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Fire with a SAK magnifying glass?

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by Backpackcat, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. Backpackcat

    Backpackcat Empty Pockets

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    I have a brand new swisschamp and I was wondering if it's possible to make a coal/fire under the right conditions.
     
  2. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    Why not give it a try?
     
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  3. Backpackcat

    Backpackcat Empty Pockets

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    Because rain isn't the best firestarter :D
     
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  4. CSG

    CSG Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, it's possible but challenging. Depends much on tinder and technique. I've done it on occasion and failed on more occasions. I think those that carry char cloth can have more success more often. I don't carry char cloth so...
     
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  5. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    I’ve haven’t tried with magnifyglass, but if wanting a way to start a fire using a SAK, the FireFly (in place pf toothpicks) or FireAnt (in place of corkscrew mini-driver) are probably easier choices.
     
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  6. madkins007

    madkins007 Loaded Pockets

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    I would suspect that the magnifying glass does not have enough surface area to collect the sunlight to get things hot enough. If I remember right, it will hurt your skin, but I don't remember it ignoring paper.
     
  7. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Never tried it myself. I'm sure it's possible, but I have a feeling it will take a while.
     
  8. flnder

    flnder Loaded Pockets

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    It is allegedly possible, but I have never managed it, and it's been tried at the same time a larger lens almost flash ignites tinder. My carry SaKs all have firefly toothpicks. You have a knife, you can whittle a toothpick while sitting in front of your fire
     
  9. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    At least 3 videos. All seem to revolve around getting a piece of starter material smoldering, placing that in a tinder nest and adding a lot of force oxygen by blowing on it. Char cloth seems to make things easier.







    ATB,
    Sam
     
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  10. Sigdog

    Sigdog Loaded Pockets

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    The magnifying glass works much faster if you focus it on some match heads! ;)
     
    Last edited by Sigdog, Feb 16, 2021
    #10 Sigdog, Jan 29, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
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  11. Mabrowns

    Mabrowns Loaded Pockets

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    Why not just use the match?
     
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  12. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    I have an older Swisschamp. The magnifying glass has a gray plastic housing. I was never able to start a fire with it after trying a few times. I also have a large magnifying glass (4" diameter) and I am able start a fire with it.
     
  13. Sigdog

    Sigdog Loaded Pockets

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    Because then your not using the magnifying glass! ;)
     
  14. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    People in the bushcraft community use either credit-card-sized Fresnel lenses, or 2" diameter glass lenses of at least 4x magnification for solar ignition. Looking at SAKWiki, it seems SAK magnifiers range from 5x to 8x, so theoretically it should be possible. However, the small diameter of the SAK magnifier means you will be focusing only a small amount of light. A larger diameter magnifier would allow you to focus more light onto your ignition material, thereby heating up and igniting faster. Again, in theory: I've never attempted solar ignition in any form.
     
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  15. Slipjoint

    Slipjoint Loaded Pockets

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    Yep, this.

    Tiny magifying glasses are very poor firestarters. Honestly, I consider the Swisschamp magnifiers to be virtually worthless.

    A good sized magnifying glass will do (even a plastic one), but the Fresnel lens is the all-time champion. The bigger lenses are even hot enough to weld with! The drawback is thst the focused light is VERY bright. Even with sunglasses and squinting, it can be uncomfortable to use the small ones. And with the bigger fresnel lenses you may need actual welding goggles.

    The trick with these is to find tinder that will burst into flame instead of turning black and burning without a flame.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera Loaded Pockets

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    It will only work in very bright direct sunlight in the middle of the day. The magnifying lense is too small, and therefore concentrates too little sunlight into a single point, to produce enough heat to ignite most naturally-occuring tinder. Consider that plants have had hundreds of millions of years to evolve enough heat-resistance to avoid being burned by sunlight focused by raindrops sitting on their leaves -- you need a lense significantly larger than a raindrop to have a good chance of starting a fire in sub-optimal conditions. Of course, sub-optimal conditions are precisely when you would need to start a fire using a magnifying lense.

    CountyComm has synthetic-sapphire magnifying lenses that work great for starting fires, though. And being made of synthetic sapphire, you don't have to worry about scratching them, even if you drop them on the ground.