Part Two

Last week we looked at the Swedish Firesteel from Light My Fire USA, this week we will be looking at another quality option in the area of fire starting gear: The Fastfire Fire Starting Kit and Firestriker MAXX.

A little background, Fastfire is a brand under the SOLKOA Company. SOLKOA designs and builds professional level SERE equipment the military, government, and private sectors. One of the key products of the Fastfire line is Fastfire cubes. Not being a chemist, I have no idea what they are made of but they offer some very attractive attributes that are not seen in most solid fuel cubes.

From the manufacturer, Fastfire cubes:

Fastfire:
• Generates a sustained, 1300°F flame in just seconds
• Burns even when WET!
• Wind resistant
• Smokeless and odorless
• Ignites easily from a spark or any flame
• Very low flashpoint (140°F)
• Lights under conditions where other tinders would fail
• Each tinder is packaged using a rugged, high quality foil that guarantees long shelf-life and durability.
• Solid cubes don’t leak, spill or foul up your other gear
• Left whole, one cube will burn vigorously for 10 – 12 minutes
• If divided into eighths, eight separate fires may be generated, with each tinder piece burning 2 – 3 minutes each
• Once extinguished, Fastfire material cools to the touch within seconds

From my testing:

Fastfire cubes have a texture and consistency similar almost to a styrofoam material although slightly different. The surfaces, even when cut or abraded are water resistant and do not become waterlogged. This also allows you to cut a single cube into numerous smaller pieces for starting multiple fires or controlling the size and strength of fire from the cube. As mentioned in the specs, Fastfire cubes light easily with a spark. When I first saw this product demonstrated the user abraded the top of the cube and directly lit the cube. Through my toying with the product I found that using a tool to “drill out” the center of the cube creating a sawdust type powder that commonly lights with a single strike from the Fastfire Striker. This also leaves the bulk of the cube to be cut into smaller chunks and added to the fire or saved for later. See video below for demonstration.

The other half of the Fastfire Fire Starter Kit: The Fastfire Striker.

From the manufacturer:

  • 3″ ferrocerium rod attached to a 3″ hacksaw blade
  • Weighs only 1oz!
  • No breaking parts (plastic) or failure points (springs that can break)

From my testing:

The Fastfire Striker puts out ample sparks and is a very simplistic design consisting of the ferro rod and hacksaw blade. Although it is technically a hack saw blade, this is no chunk or fragment of your average bimetal blade that you find at a big box store but appears to be a high quality and purpose designed piece of gear selected by Fastfire. Even after extensive testing the hacksaw blade continues to be sharp for secondary use beyond just a striker.

The combo:

From Product Releases

In use:

Next item up…

The Fastfire Faststrike MAXX, a beefed up version of the striker included in the fire starter pack. The ferro rod is an extra inch long, totalling 4″ with a matching hacksaw blade and an estimated duty life of 10,000+ strikes which by my estimates from using firestarters over the years is a lowball figure. I could easily see it lasting much longer than that.

A quick comparison shot (MAXX on top):

From Product Releases

How to get it:

Faststrike Fire Starter Kit available at Austere Provisions Company

Includes (4) Fastfire cubes and (1) Fastfire striker.

Fastfire Refills Kit available at Austere Provisions Company

Includes (8) Fastfire cubes. Use it to stock up with the Fire Starter Kit or couple it with a firesteel you already carry.

Fastfire Faststrike MAXX available at Austere Provisions Company

Great mainline striker.

As a special for intro-ing the Fastfire line we will be tossing a free Fastfire cube in every order placed between now and the end of March to give customers an opportunity to try this stuff out.

Enjoy one on us.

Be sure to check back next week as we have another product that I am personally very excited about. Until then, stay sharp.

Mike

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