It has been somewhat hectic around the house lately with it being the holiday season, finals in school, and just a lot of stuff going on. Money being tight due to holiday shopping hasn’t made it any easier either. But just like i said in my last post, don’t let that slow you down. I’ve been able to work out a couple of good deals here and there, one of which got my hands on a new fire-starter.
On the front of the box it advertises that it will be good for about 3000 strikes, with sparks being up to 5400 degrees Fahrenheit. Supposedly designed for the Swedish Defense Department, this little toy works wonderfully. It is pretty common sense on how to use one, but otherwise there is pretty good directions on the back of the box. It notes that you can also use a knife on it, which i tried for fun and it worked even better. I would guess this is due to either the increased length of the blade to make longer contact with the starter, or due to being able to get a better grip on a knife for full even, solid strikes. IT cant e seen in the picture, but there is a safety whistle built into the striker, so you can cross that off your list of extra things to carry.
All in all, I would highly recommend having one of these. They can be had for pretty cheap, I’ve seen them for anywhere from $10-$20, with this particular one costing $12.99 according to the sticker on the box. They are small and useful and will last much longer then any other fire starting method I can think of.
- Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife (gearflogger.typepad.com)
So during one of my regular trips to my local Walmart, I finally came across an item I had been hoping they would be restocking, the SOG Fasthawk tactical axe. here is alink to the manufacturers site: http://www.sogknives.com/f06tn-cp.html. While the site lists the price as $50, I was able to get mine for only $20 at Walmart.
It seems to be very well made. Solid feel to it, no wobble from the head or weak metal used. The handle might be a little small for people with larger hands, but for me personally, I think it feels good. Some people online have said that it can get hard to hold on to if it gets wet or your hands get sweaty. I did not use it vigorously enough to find out, but if that did become a concern, I would recommend just using some Plasti-Dip on the handle. I have used that stuff on a lot of other hand tools and found it works great.
The blade does seem to be very sharp. A good way to check how sharp something is is to see how well it cuts a piece of paper. While its not as sharp as a knife to where you can start the knife on the edge of a piece and it will cut right into it, this edge of the Fasthawk does cut very smoothly and without tearing once it is going. I was able to hold the axe with the blade sitting edge down on a piece of paper and as I pulled the paper out from under it, it cut it perfectly. I could honestly use it to cut wrapping paper for the upcoming holidays if I so desired.
I am no tomahawk thrower, but I did look it up on YouTube and many videos did show it was quite easy to throw and worked well in that use also.
About the only issue I did have with the Fasthawk was the sheath. It opens and closes fine, but the problem is that your supposed to use it to attach it to your belt. The loop is very narrow so it would not work with wider, more hefty belts, usually what I consider to be duty belts. Also, the loop is fixed (no velcro or snaps to take it off) so you have to make sure to plan on wearing the axe for a while because you would have to undo your belt to take it off.
Size wise, it is pretty small. About 12.5″ long, and about 6.5″ across the head. It weighs in at only 19 oz which I would consider to be pretty light. This is probably due to the handle being fiberglass reinforced nylon, and the couple holes in the head to lighten the amount of metal. It would be easy to find space to bring it with your camping gear, or bug out bag. And it would probably be quite useful in both situations.
If you have any other questions about the SOG Fasthawk, just leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer. Or just comment anyways.
So time for my first product review! Something I think everybody needs to have, matches! I recently purchased these at a local outdoor recreation store, but I have seen them at mil surplus stores, and I believe also at superstores like Walmart/Target ect. They cost me around $3 for a pack of three boxes, with 40 matches in each one. Weighing in at a measly 9.41 grams per box, I would say it should be easy to find a reason to keep a few boxes of these available in all locations, your BOB, BOV, BOL, everywhere.
They had no problem lighting. I tested five of them right out of the box and they lit up immediately. I then took 5 more and ran them under the faucet, still no problem lighting the first three. So with the final two I had out and had run under the water, i even dampened the lighting area on the box and tried to light them. Took a couple strikes, but still lit.
I did notice they burned very quickly. I am guessing this is due to the wax coating that is on the matches to waterproof them. I do not feel this is a bad thing though, as it also helped produce a pretty good size flame compared to normal match.