The Top 12 Best Fire Starters

Imagine it: You’re in the wilderness and the sun is dipped below the horizon, leaving you in the chilled darkness of the night. You thought your jacket would be enough to warm you, but you didn’t account for the elevation difference and the cooler temperature. You’ll make it through the night, but it won’t be comfortable. If you had planned ahead and thought to bring a fire starter, you’d be on your way to warmth, comfort and an enjoyable evening.

Should this be a scenario you’d like to avoid? There are dozens of different fire starters available, ranging from complex to compact and easy-to-use. If you think you could just stick to a box of matches, think again… they are more difficult to transport, can become useless if wet and come in limited supply.

Even if you know how to start a fire with little more than branches and tinder, having a fire starter on hand can make your life a lot easier. So consider these 12 can help you have a perfect addition to every rucksack and camping kit.

Swedish Fire Steel Army Fire Starter 2.0

First of all, this fire starter is incredibly compact and affordable. Besides the variety of colors to choose from, it is versatile and can work under different situations. Its waterproof design ensures you can always get instant fire.

The 5,000° F spark works in all types of weather and at any altitude. In terms of lightness and durability, it is sure to last for over 12,000 strikes. Since every strike can get a fire going instantly, it could be for a lifetime use. As an added bonus, this fire starter comes with a built-in emergency whistle.


Zippo Emergency Fire Starter

Of course, one of the world’s leading lighter manufacturer would also find a way to try its hand at an emergency fire starter. The lightweight plastic case is durable and protects a flint wheel and four waxed tinder sticks.

Although the wheel isn’t waterproof, there is an O-ring seal that keeps contents in the casing protected. This fire starter comes with four wax tinder sticks which can be replenished in an affordable 8-pack also.


Coghlan’s Flint Striker

Here is another compact fire starter that does not have any bells and whistles. It is a simplistic Ferrocerium fire starter that comes in handy in a lot of situations, whether during camping, hiking or backpacking across the country. At only 5/16” in diameter and 3 7/8” long, it is small enough to fit in your pocket.

It was designed to work in all kinds of weather – wet or cold.


Rotcho Aurora Fire Starter

Solo Scientific Inc. sells this fire starter by promoting aerospace quality and a manufacturing process that delivers the best all-around fire starter. It is a pretty accurate description of this very useful and compact aluminum starter.

At ¼” in diameter, the magnesium built flint steel rod promises an easy and instant fire, regardless of the weather. The striking blade is built to last and can take a beating. Likewise, it can also be sharpened, making it a lifetime product. Every strike produces a 5,000° F spark that is sure to set all kinds of combustible or flammable materials on fire.


Boker Plus Fire Starter

Sometimes the best things tend to be the simplest of all and here it is, the Boker Plus. Complete with a 4 ¾” blade, this fire starter kit has a sturdy aluminum body with a non-slip grip.

The scraper and magnesium fire rod is a perfect pairing for starting fast fires and the included blade helps break down chips into a pile that is easy to ignite. Stored on a ball chain, this fire starter is easy to carry. It also comes with a small compass built onto the top of the aluminum casing.


Fire-Fast Fire Starter

The .3” flint and 5/8” wide magnesium is stored neatly in a 3” wooden handle is all you need to start just over 2,000 fires. Even in the worst conditions, the magnesium rod is very reliable and can be shaved with the included steel striker.

When tinder is not available or is too wet, the striker can cut part of the wooden handle to serve as a burning material. Although the flint and magnesium can’t be replaced, they are long-lasting and durable.


Holland Lightning Strike Fire Starter

This outdoor fire starter is just over 7.5” long and 1” diameter and will fit in any backpack compartment. The Ferrocerium rod is great for a number of uses and the included tinder is enough to burn up to 20 different fires.

Keeping everything safe from the weather is a waterproof cap that is attached to the steel striker with a durable shock cord. When one side of the rod becomes worn out, it can be easily removed or rotated by unlocking the set screw.


Instafire Fire Starter

If you find yourself having only matches or a lighter, a good alternative is the granulated fire starter. Without unnecessary chemicals, it will burn for 24-minutes per pouch, leaving behind an environmentally friendly ash.

Even in wet conditions, the Instafire makes it infinitely easier to get a fire going and will remain lit even if the winds is up to 30 mph. The granules burn at up to 1,000° F and can provide a fire of its own or help burn tinder and wood for a longer time.


Exotac NanoStriker XL

Don’t let the fancy name fool you, because this fire starter is a no-frills, easy-to-use tool that every survivor should consider carrying. Each stroke produces sparks up to 3,000° F, which can ignite any pile of tinder instantly.

The ¼” ferrocerium rod is durable, adaptable and will work even in heavy rains. Should it start to wear, it is also replaceable without having to buy an entirely new starter. Every element of the starter stores neatly in one aluminum casing, making it incredibly convenient for transport.


UST Strike Force Fire Starter

In need of a starter that is inexpensive and easy to use? Lightweight and incredibly compact, this fire starter has a special alloy flint bar and a steel striker capable of being used for several thousand times.

Be it wet or dry, the flint and striker produces sparks three times hotter than the average match. Also, it lasts for up to 4,000 strikes. For easy portability, the rod and striker are stored in two separate pieces that lock together. It has a room to store extra tinder too.


Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Firestarter

With the name “Bear Grylls” attached to it, you can bet that this rendition of a fire starter is amazing.

It has a non-slip aluminum casing which covers a 3” ferrocerium rod and keeps it protected in all conditions. The 2-in-1 design and attached lanyard connects to any key-chain or backpack for easy portability. Grylls is all about survival and this fire starter is clearly fashioned after simplistic nature of the owner.


Uberleben Zunden Bushcraft Fire Steel

Available in three different sizes, it is designed from the highest quality fire steel and measures under 5” long. The difference between the Trad, Pro and Konig models is the diameter. The thicker the rod, the more reliable strikes you’ll get.

The 5/16” Trad rod is good for up to 12,000 strikes while the Pro’s 3/8 rod will last an additional 3,000. On the other hand, the Konig ½”-thick rod is good for over 20,000 strikes. Regardless of the size, the Bushcraft also comes with a 6-in-1 survival tool. It has a steel scraper that serves as a ruler, map scale, bottle opener, hex wrench and sharp spine scraper too.

There is no aluminum casing to keep the rod in, but it is compact enough to be stored anywhere and be kept dry.