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  1. We are often asked if ‘Hand Forged Fire Steels’ are better than the more modern Laser Cut versions?

    BF Randy at the fire making our fire steelsThere are pros and cons for both and it’s purely down to taste and pocket friendly prices. Hand Forged tend to be much more authentic in appearance but can be more brittle and but can be a ‘hit and miss’ with the sparking quality. We are very lucky that the Black Smiths/Forgers we use (and sell at shows and on the website) understand how to make a good quality hand forged Fire Steel, but it’s not always the case if you look to other unknown makers especially in European Countries or the far East. Not everyone understands the hardening process. We are so fortunate that we have a geat working relationaship with Bethal Forge (seen on the left) who understands the process so well.

    fire breathing dragon at beaver bushcraft with fire detail traditional flinLaser cut Fire Steels tend to look more modern (unless you know the process for aging them). Laser cut Fire Steels are more consistent and the quality is much easier to control. Plus they are as hard as nails and you can have much more fun with the designs and be as creative as you want such as our Animal Strikers and keep the cost down too. If someone was to hand forge our Fire Breathing Dragon Fire Steel (on the right) it would almost be impossible to get the level of detail and the cost would be prohibitive.

    fire dragon and animal fire traditional fire steels for beaver bushcraftSo don’t be a ‘snob’ about ‘Hand Forging’ over ‘Laser cut’ , as 100% of the Laser cut cast 100% better sparks than 90% of the Hand Forged ones. Don't get us wrong, we would definitely stock more Hand Forged Fire Steels if we could, but we just can’t find any suitable Blacksmiths/Forgers anywhere (other than those we already use on our website) who are happy to make them without them costing more than our customers are willing to buy them for … (unless you buy them from the far East, which we will not do, since we feel that the quality is not there). So in a nut shell….it’s all down to personal taste and your pocket.   

  2. Action-Mark sewing Bushcraft Pouch-White stitchingIt’s always so lovely when we get such a lovely testimonial from our customers (see below). We try to put as much love and passion as we can into our work, it has to have a heart and soul.  Mark spends many hours tweaking the designs just to get them right and it’s the same with his hand stitching, the stitch has to look as good from the back as it does from the front. Leather to us has to look like leather and to see all the amazing patina and texture it has. We ‘read’ the Leather and then think what we would like to make from it. It’s the same for our Fire Steel designs, we want them to work, we want people to enjoy using them and to have fun with them but still retain a high quality that can be passed on through the generations, just like in times gone by. So when we receive a lovely email from a customer called Mally like we did this morning, we know that we are getting there ......     

    Hi there Helen and Mark,  

    Cutting shark bushcraft knife in dark russte with matching ferro rod by beaFirst of all, can I say thank you for the extra little bits you have sent me with the knife. They are greatly appreciated! The knife: I have to say, wow! Just wow! I am over the moon to say the least. The knife, sheath and fero rod are just pure quality. And it hasn't been an easy ride getting to this point of satisfaction Helen and Mark.  For many years I have bought and been dissatisfied with bushcraft knives, always selling them on. Unlike many, I don't have a knife fetish ( mines fire lol ). I just wanted a good all round, working tool, a bushcraft knife, something that was comfortable in the hand and would do the job.. 

    The only knives I were happy with were the Moras,  which have limitations, but we're a comfortable, usable bushcraft knife, and my Fallkniven F1, which is great, but it's a survival knife, doesn't have a scandi grind, and I feel, just a tad too short on the blade.. 

    Anyway, I stopped buying in pursuit of that elusive knife, but kept looking and scrutinizing and rejecting. 

    Then your last lot of Shark knives came up, and again I scrutinized, looking at everything, especially with regards to handle shape and size. I scaled it up with the measurements provided, and I knew as near as I could, this was the knife, but they'd sold out. I waited, money aside, in the hope they'd be back. They were. I scrutinized again in case of any differences, but very quickly! And I ordered! I'm not disappointed at all. This is my lifetime bushcraft knife and it's going to get well used. 

    All the other gear.

    Helen and Mark, I have been involved in bushcraft and survival for around 40 years, although it was all just survival in the early days. I've gone through the gear stages as we do, and now it's about less gear, but quality gear that I know is going to last me many years and even a lifetime in some cases. And that's why I'm glad I stumbled on your little cottage industry because I love the goods you produce..

    fire-special edition copper hudson bay with Andrew Kirkham fire steelThe solar lens is amazing and I can't wait until summer to mess around with it. The belt is pure quality and is worn often. The Hudson Bay tin and leather tinder pouch are used all the time and the antler handle fero rod is awesome, the best I've ever owned. 

    Leather 801 belt hand stitched in mahogany for beaver bushcraftWhile all these things are quality working items Helen, at nearly 60 years of age, it's a time of becoming aware of my own mortality too, and it is also with this in mind that your items make such good sense to me to buy. My family know about my love of the outdoors and when I'm finally gone, these little bits which I'll have put to good use and yet lovingly taken care of and cherished, will mean the world to my own grown up children and my grandchildren. 

    Thank you so much, both of you. I think at this stage, I'm just about all bought up, nothing else I need, so it might be awhile before you hear from me again. Kind regards.  

    Mally 12/01/2019