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A fuse (or fuze) is the part of a pyrotechnic device which initiates the said pyrotechnic device, either thermal, electric or other chemical reaction.

Fuses are different from detonators.


Burning fuses

Consist of a wick, embedded with a flammable material, such as flash powder. Nitrocellulose wicks are sometimes used.

Black match

Black matches consist of a crude form or burning fuse, it is made by soaking cotton string/sheets in a slurry of black powder.

Safety fuse

Safety fuses consist of a "tube" of gunpowder surrounded by a waterproofed varnished jute "rope". Burn rate is around 1 cm/s.

Electric match

Electric matches use a bridgewire consisting of a heating element to ignite a pyrogen, which in turn ignites the pyrotechnic material.


Sparklers can be used as crude fuses. Wrapping a magnesium ribbon on them will increase said fuse's effectiveness, especially when igniting thermite.


Fuses are found in many types of fireworks, though most tend to be pretty short.

Since 2015, using fuses in US requires an ATF license.[1]

DIY fuse

A simple fuse can be made by adding gunpowder (black powder or smokeless powder) along a sheet of wet wrapping paper/cotton then twist it.[2] Other liquids can be used.

Wrapping a flammable material, like a magnesium strip around a sparkler can create an effective fuse.

Connecting a tungsten filament between the ends of two wires and passing a strong electric current though it, is a cheap and effective electric fuse.


Fuses can ignite relative easy and should be kept away from flammable things.

Electric fuses should not be placed in the primer until you're sure the electric wires are not connected to any power source.


  1. https://www.atf.gov/explosives/docs/newsletter/explosives-industry-newsletter-december-2014/download
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxkhsGkTQEw

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