• 10 Best Fire Starters in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Fire Starters in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Fire Starters in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed) 3
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10 Best Fire Starters in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed)

Struggling with getting a fire started outdoors is never a memorable experience, especially if you're camping and your warmth depends on the source of heat. Or, perhaps everyone is eager to start roasting marshmallows! With the addition of a fire starter, you can get a good flame going within minutes.


However, there are a ton of options to sort through. So, we've looked for the most reliable and camper-approved fire starter options and compiled a list for you to consider. Überleben's Zünden Fire Starter, for example, is compact, easy to hold, and releases sparks with each strike. There are nine more fire starters in the lineup, plus a buying guide reviewed by an outdoor guide to help you pick the right one for your needs. 

Featured in this article

Pak, Eugene
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-29-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Fire Starter - Buying Guide

Depending on the particular use, you might be at a loss on which type of fire starter to get, such as for backyard grilling or camping. The following buying guide will expound on the fire starter types and their considerations. 

Pick Between Ferro Rods or Fire Pistons

There are many ways to create a fire. Each type relies on a form of physics, such as friction, to create enough combustion energy. The two main fire starters that feature a form of physics are flint and steel and fire pistons. 


These options are perfect for survival kits or outdoor use due to their compact size and weather resistance. 

Ferro and Steel Work Regardless of Moisture

Ferro and Steel Work Regardless of Moisture

The most common type of fire starter features the traditional flint and steel method. It relies on the super-heated friction between a rod and steel. More modern versions substitute flint with ferrocerium alloy or magnesium, which achieves longer burning sparks. This tool can work in wet or moist conditions and is light and portable.

 
You might need to check if the flint or ferro rod and steel come with recurring costs, such as replacing the flint rocks or rods when finished. The tool also has a learning curve, especially regarding getting enough sparks to ignite a fire. 

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

Ferro and steel sets usually come attached together. Look for one that is easy to use and that its attachment string/mechanism is long enough where you can easily separate them to strike together. Many cheap sets are attached together with a cheap attachment, which makes them easy to lose.

Fire Pistons for an Extra-Portable Option

Fire Pistons for an Extra-Portable Option

Instead of friction, fire pistons rely on the first law of thermodynamics. This involves a rod that is rapidly pressed into a tube or cylinder. Tinder, usually char cloth, is placed inside the tube, and the rod pushes out all air when inserted. This forces the material to combust, becoming embers for starting a fire.

 
Fire pistons are very portable and are about the size of a pen, so they don’t take up too much space in a backpack. They are also easier to use.


One thing to note is the O-ring or seal of the piston, which can easily get compromised. When this is broken, the whole thing is useless. We recommend double-checking if replacements are accessible

Look at the Fire Starter’s Performance and Lifespan

Look at the Fire Starter’s Performance and Lifespan

Much like how the butane in a lighter or matches in a box eventually run out, fire starters also have a limited lifespan. The rod of a ferro and steel starter can become too thin or the scraper too dull. Consider the lifespan or number of strikes to ensure that you have a source of fire ignition to meet your needs.

 
For example, if you rely on a ferro rod for hiking or camping, some manufacturers offer rods with different thicknesses. You can choose a thicker rod if you will be making fires often.

 
Furthermore, it’s best to read through reviews to confirm if the fire starter produced enough sparks with each strike or push or took more effort to get a fire going. Feedback on a particular product often includes performance and reliability so you can make an informed purchase. 

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

Be sure to keep the fire starters away from moisture as much as possible as getting them wet can degrade the striker or steel, making them not have as long of a lifespan. I also recommend starting a fire before heading out into the wilderness.

Consider the Dimensions and Versatility of the Fire Starter for Outdoor Use

Consider the Dimensions and Versatility of the Fire Starter for Outdoor Use

When packing your survival kit, every inch of space counts. You also need your essentials to weigh as light as possible to make your backpack comfortable to carry on long hikes. With that in mind, check the fire starter’s dimensions and see if you need to compromise on space or weight when including it in your survival gear.

 
Fire pistons are often the most portable options, while friction types come in multiple pieces and are bulkier. Some fire starters come with a band and can be hung around your neck for extra convenience. This way, you can easily grab it and get a fire going.

 
Fire starters for survival often come with extra features, making them more functional, such as the striker having measurement markings or doubling as a blade or bottle opener.  

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

Most fire starter kits are pretty small, so just be mindful of where you place them and avoid getting them separated. If your set has two separate tools, then it is recommended to find a way to tie them together with cordage.

Assist Your Home Fire Needs With a Starter That Holds a Flame

Assist Your Home Fire Needs With a Starter That Holds a Flame

When it comes to fire starters for home use, such as fireplaces, grills, smokers, and fire pits, you can find specially designed products that assist in building a fire by holding a flame.

 
Whether it's blocks of sawdust with a coat of wax, a putty material, or treated rope, these products stay lit long enough for a fire to spread to wood or charcoal. 


They're also often weatherproofed, so strong winds or contact with liquids won't render them useless. Although these fire starters need a source to ignite, they are convenient alternatives to traditional kindle or tinder.  

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

There are many different types of home starters, from pellets, blocks, and logs. Pick the appropriate amount of fire starter depending on how big and how fast you are trying to make the fire.

Check Out Fire Starter Alternatives as a Back Up

Check Out Fire Starter Alternatives as a Back Up

The other traditional methods of starting a fire include using matches, a lighter, or magnifying glass. The first is an economical, albeit limited, option. On the other hand, lighters are very easy to use, although they can get easily damaged due to the moving parts and susceptibility to moisture.

 
Lastly, you can find magnifying lenses made for survival featuring a convex glass with heightened magnification. You don’t need anything besides the sun to get this to work, making it a great backup fire starter. 

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

There are many things you probably have around the house that can make for a great fire starter. People who have a dryer in their home: take out the lint and save it in a bag for future firestarter. Also, dipping cotton balls in Vaseline is another great method for creating your own firestarter.

Ensure Weatherproof Capabilities for Outdoor Use

Ensure Weatherproof Capabilities for Outdoor Use

If you want to get a grill going, then a lighter or match would do the trick. However, if you’re looking for something that will go into a survival tool kit, learning how to use the fire starter is necessary. If you plan on hiking in unpredictable weather, check that your fuel source and ignition type aren’t rendered useless when wet or windy.

 
You can go for flint and steel, ferro rods, or fire pistons since they are weatherproof and more reliable for outdoor use. We also recommend taking the time to get the hang of the tool and study its usage precautions to be prepared. 

10 Best Fire Starters

The following tools will assist you in all your fire creation needs. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Pak Eugene. For more on our selection process, check out our editorial policy. Prices were gathered from respective EC sites on July 20, 2022.

Image
1
überleben  Zünden Fire Starter (Pro 3/8") 1

überleben

2
Duraflame Firestart 1

Duraflame

3
Black Beard Fire Starter Rope 1

Black Beard

4
Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter 1

Survival Spark

5
Bayite Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter 1

Bayite

6
Steve Kaeser Wilderness Supply  1

Steve Kaeser

7
Phone Skope PYRO Putty 1

Phone Skope

8
SE Full Magnesium Body Fire Starter 1

SE

9
überleben Tindår Wick + Bellow 1

überleben

10
Melt Candle Company Fire Starters (160 pack) 1

Melt Candle Company

Name

Zünden Fire Starter (Pro 3/8")

Firestart

Fire Starter Rope

Magnesium Survival Fire Starter

Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter

Wilderness Supply

PYRO Putty

Full Magnesium Body Fire Starter

Tindår Wick + Bellow

Fire Starters (160 pack)

Features

Portable and Ergonomic Starter With Multiple Rod Thickness

Compact and Simple Wood Fire Lighter

Weatherproof Fire Starter Rope

A Multi-Tool Fire Starter Kit

A Ferro Rod With a Good Grip

Everything You Need in a Fire Starter Kit

A Clean-Burning Fire Starter Putty

Weatherproof Magnesium Fire Starter

Easily Make a Mobile Flame

Must-Have Fire Starter for Home Use

Price$18.00$0.86$11.95$9.99$13.95$11.97$14.99$7.49$12.00$15.95
TypeFerro rodWood fire lighterRope fire lighterMagnesium rodFerro rodFerro rodFire starter puttyMagnesium rodRope fire lighterWood fire lighter
WeightNot specified 4.5 oz.2.3 oz.0.15 lbs. 2.1 oz.Not specified2 oz.Not specified0.06 oz. wickNot specified
Lifespan15,000 strikesUp to 30 mins. burn time50+ fires15,000 strikesNot specifiedApprox. 1,000 strikesUp to 13 mins. burn time for a quarter-sized portionNot specifiedApprox. 1 hr. for entire ropeUp tp 10 mins. burn time per piece
DimensionsApprox. 5 x 0.375 in. thickNot specified8 x 1 in.5.5 in. long4 x 0.38 in. (rod)Not specified 2.5 x 1 in.3 x 1 in.13 x 0.23 in.1.75 x 1.2 in. per piece
Link
1

überleben Zünden Fire Starter (Pro 3/8")

$18.00

TypeFerro rod
WeightNot specified
Lifespan15,000 strikes
DimensionsApprox. 5 x 0.375 in. thick
2

DuraflameFirestart

$0.86

TypeWood fire lighter
Weight4.5 oz.
LifespanUp to 30 mins. burn time
DimensionsNot specified
3

Black BeardFire Starter Rope

$11.95

TypeRope fire lighter
Weight2.3 oz.
Lifespan50+ fires
Dimensions8 x 1 in.
4

Survival SparkMagnesium Survival Fire Starter

$9.99

TypeMagnesium rod
Weight0.15 lbs.
Lifespan15,000 strikes
Dimensions5.5 in. long
5

BayiteSurvival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter

$13.95

TypeFerro rod
Weight2.1 oz.
LifespanNot specified
Dimensions4 x 0.38 in. (rod)
6

Steve KaeserWilderness Supply

$11.97

TypeFerro rod
WeightNot specified
LifespanApprox. 1,000 strikes
DimensionsNot specified
7

Phone SkopePYRO Putty

$14.99

TypeFire starter putty
Weight2 oz.
LifespanUp to 13 mins. burn time for a quarter-sized portion
Dimensions2.5 x 1 in.
8

SEFull Magnesium Body Fire Starter

FS374

$7.49

TypeMagnesium rod
WeightNot specified
LifespanNot specified
Dimensions3 x 1 in.
9

überlebenTindår Wick + Bellow

$12.00

TypeRope fire lighter
Weight0.06 oz. wick
LifespanApprox. 1 hr. for entire rope
Dimensions13 x 0.23 in.
10

Melt Candle CompanyFire Starters (160 pack)

$15.95

TypeWood fire lighter
WeightNot specified
LifespanUp tp 10 mins. burn time per piece
Dimensions1.75 x 1.2 in. per piece

Pak's Recommended Fire Starter

MSRStrike Igniter

$15.95

TypeFerro rod
Weight1.4 oz.
Lifespan3,000-12,000 strikes
Dimensions3.8 x 1 in.
Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

The MSR Strike Igniter is a well-made Ferro and steel striker for the outdoors. It comes attached with appropriately spaced-out cordage for both attachments. Both attachments are also magnetic, so you can't lose just one. Not to mention there is a bottle opener attached as well.

Grab These Outdoor Essentials

Convenience and safety are key aspects of any outdoor excursion or survival kit. We've got a few suggestions that you can add to your gear to make your experience more comfortable. 

Amazon's Best Selling Fire Starters

Buying Guide Reviewed by Outdoor Guide Pak Eugene

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

Author: Hana Otsuka


  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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