The fire piston is a primitive device that many claim Rudolph Diesel used as a model for his namesake engine design. Both employ the use of compression ignition. The piston compresses the air to over 800 degrees Fahrenheit. This results in the ignition of the tinder in the tip of the bolt.
The fire piston's origins are traced to mid-19th century Southeast Asia. It's waterproof, indestructible and never runs out of fuel. That's much more efficient than fire starting methods like the bow drill or flint-steel.
You can use this video as a survivalist trick, or take it a step further. Let it inspire you to explore engine building.
Show us your piston-crafting videos and we'll send you a T Shirt. We're looking for grease monkeys, gurus and pyros alike.