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Best Survival Fire Starter in 2021 - Top 5 Tried & Tested

In today’s day and age, you will find so many situations in which having the best survival fire starter will come in handy. However, it makes even more sense to own one if you enjoy the outdoors as much as we do.

From keeping yourself warm to cooking and heating food, the best survival fire starter is one of the most useful tools you can include in your kit. A lighter may run out of gas, and a book of matches could get wet.

Compared to these, you can trust that a good-quality fire starter will never fail you.

Fire Starters Quick Comparison

Best Survival Fire Starters Reviews

Aofar Magnesium Fire Starter

This Aofar fire started is the best choice for all you survival enthusiasts looking for something ultra-compact.

If you want the most lightweight and compact of all survival kits or want to keep space for more gear, this is the fire starter kits for you.

Product Highlights

Here are the features you will get to enjoy from this fire-starting product, which comes in a pack of two.

  • Ultra-Compact

The Aofar Magnesium fire starter is the most compact option we’ve seen thus far.

The solid magnesium bar measures just three inches by one inch.  Combine that with the slim three-inch scraper, and it can fit easily in your pocket or bag. You’ll just have to make sure you remember where you pack it; otherwise, you could be looking for it for hours.

Better still, use the included paracord to tie it on the side of your bag or around your neck so that you know where it is when you need it.

  • Magnesium to Create Flames

Like the fire starter by Swiss Safe, this fire starter utilizes magnesium to help get your fire going. Easily scrape the magnesium bar with a knife or the striker to form a small pile of shavings.

Then, simply strike the flint to create sparks and start your fire. In emergencies, you can also burn the red waxed flax in the included paracord, especially when you’re struggling to find fire starter materials.

  • Fantastic Customer Support

Aofar boasts great customer service. While we’re sure you won’t have any need to contact them, they do provide lifetime customer support.

Every product purchase comes with a 100% satisfaction promise and a two-year limited warranty.

The Good

For the convenience they offer, these survival fire starter kit remain the most affordable on this list.

More than that, we also love how compact they are.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the quality of the magnesium isn’t the best, so it doesn’t light as easily as others we’ve tried.

Aofar Magnesium fire starter video review



Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Magnesium Fire Starter

This five-in-one fire starter from Swiss Safe comes in a two-pack.

Because of this, it is ideal for those looking to quickly and easily pack more than one bug-out bag.

Product Highlights

As the name suggests, these Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Fire Starter offers users more than just fire-starting abilities.

Here’s what you will get from this two-pack fire starter:

  • Compact and Lightweight

Like the Uberleben Zunden Fire Starters, you can wear the Swiss Safe Fire Starter around your neck.

Weighing just two ounces, it will add less weight to your person or bag when you carry it.

The entire fire starter is also just five inches in length, which means it will easily fit into your bag or pocket.

  • Multi-Tool Design

You will like that the pack includes a hard steel scraper, and the survival fire starter itself has a built-in compass within the handle.

The handle boasts a built-in 150dB whistle to help signal for attention or help when you need it.

Like the previous two products, it includes also includes a paracord, acting as the neck-carry cord.

You can also expect this cord to carry up to 450 pounds.

  • Magnesium and Ferrocerium Rod

Unlike the previous two fire starters, this rod has a magnesium and ferrocerium construction.

Magnesium is highly flammable, so rather than just creating sparks, this fire starter will help get flames going.

Just scrape off a bit of the magnesium on top of your starter material, and then strike the same rod with the scraper.

When dealing with damp starter material, or if you live in an area where good starter material is difficult to find, this will be a massive help in starting a fire.

  • Great Value

Each fire starter offers a life span of up to 16,000 strikes.

It also comes in a pack of two, which means you can kit out two bug-out bags with one purchase.

All in all, this deal offers you great value for your money.

Swiss Safe also provides a no-questions, 100% money-back guarantee, so you get to enjoy a risk-free purchase.

The Good

This magnesium rod fire starter is perfect for those wanting to kit out more than one survival kit.

What’s more, you will really appreciate that you’d be able to get the fire going with magnesium.

The Bad

We’re not confident about the quality of the compass or how long it will last.

It’s better than nothing in an emergency, but we wouldn’t want to rely on it.



Bayite Ferro Rods

This Bayite product is the most basic we chose to include in this list.

As such, it is ideal for those needing a fire starter and nothing more.

Product Highlights

As mentioned, this fire starter tool lacks any frills that the others offer.

Here are its features to explain why we chose to include it anyway:

  • Simple But Effective

As the most affordable on this list, this fire starter is brilliant for people who already have everything else they need for their survival gear.

You’ll get exactly what you’re expecting and nothing more. Basically, this is just a ferrocerium rod that creates sparks from any metal object.

Some people see this as an advantage, especially those who already have everything else they need. This product’s simplicity allows you to choose only the items you need the most and fully customize your survival gear to your exact specifications.

If you don’t have a proper striker or high-quality, hard metal knife, you’re better off using the back of a box cutter blade to help you create sparks.

  • Easy to Carry

The rod itself is five inches long and half an inch in diameter. It offers up to 12,000 strikes and is housed in a plastic tube. The tube has a hole in one end so that you can easily attach your fire starter to something to make it easier to carry.

Team this up with your own handpicked paracord and wear it around your neck, or add a clip to fix it to your bag or belt buckle. Keep in mind that this is a very large fire starter, so it’s not the most compact offering on the market.

  • Easy to Use

Rivaled only by the Uberleben Zunden Fatty, this super thick ferro rod sends out a massive shower of sparks.

The giant size of the rod makes it easier to grip when you’re striking against it. The size also helps light fires more easily and quickly, no matter what weather conditions you’re currently under. If you live somewhere very dry, though, these sparks could be dangerous as they will fly.

The Good

We like these super fat rods for their high spark potential.

All in all, using these rods makes it easy to get a fire going very quickly, even when it’s raining.

The Bad

We’re worried that inexperienced users could start a bush fire if they are not careful with these rods.



Uberleben Zunden Fire Starter Lanyard

The aptly named Uberleben (to survive) Zunden (ignite) Fire Starter is larger than most.

As such, it is ideal for people who expect to get a lot of use out of a fire starter.

Product Highlights

Here are some of the features you will love the most about the Uberleben Zunden:

  • Handcrafted Neck-Carry Design

The first thing you’ll notice about this fire starter is the stylish handcrafted design, which would make it a great gift.

Weighing just three ounces, you can wear it around your neck and have even more available room in your backpack for other essentials.

The neck cord is made from Mil-spec 550 paracord, further adding to the item’s usefulness. The hardwood handle also has a more traditional look to it. More than anything, you will like that it is ergonomically designed, making it comfortable to grip when striking against it.

  • Quality Ferro Blend With a Variety of Size Options

Uberleben’s Sanft-korr ferrocerium is known for its quality, ease of use, and length of service. You can thank its balance between softness and durability for these advantages.

The ferrocerium rod is nearly five inches in length, and you can choose between three thickness variations. The standard thickness offers 12,000+ strikes, the pro thickness offers 15,000+ strikes, and the “Fatty” offers 20,000+ strikes.

  • Multi-Tool Striker

The striker that comes with the purchase also acts as a multi-tool. It has a straight-edge spine with a concave tinder scraper that makes it much easier to make solid contact with the rod’s shaft.

There is also a map scale and ruler, hex wrench, and the all-important bottle opener.

  • Hassle-Free Guarantee

Uberleben’s ferro rod fire starter comes complete with a hassle-free guarantee. What this means is that if you’re not completely happy with your new purchase, Uberleben will fix it for you.

As such, it is a risk-free purchase for anyone wanting to try it out.

The Good

We love how this survival fire starter kit looks and the multiple uses it offers.

For such a simple-to-use device, you will definitely appreciate the addition of the paracord neck cord and multi-tool striker.

The Bad

As the most expensive fire starter on this list, it wouldn’t suit those who are on a budget.



Bayite Survival Fire Starter With Paracord

This Bayite fire starter can easily become part of your everyday carry bag, as well as make a great addition to any survival kit or bug-out bag.

Product Highlights

Although this fire starter is one of the most affordable on this list, it has many features worth mentioning.

  • Nine-Foot Paracord

The first thing you’ll notice is that it is attached to a decent-length paracord.

The nine-foot paracord makes this simple and affordable survival item even more useful and convenient to use.

Whether you use it for fishing or as a tourniquet, this paracord serves as an extra survival item that adds even more life-saving abilities to your survival kit.

  • Ease of Use

The paracord adds to the fire starter’s ease of use, too.

For one, it allows you to get a really good grip on it when striking the four-inch ferrocerium rod.

A Striker-Pro striker is also attached to the paracord, which you can use to create sparks with either hand.

You will notice that the striker has a distinct hardness.

With its tool-grade HSS steel construction, you can trust that it will maximize the shower of hot sparks produced with each strike.

  • Convenient and Compact Size

The rod is a nice size. It is small enough to carry around every day and large enough to create a decent shower of sparks.

You will like that the attached paracord keeps the rod and striker together.

Basically, this feature allows you to attach it to your backpack, keys, or belt loop.

The Good

We like the addition of a paracord on this best fire starter.

However, if you already have a paracord bracelet, you may not want a second one.

The two items do work well together, as the paracord allows you to get a really good grip on the rod.

When your hands are cold, wet, and starting to go numb, you will appreciate this extra help.

The Bad

As mentioned, if you already have a paracord and don’t want the extra weight of a second one, you might want to find more suitable products for you.

Bayite Survival Fire Starter With Paracord video review



Capacity Survival Fire Starter FAQs

1. What is the strongest fire type starter?

The strongest type of fire starter combines magnesium with ferrocerium.

Why so? Simple because this combo is capable of creating flames rather than just sparks.

To use this, you scrape off a bit of the magnesium block onto whatever you plan to burn and then strike the ferrocerium to create sparks.

Magnesium always stays dry and will light immediately, helping you dry out and light other fire starters.

It will also give you time to get some kindling going.

2. What is the best natural fire starter?

The best natural fire starters you can find in the wilderness include:

  • Tinder Fungus

You can find tinder fungus under the birch tree barks.

Simply look out for charred-looking, black patches on living birch trees, and it should be hiding underneath.

  • Tree Bark

The bark of many trees, such as birch, cedar, poplar, and cottonwood, will ignite very easily.

  • Dry Leaves and Grass

When it comes to starting fires, grass tends to work better than leaves simply because you can shape it.

For the best results, shape some dry grass into a ball before striking sparks onto it.

  • Spruce Tips and Pine Needles

These will stay dry even during thunderstorms and will catch fire easily.

Branches and twigs from the spruce tree may take a more prolonged flame to get going, so you might need a lighter or something similar.

3. Are magnesium fire starters good?

Yes, magnesium fire starters can produce extremely high-heat sparks that can start fires in cold or wet conditions.

Even if you prefer to use a gas lighter for most of your fires, most outdoorsmen will also carry a magnesium or ferrocerium fire starter for emergencies.

4. How long do fire starters last?

Unlike gas lighters and matches, fire starters are amazing tools because they never expire.

What’s even more impressive is that it doesn’t matter if they get wet.

The length of time your fire starter will last will depend on the size and quality of the fire starter itself.

You can usually expect around 3,000 sparks (or strikes) from the average-sized ferrocerium fire starter.

Some larger rods can last for up to 10,000 strikes or more.

Check out the product’s specifications before buying it to see how long you can expect it to last.

5. What is chakmak stone?

Chakmak is a British-Indian word that describes an apparatus you use for striking sparks.

Therefore, a chakmak stone usually refers to a flint.

In some texts, it is described as a tool with edges that are both blunt used to sharpen knives.

Our Pick

Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Magnesium Fire Starter

Which Fire Starter Is the Best?

After reviewing all five, it’s easy to see that the best survival fire starter is the one from Swiss Safe. If you’re a hugely experienced outdoorsman, you may not be too bothered about having magnesium in your survival gear. Sure, a ferrocerium rod is good enough for many people. However, having magnesium as a backup for emergencies is always a good idea. Again, we wouldn’t rely on the compass but would probably use the whistle, and the extra paracord is always handy. Plus, we love how compact and lightweight this fire starter is. The fact you get a pack of two makes it a really sweet deal.
Good Luck and Happy Survival Prepping!

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