Let me start by saying, I do not have a realistic regular use for this small portable lighter; the True Utility Firestash. I am not a smoker, nor do I regularly go bush whacking.
Even so, due to blatant consumerism, a keychain lighter is one of those things I have always wanted to have in my collection.
And you never know... equip it when you're heading out to the pubs and clubs, a pretty girl may ask you for a light and be suitably impressed when you whip out your True Utility Firestash. You can then continue to marvel her with your other awesomely useful EDC tools... I'm sure she would be thrilled!
Back on topic now... the True Utility Firestash is a small lighter one may consider adding to the keychain. The specifications are as follows.
Material: Dark Chrome Plated Zinc Alloy
Colour: Dark Chrome
Size: L45mm x W15mm x D15mm
Weight: 12 grams
Cost: GB £6.98
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
The True Utility Firestash comes in a plastic clam-shell packaging. Included is a thick sturdy 20mm split ring. There is also a smaller split ring that goes through the keyring attachment point.
|True Utility Firestash Packaging|
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The True Utility Firestash is shaped like a cylindrical canister with domed ends. One of the ends has an attachment point for a split ring. It is quite similar to some pill fobs that are available.
The canister is opened by untwisting, revealing the lighter contained within. The main body of the Firestash can be taken apart, allowing you the refill it with lighter fluid. In my sample I found it quite hard to take apart the lighter, it initially needed to be pried open with a screwdriver or small knife.
I am not 100% sure what material the Firestash is made from, the specifications state it has a 'dark chrome plated zinc alloy'. I assume this only refers to the outer coating. The specifications do not mention the underlying material, but judging from the weight of the lighter, I expect it to be made from stainless steel.
The Firestash has a relatively hefty feel for a keychain item. I tend to prefer a less heavy keychain, and I do find the Firestash adds significant size and weight to my keyring. Your mileage may vary (YMMV). Comparing the Firestash to a small bic lighter; the bic lighter actually weighs less as it is made from plastic. Unfortunately the bic lighter lacks a keyring attachment and looks rather plain.
|Firestash, Small Bic Lighter|
The Firestash is meant to be waterproof. It has a neoprene o-ring that helps to provide water resistance. Testing the waterproof claim, I left the lighter in a cup of water for half a day, occasionally agitating and stirring the water. At end of my test there was no noticeable ingress of water.
The True Utility Firestash is rounded at both ends, making it unable to tail-stand. The ability to stand upright is potentially useful if you want to leave the lighter on, acting like a temporary candle. One of the Firestash's competitors does have the ability to tail-stand (read further for more information).
As mentioned previously, the Firestash comes with two split rings. The larger 20mm split ring feels well made, however the smaller split ring feels fairly average. It should be adequate, but I would prefer a split ring with stiffer wire and having the ends of the split ring, recessed. I find non-recessed split rings are more likely to catch loose threads in the pocket.
|The recessed split ring on the left, non-recessed split ring on the right|
I know this is fairly picky but it's a little disappointing when a manufacturer produces a good product, but includes average (or below average) accessories. The 4sevens Mini range and their included split rings come to mind.
If you are a smoker or a survivalist and have a real need for a waterproof lighter, this is something you may consider. Do note, it can be hard to use in windy environments. If you do not have a good use for it, it does take up considerable space and weight on the keychain.
SOME OTHER OPTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Some of you may be familiar with country comm. Country comm make a stainless steel 'peanut lighter' which is quite similar to the True Utility Firestash. The country comm version has the benefit of being able to tailstand. They also offer a titanium version of peanut lighter, as well as an even smaller version of the peanut lighter, called the split-pea lighter.
Cost wise, the True Utility Firestash and the Country Comm Peanut Lighter are comparable. One of the issues I have with country comm is they do no ship outside the US. They also have relatively high shipping costs even if you do live in the US. If you live the UK or EU, the Firestash would be easier to get a hold of.