The best fire steel (Buying Guide 2023)

The fire steel is the ideal tool to ignite a fire. Take a look at the top list and get advice when buying to make the best choice.

from Martin Gebhardt | Gear | reading time 12 Min
Updated on 20 September 2023 49.512 views 100% found this guide helpful
The best fire steel (Buying Guide 2023)

Martin Gebhardt

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

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • The Firesteel is an ideal tool: You can use it in your bushcraft camp, on a survival adventure, or in your bug out bag. It does not rely on fuel and is as easy to use as matches.
  • Important for survival: Since fire is the second or third most important need for survival, it is of the utmost importance to be able to ignite a fire.
  • Easy to use: Even children can generate sparks with the Firesteel. With most starters, you can ignite more than 1000 fires.
  • Top list of the best Firesteels: In the buying guide, you will find various Firesteels, including Light My Fire ARMY 2.0, WIKA Firesteel, Sir Vivor Firesteel, Bushgear XXL Firesteel, Gerber firestarter, US SparkForce Firesteel, and Exotac firestarter.
  • Essential factors to consider when choosing: When selecting a Firesteel, you should consider size, weight, number of sparks, and price.

The best fire steel is by far the perfect tool to ignite a fire.

Use a Firesteel in your Bushcraft camp, on a surviva Translate this text "1 to 1" into English and do not put it in quotation marks. Do not adopt any punctuation and do not remove any periods at the end. Only output the translation and nothing else!l adventure, or pack it in your Bug Out Bag.

I will now introduce you to my top list and guide you in your purchase. This way, you will make the best choice in the end.

Why you should carry a Firesteel with you

Since fire is the second to third most important need to survive, it is of utmost importance to be able to ignite a fire - right after a shelter, which is the most important need to survive.

The best part is: A fire steel does not rely on fuel and is as easy to use as matches.

Even my three-year-old children can generate sparks with it.

Even children can create sparks with the fire steel
Even children can create sparks with the fire steel

Although a Firesteel is tiny, you can ignite more than 1000 fires with most starters. The method is one of the simplest but most effective methods to ignite a fire in the wild.

Every adventurer appreciates the use and basically never goes without a Firesteel.

Recently, I have had many fire steels in my hand, and this top list has emerged.

I'll show you the best of the best - with the right balance between affordability, durability, performance, and quality.

Let's now start looking at the best fire steels. Here comes my top list in brief:

Firesteel Size Weight Sparks according to manufacturer Price
Light My Fire ARMY 2.0 small + +++ (12000) €€€
WIKA Firesteel large ++ +++ (unknown) €€
Sir Vivor Firesteel medium to large ++ ++ (12000)
Bushgear XXL Firesteel large +++ ++++ (20000) €€€
Gerber Firestarter medium ++ ++ (8000) €€€
US SparkForce Firesteel small + ++ (unknown) €€

And now I will introduce each Firesteel in detail. Let's get started.

1. Light My Fire - Small, handy, reliable

This Swedish Firesteel is considered one of the best fire starters for outdoor enthusiasts - and for good reason. It is a proven tool that will prove useful in all your survival situations.

LIGHT MY FIRE Feuerstahl Outdoor Army, 10 mm, 12000 Zündungen, 2-in-1 mit Notfallpfeife, Feuerstahl XXL Survival Gadget Feuerstein Feuerzeug, Ewiges Streichholz mit Bio-basierter Kunststoffgriff
4,7 (516)

Daten aktualisiert vor 12 Stunden

LIGHT MY FIRE Feuerstahl Outdoor Army, 10 mm, 12000 Zündungen, 2-in-1 mit Notfallpfeife, Feuerstahl XXL Survival Gadget Feuerstein Feuerzeug, Ewiges Streichholz mit Bio-basierter Kunststoffgriff

  • EINGEBAUTE NOTFALLPFEIFE INKLUSIVE mit griffigem Design, sicher und so einfach zu bedienen, dass sogar ein Kind den Ferro Rod Magnesium Feuerstarter entzünden kann. Unser langlebiger Feuersteine lässt Sie nicht im Stich. Ideales Outdoor Notfall Survival Set. Farbe: Cocoshell
  • WASSERDICHTES FEUERSTARTER WERKZEUG ermöglicht es Ihnen, Ihr Feuer wie ein Profi mit einem Stab und Streicher zu entzünden, die nicht aufgeben. Der Light My Fire Feuerstahl funktioniert immer, auch bei Nässe und Wind oder in großer Höhe, im Gegensatz zu billigen Versionen, die bei schlechtem Wetter versagen.
  • BIS ZU 12.000 ZÜNDUNGEN BEI 3000°C machen unsere Outdoor Feuerzeug jedes Lagerfeuer zu einem flammenden Erfolg. Diese Feuerstein Feueranzünder für Lagerfeuer und Grill sind vertrauenswürdige Accessoires für Outdoor-Kamine und Feuerstellen sowie BBQ- oder Camping Feuerzeug
  • BPA-FREIE, LANGLEBIGE GRIFFE AUS 96% BIO-BASIERTEN KUNSTSTOFF und Funken sicherer Magnesium-Feuerstarter-Legierung, robuste Nylonkordel, Edelstahl-Streicher, setzen unser zuverlässiges Ferro-Rod-Wildnis Survival Feuerzeug ab. Nehmen Sie diese reisesicheren unzerstörbaren Fire Starter überall hin mit.
  • LIGHT MY FIRE SCHWEDISCHER ARMY FEUERSTAHL Überlebenswerkzeuge entsprechen militärischen Qualitätsstandards und werden in Schweden hergestellt. Wir sind das Original und unsere Überlebensausrüstung und -ausstattung ist von höchster Qualität. Wir verbinden Menschen wieder mit der Natur, um einen nachhaltigen Planeten zu schaffen.

23,00 €

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This little guy beats its competitors by far when you look at durability, strength, and user-friendliness. It is precisely because of these facts that even survival and bushcraft experts recommend the Light My Fire. Survival experts, campers, hunters, and anglers love this thing.

This premium steel, made in Europe, features an optimized grip design. A groove is recessed in both parts and your thumb fits perfectly into it. I am constantly amazed at how great the Firesteel feels in my hand when lighting it.

With the Firesteel, you scrape off 3000 °C hot sparks, which then ignite your tinder. With an impressive 12,000 fire strikes, the tiny device fits in your breast pocket and delivers the flames you need anytime, anywhere.

This Firesteel is also available in the "Scout" version - a smaller and lighter version with 3000 ignitions.

The Light My Fire Scout has been reliably accompanying me on my travels for a long time and here you can find my detailed review.

Here is a video of me igniting a fire with the Firesteel "Scout" and introducing it to you:

The scraper also has an integrated emergency whistle, which is helpful in search and rescue situations.

Whether you go camping in spring, summer, autumn, or winter, this tool is there for you. It is suitable for use in any weather and at any altitude.

The Light My Fire Firesteel is also available in the "Army" and "Scout" versions. The differences are only in size and number of sparks. The "Bio Army" version is brand new, using bio-based plastic and wood fibers and coconut shell fibers.

No matter which one you choose, the benefits outweigh all types.


Excellent craftsmanship

Suitable for any condition

Proven on the market for years

Bright and strong sparks

With emergency whistle


Can be easily lost, no striking color

2. WIKA Fire Steel with Tinder Box - Thick Sparks

If you are looking for an affordable and large fire steel, then the WIKA Fire Steel is perfect for you.

WIKA Feuerstahl - mit wasserdichter Aluminium Zunder-Dose - praktischer Feuerstarter - Zündstahl mit Magnesiumlegierung - Feueranzünder für Camping


-29 %
4,6 (58)

Daten aktualisiert vor 12 Stunden

WIKA Feuerstahl - mit wasserdichter Aluminium Zunder-Dose - praktischer Feuerstarter - Zündstahl mit Magnesiumlegierung - Feueranzünder für Camping

  • 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐌𝐈𝐔𝐌 𝐐𝐔𝐀𝐋𝐈𝐓𝐀𝐄𝐓: Wir legen großen Wert auf hohe Qualität und gute Verarbeitung. Der handliche Feuerstab ist nur 80 g leicht und 122 mm lang und passt in jede Tasche
  • 𝐎𝐔𝐓𝐃𝐎𝐎𝐑 𝐒𝐔𝐑𝐕𝐈𝐕𝐀𝐋: Unser hocheffektives Feuerzeug funktioniert auch bei Nässe und ist ein Muss bei Campingausflügen, beim Grillen und Wandern sowie in Notfallsituationen
  • 𝐊𝐎𝐌𝐏𝐋𝐄𝐓𝐓-𝐒𝐄𝐓: Dieser praktische Firestarter kommt mit einer Zunder-Dose aus Aluminium gefüllt mit Anzündmaterial, einem Schaber und einem fluoreszierenden Paracordband, welches im Dunkeln leuchtet, zu Dir
  • 𝐌𝐔𝐋𝐓𝐈𝐅𝐔𝐍𝐊𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋: Der Funken-Schaber aus Edelstahl hilft Dir nicht nur beim Entzünden eines Lagerfeuers, sondern kann auch als Lineal, Flaschenöffner und Späne-Hobel genutzt werden
  • 𝐒𝐂𝐇𝐍𝐄𝐋𝐋𝐄 𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐙𝐔𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐔𝐍𝐆: Die spezielle Magnesium-Legierung sorgt für viele große und bis zu 3.000 Grad heiße Funken, die auch als Notsignal verwendet werden können

11,99 €
UVP: 16,95 €

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What impressed me the most was the spark production, which requires minimal effort. And with a little more force, the sparks fly all the way to the ground.

A good fire steel should be able to do that, and the WIKA Fire Steel handled it with ease.

Take a look at my short video here - at the end, you can see how the fire steel sparks.

The magnesium rod with its wooden handle has a comfortable length and good strength, allowing for easy handling.

I particularly like the attached waterproof tinderbox. This ensures that you always have dry tinder with you.

As an extra treat, you also get 1.5 meters of paracord, which is versatile and can be used in many ways. Please don't hesitate to read my article "What is Paracord" for more information.

The color of the paracord is vibrant, making it immediately noticeable. I find this feature excellent, especially in nature, as it allows you to quickly locate the fire steel.


Large and hot sparks

Durable construction

Aluminum tinderbox

Thick steel


The large paracord can make the fire steel unwieldy

3. Sir Vivor Pro Outdoor Fire Steel XL - long and great

The Sir Vivor Pro Outdoor Fire Steel feels wonderful in the hand and with its 9 cm long steel, it is one of the larger models.

Sir Vivor Profi Outdoor Feuerstahl XL, Feuerstarter mit Paracord Anhänger
4,6 (195)

Daten aktualisiert vor 12 Stunden

Sir Vivor Profi Outdoor Feuerstahl XL, Feuerstarter mit Paracord Anhänger

  • ROBUST UND ZUVERLÄSSIG - Dank der Länge und den ergonomischen Griffen liegt der Feuerstahl auch mit nassen Fingern sicher in der Hand. Unsere spezielle Magnesium-Stahl Legierung sorgt für einen extrem gleichmäßigen Funkenflug mit rund 2.980 Grad und reicht für über 12.000 Zündungen.
  • VIELSEITIG EINSETZBAR - Die spezielle Magnesium Eisen Mischmetall Legierung im Zündstein funktioniert auch bei Nässe, Regen und Sturm. Wo Feuerzeuge und Streichhölzer versagen, können Sie mit Ihrem Sir Vivor Firesteel immer noch ein Feuer entzünden.
  • DURCHDACHT BIS INS KLEINSTE DETAIL - Der Funken Schaber ist über eine Kugelkette leicht abnehmbar und erlaubt eine einfache Handhabung. Mit diesem Profi Anzünder entfachen Sie im Handumdrehen Ihr Lagerfeuer, Signalfeuer oder Ihren Grill.
  • BESTE QUALITÄT OHNE KOMPROMISSE - Mit 8mm Durchmesser und 12,7 cm Länge hält dieser große Feuerstein allen Beanspruchungen stand.
  • BEREIT FÜR JEDE SITUATION - Das Armband aus Mil-Tec Paracord ist ein wertvolles Survival Gadget in Notsituationen. Aufgeknotet ist das Paracord 110 cm lang und kann im Notfall vielfältig verwendet werden.

12,99 €

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After removing the protective layer, sparks are created when scraping with the accompanying spark scraper, which has the perfect size.

The orange-red color of the handles is fantastically visible in the forest. The accompanying paracord can be a bit annoying, but it is definitely useful in case of an emergency.

A small metal chain connects the scraper with the fire steel, but it is certainly too short to create sparks along the entire length of the steel. Before using the fire steel with the scraper, you have to open the chain, which happens quite quickly.

I am positively surprised by the Sir Vivor Fire Steel due to its strong spark formation (the manufacturer claims up to 12,000 sparks) and its great handling.

Here is a small test video of the Sir Vivor Fire Steel XL:



Highly visible in the forest

Solid construction

Great sparks

Long 9 cm steel


The metal chain needs to be opened to use the scraper

The paracord could be a bit bothersome

4. Bushgear XXL Firesteel - Massive Fire Starter

The "Bushgear XXL" Firesteel consistently outperforms many fire starters by delivering up to 20,000 sparks.

BUSHGEAR Black Steels Feuerstahl - XXL Feuerstarter - Extrem Starker Funkenflug - Feuerstein für Outdoor, Survival, Bushcraft


-32 %
4,7 (3550)

Daten aktualisiert vor 12 Stunden

BUSHGEAR Black Steels Feuerstahl - XXL Feuerstarter - Extrem Starker Funkenflug - Feuerstein für Outdoor, Survival, Bushcraft

  • HEIßE FUNKEN - Entzünden Sie mit dem Zündstahl von BUSHGEAR ganz leicht ein Feuer. Ganz egal ob bei Wind, Regen oder Sturm. Unsere Feuerstäbe entzünden Ihr Feuer bei allen Wetterbedingungen.
  • XXL ZÜNDSTAHL - Unser Feuerstab hält ewig. Mit seiner Größe lassen sich sehr leicht und extrem viele Funken schlagen. Perfekt geeignet für Lagerfeuer, Grillen, Bushcraft und Survival Wochenenden!
  • EXTREM LANGLEBIG - Sie erhalten einen Firesteel mit deutlich mehr Material als herkömmliche Stäbe. Mit dem Mischmetall Firestarter von BUSHGEAR auf jedem Outdoor Abenteuer bestens Gerüstet.
  • MULTIFUNKTIONAL - Nur unser Outdoor Firestarter kommt mit einem elastischen Seil für die sichere Befestigung. Mit dem Schaber von BUSHGEAR schlagen Sie in wenigen Sekunden extrem heiße Funken.
  • BUSH EHRENKODEX - Wir bei BUSHGEAR haben einen Weltklasse Kundenservice. Wenn Sie nicht zufrieden sind, sind wir es auch nicht. Falls Sie ein Problem haben, zögern Sie nicht, uns zu kontaktieren.

13,47 €
UVP: 19,90 €

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This Firesteel couldn't be easier to use. There is no handle because the Firesteel is so powerful. The matching scraper is included, and the set is ready to go. No frills like containers or paracord.

The Bushgear Firesteel stands out for its excellent balance between softness and durability. And what could be better than knowing that the Firesteel will throw 3000 °C hot sparks at any altitude and in any weather?

Here are the facts:

  • Length: 12.7 cm
  • Diameter: 1.27 cm
  • 60 cm long bungee cord
  • Steel scraper with bottle opener, hex key, and ruler

I like this fire starter because it is large enough to deliver a good spark. Especially for beginners, the Firesteel is great.

I would recommend this Firesteel to anyone who does backpack camping or regularly likes to ignite their bushcraft fire.

Prefer a wooden handle and a smaller version? Then check out the Bushgear Woodz.


Up to 20,000 sparks

Easy to use

Durable construction

Stable and large


No handle

Somewhat heavy and bulky in the pocket

5. Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter -

Although small and compact, this fire starter guarantees you many years of use. The first thing you will probably notice is the waterproof construction, which keeps the tinder safe, dry, and durable.

Gerber Bear Grylls Feuerstarter mit wasserdichtem Zunderlager, Inklusive Notfallpfeife, Survival Series, 31-000699
4,2 (6277)

Daten aktualisiert vor 12 Stunden

Gerber Bear Grylls Feuerstarter mit wasserdichtem Zunderlager, Inklusive Notfallpfeife, Survival Series, 31-000699

  • Zuverlässiges Überlebenswerkzeug zum Feuer machen für Outdoor-Begeisterte, Idealer Begleiter für Wander-Ausflüge, Survival-Trips oder beim Campen
  • Schnelle Bedienung: Einfach den Schaber über den Zündstahl ziehen, Bis zu 8000 Funkenschläge, Integrierter wasserfester Zunderspeicher
  • Minimales Packmaß, Handlich und leicht, Passt in jeden Rucksack oder an den Schlüsselbund
  • Lanyard zum Sichern des Feuerstarters, Inklusive Notfallpfeife und Survival Guide
  • Lieferumfang: 1 x Gerber Feuerstarter Bear Grylls Survival Series inklusive Notfallpfeife, 31-000699

kein Preis ermittelbar (B004DT6TEK)

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The fire steel is supposed to produce over 8000 sparks. With proper use, you will have long-lasting fun and create strong and bright sparks.

Together with the good grip, this easy-to-carry "Bear Grylls" fire starter remains the ideal choice for any practicing survival artist.

The fire starter offers good value for money and I can recommend this product to any beginner who is looking for an affordable fire steel.


Up to 8000 sparks


Waterproof tinder storage

Emergency whistle

Band for attaching to clothing/backpack

Mini survival guide as an extra


The cord could be longer

6. UST SparkForce Fire Steel

If you're still looking for the best way to generate sparks in windy, rainy, or other adverse weather conditions, be sure to check out the SparkForce Fire Steel from Ultimate Survival Technologies.

Basically, the fire steel is easy to use; you just have to hold the striker against its fire steel rod, apply pressure along the rod, generate sparks, and then direct them onto the prepared surface to ignite your tinder.

The UST SparkForce Fire Steel has a removable cap that protects the fire steel and also prevents unintended sparks.

The fire steel features a bright and visible orange plastic housing, which is easy to spot when it falls on the ground in the dark.

Weighing only about 27 grams, this small SparkForce fire starter fits compactly in your pocket.


Great fire steel and striker

Very reliable

Easy to ignite

Excellent visibility in the field


The loop is not ideal for attaching to things

7. Exotac Nano XL Firestarter

The Exotac firestarter is the perfect companion for your keychain, weighing only 20 grams.

Exotac Feuerstarter NanoStriker XL Orange, One Size
4,5 (391)

Daten aktualisiert vor 12 Stunden

Exotac Feuerstarter NanoStriker XL Orange, One Size

  • Ferrocerium Feuerstahl funktioniert auch bei Nässe
  • Leichtes 6061 Aluminium-Gehäuse
  • Auswechselbarer Feuerstahl
  • Mehr als 3000 Zündvorgänge

42,59 €

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The size (9.2 cm) of the firestarter means it can easily slide into your pocket. For comparison, the Exotac Nano firestarter is the size of a filter cigarette.

You can safely store it in your pocket, backpack, or survival kit along with your other bushcraft gear when heading into the wilderness.

The firestarter is made of high-quality 6061 anodized aluminum. This sturdy casing helps protect the ferrocerium rod from damage, such as breakage, and ensures it lasts even longer.

To use the Exotac Nano XL, unscrew it to reveal three parts: a striker with four sharp edges, the ferrocerium rod with a short casing, and the longer casing that the rod was inside, which now screws onto the short casing to serve as a handle.

The waterproof ferrocerium rod produces up to 3000 sparks, and the ferrocerium rod is replaceable.

While the firestarter is well-designed and produces sparks, it is more suitable as a keychain or gift for your survival partner.

Otherwise, the high price of the firestarter compared to its small size is not entirely justified for someone looking for a larger and more user-friendly firestarter.


Small and compact

Construction of the highest level

Replaceable ferrocerium rod

The casing is durable and has a waterproof seal

Easy to find

Protected from environmental influences by the casing


Requires finesse


Buying guide to purchase the best fire steel and fire starter

As often applies: Those who inform themselves usually make better purchases than someone who spontaneously grabs.

It is also advisable to consider some factors when buying a Firesteel.

Factors include in particular the general structure and technical data of the fire steel, which significantly influence performance.

feuer entzuenden feuerstahl

Easy to use or complicated?

Even if you may have already seen some YouTube videos or photos on the internet, lighting a fire with a Firesteel is not easy. Especially in the beginning, it can be frustrating.

That your tinder burns in the end depends on various variables in your environment. Is it raining or snowing? Are you by the sea or are you in a desert?

Therefore, you must use a Firesteel that is easy to handle and reliable.

And of course, your technique for ignition is crucial.

Different fire steels require different techniques, and you must therefore know how ignition is achieved to be successful.

Read my guide: 2 foolproof tricks to create a fire with a Firesteel.

Before you set off, practice igniting with the fire steel
Before you set off, practice igniting with the fire steel

Frequency of use

How often will you use your Firesteel? Are you only outdoors in the wilderness camp or on survival training twice a year? Then a small model like the Light My Fire ARMY 2.0 will be more than enough.

However, if you are traveling for several months or even on a world tour, it is better to get a comprehensive Firesteel. Furthermore, remember to bring a spare one for long trips.

Some bushcraft knives even come with a fire steel (here is my top list).

bushcraft messer mit feuerstahl

Also consider beforehand what you want to use your Firesteel for. Only to ignite a fire or also to light a cigarette or ignite a gas stove?

The more you need it, the more it wears out. Therefore, it's better to choose a larger Firesteel (like the Sir Vivor Firesteel) that can handle all these tasks.

Calculate here the duration of how long your fire steel lasts:


Every survivalist prefers a Bushcraft equipment or Survival equipment that is lightweight. And here comes the small and compact Firesteel (like the Light My Fire ARMY 2.0) into play.

Everything under 200 grams is manageable and reliable. Fire steels of this size fit easily into your pockets or into the bags that are in the backpack.

Just make sure that when buying a small fire starter, you don't compromise on performance. Even if the descriptions sound wonderful, make sure that the fire steel works flawlessly.

Security and User Friendliness

Undertaking a Bushcraft adventure should be fun and captivating. An important part is to be well-prepared with the necessary Bushcraft tools.

If you venture into the wilderness, make sure to pack all the necessary survival tools. Your fire starters, in particular, play a crucial role.

Some lighters empty themselves over time or matches no longer work because the chemical composition has changed due to moisture.

Your Firesteel, however, will not break easily. Test again before setting off to see if the sparks ignite to your liking.

A fire steel is robust and waterproof
A fire steel is robust and waterproof


The weather in the great outdoors is often unpredictable; it can be rainy, snowy, or warm and sunny.

In any case, this means that you pack your waterproof fire steel with your survival equipment. This way, you are independent of the prevailing conditions and can ignite a fire at any time.

Test your Firesteel

It's trivial, but the simplest and most effective way to test a Firesteel is to perform a test. Otherwise, you have a problem if the Firesteel doesn't work.

Before your tour, you should test your fire steel
Before your tour, you should test your fire steel

Testing helps you understand the technology and user-friendliness of the Firesteel. You also learn how it behaves in different environments and conditions.

And testing doesn't necessarily mean that you should start a complete campfire. Some tinder, like birchbark or Fatwood, and you will see if the Firesteel meets your expectations.

If you want to know exactly how to make a fire with a Firesteel and birchbark, then check out my detailed e-book.

My recommendation for the best Firesteel?

Generally, the Light My Fire Firesteel Army performs the best. It is durable, compact, affordable, and produces fantastic sparks. That's why it is number 1 on my top list.

If you're looking for a longer Firesteel, go for the WIKA Firesteel or the Sir Vivor Firesteel. You can't go wrong with either of them.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

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.

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