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April 15, 2021

Survival Tool Review: The 19-in-1 Leatherman Signal Multitool

Any backpacking adventurer knows that a good and reliable multitool is crucial to survival. Small things like wood cutting, repair and equipment improvisation, fire building, hunting, and fishing can be accomplished successfully with the use of a good multi-device.

The Leatherman Signal 19-in-1 multi-tool is one such tool that can do all of the tasks previously mentioned and more.

With its’ tagline “built to survive,” the Leatherman Signal was designed and built with survival in mind. It is also the first to incorporate survival items such as a whistle and a fire starter alongside tools like a knife and pliers that can be commonly found in most multi-tool sets.

The Signal has 19 different tools which Leatherman calls “preparedness features.” The materials that were used in assembling the small portable multi device are also of superb quality. In fact, Leatherman has a 25 year guarantee for every tool they sell, repairing and even replacing them during that 25 year guarantee period.

The Leatherman Signal

Leatherman Signal Multitool diagram

Product Description:

  • 19 tools in one (see diagram above)
  • Easy one-handed operation (each of the tools are accessible with just one hand)
  • Equipped with clip and carabiner to keep it within reach
  • Closed Length: 4.5 in (11.43 cm).
  • Weight: 7.5 oz (212.6 g).
  • Blade Length: 2.73 in (6.93 cm).
  • 25-year limited warranty  
  • Made and repaired in the USA.

Pros and Cons of The Leatherman Signal

As with all multi-tools products, the Leatherman Signal also comes with its pros and cons.

Pros:

  • The pocket clip and carabiner style clip gives two great carry options.
  • Practical functionality.
  • For a full size tool, the Signal is fairly light at just 7.05oz.
  • Strong frame locks for both the saw and knife make using both secure and safe.
  • Quality construction and clever problem solving throughout.
  • The tool locks closed for ‘biner carry.
  • Replaceable wire cutters mean you can really take full advantage of the strong, precise pliers to cut stuff that would otherwise damage your tool.
  • Great build quality overall

Cons:

  • A bit expensive.
  • Bonus features are less useful than we’d like.

A Closer Look At The Leatherman Signal…

Design

The Leatherman signal is a multi device that features a whopping 19 different implements that are forged from 420HC stainless steel. It also has corrosion and scratch resistance properties due to its diamond like coating or DLC that is applied on all the tools. The multi-tool has a closed length of 4.5 inches. It’s main blade is 2.73 inches long and its total weight is 7.5 ounces. The Leatherman signal also has a steel clip that helps secure the tool from falling out from your pockets.

Usability

If you are new to multi-tools, then, you may find the Leatherman Signal to not be the most intuitive device to use. The 19 tools of the Leatherman Signal may be too much to grasp at the beginning and as a newbie, you might find no need for all of these tools. Also, some of the tools like the two box wrenches and the hammer are not instantly recognizable without the help of the tool instruction kit.

But for someone who has a lot of experience with multi-tools, the endless features of the Leatherman Signal is a joy to behold. The included tools such as the pliers feature great grip and strength, the saw can easily cut through branches with 2-inch diameter, the knife doesn’t need sharpening even after a month of use and the Signal’s open and lock mechanism is also easy to use.

One great feature of the Leatherman Signal is that, the tool can be disassembled by using a small torch wrench. This means that the parts of the tool can be individually replaced if they are damaged.

Weight

When compared to other multi-tools with the same number of smaller implements, the Leatherman is on the lighter end. But for backpackers and outdoor survival adventurists, the Signal is still considered as a heavy tool to carry. Most of the tools found on the Signal are useful and worth the weight, but others could be eliminated. An example of a tool that is not that much needed in the Signal is the whistle. This is because, most packs that are used for backpacking and survival adventure trips have whistles already found on the chest strap of the pack.

Final Word

Overall, the Leatherman Signal is a reliable tool from a respectable brand. So, you won’t go wrong with this product. The Signal is best for people who love to fix even the smallest defects on their gear. It also has a lot to offer and performs very well in any trips and excursions. In short, the Leatherman Signal is a great, fun to use, and effective multi-tool that has a strong, sharp, and durable features. But for people who are looking for a simpler multi-tool and just wants the basics, the Signal and its 19 different tools may be way too much to handle compared to other simpler multi-tools in the market today. It is now up to you to decide if you want to add this tool in your survival kit or just settle to the more simpler multi-tools in the market. The price can be worth it for having a single multi-device that can backup some of your survival tools and implements. The final choice will always be up to you.

Get the Leatherman Signal Multitool here.

April 9, 2021

Survival Tool Review: The Top 3 Survival Fire Starter Kits

Every outdoor survival enthusiast knows that fire starters are an incredibly important tool out in the wilderness. That is the reason why 9 out of 10 outdoor adventurers always carry with them their favorite fire starters in their backpacks . Today, there are so many fire starter products in the market to choose from. Each with its own merits and flaws.

In this products review, we will be looking at 3 of the best selling fire starters in the market today and what each has to offer.

1. The Friendly Swede Magnesium Fire Starter

Product description:

  • Easy fire starting and the kit works in any weather conditions.
  • Built-in first stage tinder. The magnesium bar is the tinder.
  • The flint rod throws hot sparks even in windy conditions.
  • Compact and longer-lasting (bundle of 3 firesteel blocks).
  • Magnesium block is 3″ long by 1.2″ wide
  • Striker is 3″ long by 0.7″ wide
  • The striker is also a multitool – scraper, bottle opener and ruler (for measuring in inches and centimeters)
  • Also comes with 17.5″ long ball chain
  • Lifetime warranty.

Review on the Friendly Swede Survival Magnesium Firestarter Kit

Design and Usage

Made from magnesium, the Mag Bar will work in any and all conditions. Regardless of any weather, this fire starter tool works like magic. It comes with three one inch solid magnesium alloy and flint block that enables you to create fire with ease. The three serrated metal striker saws that comes with this fire starter tool makes sure that carrying different blades will no longer be necessary. These magnesium fire starter blocks also has a 17.5 inches of chain length which can be used as a key chain for easier access.

How it works

To utilize this fire starter, use the edge of the striker to shave the block, creating a small pile of magnesium alloy. Placing your tinder next to your magnesium alloy pile, slide the flat edge of the striker firmly down against the flint at 45 degrees. Doing this will create sparks that will fall into the magnesium alloy pile, igniting the tinder.

Pros and Cons of Friendly Swede’s fire starter

Pros:

  • Comes with three individually packed starters so you can easily have one ready for any situation.
  • Starters include long chains so you don’t lose the pieces but still have plenty of room to work with.
  • Easy to use
  • Budget friendly
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Water proof

Cons:

  • May take a very long time to shave off enough magnesium to get a fire started. This may improve with practice.
  • Has been known to have trouble working if the magnesium gets very wet

Verdict

The Friendly Swede Magnesium Fire Starter is a must have for all outdoor enthusiast and survivalists alike. It is one valuable tool that can be a great addition to your survival tool kit and it can be also be used for wide variety of things. With its compact design, it is also lightweight and can be easily carried wherever you go. Plus, with 3 blocks in a pack, it can go a long way.

Get this survival fire starter kit here.

2. überleben Kräftig Fire Starter 

Product description:

  • Ferrocerium rod is available in 5″ and 8″ lengths
  • Ferro rod is soft but durable and can throw 5,500ºF sparks in any weather and altitude
  • Multi-tool striker that works as scraper, ruler, hex wrench, bottle opener and map scale.
  • Shock cord lanyard for multiple securing options
  • Compact and light. Perfect for bushcraft, firecraft, backpacking, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, bugout, every day carry, emergency, survival, campfire, BBQ, gas camp stoves, etc.
  • Product comes with hassle free manufacturer guarantee

Review on the Kräftig Fire Starter

If you want to have a portable and easy to use fire starter at your disposal, then, the Ferro Rod, as it’s commonly called is your answer. This fire starter tool also works in all types of weather and environment and in high altitude.

A single scratch on the ferrocerium rod  ignites a spark of approximately 5,500º F (3,000º C) into the tinder. Like all survival tools, you will need a little bit of practice before you get the technique right. But once you do, using the Ferro Rod to create a fire will be a breeze.

The ferrocerium Kräftig Fire Starter is soft but durable enough to last a really long time – up to 20,000 strikes. It weighs about half a pound and costs just over 20 dollars which is a bargain considering the effectiveness of the tool.

Pros and Cons of the Kräftig Fire Starter

Pros:

  • 3mm shock cord lanyard is included
  • High quality rod will last for years without wearing out potentially living up to their promise of 20000+ strikes
  • Easy to use
  • Item price is just right

Cons:

  • Multi-tools seem like an afterthought

In all, the Kräftig Fire Starter  is one good tool to have if simplicity and utility is your preference. It’s a very Spartan tool and does the job well most of the time.

Get this survival fire starter kit here.

3. Spark-Lite Military Edition Fire Starter and Tinder Quick

Product description:

  • US made
  • Official fire starter of the US Armed Forces
  • Lightweight (weighs less than 1oz)
  • Can be used either left handed or right handed
  • Spark-Lite can last for hundreds of strikes
  • No-fail simple design
  • Kit includes the Spark-Lite, 8ea tinder quick tabs and instructions

Review on the Spark-Lite Military Edition Fire Starter

When it comes to functionality and starting a fire, the Spark-Lite Military Edition Fire Starter is one of the best. This maybe the reason why the U.S. Military chose this product as their official fire starter tool. Most people who have purchased and tried this product agree that this tool is a keeper and should be in every one’s bug out bag and survival emergency kits.

More importantly, the Spark-Lite fire starter was designed to be used in case of emergency or injury. It is more reliable than lighters or matches and it can be used even with just one functional hand. It is also water proof, lightweight, and will burn for 1-2 minutes after it is ignited.

To use it, simply pull a tinder quick fire tab from the plastic case and ignite it with a spark-Lite.

Pros and Cons of the Military Edition Fire Starter and Tinder Quik

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Can be used in any type of environment
  • Burns longer after ignited compared to other fire starters
  • Water Proof

Cons:

  • Striker is light and tiny

Despite its relatively small size, the Spark-Lite fire starter is still one of the best fire making tools one can own. If you want a survival tool for starting fires really quickly and that does not come with a lot of bells and whistles, this is a great fit. With its very simple design, it’s practically fail safe. Since it’s also quite cheap, you can use it as a compliment to your main fire starter tool.

You can get this survival fire starter kit here.

Final Word

All four of the fire starter tools reviewed in this article are essential items to have for anyone who loves to travel and explore. Any of the above fire starter tools can easily make your fire building easier as well as keep you safe in any wilderness survival situation. The only thing to remember in buying a fire starter tool is that the tool must be reliable, water proof, and will work in all and in any condition. Lastly, if you really want to buy your own fire starter tool, a quick research regarding the product will be a good idea.