The 5 Best Fire Starters: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

Fire Burning

If you’re new to camping and you want to have the best fire starter so you can cook, signal, or warm yourself up without having a lighter or matches, you are in the right place. We have put together a list for you so you can take a look at several different styles of fire starters and pick the one that feels like the right fit for you. Fire starters are the perfect addition to your bug out bag, camping backpack, or just to keep on hand in case of an emergency. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to start a fire anytime, anywhere.

In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top 3 Picks

Top Pick
bayite 4 Inch Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter Ferro Rod Kit with Paracord Landyard Handle and Striker
Runner Up
Phone Skope PYRO Putty Winter, Summer, Eco Blend, Emergency Survival Fire Starter (2 oz Eco w/Citronella 30°F - 110°F)
Best Budget Pick
FOSTAR Ferrocerium Alloy Rod Fire Starter, 5/16 Inch Thick Waterproof Fire Steel, Bushcraft Ferro Rod with Easy Grip Handle, Multi-Tool Striker and Paracord Lanyard (2PCS, Black and Orange)
bayite 4 Inch Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter Ferro Rod Kit with Paracord Landyard Handle and Striker
Phone Skope PYRO Putty Winter, Summer, Eco Blend, Emergency Survival Fire Starter (2 oz Eco w/Citronella 30°F - 110°F)
FOSTAR Ferrocerium Alloy Rod Fire Starter, 5/16 Inch Thick Waterproof Fire Steel, Bushcraft Ferro Rod with Easy Grip Handle, Multi-Tool Striker and Paracord Lanyard (2PCS, Black and Orange)
$12.99
$13.99
$7.99
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Top Pick
bayite 4 Inch Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter Ferro Rod Kit with Paracord Landyard Handle and Striker
bayite 4 Inch Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter Ferro Rod Kit with Paracord Landyard Handle and Striker
$12.99
Runner Up
Phone Skope PYRO Putty Winter, Summer, Eco Blend, Emergency Survival Fire Starter (2 oz Eco w/Citronella 30°F - 110°F)
Phone Skope PYRO Putty Winter, Summer, Eco Blend, Emergency Survival Fire Starter (2 oz Eco w/Citronella 30°F - 110°F)
$13.99
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-
Best Budget Pick
FOSTAR Ferrocerium Alloy Rod Fire Starter, 5/16 Inch Thick Waterproof Fire Steel, Bushcraft Ferro Rod with Easy Grip Handle, Multi-Tool Striker and Paracord Lanyard (2PCS, Black and Orange)
FOSTAR Ferrocerium Alloy Rod Fire Starter, 5/16 Inch Thick Waterproof Fire Steel, Bushcraft Ferro Rod with Easy Grip Handle, Multi-Tool Striker and Paracord Lanyard (2PCS, Black and Orange)
$7.99
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Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reviews of the 5 Best Fire Starters

When it comes to survival skills, one of the most important and basic things to learn is how to start a fire without a lighter.

1. Bayite Fire Starter Kit

bayite 4 Inch Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter Ferro Rod Kit with Paracord Landyard Handle and Striker
  • 9ft Paracord included, gives you a good grip and never comes off. Comes with a bayite Striker-Pro striker attached to the paracord, always be prepared to start a fire
  • bayite 6 Striking Edges Striker-Pro striker is made from TOOL GRADE HSS STEEL and has a distinct hardness, maximizes a shower of hot sparks, no matter whether you prefer to use your left hand or right hand to scrape. Don't use bad quality Knife as striker. Otherwise it will not produce enough sparks due to insufficient hardness of blade
  • Ferrocerium Rod Length:4"(10cm). Diameter: 3/8"(10mm). Large enough for a shower of sparks and small enough to carry
  • Made of high effective ferrocerium rod. Waterproof & Weatherproof, fits all weather, works in any weather condition
  • Sparks shower at 5,500 F (3,000 C) to ignite a fire in any weather (even wet), at any altitude. Perfect emergency fire starter for Bushcraft, Hiking, Hunting, Fishing, EDC, Emergency, BBQ, Gas Camp Stoves, etc

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are a purist and you like to stick to the simple and traditional methods of doing things, a flint and striker is a great way to go. This fire starter is the perfect choice if you want to get down to the basics and get a fire started the old fashioned way. As our top pick, the Bayite Fire Starter Kit has several perks that you’ll love taking advantage of.

Whether you are an old-school camper, prepper, or survivalist, a flint and striker is one of the most reliable tools you can keep on hand to ensure you’ll be able to start a fire. This simple kit would be a great gift to give your son, daughter, niece, or nephew for a holiday or their next birthday. No matter if they’re into camping or not, knowing that you can start a fire to warm yourself up or to cook yourself a meal is an invaluable skill and they will appreciate it when it comes to use and you’ll rest easy at night knowing they have the tools to take care of themselves.

One of the best things about using a flint to start a fire is that you can use it in all types of weather, even in the rain. As long as you have a little bit of dry kindling that can grab the spark, you’ll be on your way to warming up and drying up in just a few minutes. This kit is great because it comes with the flint and striker, as well as having a 9ft paracord handle. The handle is great because it keeps your fire starter together in one place and it can serve double duty if you end up needing rope for any reason.

This fire starter is made from highly effective ferrocerium, which is both waterproof and weatherproof. The sparks that come off of it are super hot, at 5,500°F, allowing you to use your flint in all weather and at any altitude. This would be the perfect addition to any emergency kit, bug out bag, camping kit, and more. You can even take it with you on your next hunting or fishing trip.

Pros:

  • Weatherproof and waterproof
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Sparks shower at 5,500°F

Cons:

  • Striker is hard to use while on the lanyard
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Phone Skope PYRO

Sale
Phone Skope PYRO Putty Winter, Summer, Eco Blend, Emergency Survival Fire Starter (2 oz Eco w/Citronella 30°F - 110°F)
  • EMERGENCY FIRE STARTER: Starting a fire can be challenging, especially when there’s wind, rain, and poor weather. That’s why we created an easier, more efficient, non-toxic fire starter to support every survivalist, adventurer, hunter, outdoorsman, and bbq enthusiast. Whether you need a fire for outdoor cooking, warmth, light, ambiance this fire starter makes it easy!
  • WATERPROOF & WEATHER-RESISTANT: Designed to burn through sleet, rain, wind, high altitudes, and a wide range of temperatures, the PYRO Putty Green Eco-Blend is an essential addition to any 72-hour kit or survival supplies. It’s designed to be eco-friendly and will burn in any temp. Burn it while winter snowmobiling, hiking, backpacking, spring skiing, or summer camping!
  • QUICK IGNITION: A proprietary, patent-pending putty that's pliable, sticky, and totally waterproof, this fire starter is easy to stick on logs, torches, or tinder. Create a fire that continues to burn for up to 15 minutes with a single quarter-sized dab. Stay safe out there without slowing yourself down with propane, complicated fire starters, or lighters that need to be recharged.
  • DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Add this fire-starter tool to your emergency preparedness kit and you’ll be ready for any situation. Be prepared for any natural disaster, power outage, or off-grid survival scenario with this fire-starting fuel can. Add it to your survivalist backpack, outdoor recreation accessories, or zombie apocalypse survival kit.
  • FIRE IN A CAN: The PYRO Putty Green Eco-Blend comes in a 2 oz. can that will light many fires in all conditions. Don’t worry about wet logs, damp wood, or harsh weather. This fire starter fuel will burn in any weather or circumstances. It’s the perfect addition to any outdoor lover’s survival kit, camping supplies, or recreation gear.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When it comes to hiking, camping, fishing, and general outdoor time, one of the most important skills to have is building a fire. Sure, anyone can stack logs and arrange some leaves underneath for kindling but being able to get that fire started without using matches or a traditional lighter is crucial. You can’t always count on the weather or assume that you are going to have your lighter or matches with you all the time. That’s where the PYRO comes in. This handy little emergency fire starter is the perfect addition to your pack for your next hunting, fishing, or camping trip. As our runner up, there are a ton of reasons why we love this weatherproof fire starter. Let’s take a closer look at the features this neat tool has to offer.

The first thing that you’ll notice is how compact the Phone Skope PYRO is. It’s about the same size as a Zippo, meaning you can keep it in your backpack, pocket, tucked in your sock, or in your car. If you’re ever in a situation where you need to be able to start a fire, the PYRO has your back.

Typically lighters aren’t listed as one of the best options to start a fire with. They run out of gas and they aren’t waterproof. Well, it’s a good thing this isn’t your average lighter. The PYRO is almost like magic. Rain, snow, sleet, altitude, temperature, and wind are no match for this tool’s fire starting abilities. No matter what challenges you are facing, the Phone Skope PYRO will be able to give you a fire in a short amount of time.

You may be wondering how exactly this works. The PYRO utilizes a patent-pending non-toxic putty that you can stick to tinder, logs, and more. Just one little quarter-size dab can give you a fire that will burn for up to 15 minutes. Included in the kit is the innovative Dual Arc Lighter which has a long-lasting battery and an indicator light that lets you know when it needs to be recharged.

Starting a fire has never been so easy. The Phone Skope PYRO is a fantastic choice if you want to try out something new and different than anything you’ve tried before.

Pros:

  • Putty is non-toxic and stick easily to your logs and sticks
  • Quarter-sized piece of putty burns for 15 minutes
  • Great addition to emergency kit

Cons:

  • Arc Lighter does need to be recharged
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Fire Starter Kit

Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Fire Starter with Compass, Paracord and Whistle (2-Pack) for Emergency Survival Kits, Camping, Hiking, All-Weather Magnesium Ferro Rod
  • INSTANT FIRE: Start fires in any weather conditions, over 16k strikes at 5,500°F with Magnesium Rod
  • ★ GET 2 FIRE STARTERS (Black Color): Each box includes 2 Fire Starters with unique design
  • MULTI-TOOL DESIGN: Built-in compass, 150dB Whistle, Steel Scraper, 450LB 8core Paracord and Rod
  • COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT: More reliable than matches or lighter, weighs less than 2 ounces, 5" long
  • 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: No questions refund offered if not satisfied with product for any reason!

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want to be prepared, there are several things you’ll want. One of the most important things to have is a fire starter of some sort. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or practicing survival skills with your friends or family, the Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Fire Starter Kit is a fantastic addition to your bug out bag, camping supplies, and to have on-hand just in case.

When you think of a fire starter, flint and a striker is probably what comes to mind initially. This is a classic fire starter, but with a twist. This flint and striker set was configured with a multi-tool design. It has a 150dB whistle, a built-in compass, a steel scraper, a 450lb paracord, and rod. This kit will allow you to navigate, alert for help, and start a fire all with one simple kit.

Another great thing about this kit is that it is super affordable. To get 5 tools for the cost of a fire starter is a fantastic deal. You won’t break the bank adding to your emergency preparedness kit. This compact set would be a great starter kit to give as a gift to your favorite young outdoor enthusiast. Whether it’s your child, niece or nephew, survival skills are important for people of all ages.

The final perk to using this kit that we’re going to talk about is that it is a 2 pack so if something happens to anything in the kit, you do have a backup! The ferror stick is a great way to start a fire but they can be pretty fragile so if you were to drop it, you risk it breaking. Thankfully you will have a second one to work with if needed. This is another reason it would be a good choice to give as a gift to a younger person, especially if they are clumsy.

Pros:

  • 2 pack
  • 5-in-1 tool consists of a whistle, compass, steel scraper, paracord, and rod
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Doesn’t throw many sparks
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. FOSTAR Fire Starter Kit

FOSTAR Ferrocerium Alloy Rod Fire Starter, 5/16 Inch Thick Waterproof Fire Steel, Bushcraft Ferro Rod with Easy Grip Handle, Multi-Tool Striker and Paracord Lanyard (2PCS, Black and Orange)
  • HIGH QUALITY FERROCERIUM RODS: The fire steel rod is the perfect balance between softness & durability, consistently outperforming the leading fire starters. Will ignite a 5,500º F shower of sparks, light a fire instantly when you need.
  • START FIRE ANYWHERE: This ultra-durable flint fire starter works in any weather conditions - rain, snow, high-altitude. With the rust-free ultra-strong ferro rod those fire lighters are suitable for camping, survival, bushcraft and other outdoor activities.
  • EASILY GRIP: Ergonomic handles on the fire starter allow use by even the most frozen of fingers! This fire starter kit is easy to hold. Easy to produce showers of sparks.
  • COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT: More reliable than matches or lighter, weighs less than 2 ounces, only 4" long. Included is a strong 550 paracord lanyard that is long enough to carry around your neck.
  • WHAT YOU GET: 2 5/16 Inch thick ferro rod, 2 multi-purpose steel striker, 2 23 inches long 7-core paracode lanyard.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Are you looking for a versatile fire starter kit you can take on your next camping or fishing trip? Then you are going to love this fantastic kit from FOSTAR. This kit is the ultimate bushcraft tool, allowing you to start a fire anywhere, even if it has been raining. You can rest easy at night knowing you’ll be able to warm up or cook a meal in any condition. As our budget pick, there are a ton of reasons the FOSTAR Fire Starter Kit would be an excellent choice for you.

The first perk that comes with using this kit from FOSTAR is that it is lightweight and has a comfortable ergonomic handle. This easy grip allows you to keep hold of your striker and stick so you don’t have to worry about either of them flying out of your hand while you are using them. This grip comes in handy in colder weather since your fingers are numb and stiff and you’re more prone to not being able to keep a firm hold upon things.

If you want something that is compact and lightweight, this would be a great choice. Weighting less than 2 ounces and measuring 4” long, this fire starting kit will fit in your backpack, pocket, glove box, and anywhere else you could think about storing this great toolkit. It even has a 550 paracord lanyard that allows you to wear it around your neck so that it doesn’t take up any pocket space but it’s easy to get to when you need it.

Are you tired of fire starters that claim to be able to start fires in all weather but fall short when you put them to the test? That won’t be a problem you run into with the FOSTAR Fire Starter Kit. This kit is super durable and can work in all altitudes and weather conditions, even rain and snow. Strike the stick and you’ll see a shower of sparks that are super hot, at 5,500°F, truly allowing you to start a fire in all types of weather.

The final perk that we’re going to cover is the fact that this is a 2 for 1 deal. In the box, you’ll get 1 ferro rods, 2 strikers, and 2 lanyards. If you’ve been itching to get your son or daughter their first fire starting kit, this would be an excellent choice since you’d have a set for yourself and for your loved one. Kids love when they have the same things that their parents have so having a matching dad and son fire starting kit would be a beloved childhood memory that your young one can carry with them forever.

Pros:

  • Super affordable price
  • Comes with double the amount of tools
  • You can start a fire anywhere

Cons:

  • Striker steel is thin
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Steve Kaeser Fatwood Fire Starter Sticks

Sale
Steve Kaeser Fatwood 100% Natural Firestarter Sticks Hand Cut in The USA Ferro Rod Ferrocerium Flint Jute Fatwood Chips Striker Tin Container Survival Emergencies Camping Since 1989
  • One (1) Tin can 3 5/16in x 2 9/16in x 15/16in, fits in shirt pocket
  • One (1) Ferro Rod is 5/16 in thick x 3in. last for 1000's of strikes. One (1) Striker 3in long may be grey, blue or black in color
  • One (1) Bag of fatwood chips/dust. Tin filled with hand cut in USA fatwood sticks
  • One (1) 45in piece of jute soaked in soy wax, starts on fire quickly from ferro rod sparks
  • Each kit put together by hand for you, one at a time, in the seaside village of Ventura, California

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want a flint and striker kit that has a unique touch, this would be an excellent choice for you. THis kit includes wood sticks and shavings so you have your flint and kindling all in one place. Let’s take a closer look at this kit.

Included in the box you’ll get a ferro rod, a striker, a bag of fatwood chips and dust, a tin filled with fatwood sticks, and a piece of jute soaked in soy wax. These tools combined will give you an easy way to start a fire without having to keep a lighter or matches on hand.

One of the best things about this kit is that each one is assembled by hand right here in the USA. Steve Kaeser is based out of Ventura, CA and they are known for making high-quality camping and survival supplies for the whole family.

Pros:

  • Comes with a flint and striker
  • Tin fits in a shirt pocket
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Kit is small
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Buying Guide

Before you choose one of the best fire starters, there are some things you should look into first.

Kinds of Fire Starters

WIth so many types of fire starters available, it’s hard to know which one is the best. This all boils down to personal preference, really. The most common and popular style is the flint and striker. This is a good choice for many situations because you don’t need anything other than the stick and the striker, it even works in the rain. Another style of fire starter is fairly new and unique. There are putties that you can squish and form and stick to your wood, allowing you to ignite it quickly with a lighter, including a battery operated arc lighter. The third common style you’ll see is the magnesium block. They typically come with a rod attached to them that you use to scrape the block and ignite the shavings.

Weight

If you are going to be on a camping trip or taking a long hike, you are not going to want to lug around something heavier if you don’t have to. One of the benefits of using many of the fire starters, especially the flint and steel style, is that they are lightweight and won’t contribute to any physical fatigue you may experience from carrying your pack all day.

Ease of Use

One of the most important things when it comes to your fire starter is that you need to be able to use it. If you have a condition that makes it hard for you to use your hands, using a magnesium block or flint and steel wouldn’t be super easy for you. You may want to go with the flammable putty if you need something that is super easy to use.

Waterproof

If you are out camping or on a hike and you decide you need or want to start a fire, you definitely want to use something that will work in the rain. As long as you have something dry you can use for kindling, you should be able to start a fire easily with any of the tools we’ve included in the list since none of them rely on being dry to be able to function.

FAQs

Why should I choose a fire starter and not just a regular lighter?

One of the biggest reasons that people choose to go with a waterproof fire starter rather than a lighter or matches is that they don’t have to hope that the conditions are right for them to be able to start a fire. If you are working with wet leaves and wood, a lighter or match won’t do much. And if your lighter or matches become water-logged, you won’t be able to use them until they dry out completely. If you are out on a short hike, it won’t matter too much since you likely won’t need to start a fire but if you become stranded, you’re camping, or you are packing an emergency kit, a waterproof option is the best choice.

Are stormproof matches a good choice?

Stormproof matches are a great choice for many situations but they aren’t right for everyone. If you know you can for sure keep the matches dry, then they would be fine. If they get wet, however, they won’t work. They also are not strike anywhere matches so you run the risk that you won’t be able to light it if the strike strip on the package is compromised.

One of the best things about stormproof matches is that as long as you can get them lit, they should stay lit even with rain, snow, and wind. Altitude and temperature have no effect either way on the matches, you can use them if your hands are frozen, they store forever, and you can use them one handed. As stated previously, as long as you can keep them dry, they would be an acceptable choice to keep around for situations where you would need to be able to start a fire.

Conclusion

When it comes to starting fires without utilizing a lighter or matches, there are a few options available. They all serve the function of allowing you to start a fire in less than savory conditions but with so many to choose from, it can be hard to narrow your list down. We’ve taken on the difficult task of compiling a great list with plenty of variety so you can choose the right one for you.

Our top pick is the Bayite Fire Starter Kit. This handy kit is a classic flint and striker set, which is easy to pack away in a backpack or to keep in your pocket for easy access. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, the Phone Skope PYRO would be an excellent choice. This kit utilizes a highly flammable, non-toxic putty and an electric lighter to start fires with minimal work. If you’re looking for something more affordable, the FOSTAR Fire Starter Kit is our budget pick. This is a double pack so you can keep one and give the other to a loved one.

The next step is up to you. Try out one of the best fire starters for yourself!