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12,000 strikes

I just watched a video about starting fires and the presenter took general exception to the companies that produce firesteel products claiming 12,000 strikes; and preferring companies that describe their product as having 1500 or 3000 strikes. His hypothesis is that the 12K devices implemented with harder components and claims that a "strike" does not necessarily include a usable spark. And somehow the "3000 strike" model uses a different definition of the term "strike".

I have no idea which is better and if it really matters. While I plan to ignite my next fire with some sort of fatwood and firesteel it's not going to be primary ignition source. It is an emergency backup as when all else fails. And so even 1500 strikes, if a strike includes a usable spark, is essentially 18 months of lighting 3 fires a day. Assuming the worst possible living conditions in modern america I do not see that as necessary. There is nothing wrong with training but put into perspective if the 1500 strike is easier to use than the 12000 strike then the choice is clear.

PS: he also made mention that salt water can damage firesteel. I imagine that could be true but I need confirmation.

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