Best FireSteel Rod For Survival Made With Premium Rare Earth Elements

Buy the best FireSteel rods from the same company who makes them for the U.S. Military. The U.S. Military has exacting standards – they are putting their lives on the line.  So you know beyond a doubt what this company sells is the Real Deal.

Located in Littleton, NH, (visit them here) makes the worlds’ best FireSteels.

They are a sponsor here, and have been with us for many years. But I wouldn’t be saying that (or have them here) if they sold junk. Instead, I am confident to promote the advantages of their FireSteel rods, making them the best in my opinion.

Why are they the best FireSteel?

FireSteel – Rare Earths

Rare Earths, the chemicals that make good sparks when you scrape a FireSteel rod, are very expensive. Cheap one’s skimp on Rare Earth elements.

“We DO NOT do that!” says Ron Fontaine of FireSteel. “This is why our FireSteels are the best you can get.”

When you use a FireSteel rod from, you will get a fire because of the massive sparks the rod makes. The percentage of Rare Earth elements we put in our FireSteel Rods are the highest you can get.

What more do you need to know?

Buy cheap firesteels, or buy the best – up to you. If you are serious about Survival you cannot go wrong with our FireSteel. But you can certainly go wrong with the cheap crap that is out there – just saying so you know what to expect.

~ from the manufacturer

Not all ferro rods (or ferrocerium rods) are made the same. They are an alloy of iron and cerium. The relative proportions of iron to the other rare earths (of which Cerium is one) in the formula can mean a vast difference in performance.  The formula used to make the best FireSteel strikes just the right balance between softness (which makes the rods easy to scrape) and “hardness” (which makes the rods long-lasting).

The relative “softness” of FireSteel rods also means that when you scrape along the length of the rod, you will obtain great big blobs of molten metal with which to start your fire.  Who wants to struggle with puny sparks when you’re cold, hungry and wet?  With a FireSteel rod and your prepared tinder, just a few scrapes is all it takes to get your fire going when you need it.

Note that all the rods at are made with the same formula. You will obtain the same *quality* of sparks from each rod.  That being said, since the *amount* of sparks is dependent on the amount of material being shaved off, you will naturally obtain bigger gobs of sparks from a larger diameter rod.

Who Uses the Rods from ?

  • The US Military
  • Hikers
  • Hunters
  • Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts
  • Survivalists
  • Preppers
  • Outdoor enthusiasts
  • Bushcrafters
  • and everyone else who wants a reliable way to start a fire no matter what.

Buy the best and make sure you can start a fire come what may.

Will you risk your life in order to save a buck?  With our FireSteel you know you have the BEST.

The Best EVER made.

Ask around. FireSteels are the Real Deal, the BEST you can get hands down.

And remember: a fire can save your life! 

from an email on their site:

[name removed for security reasons]
Special Agent
Office of Special Investigations Anti/Counter Terrorism Unit
USAF Special Operations Command

“Its been a few years since my last order and I just got a box from you. The [firesteel] is great.  I have been training intel officers after my 4 tours to Iraq and 3 to the Afghan Hills.

I am using the fire steels in both the field ops and SERE parts of the intel training….They were slowly whittled down over the years.

We [had] one pilot stand on a mountain scraping his fire steel as a signal. The PJs saw the sparks 2 miles away. We even ignited time fuse with one to set off an IED.”

Why Should I Have (at least) One?

Matches can become damp and useless.

Lighters run out of fuel or break.

Old fashioned flint and steel can be difficult to master.

FireSteel is lightweight, compact, and easy to use.

Just One can start thousands of fires.

Don’t get me wrong… you SHOULD have multiple ways to start a fire in your survival kit / fire kit. I’m just saying that a FireSteel is an excellent addition. I have one in each of my kits.

I also have one in each “Kit”.

Might I suggest getting a couple and actually build a fire or 10 with them. Just buying one and stuffing it in the drawer will do you little good.

PS: whens then last time anyone did a “Lights Out” weekend???? How did you start your fire?

~ said ‘NRP’ here on the blog

They have many styles, sizes, and shapes to choose. I simply suggest that you visit their site and have a look. If you ever buy something from them, tell-em you came from Modern Survival Blog… Thanks.

[ Read: A Fire Starter Kit List ]

[ Read: Road Flare for Fire Starter Kit? ]


  1. I have around 30 of these, bought mostly when much younger and there is a definite quality difference.
    Most of mine are 5/16 to 1/4″ thick 3 1/2″ long.
    I had two that were 6″ x 1/2″ it was fun to play with but heavy, first one I dropped & broke into three pieces.
    Any that are 1/4″ or thinner are fragile, easily broken when trying to utilize, I wouldn’t bother with the thin ones again unless they are set in something solid like a block of magnesium.

    Several have self destructed in humidity, I can only assume those were the marginally softer ones.
    They oxidize then they fall apart into grey powder.

    The harder ones seem to last longer overall as in use and storage, but it’s also a little harder to get equivalent reaction from them.

    They all work as they are intended to, some just better than others.

    I now paint them either with a black paint pen or fingernail polish, whatever I can locate.
    Being small and black I did consider a while back getting a neon orange or yellow paint pen to make them easier to locate.

  2. There are 7 necessities to sustain life. Shelter, Fire, WATER, Food, Medical, Hygiene, and Security whether you are rich or poor. Take away any one of the 7 for a period of time and your survival is in jeopardy. The ability to make fire directly affects the other 6. In my opinion, if you can’t reliably make fire….first time, every time in ALL conditions, yours skills are seriously lacking. To accomplish that….you must have the proper skills (which means practice in the elements) and equipment. The very best equipment is a ferro rod from FireSteel. It is all I use, and I do trust my life with it. Sure….use a Bic for convenience, but when things are for real, go with the best. I pair my FireSteel with waxed jute, fuel and oxygen for a garenteed fire…. in rain, wind, or snow, doesn’t matter. I wear a 2 1/2 inch FireSteel on my belt (key ring). If I have my pants on….I have my FireSteel. And if I don’t…well, its in arms reach. The concept of fire is that important to me. It is an excellent barter item if you have enough of them for yourself. Think about it… a grid down, they will trade their first born for one, because the ability to make fire is critical…..and they will come to know that. Stock up now while you can. Just my opinion.

  3. fire steels are great for backups but i depend on my supply of about 200 bics to hold me for a while. i buy a 5 pack every time we go to the grocery store. they add up. 5 lighters for 6 dollars, that’s a lot of fire.
    i could rub 2 sticks together. but why not get a fire started and move on to other things. fire steels are great if you have nothing else. work smarter, not harder, and plan ahead.
    don’t fall into the survivalist mystic of things when your survival depends on it. and it very well could.
    it makes for good TV, but always go for the sure thing whenever possible. has anyone here ever tried to light soaking wet tinder with a fire steal or a bow drill and a vaseline soaked cotton ball only? i have and it didn’t work out so well for me. i got it going after about an hour.
    that’s time i could have spent doing something else.
    Dave Cantrell and others always have their fire steels in their pockets, why not a 1.50 dollar bic.
    it makes for good TV.

    1. nyscout – I guess this is where we agree to disagree…….with all due respect. Your tinder MUST be dry. Your fuel not so much, because the tinder will dry the wood to the point where it will catch if you properly processed it. That is where the waxed jute shines because it don’t have to be dry… burns like gasoline in wet and windy conditions where Bics are most prone to fail. One FireSteel, 6″x 1/2″ will out last and out perform one hundred (or more) Bic lighters. For barter, Bics are better on your end of the trade…….but not theirs. If you care about someone……gift them a FireSteel and teach them how to properly use it. I speak from training and experience in the worst conditions – the mountains in rain, wind, and snow storms. That is where I feel most alive. In HIS cathedral.

      1. “One FireSteel, 6″x 1/2″ will out last and out perform one hundred (or more) Bic lighters.”
        They will but weight matters, in everyday living like your property that heavy metal rod is no issue.
        If someone is distance packing for any reason (survival?) that 6″ ferrocerium rod will get chucked or broken into a more manageable size and weight.

        6″x1/2″ is unnecessarily heavy, a burden but the smaller ones considerably less so.
        I suppose you could beat someone to death with it as a jabbing or hammering tool to the head, that would actually work if it didn’t beak into chunks from a side impact.

        IMO 5/16″ or 7?16″ x 3.5″ is perfect for utility, size and weigh- that will easily start a hundred fires depending on users skill, ability and present conditions.
        If stuck miles from home my primary fire starter is a bic or matches, the rod is backup
        but that rod will always be there if I have a choice.

        I have seen huge 1″ thick rods x 5 or 6″, unusually stupid and heavy.

        1. Horse – I carry a 6″x 1/2″ in my pack. That is for wilderness use and around the property. I have been using the same one for about 7 years to light my trash fires, grill fires, cook fires, etc.. I figure it is good for another 5-7 years at present rate of use. I only use a 1/4″ of the tip to spark a fire (with usually one or two hits – gotta love that waxed jute) and I don’t needlessly “play” with it. How someone might break one is beyond me as I use my equipment with care. My go-to (W/O the pack) in the field (scouting) is a 4″x 3/8″ and on my keyring is the 2 1/2″x 3/8″ as backup. Bear in mind, I wrap 3/4s of my FireSteels with bank-line (protects the coating), and on the top (hole end) a band of 1″ Gorilla tape. As I wear the end, I back wrap that bankline. The keyring FireSteel is not wrapped. For those wishing visibility in case you drop it, use orange chute cord for a lanyard thru the hole. If weight is a concern, dump some other “comfort” junk that is not needed or switch to titanium mess kit. My “business pack” weighs about 27 lbs without water or ammo (3 seasons). Some of that weight is tools to create what I need. Carry weight for me is not an issue as long as I can strip it off quickly if I need to. My shelter is my poncho and a very abbreviated super shelter (in cold weather) of which could really be carried in two pants cargo pockets. The deal with me is I am NOT an expert….but a student…..I learn from the ones I consider expert. After every trip or “session”, when I unload, I evaluate what I used and what will not go the next trip. Those FireSteels will always survive the “cut”. Yes….even the 6 x 1/2. But that’s me……to each their own. Train up now folks….while you still can.

  4. So that 6″ rod is a touch over 4 oz, I think so not horrible but largely unnecessary when a much smaller nearly identical version will be perfect for most anyone.
    You negated your entire point by saying you use 1/4″ of the tip, and carry useless dead weight.
    Your either young, work out a lot or just haven’t had a run in with time and age yet.
    As I have seen the majority here are around middle aged +/- several are 50’s +

    I suppose you could always break it in half for a potential group member, so there’s that.

    Not everyone here can carry a lot, some need more than others and weight does actually matter in a long haul/ forced hike or survival situation.
    Just seems your pushing people purchase a thing that is unnecessarily heavy and large for them and $49.27! really.
    FireSteel SHTF is 16.78 for a slightly larger of the small versions 7/16 3.15″ is.. off that site and likely more than anyone will use in a long, long time.
    Go all out and get two, so your partner has the backup that’s still cheaper than the monster.
    They are good, they do work, I get it but don’t be that car salesman.

    The lanyard is nice, an actual small handle on them is a very good thing even if it’s only 1 1/4″ aluminum tube 1/2 flattened for grip on the end of your ferrocerium rod-epoxied on.
    Some like chunks of stag antler, others a small piece of wood, some like it as is.

    I did say I have around 30 of them, lotta play time in various weather trying them out over 15+ years.
    I’m not Mr wilderness, my longest hike was roughly 75 miles over no man’s pass Wyoming about three weeks long.

    1. Horse – Your points are well understood and valid. We all have our personal preferences. I guess I developed a liking for the “big stick” early on when my hands were so damn cold and numb I found it difficult to hold a small Light My Fire. As to the 1/4″ tip technique with waxed jute…..the “long scrape” tends wear the FireSteel in the middle of the shaft. In time it will weaken at that banana belly and snap. Again….a preference in technique. I acknowledge that my ways may not be the best way. But they do work for me, as I am sure that your ways work for you. I am no spring chicken but I am fit of which I believe is important if you are to venture out . When I referrred to “playing”, I did not mean not to practice. Two different things to me. Playing (to me) is when one goes out on a nice sunny day to strike a fire…..just so they can say they did it, and maybe justify their purchase. Practice is going out in foul weather and getting that fire as quickly as they can. Sorry if I mislead or was not clear. Best wishes to you.

  5. I was never fond of those tiny firesteels.
    I wouldn’t bother with the thin ones again ever, they wear out far too fast but I do have a couple from years past.

    And totally agree the majority of wear is about 3/4″ into your stroke/scrape (for the average user) it wears out the middle of most rods, a crescent wear mark and huge weakness then they break possibly when you might need it most.
    So you made your case for the bigun.
    I need to practice using the end rather than the length.

    I have never tried this magical waxed jute you speak of, normally cotton with light grease or tp, news paper is the usual on hand choice so I’ll look into jute.

    A huge peeve is the little pieces of hacksaw some places give with the firesteels, those cause too much damage to the ferro rods, that extreme wear probably cuts the useful life of the ferro in half or worse.

  6. Horse – I hear ya on those hack saw blades……I just flip it and use the straight back edge. For the waxed Jute…..take jute twine and reverse wrap into cordage, whatever thickness you want. Two, four, or six, strand. Ex: For six strand you would have 3 strands on either side of your wrap. (You probably already know how to make cordage…..but for those that don’t) Youtube videos on making cordage – simple. I then dip that jute twine cordage into melted candle wax, I use a candle warmer. Pull it out of the candle wax after about 30 seconds and let it air cool. Fluff the end with the 90 degree spine of your knife or the ferro rod striker. Tip….the fluffier it is, the easier it will catch a spark. Like gasoline it is. Try to blow it out…..wind resistant. Dunk it in water…..fluff the end……spark it …….and BANG, you got fire. Its magic. This is the best kept secret for fire in hostile conditions. Hope this is useful to you.
    BTW: If you run out… can do the same thing with the inner bark of Tulip Poplar (make cordage) and rendered animal fat.

    1. Horse – Forgot to say that I never did get that fire with that small Light My Fire rod when I most needed it. I suffered…….and I learned from it. I have about 10 of those small Light My Fire rods left. I use them for teaching youngsters fire techniques (with parents permission of course). That is their prize (along with their roasted hotdogs) for properly building a sustainable fire. When I run out, I will invest in the FireSteel version. Kids are worth it. You’d be surprised at the number of parents that “nose in” on the class. Yeah……they get a hotdog too…..but their kids have to cook it for them. Talk about flip the script funny…..but they learn and have fun in the process.

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