High carbon flint striker for making fire.
The flint striker is used to violently strike the sharp edge of the flint at an acute angle in order to cleave or shave off small particles of metal. The pyrophoricity of the steel results in the shavings oxidizing in the air. The molten, oxidizing sparks ignite the fine tinder. Tinder is best held next to the flint and the steel striker quickly slid down against the flint, casting sparks into the tinder. Charcloth or amadou (“tinder fungus”) is often used to catch the low-temperature sparks, which can then can be brought to other, heavier tinder and blown into flame.
In early times, percussion fire-making was often used to start fires. Before the advent of steel, a variety of iron pyrite or marcasite was used with flint and other stones to produce a high-temperature spark that could be used to create fire. For example, there are indications that the “Iceman” called Ötzi may have used iron pyrite to make fire.
From the Iron Age forward, until the invention of the friction match (ca. 1830), the use of flint and steel was a common method of fire lighting. Percussion fire-starting was prevalent in Europe during ancient times, the Middle Ages and the Viking Age
Length: 80 mm
Thickness: 5 mm