Video: How to Make a Hand Drill Friction Fire

How to Make a Hand Drill Friction Fire: Quick Tips

How to Make a Hand Drill Friction Fire

Body positioning is important when attempting the hand drill friction fire technique. Practice makes perfect.

For the fire board, locate or baton a plank of wood about 1/2-inch to 1/3-inch thick.

Good woods to use include:

  • Sotol
  • Yucca
  • Balsam Fir
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Cypress
  • Tamarack
  • Basswood
  • Cottonwood
  • American Elm
  • Slippery Elm
  • Willow
  • and others


Swedish Firesteel FirestarterChoose a spindle that’s about the width of your pinky. Soft woods work best.

Pine pitch is a great way to keep a grip on the spindle.

When working the spindle, use the full length of your hands to avoid blistering.

This hand drill technique is an excellent skill to learn, but for quick starts, order the Living Ready-approved Swedish Firesteel 2.0. It’s 12% off right now.