that's by design or operator error but that little bit of extra material allows me to use the rod like a regular firesteel if I choose.

Hopefully I'll get some pictures of our practice today.

Thanks for reading,



At 6:01 AM, Anonymous said...

I'm of the mind it is more of a gimmick, since a bare steel is super easy to use anyway and without the extra bulk and weight.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

I agree with that sentiment and carry a Light My Fire Army Firesteel with me when I go out but my daughter and son have not had any success with cotton balls and a firesteel while they can both get the BlastMatch to spark.

I think it's a question of grip strength and dexterity. They both need two hands to squeeze down the striker and simply cannot get that kind of leverage on a piece of hacksaw blade while holding a firesteel.

Thanks for your comment,



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