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So I pick one of these up, go to my firepit, start going by the directions and I find out that my knife is dull after trying to shave the magnesium off the bar. Not only that, but I only get a little bit of slithers into the pit. Seems like it would take me all day and dull the heck out of my knife to do such a task. What am I doing wrong?!
 

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It's good to have 2 knives, one you don't care about and one for "good" use. You can also try using the back of the knife if it isn't double edged
 

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You can take an old hacksaw blade, cut it down to about two or three inches and use it as a scraper. This way you can keep your knives sharp.
 

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fantastic idea! thanks plissken!
 

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I picked up a bottle of magnesium shavings from a high school that was remodeling its science lab. These work well and no problems with cuttting and dulling your knife. I also have a small bottle of thermite and can use the magnesium to start the thermite. Also, potassium permanganate is an oxidizer and when mixed with glycerine causes spontaneous combustion and thus a chemical reaction and fire. Works well in all conditions. :D
 

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magnesium blocks are meant to shave powder into a little pile, very fine powder scraped from the block. A ferro rod is a different tool to make the sparks.
 
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