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The best fire steel (Buying Guide 2024)

The fire steel is the ideal tool to ignite a fire. Take a look at the top list and get advice when buying to make the best choice.

from Martin Gebhardt | Gear | no comment yet | reading time 15 Min
Updated on 20 June 2024 69.851 views 100% found this guide helpful
The best fire steel (Buying Guide 2024)

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • The Firesteel is an ideal tool: You can use it in your bushcraft camp, on a survival adventure, or in your bug out bag. It does not rely on fuel and is as easy to use as matches.
  • Important for survival: Since fire is the second or third most important need for survival, it is of the utmost importance to be able to ignite a fire.
  • Easy to use: Even children can generate sparks with the Firesteel. With most starters, you can ignite more than 1000 fires.
  • Top list of the best Firesteels: In the buying guide, you will find various Firesteels, including Light My Fire ARMY 2.0Fire-Fast Trekker, überleben Zünden Fire StarterWolf and Grizzly Fire SetGerber firestarter, US SparkForce Firesteel, and Exotac firestarter.
  • Essential factors to consider when choosing: When selecting a Firesteel, you should consider size, weight, number of sparks, and price.

The best fire steel is by far the perfect tool to ignite a fire.

Use a Firesteel in your Bushcraft camp, on a survival adventure, or pack it in your Bug Out Bag.

I will now introduce you to my top list and guide you in your purchase. This way, you will make the best choice in the end.

Why you should carry a Firesteel with you

Since fire is the second to third most important need to survive, it is of utmost importance to be able to ignite a fire - right after a shelter, which is the most important need to survive.

The best part is: A fire steel does not rely on fuel and is as easy to use as matches.

Even my three-year-old children can generate sparks with it.

Even children can create sparks with the fire steel
Even children can create sparks with the fire steel

Although a Firesteel is tiny, you can ignite more than 1000 fires with most starters. The method is one of the simplest but most effective methods to ignite a fire in the wild.

Every adventurer appreciates the use and basically never goes without a Firesteel.

Recently, I have had many fire steels in my hand, and this top list has emerged.

I'll show you the best of the best - with the right balance between affordability, durability, performance, and quality.

Let's now start looking at the best fire steels. Here comes my top list in brief:

Firesteel Size Weight Sparks according to manufacturer Price
Light My Fire ARMY 2.0 small + +++ (12000) €€€
Fire-Fast Trekker large ++ +++ (unknown) €€
überleben Zünden Fire Starter medium to large ++ ++ (12000)
Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set large +++ ++++ (20000) €€€
Gerber Firestarter medium ++ ++ (8000) €€€
US SparkForce Firesteel small + ++ (unknown) €€

And now I will introduce each Firesteel in detail. Let's get started.

1. Light My Fire - Small, handy, reliable

This Swedish Firesteel is considered one of the best fire starters for outdoor enthusiasts - and for good reason. It is a proven tool that will prove useful in all your survival situations.

LIGHT MY FIRE Feuerstahl Outdoor ARMY, 10 mm, 12000 Zündungen, 2-in-1 mit Notfallpfeife, Feuerstahl XXL Survival Gadget Feuerstein Feuerzeug, Ewiges Streichholz mit Bio-basierter Kunststoffgriff

Data updated 20 hours ago

LIGHT MY FIRE Feuerstahl Outdoor ARMY, 10 mm, 12000 Zündungen, 2-in-1 mit Notfallpfeife, Feuerstahl XXL Survival Gadget Feuerstein Feuerzeug, Ewiges Streichholz mit Bio-basierter Kunststoffgriff

  • EINGEBAUTE NOTFALLPFEIFE INKLUSIVE mit griffigem Design, sicher und so einfach zu bedienen, dass sogar ein Kind den Ferro Rod Magnesium Feuerstarter entzünden kann. Unser langlebiger Feuersteine lässt Sie nicht im Stich. Ideales Outdoor Notfall Survival Set. Farbe: Cocoshell
  • WASSERDICHTES FEUERSTARTER WERKZEUG ermöglicht es Ihnen, Ihr Feuer wie ein Profi mit einem Stab und Streicher zu entzünden, die nicht aufgeben. Der Light My Fire Feuerstahl funktioniert immer, auch bei Nässe und Wind oder in großer Höhe, im Gegensatz zu billigen Versionen, die bei schlechtem Wetter versagen.
  • BIS ZU 12.000 ZÜNDUNGEN BEI 3000°C machen unsere Outdoor Feuerzeug jedes Lagerfeuer zu einem flammenden Erfolg. Diese Feuerstein Feueranzünder für Lagerfeuer und Grill sind vertrauenswürdige Accessoires für Outdoor-Kamine und Feuerstellen sowie BBQ- oder Camping Feuerzeug
  • BPA-FREIE, LANGLEBIGE GRIFFE AUS 96% BIO-BASIERTEN KUNSTSTOFF und Funken sicherer Magnesium-Feuerstarter-Legierung, robuste Nylonkordel, Edelstahl-Streicher, setzen unser zuverlässiges Ferro-Rod-Wildnis Survival Feuerzeug ab. Nehmen Sie diese reisesicheren unzerstörbaren Fire Starter überall hin mit.
  • LIGHT MY FIRE SCHWEDISCHER ARMY FEUERSTAHL Überlebenswerkzeuge entsprechen militärischen Qualitätsstandards und werden in Schweden hergestellt. Wir sind das Original und unsere Überlebensausrüstung und -ausstattung ist von höchster Qualität. Wir verbinden Menschen wieder mit der Natur, um einen nachhaltigen Planeten zu schaffen.


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This little guy beats its competitors by far when you look at durability, strength, and user-friendliness. It is precisely because of these facts that even survival and bushcraft experts recommend the Light My Fire. Survival experts, campers, hunters, and anglers love this thing.

This premium steel, made in Europe, features an optimized grip design. A groove is recessed in both parts and your thumb fits perfectly into it. I am constantly amazed at how great the Firesteel feels in my hand when lighting it.

With the Firesteel, you scrape off 3000 °C hot sparks, which then ignite your tinder. With an impressive 12,000 fire strikes, the tiny device fits in your breast pocket and delivers the flames you need anytime, anywhere.

This Firesteel is also available in the "Scout" version - a smaller and lighter version with 3000 ignitions.

The Light My Fire Scout has been reliably accompanying me on my travels for a long time and here you can find my detailed review.

Here is a video of me igniting a fire with the Firesteel "Scout" and introducing it to you:

The scraper also has an integrated emergency whistle, which is helpful in search and rescue situations.

Whether you go camping in spring, summer, autumn, or winter, this tool is there for you. It is suitable for use in any weather and at any altitude.

The Light My Fire Firesteel is also available in the "Army" and "Scout" versions. The differences are only in size and number of sparks. The "Bio Army" version is brand new, using bio-based plastic and wood fibers and coconut shell fibers.

No matter which one you choose, the benefits outweigh all types.


Excellent craftsmanship

Suitable for any condition

Proven on the market for years

Bright and strong sparks

With emergency whistle


Can be easily lost, no striking color

2. Fire-Fast Trekker

When it comes to making fire, I swear by my Fire-Fast Trekker. But you know what makes it even better? A pile of tinder full of fine magnesium shavings!

Fire-Fast Trekker. Best Emergency Waterproof Survival Fire Starter. Magnesium and Euro Fire Steel Ferro Rod. Compact Durable Tool for Bushcraft, Camping, Backpacking, Hiking, Hunting, or Bug Out Bag.



Data updated 16 hours ago

Fire-Fast Trekker. Best Emergency Waterproof Survival Fire Starter. Magnesium and Euro Fire Steel Ferro Rod. Compact Durable Tool for Bushcraft, Camping, Backpacking, Hiking, Hunting, or Bug Out Bag.

  • WE USE REAL FERROCERIUM (FERRO ROD). Austrian ferrocerium combines over a century of craftsmanship and superior technology to produce the finest ferro rod in the world. Our ferrocerium is 76% Rare Earth Metal, 20% Iron, 2% Magnesium and 2% Anti-corrosives. There are no other additives.
  • MILITARY GRADE MAGNESIUM ROD used to create a burst of intense heat and flame kickstarting a fire even in the worst of conditions. The magnesium is easily scraped off with the striker and is ignited by sparks from the flint.
  • HARDWOOD HANDLE crafted for sure grip even in the dead of winter. The handle can be scraped to produce dry tinder – essential in an emergency situation.
  • STRIKER/SCRAPER made of hardened steel is sharpened to create large showers of sparks and won’t cut your skin. It also scrapes the magnesium rod and hardwood handle with ease.
  • PARACHORD rated at 550 lbs. tensile strength made in the US by certified US govt contractor. Won’t break or rot.

List Price: $39.95

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The shavings catch the spark from the steel and blaze with a white-hot flame. This gets your tinder going in no time. Magnesium is lightweight, inexpensive, and so effective that there's no reason not to always have a small supply of it on hand. It's like a loyal friend who never lets you down.

My favorite is the Fire-Fast Trekker. Not only does it have a top-notch fire stick, but it also has plenty of magnesium. And the best part: the wooden handle can be scraped off and used as tinder. How awesome is that? Sure, it's a little bigger and pricier than others, but if you have the space and the cash, nothing beats it.


Large and hot sparks

Durable construction

Aluminum tinderbox

Thick steel


The large paracord can make the fire steel unwieldy

3. überleben Zünden Fire Starter

As a nature-loving bushcrafter and survival fan, I am continually looking for high-quality equipment that won't let me down in the wilderness. And I can tell you: The ÜBERLEBEN fire steel has absolutely convinced me!

überleben Zünden Pro Ferro Rod Fire Starter for Survival w/Multi-Tool Striker - 3/8

Data updated 16 hours ago

überleben Zünden Pro Ferro Rod Fire Starter for Survival w/Multi-Tool Striker - 3/8" Thick Fire Steel, 15,000 Strikes - Waterproof Flint and Steel - Camping Fire Starter Rod w/Wood Handle, Lanyard

  • Reliable Fire Starter Ferro Rod - Find reliability with the Zünden Fire Starter Pro, a ferro rod that will help you get your flames lit no matter the weather. Wet or dry, this waterproof fire starter throws molten spark showers of 5,500°F at any altitude.
  • High-Performance Ferro Blend - Our trademark Sånft-korr ferrocerium rod blend is balanced for both softness and durability. This emergency fire starter ignites fires with ease in any altitude or weather, even when wet.
  • Handcrafted Wood Handle - The Zünden Pro features a 100% hardwood handle with a natural finish. This backpacking fire starter offers a natural durable, textured grip that withstands the elements.
  • Multi-Tool Fire Striker & Lanyard - This ferrocerium rod includes a mil-spec 550 paracord lanyard and a 6-function multi-tool: fire striker, tinder scraper, map scale, ruler, hex wrench, and bottle opener.
  • Sized for Survival - Practical and efficient, the Zünden Pro rod is 3/8" thick. This ferro rod with striker is compact and lightweight, providing a long-lasting, reliable ignition source, making it an essential part of any survival fire starter kit.


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It starts with the material. The fire steel is made of a special ferrocerium alloy called Sånft-korr. It is not only soft enough to strike sparks effortlessly, but also robust enough for tough outdoor use. Regardless of whether it is wet, cold or high altitude - by igniting it, you can conjure up a shower of sparks of up to 5,500F/3000°C quickly. This is guaranteed to get any tinder nest going!

But the highlight is the handle: Hand-made from 100% hardwood, it sits comfortably in the hand and simply feels good. Not one of those cheap plastic things! The stick is available in three diameters. I recommend the 3/8" or 1/2" thicknesses with up to 20,000 ignitions. Better more diameter than too little!

Conclusion: ÜBERLEBEN combines traditional bushcraft knowledge and modern manufacturing technology with ignition to create a product that simply makes you want to make a fire. If you are looking for a reliable fire steel, then go for it! It works and looks elegant too. For me, it is a loyal companion in the wilderness.



Solid construction

Great sparks

550 paracord lanyard


The paracord could be a bit bothersome

4. Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set

The "Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set" Firesteel consistently outperforms many fire starters by delivering up to 20,000 sparks.

Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set - Fire Starter Survival Tool/Ferro Rods with Striker | Superior to Flint and Steel | Backpacking Gear | Fire Starter Kit for Campfires

Data updated 16 hours ago

Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set - Fire Starter Survival Tool/Ferro Rods with Striker | Superior to Flint and Steel | Backpacking Gear | Fire Starter Kit for Campfires

  • BIG SPARKS EVERY STRIKE: The ferrocerium rod's large surface area creates the perfect strike-zone for powerful sparks with every strike.
  • LONG LASTING: Our fire starter is designed to last 20,000 strikes, making it more sustainable and longer lasting than any match box, lighter, flint and steel or magnesium
  • INSTANT FIRE: Consistently generates sparks of 5400°F degrees, making sure you can reliably light your fire every time. Save yourself the hassle of using a magnesium fire starter by using this ferro rod that can start your fire on the first strike.
  • HIGH QUALITY KNIFE STEEL: Fire Set's striker is made of premium knife steel, allowing you to sharpen it just like you would any knife or multi-tool. Our fire starter survival tool can be counted upon in any situation
  • WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED: Fire Set includes custom 550 type III paracord that has jute tinder embedded within it. In an emergency just cut open the paracord and you have fuel to start a fire anywhere.


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This Firesteel couldn't be easier to use. There is no handle because the Firesteel is so powerful. The matching scraper is included, and the set is ready to go.

The "Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set" stands out for its excellent balance between softness and durability. And what could be better than knowing that the Firesteel will throw 5400°F hot sparks at any altitude and in any weather?

Here are the facts:

  • Size 4.9” x 0.8”
  • Ferro rod, steel striker, paracord with jute core

I like this fire starter because it is large enough to deliver a good spark. Especially for beginners, the Firesteel is great.

I would recommend this Firesteel to anyone who does backpack camping or regularly likes to ignite their bushcraft fire.


Up to 20,000 sparks

Easy to use

Durable construction

Stable and large


No handle

Somewhat heavy and bulky in the pocket

5. Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter -

Although small and compact, this fire starter guarantees you many years of use. The first thing you will probably notice is the waterproof construction, which keeps the tinder safe, dry, and durable.

Gerber Bear Grylls Feuerstarter mit wasserdichtem Zunderlager, Inklusive Notfallpfeife, Survival Series, 31-000699

Data updated 20 hours ago

Gerber Bear Grylls Feuerstarter mit wasserdichtem Zunderlager, Inklusive Notfallpfeife, Survival Series, 31-000699

  • Zuverlässiges Überlebenswerkzeug zum Feuer machen für Outdoor-Begeisterte, Idealer Begleiter für Wander-Ausflüge, Survival-Trips oder beim Campen
  • Schnelle Bedienung: Einfach den Schaber über den Zündstahl ziehen, Bis zu 8000 Funkenschläge, Integrierter wasserfester Zunderspeicher
  • Minimales Packmaß, Handlich und leicht, Passt in jeden Rucksack oder an den Schlüsselbund
  • Lanyard zum Sichern des Feuerstarters, Inklusive Notfallpfeife und Survival Guide
  • Lieferumfang: 1 x Gerber Feuerstarter Bear Grylls Survival Series inklusive Notfallpfeife, 31-000699


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The fire steel is supposed to produce over 8000 sparks. With proper use, you will have long-lasting fun and create strong and bright sparks.

Together with the good grip, this easy-to-carry "Bear Grylls" fire starter remains the ideal choice for any practicing survival artist.

The fire starter offers good value for money and I can recommend this product to any beginner who is looking for an affordable fire steel.


Up to 8000 sparks


Waterproof tinder storage

Emergency whistle

Band for attaching to clothing/backpack

Mini survival guide as an extra


The cord could be longer

6. UST SparkForce Fire Steel

If you're still looking for the best way to generate sparks in windy, rainy, or other adverse weather conditions, be sure to check out the SparkForce Fire Steel from Ultimate Survival Technologies.

Basically, the fire steel is easy to use; you just have to hold the striker against its fire steel rod, apply pressure along the rod, generate sparks, and then direct them onto the prepared surface to ignite your tinder.

The UST SparkForce Fire Steel has a removable cap that protects the fire steel and also prevents unintended sparks.

The fire steel features a bright and visible orange plastic housing, which is easy to spot when it falls on the ground in the dark.

Weighing only about 27 grams, this small SparkForce fire starter fits compactly in your pocket.


Great fire steel and striker

Very reliable

Easy to ignite

Excellent visibility in the field


The loop is not ideal for attaching to things

7. Exotac Nano XL Firestarter

The Exotac firestarter is the perfect companion for your keychain, weighing only 20 grams.

Exotac Feuerstarter NanoStriker XL Orange, One Size

Data updated 20 hours ago

Exotac Feuerstarter NanoStriker XL Orange, One Size

  • Ferrocerium Feuerstahl funktioniert auch bei Nässe
  • Leichtes 6061 Aluminium-Gehäuse
  • Auswechselbarer Feuerstahl
  • Mehr als 3000 Zündvorgänge


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The size (9.2 cm) of the firestarter means it can easily slide into your pocket. For comparison, the Exotac Nano firestarter is the size of a filter cigarette.

You can safely store it in your pocket, backpack, or survival kit along with your other bushcraft gear when heading into the wilderness.

The firestarter is made of high-quality 6061 anodized aluminum. This sturdy casing helps protect the ferrocerium rod from damage, such as breakage, and ensures it lasts even longer.

To use the Exotac Nano XL, unscrew it to reveal three parts: a striker with four sharp edges, the ferrocerium rod with a short casing, and the longer casing that the rod was inside, which now screws onto the short casing to serve as a handle.

The waterproof ferrocerium rod produces up to 3000 sparks, and the ferrocerium rod is replaceable.

While the firestarter is well-designed and produces sparks, it is more suitable as a keychain or gift for your survival partner.

Otherwise, the high price of the firestarter compared to its small size is not entirely justified for someone looking for a larger and more user-friendly firestarter.


Small and compact

Construction of the highest level

Replaceable ferrocerium rod

The casing is durable and has a waterproof seal

Easy to find

Protected from environmental influences by the casing


Requires finesse


Buying guide to purchase the best fire steel and fire starter

As often applies: Those who inform themselves usually make better purchases than someone who spontaneously grabs.

It is also advisable to consider some factors when buying a Firesteel.

Factors include in particular the general structure and technical data of the fire steel, which significantly influence performance.

feuer entzuenden feuerstahl

Easy to use or complicated?

Even if you may have already seen some YouTube videos or photos on the internet, lighting a fire with a Firesteel is not easy. Especially in the beginning, it can be frustrating.

That your tinder burns in the end depends on various variables in your environment. Is it raining or snowing? Are you by the sea or are you in a desert?

Therefore, you must use a Firesteel that is easy to handle and reliable.

And of course, your technique for ignition is crucial.

Different fire steels require different techniques, and you must therefore know how ignition is achieved to be successful.

Read my guide: 2 foolproof tricks to create a fire with a Firesteel.

Before you set off, practice igniting with the fire steel
Before you set off, practice igniting with the fire steel

Frequency of use

How often will you use your Firesteel? Are you only outdoors in the wilderness camp or on survival training twice a year? Then a small model like the Light My Fire ARMY 2.0 will be more than enough.

However, if you are traveling for several months or even on a world tour, it is better to get a comprehensive Firesteel. Furthermore, remember to bring a spare one for long trips.

Some bushcraft knives even come with a fire steel (here is my top list).

bushcraft messer mit feuerstahl

Also consider beforehand what you want to use your Firesteel for. Only to ignite a fire or also to light a cigarette or ignite a gas stove?

The more you need it, the more it wears out. Therefore, it's better to choose a larger Firesteel (like the Fire-Fast Trekker) that can handle all these tasks.

Calculate here the duration of how long your fire steel lasts:


Every survivalist prefers a Bushcraft equipment or Survival equipment that is lightweight. And here comes the small and compact Firesteel (like the Light My Fire ARMY 2.0) into play.

Everything under 200 grams is manageable and reliable. Fire steels of this size fit easily into your pockets or into the bags that are in the backpack.

Just make sure that when buying a small fire starter, you don't compromise on performance. Even if the descriptions sound wonderful, make sure that the fire steel works flawlessly.

Security and User Friendliness

Undertaking a Bushcraft adventure should be fun and captivating. An important part is to be well-prepared with the necessary Bushcraft tools.

If you venture into the wilderness, make sure to pack all the necessary survival tools. Your fire starters, in particular, play a crucial role.

Some lighters empty themselves over time or matches no longer work because the chemical composition has changed due to moisture.

Your Firesteel, however, will not break easily. Test again before setting off to see if the sparks ignite to your liking.

A fire steel is robust and waterproof
A fire steel is robust and waterproof


The weather in the great outdoors is often unpredictable; it can be rainy, snowy, or warm and sunny.

In any case, this means that you pack your waterproof fire steel with your survival equipment. This way, you are independent of the prevailing conditions and can ignite a fire at any time.

Test your Firesteel

It's trivial, but the simplest and most effective way to test a Firesteel is to perform a test. Otherwise, you have a problem if the Firesteel doesn't work.

Before your tour, you should test your fire steel
Before your tour, you should test your fire steel

Testing helps you understand the technology and user-friendliness of the Firesteel. You also learn how it behaves in different environments and conditions.

And testing doesn't necessarily mean that you should start a complete campfire. Some tinder, like birchbark or Fatwood, and you will see if the Firesteel meets your expectations.

If you want to know exactly how to make a fire with a Firesteel and birchbark, then check out my detailed e-book.

My recommendation for the best Firesteel?

Generally, the Light My Fire Firesteel Army performs the best. It is durable, compact, affordable, and produces fantastic sparks. That's why it is number 1 on my top list.

If you're looking for a longer Firesteel, go for the Fire-Fast Trekker or the überleben Zünden Fire Starter. You can't go wrong with either of them.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide

Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Since this is a gear guide, here ...

🤝8 reasons to trust my recommendation

  1. Practical Experience: I have tested most of the products I recommend under extreme conditions myself.

  2. Independence: As a wilderness mentor, I am not tied to any specific brands - this means my recommendations are unbiased.

  3. Expertise: My many years of experience allow me to understand the intricacies and details of various products that a layperson might overlook.

  4. Target group understanding: I understand the needs and challenges of outdoor enthusiasts, from beginners to seasoned experts.

  5. Quality focus: I attach great importance to quality and longevity. These are characteristics that are crucial in the wild.

  6. Clear communication: I try to explain the pros and cons of each product clearly and understandably so that you can make an informed decision.

  7. Currentness: I always keep my guides up to date and adapt them to new findings or products.

  8. Community Feedback: I work in wilderness schools, teach courses myself, attend courses and am active in various outdoor and survival communities and therefore integrate the feedback and experiences of others into my recommendations.

So when I introduce the best survival knives or flashlights, you can be sure that every recommendation is based on solid experience and extensive knowledge.

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Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!