3 tricks to process tinder and kindling

Kitchen and office appliances help you to process your tinder and sticks for your fire. You don't need a knife, axe or saw.

from Martin Gebhardt | Survival | reading time 2 Min
Updated on 24 August 2023 12.551 views 100% found this guide helpful
3 tricks to process tinder and kindling

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • It is always good to know various methods of processing tinder and wood in case a knife is not available.
  • Fine stainless-steel grater: Can be used to crush tinder such as Fatwood and create fine shavings that can be easily ignited.
  • Pencil sharpener: A large pencil sharpener can be used to create fine wood shavings that can be placed over burning tinder.
  • Peeler: A peeler can be used to create larger pieces of wood that can be placed on burning tinder or used to build a fire.
  • These methods are experiments and do not necessarily require a knife to process tinder and wood.
  • These methods are more suitable for household use, as they require kitchen and office equipment.

Today's 3 tricks may sound strange to you. I knew that before conducting the experiment.

And if you are skilled and passionate about using your knife, you won't need these 3 methods.

But I am a person who is open to new things. I want to try out new stuff. What if there is no knife in front of you?

Learn now how kitchen and office utensils can help you prepare your kindling and sticks for your fire.

The Video for the 3 Tricks

Watch my video about the tricks.

Fine Stainless-Steel Grater

Well, in fact, you use it to grate your parmesan or your carrots.

But the grater can also greatly crush your kindling. A piece of fatwood or lightwood is best suited for this task.

This will produce fine shavings of your fatwood. They are perfect for igniting a fire.

And if you grate your lightwood finely, it smells fabulous with resin. That alone is a good reason to try it.

You ignite the fine shavings of lightwood with a fire steel, a fire iron or a magnifying glass.

A grater can greatly crush your kindling
A grater can greatly crush your kindling

Reading tip: "What is a fatwood? [Meaning, origin, application]".

Pencil sharpener

Pencil sharpeners come in different sizes. I recommend you take one that can hold a thick stick.

Because with a pencil sharpener, you can produce fine wooden shavings that you can put over your burning tinder.

Find a stick and sharpen it like a pencil.

The shavings ignite perfectly because they are thin and porous. You can only produce such thin shavings with a pencil sharpener. I even claim that you can't do it with a knife in such a short time.

With a pencil sharpener you can produce fine wooden shavings
With a pencil sharpener you can produce fine wooden shavings


You make larger pieces of wood with the peeler. Just imagine the branch is a carrot. And then you start peeling.

You can then put the wood shavings and sticks on your burning tinder. Or you can use them to build up your fire.

It's best to use a straight stick, it's easier to peel. And of course, the peeler should be sharp and preferably made of metal.

The great thing is that the stick becomes thinner as you "peel" it and fits into the pencil sharpener. Use it for that and create the fine wooden shavings.

With a peeler, you create coarse wood shavings
With a peeler, you create coarse wood shavings


But: I like to experiment and work on wood with different tools. It gives me the feeling that if I ever really lose my knife, I won't be completely helpless.

If you would like to learn even more about tinder and making fire, then check out my article about tinder.

How do you feel about it?

Do you like such experiments?

Well, not always a knife is necessary to work on wood. My experiment is not really suitable for the forest because who has a cheese grater, a pencil sharpener, and a peeler with them.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide

Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Was this guide helpful?

7 people found this guide helpful.


5.00 out of 5 points (7 Ratings)