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Lightning Strike and Lightning Strike Mini Reviewed

Lightening Strike
 

Marketing from Darrell Holland Shooting Supplies

The world’s best firestarter has arrived! This self-contained unit is all you need in your survival pack to stay warm. The tinder storage compartment contains enough tinder to build at least 18-20 fires, even with one hand! CNC-machined, replaceable flint, and all about the size of a mini-mag flashlight!

Lightning Strike Firestarter
The Lightning Strike Firestarter is rugged. Each kit is CNC machined from 7075-T6 Aluminum and anodized for long lasting service and comes with a replaceable flint. The tinder is self-contained and once lit, it burns for several minutes. Integral tinder storage compartment contains enough tinder to start 18-20 fires.

Lightning Strike Mini Firestarter
This self-contained unit is all you need in your survival pack to stay warm. Integral tinder storage compartment contains enough tinder to build at least ten fires, even with one hand! CNC-machined, replaceable flint, and all about the size of a medium-sized Swiss Army Knife! Available in Red, Blue, Green, and the new Spec-Ops Black. The MINI contains enough tinder to start 8-10 fires. This is the perfect firestarter for campers and outdoors people who want a lighter and smaller version of the popular Lightning Strike Firestarter.

 

Manufacturer: Darrell Holland Shooting Supplies, hollandguns.com
Model: Lightning Strike, Lightning Strike Mini

Material: 7075-T6 Anodized Aluminum
Colors: Red, Blue, Green, and Black
Dimensions (standard): 1.16″ dia x 7.5″
Dimensions (mini): 1.16″ dia x 5.5″
Weight (standard): 4.5 oz.
Weight (mini): 3.1 oz.
Tinder Storage (standard): 18-20
Tinder Storage (mini): 8-10

MSRP: $60.00
 

 

The Review

There is a plethora of fire starters available these days, with a huge disparity between them and how well they work. None of them are perfect for everyone in every instance. Today I’ll be looking at the Lightning Strike and Lightning Strike Mini from Darrell Holland Shooting Supplies. What is it and why would you want one? Let’s find out…

Lightening StrikeAside from all of the various butane lighters and stick matches which are actually terrific fire starters that utilize open flame, there are also many other tinder-igniting fire starter options available including ferro (ferrocerium) rods, fire pistons and plain old flint and steel. But let’s not forget some of the more well-known primitive methods like bow and hand drills.

In recent years, ferro rods have gained quite a lot of popularity, mostly due to their low cost and ease of use. However, like everything else, there are good ones and there bad ones, and enough opinions about them to go around a few times.

Ferrocerium rods work by scraping the rod with a steel striker quickly, and if it is done fast enough it will generate the heat necessary to ignite the metallic shavings that burn somewhere around 3,000 °F (1,650 °C). Personally, I like the softer ferro rods that contain more magnesium in their alloy. While they do not last near as long, they tend to throw a lot more spark that burns much hotter and much longer than harder ferro rods that do not contain near as much magnesium.

The Lightning Strike and the smaller Lightning Strike Mini are essentially high-quality ferro rod handles at their core, with some nifty bells and whistles that really set them apart. Each are available in red, green, blue and black and provide an integrated water-tight storage compartment of ample room to safely stow tinder keeping it dry.

The bodies of the Lightning Strike and Lightning Strike Mini are made from CNC machined 7075-T6 anodized aluminum for its light weight and exceptional durability. By far one of the most durable available. Its rugged aluminum body is easily tough enough to drive a car or light truck over and certainly capable of lasting a lifetime or more.

The body of the Lightning Strike is 1″ in diameter at its widest point and 5.75″ long. The narrow end of the body is a tube a little over 0.85″ in diameter with a machined slotted channel and stop integrated into the side of the tube 0.375″ wide and 2″ long for accessing the ferro rod with the striker.

Lightening StrikeEach Lightning Strike has an easily replaceable ferro rod that is 2.5″ long and 0.375″ in diameter tucked inside the narrow tube and locked in place with a 0.125″ allen screw. With the cap and striker attached and fully loaded with tinder, the entire fire starter is 1.16″ in diameter at its widest point, 7.5″ long and weighs only 4.5 ounces.

The body of the Lightning Strike Mini is also 1″ in diameter at its widest point, but only 3.5″ long. Like the larger model, the narrow end of the body is a tube a little over 0.85″ in diameter and also has a machined slotted channel and stop integrated into the side of the tube. The channel is 0.375″ wide and only 1.25″ long to provide access to the ferro rod with the striker.

Each Lightning Strike Mini also has an easily replaceable ferro rod tucked inside the narrow tube and locked in place with a 0.125″ allen screw, but this one is only 1.75″ long and 0.375″ in diameter. With the cap and striker attached and fully loaded with tinder, the entire fire starter is 1.16″ in diameter at its widest point, 5.5″ long and weighs only 3.1 ounces.

The narrow tubes are designed to protect the ferro rods and channel a focussed shower of sparks directly onto the target. Much like the choke tube of a shotgun. This tube provides this fire starter with a huge advantage over a simple ferro rod without it. The integrated channel stop is designed to stop the striker before it could possibly reach the tinder causing it to spread.

Lightning Strike and Lightning Strike Mini replacement ferro rods can be purchased directly from their website for $12.00 each.

The two black models that I have come with a durable bright orange plastic tethered to the striker with a section of shockcord to hold them firmly in place when not in use. Each of the other colored models come with black caps. On the inside of the cap, there is a foam rubber disc that provides a watertight seal while it is covering the storage tube. The biggest differences between the two sizes have to do with the size of the storage compartment and the length of the choke tube.

Lightening StrikeThe standard Lightning Strike can hold as many as 18-20 Lightning Strike Tinder in the larger storage tube, while the storage tube on the Lightning Strike Mini is about half the size and only capable of holding as many as 8-10 of the same Lightning Strike Tinder. On the standard Lightning Strike, there is an integrated pull string for pulling the tinder from deep inside the storage tube. The Lightning Strike Mini is short enough that you can pull the tinder out with the striker so the plunger space is saved.

The Lightning Strike Tinder is basically a cotton ball infused with a a special blend of organic compounds, much like cotton infused vaseline but without the mess. That what I like most about the Lightning Strike Tinder is that they are dry and not at all messy. They light immediately with the slightest spark and one fluffed-up tinder can burn for more than 3 minutes. The Lightning Strike Tinder refills bottles are priced at $12.00 each and can also be purchased online directly from their website.

With the storage cap at one end of the shockcord, the other end is attached to the striker. The striker on both models is easily large enough to grip and wield in wet cold weather, even with a wearing thick gloves.

One of the biggest advantages to the size of the Lightning Strike and Lightning Strike Mini is the fact that it is easy to grip. This is a huge advantage for younger children and aging individuals who have some difficulty gripping small items or limited motor skills. This is especially useful for those who are injured or suffer from arthritic conditions and those stuck in extremely cold weather conditions.

Additionally, due to the large size, it is absolutely possible to use this firestarter with one hand. Definitely something that would be difficult with any size ferro rod, but probably more so with a small one. Even with their larger size, fully loaded with tinder they are both still lighter than my 0.5″ x 6″ ferro rod.

 

Final Thoughts

Lightning Strike and Lightning Strike Mini are undoubtedly some of the highest quality and feature-rich fire starters available today. However, they are quite expensive. But when you consider the benefits and exceptional value that they can provide over a lifetime or more, is it really that expensive?

They are truly some of the best fire starters that I have ever used. Not once have I had to strike the rod more than once to ignite any tinder that I’ve tried. Granted, I typically prepare my tinder well enough so that I rarely need more than one strike with any ferro rod anyway. While I have no plans to give up carrying a few different ways of start a fire, the Lightning Strike and Lightning Strike Mini will certainly become an integral part of my kits.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the product(s) mentioned above for free in consideration for a complete, honest and impartial product review for publication on LetsTalkSurvival.com with no gurantee of the outcome whatsoever. Any opinion provided herein is based entirely on our personal experience with the product(s).

 

 

About Darrell Holland Shooting Supplies

The Lightning Strike Fire Starter was designed, developed and assembled here in the United States of America. We are a family-run business located in Powers, Oregon with employees who are concerned with your safety in the great outdoors! Darrell Holland has worked with the Boy Scouts of America for 18 years and does Hunter Survival Seminars for Safari Club International. He has spent a large portion of his life in the outdoors and understands the importance of being able to get a fire going in a survival situation.

 


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