Best Ferro Rod and Firesteel: Ignite Your Passion for the Outdoors has been live since September 2011, we specialise in both expert prepper guides, and a daily curated feed of the best prepper content online.

One of the most essential tools for any outdoor enthusiast is a reliable firestarter. In the wilderness, fire provides warmth, light, a way to cook food, and a sense of security. Ferro rods and firesteels are popular options for starting fires, as they are easy to use, lightweight, and incredibly durable. This article will guide you through the best ferro rods and firesteels available on the market, highlighting their unique features and benefits.

Firesteel, also known as a “ferro rod” or “ferrocerium rod,” stands out as the ultimate secondary fire-starting tool for prepping. Its superiority lies in its independence from fuel, remarkable durability (even when exposed to moisture or accidental drops on solid surfaces), user-friendliness compared to primitive alternatives, and the ability to ignite numerous fires with a single compact gear item, approximately the size of a pen.

The fire steel follows a simple concept, rooted in its ancient design. By swiftly moving a solid striker across an iron alloy surface (referred to as “ferro”), the resulting friction produces sparks capable of igniting tinder. If you’ve ever activated a BIC lighter, you’ve essentially employed a fire steel, albeit with butane fuel instead of physical tinder, utilizing the same fundamental sparking mechanism.

While a fire piston is often categorized alongside a ferro rod, their designs differ significantly. However, fire pistons generally fail to meet the requirements of most prepared individuals (preppers) due to their abundance of movable components and the necessity of having them readily available.

List of the Best Ferro Rod and Firesteel

1. Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0

Price: $15.00

A popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts, the Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 offers both durability and reliability. The ferrocerium rod is made from a unique blend of metals, ensuring a high level of spark production. With an ergonomic handle and a built-in emergency whistle, this firesteel is an excellent addition to any survival kit. LMF offers two versions: Army and Scout, which are essentially different sizes. We recommend choosing the Army version as its larger size makes it easier to use compared to the smaller Scout.

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2. Bayite 4-Inch Ferro Rod

Price: $13.95

The Bayite 4-Inch Ferro Rod is a powerful firestarter that can create sparks up to 5,500°F. The extra-long rod ensures a longer lifespan and greater ease of use. This ferro rod comes with a built-in striker and a lanyard hole, making it easy to carry and use in any situation. Although not as durable as the LMF rod, this rod made in China performs admirably and stands out as one of the more affordable options in terms of overall quantity. It includes a high-quality striker and a satisfactory length of braided paracord.

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3. Exotac NanoSTRIKER XL

Price: $32.95

For those looking for a compact yet powerful firestarter, the Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL is an excellent choice. The ferrocerium rod is replaceable, allowing for a longer-lasting tool. Its unique design features a waterproof capsule that houses the striker and rod, ensuring that the elements won’t affect its performance. The nanoSTRIKER XL also includes a tungsten carbide striker, making it easy to create a spark.

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4. Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

Price: $45.63

A collaboration between Gerber and survival expert Bear Grylls, this firestarter combines functionality with a sleek design. The compact ferrocerium rod and metal striker can produce high-quality sparks in various weather conditions. Additionally, the firestarter features a lanyard with an integrated emergency whistle and a waterproof storage compartment for tinder.

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5. Überleben Kräftig Ferro Rod

Price: $22.00 – $32.00

The Überleben Kräftig Ferro Rod is a minimalist firestarter designed for serious outdoor enthusiasts. With a 1/2-inch-thick ferrocerium rod, this firesteel can produce up to 20,000 strikes. The Kräftig also features a multi-tool scraper with a built-in hex wrench, ruler, and bottle opener, making it an incredibly versatile addition to your outdoor gear.

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6. UST BlastMatch Fire Starter

Price: $17.82

The UST BlastMatch Fire Starter is designed for one-handed operation, making it an ideal choice for emergency situations. The ferrocerium rod produces a shower of sparks, ensuring a reliable ignition. With its spring-loaded flint bar and integrated carbide striker, the BlastMatch is a compact and efficient firestarter.

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Why Fire Steel is Beneficial for Preppers

Regardless of whether you rely on a survival lighter or waterproof matches as your ignition method…

  1. Fire steel is great for producing tens of thousands of lights.
  2. It offers simplicity and reliability without any movable parts that can fail.
  3. Ferro rods come in various sizes, ranging from ample fire supply to compact and lightweight options for convenience.
  4. Fire steel works quickly and independently of factors like sunlight availability.
  5. It pairs well with other fire-starting aids such as fatwood, tinder tabs, char cloths, and magnesium shavings.
  6. Mastering fire steel technique is relatively easy, passing the “10-year-old-child” test.
  7. Using a fire steel eliminates the need for challenging caveman techniques, providing significant assistance.

Best Pick Overall: Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel Army

The Swedish Firesteel Army by Light My Fire is widely regarded as the top ferro rod for preppers. It is interesting to note that amidst various suggestions from internet users, this particular product stands out as the true champion when compared to its competitors in rigorous testing.

These high-quality ferro rods, crafted in Europe, have gained significant popularity among preppers and survivalists due to their exceptional hardness, durability, and user-friendly nature. When pitted against 20 other well-known alternatives, the LMF outshone them all in our comprehensive testing, particularly in terms of the ease with which individuals, including our young children, could consistently generate abundant sparks. The required pressure to produce sparks felt instinctive and effortless. In its second generation, the Swedish Firesteel combines the original rod with an enhanced handle design, along with an upgraded striker that boasts improved ergonomics and an integrated whistle. Light My Fire offers two versions, namely the Army and Scout, with the former being our recommended choice over the smaller Scout due to its larger size, which enhances usability.

Best Pick if You’re on a Budget: Bayite Survival 6″

When it comes to ferro rods, larger ones generally provide greater user convenience and offer better value for the price, even though they may be bulkier and less portable. If you prefer a larger size and prioritize obtaining the most cost-effective option available, then the Bayite Survival 6″ stands as our ultimate recommendation. Despite being manufactured in China and having slightly lower hardness compared to the LMF, this rod performs admirably and represents a more affordable choice when considering its overall volume. Additionally, it includes a high-quality striker and a satisfactory amount of braided paracord.

In the event of preparing for an emergency and the need to acquire a substantial quantity of ferro rods, our approach would be to procure a considerable supply of the unadorned Bayite rods, devoid of any lanyard or striker. The 6″ rod without cordage and striker can be obtained for approximately $10, or alternatively, a pair of 5″ rods can be purchased for a slightly lower price per rod. These options undeniably offer unparalleled value and represent the most cost-effective choices within this comprehensive guide.

Best Pick if You’re Looking for a Premium Option: Fire-Fast Trekker

An extensively favored method of utilizing a ferro rod involves incorporating finely shredded magnesium shavings into your tinder pile. These shavings possess the remarkable capability of intensifying your fire-starting endeavors. When ignited by a spark from your ferro rod, they produce a blazing, white-hot flame that readily ignites your tinder, propelling it into combustion. Magnesium is exceptionally lightweight, cost-effective, and highly efficient, making it a nearly indispensable addition to your kit in the form of a small bar or block.

For an exceptional ferro and magnesium combination fire starter, the Fire-Fast Trekker stands out as the prime choice, showcasing a ferro rod that matches the performance of the LMF in our rigorous testing. This product offers excellent value for the price, as it not only includes a high-quality steel and a substantial quantity of magnesium but also features a wooden handle that can be shaved to create emergency tinder. The only drawbacks to consider are its bulkiness and higher cost. However, if you have sufficient space, such as for your home supplies, and the budget allows for it, acquiring the Fire-Fast Trekker is undoubtedly a wise investment.

Best Pick if You Value Portability: Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint 3-Pack

We do not offer any specific suggestions for ultra-compact or keychain ferro rods due to their underwhelming performance relative to their cost. Smaller rods tend to be significantly more expensive when considering the total amount of ferrocerium metal volume, often resulting in a tenfold increase in price. Moreover, these smaller rods prove noticeably more challenging to use. Consequently, we advise against purchasing any rods smaller than the LMF, as they do not meet our recommended standards in terms of value and usability.

Offering practicality without compromising usefulness, the Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter 3-Pack represents the optimal choice for a compact ferro-magnesium combo bar. Throughout our testing, we observed that all the magnesium components within the small ferro-magnesium combo bars performed equally well. Among the available options, this particular three-pack stands out as the most cost-effective, making it an exceptional deal. By including these fire starters in your backpack or glove box, you secure a remarkable fire-starting tool that not only stores effortlessly but also provides years of reliable use.

Cheapest Pick: F-ber Magnesium Rod 5-Pack

After conducting tests on various standalone magnesium bars for firecraft, we observed that they all demonstrated similar effectiveness. However, for preppers, the F-ber Magnesium Rod 5-Pack emerges as the top choice due to its affordability when considering the volume provided. These magnesium rods are lightweight, contributing minimal weight to your pack, which makes them an ideal companion for bug-out scenarios.

Cautionary Note: When procuring magnesium for firecraft purposes, it is advisable to opt for bricks or rods rather than bags of magnesium shavings. Here’s why:

  1. Convenience: Choosing a solid rod or bar provides a more manageable and durable fire-starting tool, compared to dealing with a plastic bag containing loose shavings.
  2. Oxidation Concerns: Magnesium shavings, due to their increased surface area exposed to air, tend to oxidize at a quicker rate than solid rods or bars. This can impact their long-term usability.
  3. Quality Considerations: Some users have reported difficulties in igniting magnesium shavings, possibly due to user error or the inclusion of inferior quality shavings mixed in the bag.

To ensure a more reliable and satisfactory fire-starting experience, it is advisable to avoid purchasing bags of magnesium shavings and instead focus on acquiring solid bricks or rods.

Our Research

Drawing upon our extensive 40 years of combined experience as seasoned bushcrafters and preppers, we have developed a profound understanding of fire starters through practical application and thorough product evaluation. Our substantial prior research and personal ownership of numerous fire-starting tools equipped us with a solid foundation to embark on this endeavor from the very beginning.

In conducting this review, we took the initiative to consult with other experts within the community, compiling a list of brands that garnered popularity on forums, YouTube, and Amazon. In addition to the fire starters we already possessed, we made purchases to acquire a representative sample of slightly over 20 of the most widely recognized fire starters.

To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, we focused on firesteel sizes belonging to approximately three different categories, distinguished by their diameter:

  • Compact (or keychain) steels: measuring 0.25 inches in diameter.
  • Medium-sized steels: ranging from 0.31 to 0.38 inches in diameter.
  • Large steels: approximately 0.5 inches or larger in diameter.

By considering fire starters from these distinct size categories, we aimed to account for the variation in performance that arises due to their differing dimensions.

To streamline our evaluation process, we adopted the assumption that firesteels from the same brand generally possess comparable composition and properties. However, it is important to acknowledge that this assumption may not always hold true, as brands may source rods of varying sizes from different factories, potentially resulting in discrepancies in quality control levels. Nevertheless, considering the limitations of our resources, we strived to ensure representativeness in our testing by assuming that different rods from the same company tend to originate from the same source and exhibit similar characteristics.

Ferro Rod Basics

For novice bushcrafters, there is often an intense pursuit of finding the “ultimate firesteel” or “best ferro rod,” and it is indeed crucial to acquire a high-quality rod. However, it is vital to recognize that the rod is only one component of a three-part firemaking system:

  • Ferro rod: This serves as the primary source of sparks and molten metal when struck with the striker.
  • Striker: The striker is the tool specifically designed to scrape sparks from the ferro rod, creating the necessary ignition source.
  • Tinder: A crucial element of the firemaking process, tinder refers to the specially prepared flammable material that is ignited by the temporary sparks generated from the interaction between the rod and striker.

Understanding and optimizing the interplay between these three components is key to successful fire starting in various outdoor scenarios.

During your search for firesteel, you will encounter three terms that can be quite confusing:

Ferro rod: This term is used broadly and can refer to a range of rods, from a very hard blend of iron and cerium to a softer mixture of iron, cerium, and magnesium.

Mischmetal rod: Technically, this is the same as a “ferro rod,” but in some contexts, it specifically denotes rods on the softer end of the spectrum.

Magnesium rod: It has the same definition as a “mischmetal rod,” but it typically emphasizes a higher proportion of magnesium in the blend, resulting in a more abundant shower of sparks and molten magnesium particles when struck.

While a ferrocerium rod primarily consists of iron and cerium, with other metals added in smaller amounts, it falls under the broader category of “mischmetal” rods. However, “mischmetal rod” and “ferro rod” are often used interchangeably, although not always.

In certain bushcraft and prepper circles, “mischmetal” may be used more narrowly to describe rods that incorporate a significant amount of magnesium alongside the standard ferrocerium mix. These softer rods with higher magnesium content produce larger sparks and molten magnesium fragments, which can ignite the tinder more effectively.

Unfortunately, some products marketed as “magnesium rods” can be misleading because preppers also purchase rods made of pure magnesium for tinder. Moreover, it may not always be clear if a specific “magnesium rod” contains a substantial amount of magnesium or less compared to a product labeled as a regular “ferro rod.”

Furthermore, some users treat very soft ferro/magnesium rods as if they were blocks of pure magnesium. They scrape shavings off the rod slowly and then ignite those shavings by swiftly striking the rod. This further blurs the line between “magnesium rod” and “ferro rod.”

Best Firesteel Striker: Super Scraper

The striker plays a crucial role in the success of using a ferro rod. Among the strikers we tested, the Super Scraper, priced at $3, proved to be the best. However, we found that most plastic-handled strikers of a similar design performed nearly equally well. Therefore, if your rod comes with this type of striker (such as the Bayite Survival 6″), there is no need to replace it.

Friction and speed are key factors in generating sparks with a striker. Insufficient friction or speed will result in a lack of sparks, while increasing both factors will produce more sparks. However, it’s important to strike a balance, as excessive speed can reduce friction and hinder spark production.

The amount of friction produced by a striker is directly related to how deeply it engages with the rod’s material during scraping. You can increase friction by applying more pressure while scraping or by sharpening the striker, which reduces the need for excessive friction. A sharp striker can generate sparks on a hard steel like the LMF with minimal pressure.

The material of the striker should be as hard as possible to prevent deformation and dulling during use. A dull striker, which offers less friction, can still produce sparks with sufficient pressure, but it becomes challenging.

In terms of usability, longer strikers tend to be easier to use due to the speed factor and the leverage they provide when flicked with the wrist. When you move one end of a long striker in an arc, the far end moves rapidly in relation to the rod. Therefore, a longer striker, such as the spine of a field knife or the back of a Leatherman saw blade, can move faster across the rod and engage more effectively, thanks to leverage and a firm grip.

On the other hand, very small strikers can be challenging to use because you need to generate all the speed and friction through your hand and wrist. Moving your entire hand back and forth quickly across a firesteel is more difficult than flicking a long striker. At the very least, the striker should be large enough to allow for a proper grip and apply the necessary pressure.

Alongside the recommended plastic-handled strikers like the one from, there are two other common types of basic strikers that often come with firesteel products:

The Y-shaped striker is a common type that often comes with firesteel products. It features a small ruler and other features, with a half-moon-shaped notch at the end where the rod is inserted. While the ridges in the notch are intended to bite into the firesteel, there isn’t much difference in performance compared to using other sides of the steel. These strikers are usually identical and may come from the same company, but their performance can vary significantly from unit to unit.

The inconsistency in performance is due to the fact that these strikers are made of stamped metal, and sometimes the stamping process leaves a small “wire edge.” This wire edge is a fragile, raised ridge on one side of the tool, and its presence or absence affects the striker’s effectiveness. If there is no wire edge, the striker barely works, and if there is one, it only works until the edge wears down quickly.

Another type of common striker is the saw blade striker, which is a section of a hacksaw blade coated in paint. These strikers tend to be more reliable than the Y-shaped strikers, consistently producing decent sparks, especially with sufficient pressure.

Many survival field knives have a spine with sharp angles specifically designed for use as a firesteel striker. However, if the knife blade is made of high-carbon steel and coated to prevent rust, it will only produce sparks if you remove enough of the protective coating to create friction on the rod. This exposes the blade to potential damage and corrosion.

Some bushcrafters prefer using the serrations at the base of the edge on a field knife with a partially serrated blade. These serrations, often round in shape, can fit certain types of firesteels perfectly. The serration nearest the handle is typically unused, so if you dull the edge there, it won’t affect the knife’s performance.

The back of a saw on a multitool is another popular option for a firesteel striker, as it works extremely well in testing. If you don’t have a suitable knife spine, using the saw back can be a reliable alternative.

While a file, such as the one on a multitool, can be highly effective as a striker, it tends to remove too much material from the firesteel, shortening its lifespan. Therefore, it may not be the ideal choice for long-term use.

Prioritize The Quality of Your Tinder Pile

The quality of your tinder pile is the most critical factor that determines the performance of a ferro rod. Even with the best ferro rod, if your tinder pile is damp or poorly prepared, it may fail to ignite despite showering it with molten sparks.

To emphasize the significance of tinder, we strongly recommend including it in your fire preparations. Having high-quality, dry tinder can make a significant difference in successfully starting a fire.

Among the various options we tested, the TinderQuik tabs priced at $13 stood out as a favorite among survivalists, soldiers, and bushcrafters. These tabs performed exceptionally well in our tests, proving to be the easiest and most efficient way to ignite a sustainable flame with minimal effort. We experimented with different tinder materials such as toilet paper, paper towels, dry leaves, and more, and the TinderQuik tabs consistently delivered impressive results.

However, it’s worth noting that some TinderQuik tabs may be compressed too tightly during the manufacturing process, resulting in less oxygenated material to catch sparks and ignite. In such cases, fraying the ends of the tabs before lighting them can greatly improve their effectiveness.

If you prefer an alternative to purchasing TinderQuik tabs, you can create your own highly effective tinder tabs by coating cotton balls or wads of dryer lint with petroleum jelly. While this DIY approach may require some effort and can be a bit messy, it can yield excellent results.

When it comes to natural tinder found in the wilderness, the key principle for firesteels is to prioritize materials with fine fibers. The finer the fibers, the better the chances of catching a flame from a tiny spark and subsequently igniting neighboring fibers. One of our experts crushes the tops of tall, dried grass by rubbing them in their hands to create a fine and rough nest. Others utilize cattails or wood shavings. Essentially, any natural material that can be rendered into fine, dry, and fibrous form will work effectively.

The Harder and Bigger, The Better

In our testing, we observed that European-made firesteel rods are typically of the harder variety, while the softer rods are often manufactured in China. The harder rods, which contain less magnesium, produce smaller showers of sparks and have a longer lifespan. On the other hand, the softer rods, which are magnesium-heavy, generate larger spark showers but have a shorter lifespan as larger chunks of burning metal are scraped off with each strike.

The choice between harder and softer rods ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, there is a consensus among preppers that the harder, European-made rods are preferable. Advocates of harder rods argue that the focused spark showers they produce are sufficient to ignite tinder without the need for excessive molten magnesium. With some practice, the harder rods can be effectively used to achieve ignition.

During our testing, we found that the harder rods were easier and more comfortable to use. In fact, we even handed the entire batch of test rods to a group of children aged 5 to 10, and they all expressed a clear preference for the harder firesteels. The LMF steels and the FireFast Trekker were particularly favored by the children as they could generate a nice shower of sparks with minimal pressure.

Conversely, the softest and smallest firesteels proved challenging for the children, as their small hands struggled to apply enough pressure and speed to produce sparks. These rods often resulted in only shaving off chunks of metal without generating sparks.

Size Matters

Size is indeed a factor that influences the performance of a ferro rod. Larger rods allow for more material to be scraped off with each stroke, resulting in more sparks. In our testing, we found that the smaller firesteels we examined were generally softer compared to larger rods like the LMF. Some of the small firesteels, such as the Exotac nanoSTRIKER, were particularly soft, making it challenging to generate enough pressure to produce a good spark.

Although the Gerber Bear Grylls was a harder compact steel, it still fell short in terms of usability compared to the LMF.

Considering the cost of different compact or keychain firesteels, it becomes difficult to justify choosing them over the LMF Army. While it may be convenient that options like the nanoSTRIKER, UST Sparkforce, and Gerber Bear Grylls come with a built-in striker and protective enclosure, it is more advantageous to prioritize acquiring more and harder ferrocerium for the same amount of money. Additionally, as shown in the picture provided, the space savings offered by smaller steels (the first two on the left) are not significant compared to the LMF with its orange handle.

Ferro Rod and Magnesium Care and Maintenance

Both ferro rods and magnesium blocks are prone to oxidation when exposed to the elements. It is important to keep them coated to prevent corrosion.

Ferro rods are particularly susceptible to corrosion when exposed to saltwater, and the presence of acid and contact with another metal can accelerate the corrosion process, leading to deep pitting on the rod. Most ferro rods come with a protective black lacquer coating, but this coating will gradually wear off with use. Many preppers choose to re-coat their rods with nail polish, as it provides a hard and durable barrier against moisture. Some may use oil as well. The key is to protect the rod from salt, moisture, and acid.

Similarly, pure magnesium blocks or bars are also vulnerable to corrosion when exposed to salt. It is important to keep them coated to prevent damage. High-quality magnesium blocks often come with a protective coating already applied. If the magnesium develops a gray oxidation layer, it offers some minimal protection against further corrosion. However, it is still recommended to apply a clear nail polish or other suitable coating to keep it dry and protected.

In summary, the primary concern is to safeguard both ferro rods and magnesium blocks from salt, moisture, and acid by using appropriate coatings or protective measures.

Special Combo Striker Tools

There exist several striker/firesteel tools designed for single-handed operation, with the UST BlastMatch being the most popular choice priced at $13.

These combination tools offer convenience and require minimal effort and skill to generate a substantial spark. As a result, they can serve as backup options in your preparedness supplies, especially for individuals such as children or others in your group who have not yet acquired even the fundamental ferro rod skills.

However, we do not recommend their widespread use since it is challenging to surpass the effectiveness of a straightforward, high-quality ferro rod combined with a striker. When additional components like springs and other fragile wear parts are introduced to an already simplistic system like the firesteel, the likelihood of malfunction increases. Therefore, it is advisable to simplify and economize by sticking to the basic setup to ensure reliability.

Top Choices

Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel Army 1.0: Priced at $17, this firesteel is the traditional Swedish variant commonly owned by numerous preppers. The v2.0 version does not significantly differ from this original steel, meaning that if you already possess one of these, there is no compelling reason to “upgrade” to the latest version.

Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel Army 2.0: Priced at $18, our tests have revealed that this fire rod is identical to the well-known LMF classic in terms of performance and size. The included striker is of commendable quality, and the integrated whistle produces a loud sound. For $20, the latest BIO edition offers the same rod as the 2.0 version, but with a handle constructed from biobased plastic. Overall, it is an excellent package; however, it may be relatively costly in terms of price-to-volume ratio. Nevertheless, the investment is worthwhile.

Bayite Survival 6”: Priced at $15, this fire rod is manufactured in China, clearly indicated on the packaging. It noticeably possesses a harder texture compared to many other non-European rods featured in this collection, making it one of the most economical options when considering volume. The accompanying striker is of excellent quality, and it also includes a generous length of paracord. In terms of thickness and hardness, it surpasses the Survival Hax rod, which shares a similar appearance and features the same paracord lanyard. Speaking of the Survival Hax 6″ model, although it bears resemblance to the Bayite rod, it is not the same. The Survival Hax rod is accompanied by a small metal capsule capable of holding tinder and a lanyard clasp that doubles as a whistle. It also includes a striker; however, it should be noted that, like other rods, its quality may vary since it employs the standard “Y” striker. While the Survival Hax package is commendable, in terms of value for money, the Bayite rod remains the superior choice. The additional features of the tinder capsule and whistle in the Survival Hax model do not seem worth the 25% increase in price.

Coghlan’s Flint Striker: Priced at just $5, this firesteel has garnered a significant following due to its affordability. It costs only one-third of the price of the LMF firesteel. However, it is worth noting that this option is relatively soft. If you are specifically seeking a firesteel with an ample amount of magnesium that can be easily scraped for shavings before sparking, or if your primary consideration is to obtain the absolute cheapest option available, then this firesteel will serve its purpose. Nonetheless, in terms of value for money based on volume, the Bayite firesteel proves to be a more economical and superior choice.

UST Sparkforce: Priced at $7, this striker stands out as one of the best in terms of spark-throwing ability among the “gadget” style options we tested. While its plastic body may not boast the same level of sophistication as the knurled aluminum exoTAC, its medium hardness and reasonable price-to-volume ratio make it a solid choice. However, it’s worth noting that the built-in striker is not exceptional, so it may be advisable to strike it with an alternative tool. If it were possible to transfer the rod from the UST Sparkforce to the exoTAC nanoStriker, it would make for an outstanding combination.

Uberleben Kräftig 5″: Priced at $22, this firesteel is decent but falls short of greatness, particularly considering its cost. In comparison, the Bayite Survival 6″ firesteel outperforms it with its longer length, greater hardness, and overall superior performance, all while being substantially less expensive. Moreover, the Bayite firesteel comes with complimentary paracord and a remarkable striker, whereas the Kraftig firesteel utilizes the standard Y-shaped striker.

Überleben Hexa: Priced at $32, this firesteel fails to deliver on its promise of outperforming a rounded rod of the same diameter, making it an overpriced option with minimal firestarting capabilities. The unique hexagonal shape proves to be more of a gimmick than a practical advantage. It is advisable to avoid this choice.

Ralix SurvivalSPARK: Priced at $8, this firesteel offers a slightly longer length than Coglan’s and perhaps a touch more hardness. It comes packaged with a decent saw-style scraper. Additionally, it includes built-in gimmicks like a compass and whistle. While the compass and whistle may not be essential, the whistle does provide an ample handle. Given the choice between the Ralix SurvivalSPARK and Coglan’s, this firesteel would be a preferable option, although considering the nearly double price tag compared to Coglan’s, it may be more practical to opt for two Coglan’s firesteels if cost is the primary concern.

SurvivalFrog Magnesium Firestarter: Priced at $9, this firestarter is essentially the same product as the Ralix SurvivalSPARK, albeit with a different brand name.

Firesteel Armageddon: Priced at $17, this firesteel may be a popular recommendation on forums, but it failed to impress us during testing. It falls significantly short of the performance offered by the LMF firesteel and is not significantly cheaper. However, the striker accompanying the Firesteel Armageddon is fantastic and was used for all our tests. Unfortunately, the rod itself is one of the softest among the tested batch, leading us to question the enthusiasm surrounding this option. There is no doubt that the LMF firesteel outshines the Firesteel Armageddon.

Hedgehog Fire Starter: Priced at $40, we initially cherished the Hedgehog firestarter in our personal collection until we directly compared it to the LMF and realized it didn’t measure up. The Hedgehog firestarter is an excellent rod, and we appreciate its flexible lanyard and knurled grip design. However, the LMF firesteel proves to be harder and better in terms of performance. Opting to spend $40 on the Hedgehog instead of obtaining two LMF firesteels at the same price would not be a wise decision.


When selecting the best ferro rod and firesteel for your outdoor adventures, it is crucial to consider factors such as durability, ease of use, and additional features. The options listed above offer a variety of unique benefits and are some of the most popular and reliable firestarters available. Choose the one that best fits your needs and ignite your passion for the outdoors.