In today’s post we will cover creating the best possible chance for using your knife along with a ferrocerium rod to maximize the sparks and in turn increasing your chance of starting a fire. I will post pictures as I modify one of my new knives to help show the process.
Please note that the sparks are only part of the equation you need for fire and good dry kindling and something that will catch these sparks easily is just as important in getting a fire.
3 Simple Steps
First off take a sharpie and mark a half an inch to an inch of the back of the blade near the handle where it’s thickest. This is the section we will remove the coating on the knife to make it a more suitable surface to run the ferro rod against. Also something to notice is the coating they put on the rods will need to be worn down as well before it effectively gives you a shower of sparks.
Next taking a file or a Dremel with grinding stone if available and simply remove the coating between the two lines you designated on the back of the knife. Be careful, especially with a rotary tool, to not remove any more material than absolutely necessary to help keep integrity to your blade. The coating is generally strong but not thick so go slow and take your time to keep a nice flat surface without rounding the edges of the blade’s spine. You need these angles to stay sharp and square to maximize their efficiency for casting sparks and digging into the fire starter.
Finally wipe off with a silicon cloth which will remove any debris and leave a protective coating on the knife to help prevent corrosion. This is where the type of knife steel can somewhat impact this decision. Stainless obviously will be more corrosion resistant to carbon steel but regardless wipe the section off with one of these cloths or mineral oil to help prevent any corrosion that might develop in the non-coated area.
Another thing to consider is the fact that some knives do not come with a protective coating. These will be fine to use with the fire starter as is and will not require modification. Most survival based knives do come with some kind of coating. I will do a breakdown of the different kinds of knife coatings and which are the best in a future post. Thanks for reading and follow these simple steps to make sure you have the striking surface you need. Check out some other articles as content is updated regularly.