No good if it's nighttime.... Hope you've got some dry matches!
Made from aluminum and wights. Scary!
I can't figure out when this would be useful.
A water tight matchbox would be lighter to carry and allow you to start a fire outside of high noon on a warm, windless day.
Or you could, you know, get any of a number of watertight boxes for $10 and a plastic magnifying glass for $5...
I remember virtually the same thing being sold when I was a kid. It certainly didn't cost $40.
Ain't got nothing on my one-meter-square Fresnel lens. After all, sometimes the only tinder you can find is scrap aluminum!
You call that a solar fire-starter?
In high school, we had an old ~2.5 foot diameter mirror from a spotlight -- it would start just about anything on fire... I recall getting a gym towel blazing in the middle of winter.
At $40 a pop you would think they could afford a better hand model. That thumb almost deserves a unicorn chaser.
what is the advantage to this over a lighter weight smaller magnifying glass?
The more expensive and cumbersome alternative to varying combinations of:
Waxed wooden matches
A magnifying glass
A small plastic waterproof box
“Uses no fuel?” What about the tinder?
Exactly that device used to be marketed as a solar cigarette lighter. Even then it was a gimmick more than it was useful.
Well golly, I sure know now what I'm not getting anyone for christmas...
No one has mentioned magnesium fire starters yet? Waterproof and last essentially forever (though some have glue failure between the flint and magnesium chunk.)
And even that one is quite expensive. I remember getting one during a horse/ride fair. That was 20 years ago, granted, but it cost about 20 DM (about 10€).
Magnifying glass was my tool of choice for fire starting. I remember going on an orientation outing with a bunch of school kids, and I was the first to get a fire going. I brought 2 pieces of paper for tinder, and the adults were telling me it's not going to work. When I got it going they surmised that the fact the paper was orange meant it had something in it to make it burn better than normal paper.
So - it doesn't work on non-sunny days/night, but its way cheaper than $40, and you can use it for other stuff (looking at bugs, fungi, etc)