I’ve always been a firm believer of the notion that every backpacker should carry a light weight, sharp, reliable knife with them at all times. There is an infinitely long list of uses for just a basic knife, but a knife that can also start a fire, and be quickly sleeved and stashed out of the way? It doesn’t get any better than that. This is the Light My Fire, Swedish Fireknife. Retails for just under $40.
About the knife
The Swedish Fireknife is a combination of knife, grippy handle, fire starter, and carrying sheath and clip. It weighs in its entirety a feathery 3.3 ounces (94 grams), and produces a spark at 5,400 degrees, F. The blade itself is a mildy flexible stainless steel. The handle is rubberized, while the sheath and clip are a smooth plastic.
What I liked
The blade(by Mora), first and foremost, is incredibly sharp. Rarely does a blade come out of the factory with such a precision edge. Cutting is smooth and predictable, while the blade resist corrosion. Even after several years use and being carried in the rain throughout the humid Smokey Mountains, the blade is in near pristine condition even after no cleanings, polishes, or conditioning.
The handle grips well, and gives impressive leverage while cutting. Never did I loose my grip, or drop the blade during use. It’s comfortable, and very maneuverable.
The fire starter (magnesium alloy) seats well inside the handle of the blade, and has never dislodged unwillingly. A quick twist and pull, and the fire starter is free. The back of the blade acts as the striker, producing an effortless, but hot spark that has never failed to produce a fire, even in damp conditions. Even when the fire starter is wet, it still produces a spark.
The handle/sheath is combined, and a nice smooth texture. You can clip it to your belt, backpack, or anywhere else you are creative enough to stick it. The clip locks on very well, never slipping off while shrugging my way through trees, shrubs, or dragging my pack across the limestone rocks of the east coast. A small hole in the tip releases air for easy sliding into the handle, and drains water during a rain. An opening in the handle exposes the fire starter, for both appearance and air drying of the magnesium.
The knife comes in many colors, all bright and easy to find in the dark.
What I didn’t like
The cap on the end of the lanyard comes off frequently on one of my knives. It’s easy enough to reattach, and a little glue fixes the problem permanently, but it’s an inconvenience.
There is only one version of the sheath, and no option for inverted carry. Most will not complain here, but I often like to carry a blade on my chest for easy access, and this isn’t an option. You’ll be somewhat restricted on carry locations, primarily hip-belts, belts, backpack sleeves, etc.
Watch where you hold the sheath when removing the knife. One tester held her hand with a finger partially handing across the knife handle (it’s so comfy!) and when she pulled the blade from the handle it slide through said misplaced hand. On the plus side, the sharp, smooth, blade meant little pain. It’s a knife! Be careful.
If you’re looking for a light weight, affordable, sharp knife that doubles work as a fire starter, this is exactly the blade you should be looking at. It’s comfortable, reliable, requires almost no maintenance, and is easy to spot when you need it. Overlook the cheap lanyard and you should be able to find a place for this blade on, or in, your pack.
Thanks to the manufacturer for providing this product. For full disclosure, see our about me page.