Searching for the most robust, best firestarter that meets your requirements when SHTF might just be imperative to your survival. There are many brands to choose from currently on the market, each of them differ slightly to the other, but all do just about the same thing in the end. But which one is the best? Our buying guide will help you make an informed decision that might just save your life in a survival situation, we cover everything from premium to budget.
When it comes down to it, you want your fire lighter to do its job when you need it most. A firestarter is a key ingredient to any survival situation and you certainly won’t regret having one or more at your disposal, they’re not expensive when compared to other pieces of your survival gear.
Regardless of whether you’re in a solo survival situation or with others, a firestarter can help bring you warmth and comfort no matter the situation.
Top Things To Consider When Buying A Firestarter
Some people make the comparison that the best ferro rod striker is similar to having a good and trustworthy knife. You want to ensure that the rod size is long enough so that it remains comfortable when using, but not to the point where it may break from being too long. If you strike a rod that is too long in the wrong place you will break it, which won’t go down very well in a survival situation. The ideal rod size is around three inches although this doesn’t include the handle. However, choose one which you are most comfortable in using.
When it comes to choosing the best firestarter for your needs, you don’t want to find yourself in a survival situation where you need to start a fire with an unreliable fire lighter. This can quickly ruin moral and send you on a downward spiral. Be sure to choose a fire starter that is heavily reliable and that you know will work. It might be worth testing a few choices out to see which you like best, and which consistently work for you. Reliability is key when it comes to survival situation and you won’t want any of your survival gear failing you when you need it most.
Ease Of Use
Lighting a fire should be simple, so why choose something that is going to complicate the situation. Be sure to choose from one of the best firestarters which are simple to use and can be used simply in a survival situation. You might find yourself stuck with somebody who doesn’t have the same survival capabilities as you, so if needs be you will want them to be able to perform basic survival duties, like lighting the fire. Having a firestarter which is easy to use makes everyone’s life just that little bit easier when things are not so easy on the whole.
Size And Weight
Generally, you might have to grab your survival pack in a rush or you may need to travel extremely light unless you have somewhere pre-planned to bug out. You will want to ensure your firestarter is light weight and compact so it doesn’t take up valuable room in your survival pack. Firestarters come in all shapes and sizes, they can even be found on keychains. So be sure to pick one that suits your needs, but it is best to go with something small and compact that can easily be stored or hidden.
Top 10 Best Firestarters
- TOP PICK -
Our top pick is the Tinder Stick. It combines everything you need into a portable, compact accessory for starting a fire. Tinder, flint and steel are all included.
The Tinder Stick also doubles as a compass, so if you ever get lost or you forget your compass in a survival situation, you can rely on your fire starter to point you in the right direction. It’s incredibly light weight and comes with a cotton ball which has been paraffin treated for super-fast fire lighting.
It also contains a lanyard hole as well as a detachable metal hoop that can be easily clipped onto a belt or survival bag.
- PREMIUM PICK -
fireROD Gen 2
The fireROD would be the ideal fire-starting instrument for camping, wilderness survival, and sustenance when used in combination with a fixed-blade knife. To create a spray of sparks, simply hit the rod on a heap of tinder with the blade of a knife.
It works even if it’s wet, which is unlike some lighters or matches, making it an effective solution for just about any emergency circumstance. The ferrocerium rod can also be replaced, meaning you won't have to throw away the fireROD whenever it wears out (although it will last hundreds of blows).
A tinder container is also integrated into the rod's anodized aluminium frame, enabling you to maintain a supply of dry tinder on hand just in case.
- BUDGET PICK -
Forest Fundamentals Ferrocerium Rod
If you want a fire steel striker and you’re on a budget, then you may want to consider this one. A ferrocerium rod is extremely reliable, and can be used in windy or wet conditions. Just what you want when in a survival situation.
You get great value for money with this one as you can strike it up to 10,000 times. This fire starter can also double as a bottle opener, which could come in handy should you find any provisions along the way.
Lightweight and can easily be attached to a keyring, this compact fire starter is the perfect budget choice.
The polySTRIKER XL is perhaps the ultimate take-anywhere, for any survival situation and can be used in all-weather, making it suitable for compact survival adventures in harsh situations.
The firesteel is constructed of recyclable Plastic material and has a larger handle that makes it simpler to use whenever you are wearing gloves. To create the most sparks, the polySTRIKER’s design features a wider ferro rod as well as a tungsten carbide striker.
You can find tinder woven into the firestarter’s inner sheath meaning you can quickly start a fire when you need it most.
Forest Fundamentals Firesteel
Originally developed for military use in the United Kingdom, this ferro rod is extremely reliable and can be used in just about any condition to get a fire going.
It is both durable and offers incredible functionality. Allowing up to 15,000 strikes, this large flint and steel fire starter is 90mm in length and 8mm in width, allowing for an excess of sparks when you strike it.
You can choose from two colourways which is always an added bonus for visibility in the dark. You will want to have this fire starter with you for sure in a survival situation.
If you want something small and portable when bugging out, then this portable firelighter is perfect. Easy to use and incredibly versatile, the portable firelighter can be used in wet and windy conditions and will have a fire going in no time.
With its orange handle and rope, you won’t misplace it in the dark either, which makes it ideal for lighting a fire a night time. It weighs just 47g, meaning it is super lightweight and can easily be packed into any bugout bag at almost no additional weight.
If you’re planning to travel with minimal gear and be light on your feet, be sure to pick this up.
Vårdkas Fire Starter
When in a survival situation, you will want to ensure that your gear is durable and will last a long time, after all who knows when you might get back to civilisation.
This fire starter lasts up to 20,000 strikes, making it perfect if you plan on bugging out for long periods of time. It offers a hardwood handle, which could double as fire wood if you were stuck and also offers a leather lanyard to attach to a belt or your wrist so you don’t lose it.
It can be used in any weather conditions to start a fire and keep you warm.
Highlander Beech Firestarter
The beech fire starter is the perfect choice for a survivalist who wants a compact flint and steel fire starter than can easily be packed away into a survival kit taking up minimal space.
If you need to cook some food while on the go, or you’re settling in for the night, the beech fire starter can help you get a fire going in no time and is considered a survival essential if you’re bugging out.
Its comfortable wooden handle offers support for your grip ensuring that it doesn’t slip when you’re sparking.
Versatile and compact are two words that come to mind when thinking of the best ferro rod striker, and the nanoSTRIKER XL definitely ticks those boxes.
Easily light a gas stove or a grill effortlessly. You can even find some emergency tinder hidden inside the lanyard if you find yourself in a survival situation where you are unable to find any.
This ultralight and compact keychain fire starter should be with you wherever you go, you won’t want to leave this one behind you. It’s great for emergencies. Now you can bring fire wherever you end up bugging out.
Hardwood Washer Stiker
The last fire lighter on our list is this hardwood version with washer striker measuring at only 80mm in length and 8mm in width, this compact fire striker will fit into just about any survival pack and is ideal for taking on the go.
A survival essential, you can get great use out of this durable fire starter which features a wooden handle for improved grip. You might be thankful of this if you find yourself in a survival situation with no way of starting a fire, cooking or even creating a source of light.
You might want to grab a few just to have, better safe than sorry.
What Is The Difference Between Ferrocerium And Magnesium Firestarters?
Ferrorcerium firestartes tend to create more sparks than that of magnersium firestarters due to their ferro rod, however they are very prone to breaking or snapping. Magnesium firestarters take a little longer to get lit but the magnesium shavings can act as tinder, which might be useful if you find yourself unable to get any suitable tinder to get a fire going.
How Do Firestarters Work?
Firestarters generally work by striking a piece of flint against a rod of steel or ferrocerium. Eventually the friction from striking both the flint and steel will start to create sparks as flakes of the steel heat up and chip off. The aim is to have these sparks fly into tinder, where it will catch fire, this can then be transferred to more wood to make the fire bigger.
How Many Fires Can You Start With One Ferro Rod?
How many fires you can start with one ferro rod will depend on the make and brand of the rod. Some ferro rods can handle over 20,000 strikes whilst others can only handle up to 10,000 or sometimes even less. Usually you can expect 10,000 as a minimum. However do be aware that inferior rods can sometimes break with frequent usage.
Are Ferro Rods Waterproof?
In short, yes ferro rods are waterproof and weather proof. They will work even after they have been left out in the rain or submerged in water of long periods of time. They can also work whenever it is windy, making them perfect for almost any survival situation. You might just need to wipe them off.
Benefits Of A Firestarter For Preppers
Having a firestarter in your arsenal as a prepper has many benefits, you can start a fire whenever you need to, which can provide you with warmth and a source of heat to cook with. A firestarter is also good if you want to quickly create a fire as a source of light.
A Worthwhile Investment
If you don’t already have one, you should definitely consider adding a firestarter to your arsenal of survival equipment. They are ideal for almost any survival or prepping situation and can offer you a source of warmth, heat, light and be used to cook. A fire can really help boost morale in a survival situation and is an essential for living in the wilderness, especially when it’s cold.
Why wouldn’t you pick one up, with how lightweight and compact many of the firestarters listed above in our top 10 list are, you won’t even feel the weight difference when in your rucksack. You can opt for a keyring sized firestarter if you wish to be even more compact and light weight. They take up no room in your bag and weigh next to nothing.
There are many firestarters on the market, so be sure to choose one from our list that best suits your needs as a prepper, maybe even pick up a few. As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.