Clickspring Fire Piston Review
Clickspring Fire Piston Review
In this Clickspring Fire Piston review, we will look at this precision made fire piston that can be used to start a fire using pressure to ignite an ember from char cloth. It is made in the USA and machined to the highest tolerance so that it will last a lifetime. The piston and end caps are made of solid brass for performance while the cylinder is formed from a single piece of anodized aluminium for durability. The end cap features a liquid filled compass with lanyard and at the other end, the base of the piston screws off to reveal a hollow chamber for storing your char cloth or other tinder.
- Weight: 5.6 oz / 159 g
- Dimensions: 5.25 in x 0.75 in / 135 mm x 19 mm
- Materials: Anodized aluminium, brass
- Features: Liquid filled compass, lanyard, tinder storage
What is a fire piston?
A fire piston is an ancient fire starting technology which works by rapidly compressing air within a cylinder which in turn causes a rapid rise in temperature at the tip of the piston. If you have ever held your finger over the end of a bike pump you will know that the tighter you make the seal, the harder it is for the air to escape and the hotter it gets. A fire piston will often have a small chamber at the end of the rod for some tinder to sit and is often designed to focus the heat directly into the concave. If you apply the correct amount of pressure and with any luck, you should be able to ignite an ember which can then be transferred into a tinder bundle and brought to flame.
First Impression of the Clickspring Fire Piston
As far as fire pistons go I think the Clickspring has got to be one of the coolest looking ones out there. With key components made of solid brass and aluminium, it has some solid weight to it and feels very well engineered. The device arrives ready oiled with two packets of char cloth tinder so that there is nothing stopping you from creating an ember within a minute of opening the package. The design and presentation are very impressive with a clear display of quality workmanship. It is the kind of thing you just want to pick up and handle, a real bushcraft gadget.
How to use the Clickspring Fire Piston
The Clickspring is held together by the air pressure locked inside so when you pull on it, it will resist and return to a sealed position as if by magic. If you pull hard enough the piston will come out so that you can add some char cloth to the chamber at the end of the rod. With the tinder neatly inside the bowl, you can place the tip into the cylinder. Here you can either use both hands to force the piston into the tube or place one end on the ground and use both hands to apply the rapid pressure. You need to make sure it reaches all the way to the bottom for maximum effect and then pull the piston out to hopefully reveal an ember. It does take a little bit of practice and skill to be consistent but that’s all part of the fun of using one.
What type of tinder should you use?
Char cloth is by far and away the best tinder to use with a fire piston. It ignites very easily and will maintain an ember slow enough to transfer into a bundle. You get two packs of char cloth with the Clickspring but it is surprisingly easy to make yourself, check out this video to see how. I have gotten an ember from dried plant fibers but found it did not sustain itself very well. I have been unsuccessful in igniting paper but with enough determination, I have no doubt it would be possible. Overall though, char cloth is the way to go.
Why get a Clickspring?
There are many ways to light a fire ranging from the practicality of a gas lighter to the skill of more primitive techniques but few are as fun as the fire piston. lighting fires could be considered an art form to many bushcrafters and mastering a new skill is always beneficial. Fire pistons take a bit of practice to perfect but once you get the nack, they are a pleasure to use and very effective. But fun isn’t the only reason to use a fire piston. The Clickspring works just as well in windy conditions as it does in calm ones and in some instances, even better. Like a Ferro rod, fire pistons are reliable and make a great addition to any bug out bag.
Overall, the Clickspring Fire Piston is a really well-made tool that is reliable and fun to use. The presentation is very good with a black anodized and brass finish which would make this an excellent gift for outdoor people. I personally like to have more than one fire starting tool when I am camping so this as well as a Ferro rod for backup would be an excellent combination. Whether you have used a fire piston before or are just interested in how they work then you should for sure head over to the Clickspring website to learn more or use the link below to buy from Amazon.
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