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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife > Test Report by Nancy Griffith

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION SWEDISH FIREKNIFE
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
LONG-TERM REPORT
September 09, 2012

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 46
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and trekking poles.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

FireKnifeManufacturer: Light My Fire
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.lightmyfire.com
MSRP: Not Listed
Listed Weight: 3.3 oz (94 g)
Measured Weight: 4.0 oz (113 g)
Knife only: 2.2 oz (62 g)
Fire starter and cord: 0.7 oz (20 g)
Sheath only: 1.1 oz (31 g)
Dimensions Listed: 8.7 in x 1.8 in x 1.2 in (22 cm x 4.5 cm x 3 cm)
Knife Length: 8.5 in (21.5 cm)
Blade Length: 3.75 in (10 cm)
Colors Available: Green, Cyan, Orange, Red, Black
Color Tested: Cyan (blue)
Made in Sweden

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

knife edgeThe Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife is a collaborative effort between Light My Fire and Mora of Sweden. Mora is traditionally known for woodcutting blades and has been making knives since 1891. The knife blade is made by Mora of Sweden from 12C27 stainless steel and uses a Scandinavian grind. This is basically a saber or flat grind and means that the edge is ground with something like a 12.5 degree angle on each side producing a wide bevel with no secondary bevel at the very edge. This simple grind is often used because it makes it easy to sharpen.

Light My Fire adds a fire starter which twist-locks into the handle and has a cord which threads through the end. The cord has a plastic end piece which holds the cut ends of the cord. The magnesium fire starter boasts 3,000 strikes. They also claim that the fire starter works equally well in wet conditions and at all altitudes producing a 2,980 C (5,400 F) temperature spark. The handle is made from TPE rubber which provides high friction for a good grip. There is a polypropylene sheath provided which has a clip for attaching to a belt. The knife fits well in the sheath and seems to snap in securely. The sheath also has a small drain hole in the tip.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS &TRYING IT OUT

cord endThe knife appeared pretty much as I expected based on the website information. The sheath seemed a little bit bulky and the blade length a bit shorter than I anticipated but they measure as stated by the manufacturer. The first thing that I did was weigh the knife and found that it was heavier than its advertised weight. This was disappointing since weight is a huge consideration for me when purchasing gear and I expect it to be accurate. I weighed each piece individually to get an exact idea of how it all stacks up.

I then pulled the knife out and checked out how the fire starter fits into the butt end of the knife. It clicks in very securely. I also liked how the knife seems to snap into the sheath. As I was doing this initial investigation the plastic end which is supposed to hold the end of the cord in place fell off. The cord is attached to the fire starter and seems like a great idea since the fire starter is a bit small. I tried to re-attach the plastic end and thought that it was in place but it fell off again. Upon a closer inspection it seems that the tabs that are supposed to hook to hold it together are either too small or are deformed. I gave up and just tied the ends of the cord together which makes sense to me anyway. This extra piece isn't necessary.

Next I tried to test the sharpness of the blade and found it to be very sharp. I tried to repeat that trick seen on infomercials of holding a sheet of paper in one hand and slicing it to shreds with the knife in the other hand but that didn't work. However, I opened a thick plastic vacuum seal bag in one easy swipe and cut up vegetables. This knife is sharp! I'm really happy to see the Scandinavian edge which means that I should be able to easily resharpen the knife with my limited sharpening skills.

Lastly I had to check out the magnesium fire starter. The instructions say to use the back of the knife and slowly push against the magnesium stick creating a spark. This was simple to do and I immediately had sparks flying. I then crumpled some newspaper and tried to light it to no avail. I was not able to even produce a slight burn mark on the paper despite some tireless effort. I tried again with dryer lint. This time I was able to light it in just five or six tries. The sparking leaves burn marks on the knife which easily washed off.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions explain to remove some of the paint on the fire stick with the back of the knife and then slide the back of the knife slowly and firmly down the stick to produce a spark. Sparks should light a stove, tinder dust (sold separately), BBQ, paper, dry grass, birch bark or any other prepared tinder.

SUMMARY

The Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife is a high-quality fixed blade knife with an integral fire starter in the handle.

Initial Likes:
High-quality
Fire starter is a handy addition
Cord on fire stick
Sharp blade
Great fit in sheath

Initial Dislikes:
Weight is heavier than advertised


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

On beltI used the FireKnife on two multi-day backpacking trips, one day-hike and one lake fishing trip for a total of ten days. I also used it in the kitchen as my primary blade where it saw almost daily use.

Backpacking Trips:
Hunters Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 3 days; 20 mi (32 km); 3,500 to 5,000 ft (1,067 to 1,524 m); 35 to 65 F (2 to 18 C).

Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada, California: 5 days; 37 mi (60 km); 4,200 to 9,400 ft (1,280 to 2,865 m); 45 to 75 F (7 to 24 C).

Day Hikes:
Forni Lake, Desolation Wilderness, California: 10 mi (16 km); 6,600 to 7,100 ft (2,012 to 2,164 m) elevation; 55 to 70 F (13 to 21 C).

Fishing:
Stumpy Meadows, Sierra Nevada, California: 4,260 ft (1,300 m)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Lighting fireI used the knife for cutting meat, vegetables and cheese; for opening packages typically made of plastic, for cutting dead skin (on my own feet), for cutting fishing line and for whittling wood to make marshmallow-roasting sticks and fire sticks. I have used the magnesium fire starter for lighting a canister stove and for lighting campfires. The knife is sharp and has cut very well so I haven't sharpened it yet. It is large enough to do some decent work while small enough to feel comfortable in my grip. I feel like I can control it well and haven't cut myself yet.

I had fun learning to make a feathered fire stick which is basically cutting downwards to make thin strips of wood that curl and then moving around the stick. The idea is to keep all of these curled strips attached to the stick which is easier said than done. The end product burns easily and one can be seen in the fire photo near my right index finger knuckle.

I am getting more proficient at making sparks and am able to now get a fire lit (using dryer lint) with only a few strikes. I carried dryer lint on all of my trips just to give me something that I knew that I could light with a spark. Lighting a gas canister stove was easy to do. I haven't yet tried to light an alcohol stove since I'm not confident in my ability to aim a spark without knocking into my stove.

The bright blue color was very easy to see in the forest so I could drop my knife anywhere and not worry about it being hidden beneath leaves, rocks or dirt. I also liked having a bright blue cord on the fire starter so that it was easier to find if dropped.

I carried the knife in a variety of locations including on my pants waistband, clipped onto my open pants pocket, on my backpack hip stabilizer strap, on my backpack side pocket and inside my backpack lid. The clip on the sheath worked well to hold the knife in place securely and the knife stayed secure in the sheath. The fire starter also clicked in to the butt end of the knife securely.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 1I used the FireKnife on three multi-day backpacking trips and a two-day car camping trip for a total of fourteen days. I also used it often in the kitchen.

Backpacking Trips:

Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 4 days; 13 mi (21 km); 6,327 to 6,700 ft (1,928 to 2,040 m); 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C) with clear, cloudy and thunderstorm conditions. This trip was a backpack trip into a base camp followed by day hiking, swimming, kayaking and fishing. Camp fires on 3 nights.

Glacier National Park, Montana: 4 days; 32 mi (52 km); 4,010 to 5,900 ft (1,222 to 1,798 m); 38 to 80 F (3 to 27 C) with clear, cloudy and thunderstorm conditions. Camp fires on 2 nights and 1 morning.

Pacific Crest Trail, California: 4 days: 31 mi (50 km); 8,160 to 10,536 ft (2,487 to 3,211 m); 37 to 75 F (3 to 24 C) with clear to partly cloudy conditions. Camp fires on 3 nights and 1 morning.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Near the start of this period I noticed that the middle portion of the knife wasn't as sharp as it used to be. Upon close inspection I could see that there were small imperfections or rough spots on the edge. So I dug out my old washita whetstone and honing oil and gave sharpening a whirl. It had been some time since I sharpened a knife this way but my skills came back in a hurry and it was very easy to do with the type of edge on this knife. After several passes on each side I was confident that it was honed and couldn't see or feel any rough spots on the edge.

I used the knife for whittling stick ends to make marshmallow-roasting sticks, cutting fishing line, splitting firewood to make kindling and for general use to cut food. I again used it in the kitchen between backpacking trips as my primary kitchen blade. I continued to use the magnesium fire starter for lighting campfires using dryer lint as a starter except in Montana where the tree moss lit almost as easily as dryer lint. That's a scary thought considering the forest fires that rage through there.

The most impressive thing was the ease with which I could make kindling from a large piece of firewood. I simply pressed the near end of the blade into the wood and then hit the far end of the blade with another piece of wood. This forced the blade through and made a thin slice of wood for kindling. The knife did well with this and didn't suffer any harm despite the harsh use.

In all of my testing I used the fire starter in altitudes ranging from 1,980 to 10,200 ft (603 to 3,109 m) with no noticeable difference in sparking at any altitude. The manufacturer claims that the fire starter is good for 3,000 sparks which is quite a few but I estimate that I've struck it approximately 500 times and there is still a significant portion of the stick remaining with only one side worn flat. I noticed that the magnesium builds up a thin layer of white powder on it due to oxidization. This doesn't cause any problem and is easily removed while striking.

I carried the knife on my backpack hip stabilizer strap, on my open pants pocket or in my pack side compression strap. In every case the clip held very well. It usually took some effort to remove it because the clip slips over whatever it is held to and often takes two hands to get it off.

SUMMARY

The Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife is a high-quality fixed blade knife with an integral fire starter in the handle.

Likes:
Bright blue color stands out
Clip secures well
Cord on fire starter
Comfortable size
Tough blade

Dislikes:
Slightly heavy and bulky

This concludes my Long-Term Test Report and this test series. Thanks to Light My Fire and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife > Test Report by Nancy Griffith



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