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There are many different fire staff makers out there these days. And as the ease of selling on ebay increases many people are selling home made wares online. We have a few people asking what to look for when buying a firestaff.
Below are a few of the things to look out for.
The fire stick is made of three main components.
The staff can come in timber or aluminium or even steel. The most popular stick is aluminium. The main reasons for using aluminium is the strength and the weight. Aluminium won't snap or bend easily and the weight is excellent for this application. Timber sticks tend to break, and steel sticks are typically too heavy for most people.
The wick is very important. Kevlar Wick is the best medium available for use on the ends of fire sticks.
The benefits of kevlar?
Strong! Fire Proof! Very long lasting! oh and it's bullet proof :)
Kevlar is THE number 1 choice without question.
Caution: I recently saw some firesticks in a retail store in brisbane. The wicks looked like plaster covered cotton. This is not a good way to go, and these products come directly out of thailand, where they don't have kevlar to use. We did have a set of poi with this wick once and they don't last.
The amount of wick is the next consideration. The more wick the better. ? Well yes, and no. For a beginner a 2" or 2.5" wick is good. Saying that there should be at least 3cm of wick wrapped on the stick. This is where the money is. You could buy a stick with two wraps of wick and the burn time would be very short. As it is not able to hold much fuel. Below you can see a good example from threeworlds :)
Grips come in a lot of different varieties. It is a personal think what feels best. From our experience and experiments we have found that sports grip, like that found on tennis rackets etc to be a great grip for fire sticks. They are cheap and easy to replace, soft to catch and hold, and provide excellent traction. Other things used. Leather, Electrical Tape (not so good) Shrink Wrap, Foam and rubber.
The quality is made up of both the components used and the way the are put together.
There is more to a firestick than the parts mentioned.
All good firestick will have some for of material in the ends to stop the heat from travelling down the tube, and also to add extra weight to the ends for smoother spinning. The really good one (like ours) have heat protection methods on the very end to stop the weight from burning. (typically the end weights are timber dowel) These are called end caps. (as seen above)
How well the wick is put on also contributes to the way the flame will burn. Not too loose not too tight.
I hope this guide help in making an informed buying decision when you are comparing firesticks and trying to make a decision.
Note: all bias towards threeworlds firesticks is intentional!! our sticks rock :)