Best Fire Starter: 9 Options That Will Keep Your Fire Going

Fire starters review
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Getting out into the wilderness isn’t always easy. You need to be able to take care of yourself and everything that could potentially happen. One of those things that could happen is getting entirely too cold and needing some way to warm yourself back up; that’s when you need something to help you with building a fire.

The best fire starter is needed to get you there, and make sure that you can always get warmed up whenever you’re out in the wilderness.

So maybe it’s time for you to start taking a look at the different fire starters out there and decide which ones are going to be the best option for your needs.

What to Look for In A Fire Starter

When you’re looking for fire starters you want to make sure you have the perfect tools to help you with anything. You want to make sure that you are choosing something that is the right size, the right shape and has the right capabilities.

Fire starter features

You want to be able to start a fire whenever and wherever you happen to be, no matter what the conditions may be. This can be difficult, but with the right tools you’ll be able to do it and that’s why you need to know exactly what you’re looking for before you head out into the woods.


The first thing to think about is the size of the unit you’re going to get. You want something that is small enough you can easily carry it around with you and lightweight enough that you can put it in your survival bag. But you also want something that’s large enough to do the job and get you a decent sized fire when it comes time to get it going.

You don’t want to create a fire so small you have to nurse it for hours to get it large enough to keep you warm or to allow you to cook easily. Your fire starter isn’t always going to be large, but it doesn’t really have to be in order to give you the right size fire.


You want to know more about the material of your fire starter as well. You want something that has a high quality and isn’t going to break while you’re carrying it around in your bag. You want to be sure that when you want to use it there’s not going to be anything wrong with it or that it’s not going to fail on you.

Fire starter with knife

This isn’t always a guarantee, but knowing your fire starter is made of something durable will definitely help. Not to mention you can get all different types of fire starters that will do a similar job and you want to make sure that you are only putting in as much work as you want.

How it Works

Some fire starters are simply flint and steel or some form therefor. These types are a little more difficult to use because they require more work, but others are a lot more advanced. Many fire starters are similar to a lighter (but a little more advanced) and will allow you to simply flip a switch and get the flame so you can get exactly what you need.

You’ll definitely be able to choose how much effort you want to put into the process and how easy you want it to be that you get a new fire started whenever you want.

How Much it Works

You’re going to want something that will work at least a few times because otherwise it’s not going to be a lot of help to you while you’re out for more than a day. In a survival situation you won’t be able to keep your fires going every night and on longer trips you might not have enough ‘lights’ to get you by.

With flint and steel you can create unlimited fires, but with other fire starters you want to know how many lights it has so you can get enough to at least get you through a few different trips. Make sure you check out the limits that it has.


You want to make sure the unit that you pick up is going to work when you’re in bad conditions like wind or water. You don’t want it to be put out immediately or rendered entirely useless.

Fire starter in hands

After all you’re not always going to be outdoors in the best of conditions. So look for a unit that will allow you to get the fire you need when you need it, no matter what’s going on around you. It will be important to keeping yourself warm and safe when there are wild animals around and definitely when the weather is colder.


You are going to absolutely want to look at the price of the unit that you’re getting as well. You want to make sure you’re not spending a whole lot on something that you can’t really use as much as you want, but you also don’t want to completely skimp out on the cost because you could end up buying something that isn’t really as good as it should be.

You need to find a balance and make sure that you’re paying what you’re comfortable with for the quality that you’re going to get. It doesn’t take much to figure out the right balance for you.

Top 9 Fire Starters That Made Our List

Following the characteristics and features discussed above, we put together a list with the best fire starters that should catch your attention. So keep on reading if you want to make sure you have something to light the fire with on your next trip.

Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter

Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter

Weight: 0.05 lbs.

Dimensions: 0.43” x 0.43” x 3.65”

Specific Features: Small, lightweight, waterproof, self-contained

Best For: Not a lot of space or extra weight, less than ideal conditions

Description: The Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL is definitely a great option when you’re heading out into the wilderness because it’s lightweight and easy to use. The unit is available in several colors and can easily be strapped onto a keyring or a piece of string to wear around your neck.

The rod works just as well when wet as it does when dry and is entirely self-contained and made in the United States. With an easy-to-hold grip the unit uses tungsten carbide and can be used with many different types of tinder to create a spark and a flame.

If you get any kind of rust or damage it can easily be scraped off to continue use as long as you need it. All you need to do is put it in the case and you’ll be ready to take it anywhere.

Light My Fire Original Swedish FireSteel Strike Fire Starter

Light My Fire Original Swedish FireSteel Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter

Weight: 0.1 lbs.

Dimensions: 1” x 3.2” x 5.9”

Specific Features: Lightweight, easy-to-use, 12,000 strikes, color options

Best For: Not a lot of space, lighting stoves or fires, more workable for fire building

Description: Light My Fire Original Swedish FireSteel is a great way to make sure you always have what you need to start a fire. The process is easy because all you need to do is strike the pieces together and you can get a 2,980-degree spark no matter what the weather is like around you and no matter what the altitude may be around you.

All you need to do is gather up some dry grass or some paper and you’ll be more than ready, even if you need to like up a barbeque or stove. With approval from the International Survival Instructors Association, this fire starter has no problem getting you plenty of lights with up to 12,000 strikes so you can stay warm and safe from any animals.

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

Weight: 1.9 Ounces

Dimensions: 11.8” x 11.8” x 2.8”

Specific Features: Low price, small piece, lanyard style, includes whistle & storage

Best For: Easy carry, lightweight

Description: If you’re looking for something that’s going to be extremely easy for you to carry then the Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter is definitely what you want. With the low price you’ll have no problem picking one up and the way it fits easily around your neck is helpful as well.

The unit includes not only the fire starter, but an emergency whistle as well. You’ll be able to easily start your next fire because you even get a waterproof storage compartment to hold the tinder that you need in order to get started.

Using the ferrocerium rod and metal striker you’ll be able to get a fire started quickly and therefore keep yourself safe, especially with the safety instructions that are included in the guide.

Aurora Fire Starter 440C

Aurora Fire Starter 440C

Specific Features: Easy to use, small and lightweight, easy to carry

Best For: Small space available

Description: If you’re looking for something that’s going to be easy to carry around, even if you only have space to put it in your pocket, you’re going to love the Aurora Fire Starter 440C. All you have to do is unscrew the top and you’re going to have no problem striking your next fire.

You’ll enjoy the durability of this unit. It’s very inexpensive and you’ll have no problem holding onto it either because it’s designed with a rough outside section.

Made in the USA, you’ll be able to attach it to a string and carry it around your neck or in any type of bag. You can use it in any environment you want with the aerospace quality as well as a patent pending for the overall design.

UST BlastMatch Fire Starter

UST BlastMatch Fire Starter

Weight: 0.14 lbs.

Dimensions: 1.5” x 0.5” x 4”

Specific Features: Color options, ultra-hot spark, 4,000 strike

Best For: Easy to carry, lightweight unit

Description: The UST BlastMatch Fire Starter comes in two different colors that are both very reasonably priced. Not only that, but it generates a whole lot of heat so you’ll be able to get your fire going easily. You’ll also be able to strike up to 4,000 times so you’ll have no problem keeping it for as many trips as you want to take.

The bar rotates 360 degrees and allows you to target the direction of your sparks. Not only that, but you’ll be able to keep yourself safe by using the safety button which will keep you from accidentally sparking it when you don’t mean to. No matter what the conditions are outside and even if it’s raining you’ll be able to get a good spark so you don’t have any problems getting fire.

Lighting Strike Fire Starter by Holland

Lighting Strike Fire Starter by Holland

Dimensions: 7.5”

Specific Features: Lightweight, small, color options, 20,000 strikes

Best For: A lot of uses, moderate price, specialized tinder to use

Description: If you’re looking for a great unit that will definitely give you a good amount of heat and sparks. Available in several colors, the Lightning Strike Fire Starter is moderately priced, though a little higher than some options.

Made in the United States, you can use this to start small pieces of tinder and you could get up to 20,000 strikes out of it so it’s going to last a long time. The refill is easy to find and it’s inexpensive to fill as well so you’ll be able to keep using it once you run out of strikes. Small enough to fit in your bag, the pieces are connected  to make sure you never lose anything and you’re always ready to go.

Ultimate Survival Technologies StrikeForce Fire Starter

Ultimate Survival Technologies StrikeForce Fire Starter

Weight: 4 Ounces

Dimensions: 9” x 5” x 2”

Specific Features: Flint and steel pieces, tinder compartment, color options, thousands of strikes

Best For: Long-term use, lightweight

Description: The Ultimate Survival Technologies StrikeForce Fire Starter is inexpensive and offers different color options to match your needs. The pieces are connected and fold together to make sure they are easy to contain and they fit anywhere you want. You don’t have to worry about being able to find tinder either because there’s even a small section to store a little tinder and keep it dry.

The large piece of alloy flint and overlarge steel striker ensures you have enough strikes for thousands of fires. You’ll be able to easily attach this to a lanyard or slip it right into your bag to carry to your next trip. It’s a little larger than other fire starters, but you’ll have no problem carrying it around and enjoying it. Excellent for survivalists anywhere, you’re going to love how easy it is to get your next fire started.

SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-in-1 Fire Starter

SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-in-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar

Weight: 0.3 Ounces

Dimensions: 5.5” x 0.2” x 3”

Specific Features: Easy to use, inexpensive, small & lightweight

Best For: Not a lot of space, not a lot of weight

Description: Probably the most traditional and therefore the most popular method of starting a fire is with a magnesium bar that makes it simple to get going. This SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency Fire Starter includes not only the magnesium bar and flint but also a small compass that will help you know where you’re going at all times.

Able to easily fit in your pocket, it also comes on a ball chain so you can attach to a keychain as well. This unit is extremely inexpensive and allows you to easily strike and go.

It may take a little bit to get used to how it works, but it’s definitely going to be a great piece because it has unlimited strikes to keep going and creating new fires all the time. That’s definitely going to be a benefit, especially when you see how inexpensive this unit really is.

Fire Striker W/Survival Kit by Smith & Wesson

Fire Striker W Survival Kit by Smith & Wesson

Weight: 1.6 Ounces

Dimensions: 7” x 1” x 1”

Specific Features: Multiple pieces, designed to last under tough conditions, low price

Best For: Inexpensive, multi-tool

Description: If you’re looking for something that gives you plenty of options and not just a great way to build a fire but several other survival tools as well, you’re in the right place. The Fire Striker w/Survival Kit has not only a strong and multi-strike tool to build your fire, but also a variety of other tools.

You get a fishing line, weights, matches, fishing hooks, compass and needles to make sure, no matter what happens, you’re able to take care of it. Plus the unit is designed to help you get a good flame quickly and easily, without having to worry about the type of tinder you have available or the other things you need. Just attach it to a lanyard and you’ll be ready to go.

When You Have The Right Gear

When you decide on the perfect fire starter you’re definitely going to be glad that you have it. After all, your fire starter is going to be one of the most important tools that you take with you on that next trip. So take a moment to consider what you’re really getting and make sure it’s the one you want, even if it’s not one of these.

Fire in the wild

When you’ve had a chance to look it over, make sure that you let us know what you think. What’s your favorite fire starter and how have you used it while you’re out camping?

Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • John L. Streik

    I love Bear Grylls Fire Starter! It is inexpensive and easy to use. As a survival expert and gadget junkie, it’s absolutely my favorite! My wife was also impressed and she managed to make a fire with just 30 seconds of instructions (on her 4th strike). The unit is a bit bulky but is easier to control with the added size, so it’s a fair trade-off. It is highly recommended.

  • Mark Foster

    Glad you like it. It also doubles as a whistle and it’s so easy to use. Novice campers love how user-friendly it is. It’s also inexpensive and with waterproof storage, how can you lose?

  • Patrick Calhoun

    For many times the Lightning Strike by Holland got a fire started when I used it in windy weather with snow on the ground. I have to admit that I find it expensive but with the reputation of the Holland, I looked no further. It is very durable and has easily replaceable parts. It doesn’t matter whether you are in tough, rainy and wet conditions. This will successfully start a fire for you.

    • Mark Foster

      There are certain brands and products worth paying much more and the Holland is one of them. I’ve been in situations where we badly need to start a fire and we’re all drenched! The Lightning Strike by Holland has always worked and I’m very pleased to recommend it to everyone. With a lot of eye catching colors to choose from, the Holland is a favorite and a trusty companion.