After watching several youtube videos about using stainless steel to strike sparks from a ferro rod, and reading a bunch of comments claiming that it is impossible to get any sparks using stainless steel, and that the steel used in the videos must have been some kind of bad quality fake stainless steel with very high carbon content, I decided to make a video about using some random pebbles from my front yard as fire scraping tools.
For the test I picked ten small stones of unknown mineral content. Each of the stones had some rough edges, but none of them were particularly sharp. Then I used them to scrape my trusty ferro rod. I’d have expected at least some of the stones to fail the test, but to my rather mild surprise, every single one of them produced a nice shower of sparks with the ferro rod, proving that it is absolutely not necessary to have any specific high carbon steel tools to get sparks from a ferro rod.
Since practically any rock is harder than a ferrocerium rod, in order to be able to shave tiny pieces from it, the only thing to remember is to pick stones with at least one relatively sharp edge.
It is truly amazing how hard it is to get rid of once widely spread misinformation.
The world is full of correct information about properties of ferro rods and fire scrapers, as well as about flints and firesteels, but still the misunderstanding of those property differencies seems to prevail. Are people really so information illiterate that they cannot decide which one is more reliable source of information, “Honest prepper Joe’s survival page” or The Smithsonian institute, or such?
It will be interesting to see for how long does it take before someone claims that my pebble video is fake, or that the only reason why I was able to get any sparks was that all of the pebbles were pieces of high carbon iron pyrite.