Written by 7:44 pmSurvival

Best Fire Starters Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

A photo of a man's hand holding a firestarter near a bunch of dried twigs to start a fire

For those keen to explore the great outdoors, a fire starter is an essential piece of equipment. It is fair to assume that a box of matches and a lighter may suffice in pleasant conditions. This will always be recommended to be included in your camping gear list. However, there is always the potential for unpredicted weather that may render your wet matches and lighters useless. In this case a ferrocerium or magnesium fire starter is your best option. It can be used for cooking food, signalling for rescue and keeping you warm enough to survive the night.

To produce a fire, you require three components: heat, a combustible material and oxygen. The following list of fire starters will make sure to take care of the first two. The listed fire starters require a little more work than your everyday match and lighter. However, you can be confident on the ability of these fire starters to produce sparks in all types of environments.

With these fire starters you will no longer worry about your ability to create fire in wet and cold weather. Not only this, you will not have to lose sleep on the potential of running out of fuel. All you need is a set of hands. It really has never been easier decision to invest in one of these potentially life-saving pieces of equipment.

The next time you head out on your outdoor adventure, make sure to add one of these highly reviewed fire starters to your camper bag. You never know, it may just save the life of you and those around you.

The Top 10 Best Fire Starters

1 – Exotac nanoStriker XL

An image of a black fire starter, rugged handle, a narrow tip with a hole on it

The Exotac’s nanoStriker XL is the bigger version of the original NanoStriker. Just like the previous smaller model it will create sparks up to 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit. This comes from a replaceable fire rod that contains both ferrocerium and magnesium. This combo is uncommon among fire starters and will ensure the ability to start fires in both wet and cold environments with much more success.

It has a unique all in one design without sacrificing function and maintaining compatibility. This impressive tool can be quickly assembled to spark a fire for food or warmth. It can then be collapsed returning to a keychain in a matter of seconds.

The Exotac’s nanoStriker XL has a larger rod and striker handle. This provides just enough extra size to increase the ease of use without making it too bulky or heavy. The larger rod increases the durability and lifespan of the fire starter. Once you have used the estimated 3000 strikes, the rod can be easily replaced making this fire starter a no-brainer.

The striker is made from tungsten carbide and is extremely sharp. It is positioned inside a waterproof anodized aluminium body that has lots of space for keeping extra fire starter tinder as well. This maintains the fire starters durability whilst allowing it to perform under unfavourable weather conditions.

Keep it in a side pocket in your outdoor bag before you venture out into the outdoors. Or keep it on your person at all times with the included split ring that allows you to attach it to your keyring.

2 – Swedish FireSteel Army Fire Starter

Photo of a firestarter with lanyard

This nimble gadget gives you everything you would need to start a fire or signal for help without any fancy and unnecessary features. It’s simple yet effective design allows for easy storage in your outdoor bag or on your keychain.

This fire starter works at any temperature, altitude and humidity. With this you can be sure in your ability to produce a bright spark in all conditions. It can be used for lighting campfires, gas stoves and gas barbecues. It is lightweight meaning you will not notice this extra equipment until you require it for lighting a fire.

The Swedish FireSteel Army Fire Starter also comes with an emergency whistle. Together with the bright sparking ability of this fire starter. You can be sure that you will be able to produce an intense emergency signal. This fire starter will give you reliable results in wet conditions and has a long lifetime with up to 12,000 strikes. This takes away any stress about having to buy a replacement fire starter any time soon.

3 – Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter

A photo of two firestarters hooked in one black lanyard

Whilst any of the fire starters mentioned on this list will fulfil your fire-starting needs. The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter is our favourite of the lot. It has a stylish design whilst maintaining a heavy-duty structure which allows it to be thrown in your bag or pocket without worrying about it breaking.

It allows for a firm grasp, even for those with a larger set of hands. The ferrocerium rod is attached to the handle and kept in a watertight housing. This allows lots of room for the included metal striker and extra fire-starting tinder. This fire starter has been rigorously tested and is backed by the wilderness expert Bear Grylls himself. It has a long lifespan with around 8000 strikes making it a reliable piece of fire-starting equipment.

Additional impressive features of this fire starter include the attached lanyard. This enables the gadget to be worn around the neck or attached to your gear. This helps prevent misplacing the Firestarter as you will always know where it is. This fire starter also comes with a built-in rescue whistle. This allows rescuers to locate your locations much more easily if you were to become lost.

In addition to this whistle comes air rescue instructions and a pocket survival guide. In this guide you will find Bear’s survival essentials so you know you can rely on the advice. This may come in useful if you were to become injured or disorientated. The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter is easily carried weighing in at 142 grams. This provides non-stop survival insurance with fire for food or warmth no matter where you end up.

4 – Rothco Aurora Fire Starter

A picture of a chrome firestarter with two flint wheel beside it,

The Rothco Aurora Fire Starter is not a new fire starter on the market and as a result has had plenty of testing and time for reviews. These reviews have described this fire starter as reliable and useful under all circumstances and conditions. With this fire starter you will be able to spark fires in any emergency situation that comes to mind.

The rod of the Aurora Fire Starter is made of both ferrocerium and magnesium. This allows for ignition in unfavourable conditions from rain to sleet and snow. The rod is kept within a waterproof aluminium body that protects the rod from the external environment. This case helps to reduce wear and tear when not in use. It also has a double function as the gadgets fire striker.

The handle has a rough surface which allows a strong yet comfortable grip. It also has a guided striking blade at the base to maximise spark. This ensures optimum striking in those wet conditions that can make things slippery. With this fire starter you can be confident that you will have no problem starting fires during your next adventure.

5 – UST Blastmatch Fire Starter

Image of a black firesarter on a white background

The UST Blastmatch Fire Starter is by far the easiest fire starter to use on this list. This fire starter requires almost no manual operation. The push of a button is the only requirement to produce sparks for a fire. The Blastmatch contains a flint bar and tungsten carbide striker that, with a single push of a button, creates targeted sparks in all types of unfavourable fire starting environments.

This fire starter only requires one hand to operate making it truly the easiest method of generating intense sparks. The Blastmatch is versatile offering a wide range of tinder including UST WetFire Tinder. It is reliable in rain and other adverse weather conditions whilst generating three times the heat of ordinary matches.

Along with this clever design, other notable features include the waterproof cover that prevents sparks from accidentally firing. It is durable with a flint bar that rotates 360 degrees to create even wear and tear. This increases the lifespan by using as much of the material as possible before losing sparking ability. This flint-based bar will last up to 4000 strikes before requiring replacement. This means you can be confident in your fire-starting ability without worrying about running out of material any time soon.

6 – Holland Lightning Strike Fire Starter


This is an image of a blue firestarter with attached black cord

The Holland Lightning Strike Fire Starter by Darrell Holland is easily the largest and impressive on this list. This chunky fire starter was designed for those hardcore adventurers that are serious about bushcraft and wilderness survival. This one self-contained lightweight tool has everything you need to start a fire in any environment, under any weather conditions.

This fire starter offers a variety of colors to suit anyone’s style. Dark blue, Black ops, Satin blue, and Fiery red are just some of the options of different colors offered. This fire starter has a large replaceable ferrocerium rod, a fire striker and a lot of specifically designed tinder. This tinder is housed inside of an aluminum tube that enables sparks to be shot through a barrel onto your tinder.

Together the aluminum housing and tinder weighs in at around 127 grams making it very easy to carry. The handle of this fire starter comes pre-loaded with tinder with enough to start around 18-20 fires. This is sealed with a waterproof cap and allows you to be confident in your fire producing abilities.

When not in use, the striker is inserted into the end of the barrel for storage. This is held in place with a shock cord attached to the cap. This means there is no chance of dropping the striker in the grass or snow when it’s getting dark. With this model, starting fires in rain, snow or frosty conditions has never been this fast, simple or more efficient.

7 – UST Strike Force Fire Starter

A photo of an orange fire starter with tinder and lanyard

The Strike Force Fire Starter is another model from Ultimate Survival Technologies that we thought had to be included on this list. It has an alloy flint bar matched with a robust steel striker built firmly into the gadgets cap.

Together this fire starter produces up to 4,000 strikes of intense sparks three times hotter than a traditional match. The sizable handle gives ample room for extra fire-starting tinder. It includes two pieces of light-me tinder in the storage compartment. This is located at the base of the fire starter. When conditions at their worst you can count on the UST Strike Force Fire Starter to produce an intense fire. It is also a reliable and safe lighter for your everyday camping stoves and barbecues. What’s not to like?

Whilst this fire starter looks heavy-duty it is surprisingly light. The Strike Force Fire Starter weighs in at 113 grams meaning it is super light addition to your survival kit. You will hardly even notice it in your pocket or in your camping bag.

8 – Smith & Wesson Fire Striker Survival Kit

Image of a black fire starter with a lanyard, with compass and whistle beside it

It should be clear to everyone that Smith & Wesson is a leading manufacturer of firearms and knives. This reputable company has shown its ambitions go further than weapons with the release of the Fire Striker Survival Kit.

This survival kit not only comes with the items necessary for starting a fire but an assortment of survival items. These may come in handy if you were to find yourself lost in the wilderness. These include a set of matches, sinker weights, fishing line with fishing hooks, a compass and a pair of needles. This long list of items may lead you to believe that this kit must take up a lot of room. However, this fire starter can actually be kept in your everyday pocket.

This compact piece of equipment offers a wide range of survival gear and emergency supplies in a small instrument. Not only do you have your two sources of fire-starting tools, you have a navigation aid and tools for food. This may be crucial in emergency situations and also frees up space for other items to include in your bag.

The handle of this fire striker is easily gripped and super durable ensuring optimum striking for fire starting. With this kit you will be prepared in the event you lose your sense of direction on your next adventure.

9 – Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit

A photo contains an orange-colored fire starter inside a tetra pack with tinder sticks.

Zippo has been in the fire-starting industry for over 80 years with the well-known reusable metal pocket lighters. It is then no surprise that they’ve also created a fire starter kit if the pocket lighter loses function.

In the wilderness, the ability to start a fire quickly can be a matter of life and death. With the new Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit, you can count on getting a fire started swiftly and reliably. The Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit includes a flint wheel striker along with 4 waterproof waxed tinder sticks. Unlike the classic Zippo design, the flint wheel has been rotated 90 degrees. This means that the sparks created flare outwards to the side rather than to central wick of a normal lighter.

The Zippo has a water-resistant case that floats on water and is bright orange for increased visibility in an emergency. This means if you were to become separated with your hiking gear whilst crossing a stream you would be able to find it. This survival kit weighs in at only 78 grams making it one of the lightest fire starters on this list. This kit will fit nicely into your everyday pocket or in a side pouch of your bag.

10 – Boker Plus Fire Starter

This is a close-up photo of a black firestarter attached to a black lanyard

The Boker Plus Fire Starter is another addition to Boker Plus’s range of outdoor and survival essentials. Their tactical pen, Slik Tanto Knife and Pocket Knife are just some of the well-reviewed products released by Boker Plus. Now they have included a fire starter to accompany them. Using the included metal striker, you can use the built-in magnesium rod to scrape chips off for extra kindling. This helps to increase the intensity of sparks produced when striking.

The Boker Plus Fire Starter weighs in at 99 grams making it a very light addition to anyone’s camping gear. The cylindrical shape allows it to be easily slotted into your trouser pocket or a narrow pouch in your bag.

Other notable features of this fire starter include a threaded aluminum container with a slip-resistant rugged pattern. This allows for a firm grip and prevents the loss of individual parts. It comes with a built-in compass, bottle opener, and a 50mm ruler attached to the fire starter via the chain. This helps free up some space in your camping bag for other items such as additional food or money. With this you should be able to find your way back to camp after enjoying some beverages in the woods.

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