Video: How to Make a Sawdust Firestarter

Video: How to Make a Sawdust Firestarter

This video shows how to make a sawdust firestarter. If sawdust isn't readily available, substitute another combustible material. A common choice is dryer lint. The process is the same. Put the material into the egg carton sections. Dump wax into the sections. Let cool. Break off the sections and use as needed.

But even if egg cartons and paraffin wax aren't available, dryer lint on its own is one of the best firestarters out there. Considering that most clothes are made of polyester or cotton blends, this off flow of lint particles is a great fire ignition source (when not contained to the catch screen, of course). Best of all, there isn't any prep work.

Simply pull out the catch screen on your dryer machine after running a few loads. Shake the lint into a sealable, waterproof bag. So long as it stays dry, it's ready to go as part of a survival kit or bug-out bag.

Add a few strike-anywhere matches, and you have a ready-made tinder and firestarter kit. This is lightweight and easy to carry with you at all times. Because of lint's abundance, there's no need to worry about running out of the material. At least until things really go south, anyway.

You can increase the volatility of the firestarter lint by packing a 35mm film canister tightly, then carefully saturating it with some white gas or kerosene. Close the container securely, wipe off all spillage and then tightly seal the canister around the cap with duct tape.

Be very careful when you use this method of fire starting in the field. Stay back from the source, as it will flash up quickly.

Another option is to carry a commercial firestarter. You don't need to spend a ton of money for a high-quality one. offers the Swedish Firesteel 2.0 firestarter tool for just $12.99. Click here to watch a video review of this excellent firestarter.

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  1. The Paraffin/Sawdust fire starter is a great idea, the lint mixed with white gas or kerosine not so much.

    Instead of using volatile white gas or kerosene, mix your dryer lint with plain old fashioned white petroleum jelly. Remember petroleum jelly? That’s the stuff your mom used to rub on your butt to prevent diaper rash when you were a little camper. It is safer and burns longer than either of the flammable liquids you mention. Now-a-days most petroleum jelly’s even have a pleasant scent added. It is safe to transport in a resealable plastic container without worry of it leaking or evaporating.

    Mix a small handful of the lint with about a tablespoon of petroleum jelly in that old plastic resealable bowl your spouse was going to toss in the recycle bin. Stir it all together, adding more as needed, until the lint is evenly coated with the jelly. I like the little 1-cup sized resealable containers, because you can mix up your lint/jelly firestarter and then just seal the lid and drop it in your pack. Don’t worry if you don’t have an old plastic container. Trust me, whatever you do, don’t take one of the spouses new ones. I’m just saying… Instead use a resealable plastic bag. Add the lint then spoon in the petroleum jelly, seal the bag and mash it up with your hand until the lint is evenly coated. Carry it in your pack or your glovebox. It weighs only a few grams. When it’s time to build a fire and your tinder is dry, place a dollop the size of a quarter in the center of your tinder and light it. A little goes a long way. If your tinder is damp, use a larger amount. It works equally well in rain, snow or windy conditions. I keep a sandwich sized bag of the lint/jelly in an outer pocket of my pack along with one of those Swedish FireSteel tools. They create a 3,000-degree spark in any weather, at any altitude. No need to carry matches, the FireSteel will light the lint/jelly with only one or two strikes. You will have a nice fire going quickly.


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