11 Best Survival Fire Starters 2021

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a serious prepper, you know the importance of fire. Building one quickly – in any conditions— could make the difference between life and death in a real survival situation.

There are many fire starters to choose from: matches, lighters, chewing gum wrappers (yes, we’ve seen it done!), but when you want a reliable, durable and efficient option, you can’t go wrong with the rod-and-striker option.

This traditional option can be found in our list of the best survival fire starter products below, where we will highlight the top 10 options and provide you with detailed reviews of the top three products.

Head on down and take a look!

Things to Consider

First and foremost, your lifestyle should be taken into consideration when buying such a product. Will this item be needed weekly or annually? A protective case is a plus in either situation. Other things to consider:

  • Ease of Use. Are you an expert outdoorsman, or just taking the family on a weekend excursion? Some fire starters need more skill and finesse to get the sparks flying.
  • Life of the Product. A softer Ferro (flint) rod might be easier to strike, but could also have a shorter life. Many quality rods boast 10,000 strikes or more.
  • Weight and Portability. Do you want to carry this product in your backpack, in the car, or on your key chain?

Think about where you would like to store it when it’s not in use.

  • Extra Features. Many products come with an emergency whistle, ruler, or bottle opener, to name a few perks. Bright or luminous options can be easier to find if dropped on the floor (of the forest or your car).

Top 10 Fire Starters Table

Picture NameExtra FeaturesPriceRating (1-5)
Extra Features
Rating (1-5)
1. Überleben Zünden Traditional Bushcraft Fire Steel with wood handle, 5/16" thick Ferro Rod Fire Starter Lanyard, six-function scraper, twine, tinder$$$$4.7
2. The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Emergency Fire Starter Blocks 17.5” chain, multi-purpose striker$$$4.7
3. Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle Emergency whistle$$$$4.7
4. Grizzly Survival Outdoors Products Solo Survival Best Magnesium Fire Starter Lanyard, six-function scraper, whistle$$4.7
5. UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers Waterproof case, replaceable striker$$4.7
6. Aspen Ridge Sports "Alpha Encender" Fire Starter with Magnesium Rod Lanyard, both ferro and magnesium rod$$$4.6
7. Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter [31-000699] Lanyard, whistle, waterproof compartment$$4.5
8. Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle Lanyard, compass, whistle$$4.4
9. BlizeTec Fire Starter: Best 6-in-1 Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter Lanyard, six-function scraper, whistle, luminous handle$$$4.4
10. Ultimate Survival Technologies Spark Force Firestarter Compass, serrated striker$4.0
11. SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-IN-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar Compass, serrated striker$4.0

Buying Information

When considering which option will be the best survival fire starter for you, look closely at the design and options available:

  • Ergonomic Handle. Can be comfortable for most, but if you’re a lefty, beware of grips with pronounced grooves.
  • Multi-Packs. These are great to stash in your car, backpack, emergency kit, etc.
  • Quality assurance. Check the fine print for warranties and customer service support. You don’t want to be huddled in the rain with a rod-and-striker that refuses to spark! Thankfully, the items on our list won’t leave you out in the cold.

No matter which product you choose, a little research will serve you well. There are countless videos on the internet showing step-by-step fire starting with an assortment of kindling. The top products on this list boast showers of sparks flying at high heat (5000 °F or higher) to really get your fire going.

Top 3 Best Fire Starter Reviews

1. Überleben Zünden Traditional Bushcraft Fire Steel

This streamlined, quality fire starter is sure to get sparks flying with just a few strokes. The handle is 100 percent hardwood, offering a comfortable grip whether you’re left or right-handed. The rod is thicker than most at 5/16” and measuring roughly 5” long. This extra length allows you to have direct contact with your kindling – a great advantage no matter your skill level.

Thanks to the sturdy, quality materials, it is not only a fire starter built to last, but it also creates large sparks at high heat. The sparks fly at any altitude, in any weather, and register at 5,500° F (3,000° C). You can expect an astounding 12,000 strikes from this fire starter.

Fortunately, you won’t have to rack up many strikes to get your fire going; the sparks shower with just a few quick scrapes of the rod-and-striker!

With this product, you also receive a six-function scraper and some jute twine to get you started. The lanyard is long enough to wear around your neck, or you may sheath this item easily. Überleben is German for “outlast,” and this product definitely lives up to its name!

2. The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Fire Starter

The Friendly Swede Fire Starter may be the bargain of the lot, as you receive three blocks for a modest price. Nice and compact, you can throw one in your backpack, your car, or even your pocket. The rod is covered in a protective oil, so be sure to wipe it off before using.

The magnesium block is easy to scrape, and the shavings ignite easily, even in climate weather. Expect roughly 5,000 strikes with this convenient striker. Although 5,000 strikes might seem paltry by comparison to our #1 pick, you are trading strikes for size and convenience. With the quickness you can create sparks, you won’t mind at all.

Backed by a lifetime warranty and superior customer service, you can count on quality here.

3. Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0

If you like options, this one is for you. With three colors to choose from, the FireSteel adds a bit of individuality to your backpack. The orange-colored grip is a smart choice (for us clumsy folk) as you could easily see it among the brush on the ground.

Color aside; this is one dependable, durable fire starter. Lasting 12,000 or more strikes, with sparks at 5,400° F (2,980° C), you can rest assured your fire will be glowing in no time. Though it packs a punch, the FireSteel is lightweight and compact, a prepper or camper’s best companion.

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