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fire saw



A fire saw is a primitive fire-making tool used in survival, bushcraft, and wilderness skills. It consists of a long, flexible bow and a notched wooden board. To create fire, you place a piece of tinder in the notch and then saw back and forth with the bow, causing friction between the bowstring and the board. This friction generates heat, which ignites the tinder and creates a fire. The fire saw is a valuable tool in outdoor activities, as it allows you to start a fire without matches or a lighter, making it essential for survival situations or when camping in remote areas.


  1. „I love using a fire saw to start a fire in the wilderness. It's a primitive and effective method that requires skill and patience.“

  2. „When I was teaching my friend how to use a fire saw, he was amazed at how quickly the friction between the two pieces of wood created sparks.“

  3. „During a survival training course, we learned how to make a fire saw from scratch using materials found in nature. It was a challenging but rewarding experience.“

  4. „In a recent camping trip, I forgot to bring matches or a lighter, but luckily I had my fire saw with me. It saved the day and kept us warm throughout the night.“

  5. „I always recommend carrying a fire saw in your survival kit. It's a versatile tool that can be used in various situations, especially when traditional fire-starting methods fail.“


The term "fire saw" originates from the ancient technique of creating fire by friction. It is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, specifically in the region of Indonesia and Malaysia. The technique involves using a saw-like device to generate heat through friction, which then ignites a tinder bundle and creates fire.

The fire saw has its roots in the traditional practices of indigenous tribes who relied on fire for various purposes, including cooking, warmth, and protection. Over time, the technique spread to other parts of the world and became a valuable skill in survival and bushcraft.

The development of the fire saw technique can be attributed to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of early humans. By observing the properties of different materials and experimenting with various designs, they discovered that a saw-like motion could generate enough friction to produce sparks and eventually ignite a fire.

Today, the fire saw is still used by survival enthusiasts and practitioners of primitive skills. It has also become a popular topic in the field of bushcraft and wilderness survival education. Many people enjoy learning and practicing this ancient technique as a way to connect with nature and develop self-reliance skills.


Fire bow drill, Fire plough, Fire drill, Fire spindle, Fire hand drill, Fire friction saw, Fire starting bow, Fire starting spindle


Water, Extinguish, Put out, Dampen, Quench, Smother, Suppress, Suffocate


Fire making, Friction fire, Bow drill, Hand drill, Fire starting, Firecraft, Fire building, Fire making techniques

Historical and cultural importance

The fire saw is a primitive fire-making tool that has been used by various cultures throughout history. It holds significant historical and cultural relevance as it represents the ingenuity and resourcefulness of early humans in their quest for survival.

One of the earliest known uses of the fire saw can be traced back to the indigenous people of Southeast Asia, particularly the Dayak tribes of Borneo. They developed this technique to create fire by friction, using a wooden saw-like device and a fireboard. This method allowed them to generate sparks and ignite tinder, enabling them to start fires for warmth, cooking, and protection.

The fire saw also played a crucial role in the lives of ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. These cultures recognized the importance of fire for various purposes, including metallurgy, pottery, and religious ceremonies. The fire saw was a valuable tool in their daily lives, allowing them to harness the power of fire and advance their societies.

Today, the fire saw continues to be used by survivalists, bushcraft enthusiasts, and those seeking to reconnect with nature. It serves as a reminder of our ancestors' resourcefulness and their ability to adapt to their surroundings. By mastering the art of fire sawing, individuals can develop essential survival skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the ancient techniques that have shaped our history.

More information about the term fire saw

Fire Saw: A Primitive Fire-Making Technique

Fire is one of the most essential elements for survival in the wilderness. It provides warmth, light, and the ability to cook food. While there are various methods to start a fire, one of the most primitive and fascinating techniques is the fire saw.

What is a Fire Saw?

A fire saw is a traditional fire-making method that involves using friction to create heat and ignite tinder. It consists of two main components: a baseboard and a sawing stick. The baseboard is a flat piece of wood, while the sawing stick is a long, thin piece of wood with a notch carved into one end.

How Does it Work?

To start a fire using a fire saw, you need to place the baseboard on a stable surface and hold it firmly in place. Then, insert the notched end of the sawing stick into the baseboard, applying downward pressure and sawing back and forth rapidly. The friction generated by the sawing motion creates heat, which eventually ignites the tinder placed at the base of the notch.

It's important to maintain a steady and consistent sawing motion to generate enough heat for ignition. The choice of wood for both the baseboard and sawing stick is crucial. Softwoods like cedar or pine are commonly used due to their low ignition temperature and ease of carving.

Advantages and Challenges

The fire saw technique offers several advantages. It requires minimal tools and can be performed using natural materials found in the wilderness. It's a valuable skill to have in emergency situations or when traditional fire-starting methods are unavailable.

However, mastering the fire saw technique can be challenging. It requires practice, patience, and physical effort. The right technique and proper materials are essential for success. Additionally, the fire saw is not the most efficient fire-making method, especially in damp or humid conditions.


The fire saw is a fascinating and ancient fire-making technique that connects us to our primitive roots. While it may not be the most practical method in all situations, learning and practicing this skill can deepen your understanding of survival in the wilderness. So, next time you find yourself in the great outdoors, give the fire saw a try and experience the satisfaction of starting a fire with your own hands.

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