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Hand Forged traditional Fire Steels verses modern Laser Cut?

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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.   

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  1. Andy Turner

    I have called selection of both,love hand forged for my Trappers tin,but laser cut the Dragon,Squid,are the best I've ever used

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  2. Mark

    I like both styles to be honest. I've got quite a few Hand forged Andy Kirkham Fire Steels, I love the look and feel to them :) But then.... I've fallen in love with the Dragon Steel which is laser cut. I like the detail of the dragon, how the eye is cut out. Both steels work exactly the same way and so the same job at the end of the day. I guess it's what you like!

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