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.

Among indispensable gears for outdoor activities is a robust firestarter. Out in the wild, fire serves as a source of warmth, light, a cooking method, and a safety net. Ferro rods and firesteels are prevalent choices for sparking fires as they are easy to operate, light, and remarkably robust. This article provides insights into top-quality ferro rods and firesteels on the market, showcasing their unique offerings and advantages.

Commonly known as a “ferro rod” or “ferrocerium rod,” firesteel emerges as an exceptional secondary fire-starting tool. Its excellence emanates from its fuel-independence, outstanding durability (even when wet or dropped on hard grounds), user-friendliness, and the ability to light multiple fires with a single compact-sized gear, usually 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, designed for devoted outdoor enthusiasts, is a simplistic firestarter. Capable of generating up to 20,000 strikes from its 1/2-inch-thick ferrocerium rod, Kräftig also includes a multi-tool scraper comprising a hex wrench, ruler, and bottle opener. Indeed, a versatile addition for your outdoor equipment.

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6. UST BlastMatch Fire Starter

Price: $17.82

The UST BlastMatch Fire Starter, with its one-handed operation design, is an optimal choice for emergencies. It creates a spark shower from the ferrocerium rod, ensuring a trustworthy ignition. This compact and efficient firestarter carries a spring-loaded flint bar and internal carbide striker.

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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.

For emergency preparedness involving bulk purchase of ferro rods, we suggest obtaining a large supply of plain Bayite rods without a lanyard or striker. You can acquire the 6″ rod without cordage and striker for around $10, or alternatively, two 5″ rods can be bought for a slightly lower unit price. These deals afford unmatched value and are the best priced options in this 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 refrain from recommending particular ultra-compact or keychain ferro rods due to their disappointing performance compared to their cost. Smaller rods are often noticeably more expensive when accounting the total volume of ferrocerium. These rods are also somewhat challenging to use. Consequently, it’s advisable not to purchase rods smaller than the LMF due to a lack of recommended 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.

We included fire starters from various size categories to account for performance variation resulting from their different dimensions.

To simplify our evaluation, we assumed firesteels from the same manufacturer usually possess related composition and properties. It’s crucial to recognize this assumption might not always be accurate, given brands may source differently-sized rods from separate factories, potentially leading to quality control variances. Nevertheless, with our available resources, we aimed for representativeness by assuming rods from the same brand likely come from the same source and demonstrate similar features.

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 might encounter three potentially confusing terms:

Ferro rod: This term broadly refers to a variety of rods from a hard blend of iron and cerium to a softer alloy 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: Essentially synonymous with a “mischmetal rod,” this term usually emphasizes a higher ratio of magnesium in the blend, resulting in a richer spark shower and molten magnesium particles when struck.

A ferrocerium rod mainly comprises iron and cerium, with other metals added in minor quantities, putting it under the wider category of “mischmetal” rods. Nevertheless, “mischmetal rod” and “ferro rod” are often interchangeably used, though not always.

In certain bushcraft and prepper groups, “mischmetal” might be used more precisely to describe rods integrating a significant amount of magnesium coupled with the standard ferrocerium mix. These rods, being softer and higher in magnesium content, produce larger sparks and molten magnesium fragments, leading to more effective tinder ignition.

Sad to say, some products marketed as “magnesium rods” can be misleading as preppers also buy rods comprising pure magnesium for tinder. It may also not be clear whether a specific “magnesium rod” carries a substantial magnesium content compared to one 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 is vital for successfully using a ferro rod. Of the strikers we tested, the top-performing was the $3 Super Scraper. That said, we found other similarly-designed plastic-handled strikers also performed quite well. Therefore, if your rod comes with this type of striker (like the Bayite Survival 6″), a replacement isn’t necessary.

Friction and speed are essential in generating sparks with a striker. Lack of either will result in poor spark production. While more of both will yield more sparks, too much speed could reduce friction and adversely affect spark generation.

The friction generated by a striker directly correlates to how deeply it engages with the rod’s material during scraping. To increase friction, apply more pressure while scraping or sharpen the striker, lessening the need for excessive friction. A sharp striker can create sparks on 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.

Inconsistent performance results mainly from the fact that these strikers are composed of stamped metal. Sometimes, the stamping process leaves a small “wire edge,” a fragile raised edge on one side of the tool, which affects the striker’s effectiveness. If it lacks a wire edge, the striker barely works, and if it has one, it will only work until the edge wears down swiftly.

Another common striker variant is the saw blade striker, essentially a painted section of a hacksaw blade. These strikers prove to be more reliable than Y-shaped strikers, producing decent sparks, particularly 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 multitool saw is another common firesteel striker, as it performs remarkably well in tests. Lacking a suitable knife spine, the saw back serves as a dependable substitute.

Although a file like the one on a multitool can be useful as a striker, it tends to extract too much material from the firesteel, shortening its life. Therefore, it might not be the best choice for long-term use.

Prioritize The Quality of Your Tinder Pile

The quality of your tinder pile is the most vital determinant of a ferro rod’s performance. Even with the best ferro rod, if your tinder pile is moist or ill-prepared, it might not ignite despite being showered 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 varied options tested, the $13 TinderQuik tabs stood out as favorites among survivalists, soldiers, and bushcrafters. They performed excellently in our tests, proving to be the most efficient and easiest way to produce a sustainable flame with minimal effort. Regardless of using different tinder – toilet paper, paper towels, dry leaves and so on – the TinderQuik tabs consistently provided commendable results.

However, it’s notable that some TinderQuik tabs might be compressed too tightly during production. This results in less oxygenated material to catch sparks and ignite. In such situations, fraying the tabs’ ends before lighting them can greatly improve their effectiveness.

If you are looking for an alternative to buying TinderQuik tabs, you can make effective tinder tabs by applying petroleum jelly to cotton balls or dryer lint. Although this DIY method could require some effort and may be somewhat untidy, it often delivers excellent results.

Regarding natural tinder found in the wild, the foremost principle for firesteels is to prioritize fine-fibered materials. The finer the fibers, the better the chances of catching a flame from a tiny spark, subsequently igniting surrounding fibers. One of our experts tactically devastates the tops of tall, dried grass by hand rubbing it to create a rough and fine nest. Other materials used include cattails or wood shavings. Essentially, any natural material that can be turned into a fine, dry, and fibrous form functions effectively.

The Harder and Bigger, The Better

Our testing revealed that European-made firesteel rods are generally harder, whereas softer ones are usually made in China. The harder rods, with less magnesium, produce smaller spark showers but have a longer lifespan. Conversely, the softer, magnesium-rich rods generate bigger showers of sparks but have a shorter lifespan as large burning metal chunks are scraped off with every 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.

Even though the Gerber Bear Grylls was a harder compact steel, it still underperformed in usability compared to the LMF.

Considering the cost of varied compact or keychain firesteels, it becomes hard to justify selecting them over the LMF Army. While options like the nanoSTRIKER, UST Sparkforce, and Gerber Bear Grylls may offer conveniences like having a built-in striker and protective casing, it’s more beneficial to prioritize getting more and harder ferrocerium for the same cost. Additionally, as shown in the accompanying image, the space saved by smaller steels (the first two on the left) isn’t substantial 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.

Likewise, pure magnesium bars or blocks are also prone to corrosion when exposed to salt. It’s crucial to keep them coated to prevent damage. High-quality magnesium blocks usually come with a protective coating already applied. If the magnesium develops a gray oxidation layer, it offers some minor protection against further corrosion. Nevertheless, it’s still advisable to apply a clear nail polish or similar 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

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

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.

Nevertheless, their widespread use is discouraged as surpassing the effectiveness of a simple, high-quality ferro rod combined with a striker is challenging. The addition of springs and other brittle wear parts to a simplistic system like the firesteel increases failure chances. Therefore, it’s preferable to stick to the basic system and economize 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: Retailing at only $5, this firesteel has gained meaningful popularity due to its budget-friendliness. It’s just one-third the price of the LMF firesteel. However, note that this option is relatively soft. The Coghlan’s firesteel suits those products specifically seeking firesteels with a significant amount of magnesium that can be easily scraped for shavings before sparking or those seeking the cheapest option available. Nonetheless, in terms of value for money based on volume, the Bayite firesteel stands out as a more economical and superior selection.

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″: At $22, this firesteel is decent but doesn’t quite achieve greatness, particularly considering its price point. Comparatively, the Bayite Survival 6″ firesteel with its longer length, harder composition, and overall improved performance greatly outshines it while being significantly cheaper. Furthermore, the Bayite firesteel includes complimentary paracord and an outstanding striker, whereas the Kraftig firesteel employs a standard Y-shaped striker.

Überleben Hexa: Retailing at $32, this firesteel fails to deliver on its claim of outshining a round rod of the same diameter, making it an overpriced option with limited fire-starting capabilities. The unique hexagonal shape appears to be more of a selling gimmick rather than a practical advantage. It’s advisable to sidestep 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: Sold at $9, this firestarter is essentially the Ralix SurvivalSPARK, only under a different brand.

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: Retailing at $40, at first, we were enamored with the Hedgehog fire starter until a direct comparison with the LMF showed its inferiority. Although a good rod, with its flexible lanyard and knurled grip design, the LMF firesteel outperforms it. Spending $40 on the Hedgehog instead of getting two LMF firesteels would not be a sound decision.


When deciding on the best firesteel and ferro rod for your outdoor adventures, it’s crucial to consider aspects such as durability, user-friendliness, and additional functionalities. The above-listed options each offer a mix of unique benefits and are among the most popular and reliable firestarters available. Choose the one that best meets your specific needs and fuels your outdoor passion.