When using any type of fire starting rod, make sure to place the tip of the rod on or into the tinder that you are trying to start. Then run your striker down the rod, while keeping the rod still, instead of pulling back on the rod. This will keep the hottest sparks close to the tinder and give you a much better chance at getting the tinder lit. Hope this helps and go out and test your fire starting skills. As always do everything in a safe manner and at your own risk.