Choosing the best ferro rod (also known as a Ferrocerium rod or Fire steel) can be a tough decision.
However, I have personally bought and tested some of the most popular fire starters available on the market today and I’ve put together this buyer’s guide of my top recommendations to help you narrow down your choices.
I’ve even included a few pictures of me holding several of my favorite ferro rods in my hand, just to give you an idea of their size.
Here’s a quick list of my top overall picks for best ferro rod in multiple categories:
Best Overall Ferro Rod
The Uberleben Zunden comes in three sizes starting with the Trad, which is 5/16″ thick and is expected to last for nearly 12,000 strikes. For long-lasting results, you can also choose the Pro model (3/8″ thick) or the 1/2″ Fatty version that can provide 15,000 and 20,000 strikes, respectively.
- Best Overall Ferro Rod – Uberleben Zunden
- Best Combination Fire Starter – Fire-Fast Trekker
- Best Ferro Rod For The Money – Bayite Ferro Rods
- Best Ferro Rod Brand – Uberleben (Zunden, Hexa, Kraftig)
- Biggest Ferro Rod – Arcadia Gear Fat Boy or Uberleben Kraftig
- Best Free Ferro Rod – Everstryke Match
Table of Contents
- Best Ferro Rods
- 1. Uberleben Zunden (Best Overall Ferro Rod)
- 2. Fire-Fast Trekker (Best Combination Fire Starter)
- 3. Arcadia Gear Fat Boy (Biggest Ferro Rod)
- 4. Uberleben Hexa
- 5. Schrade SCHFS1
- 6. The Friendly Swede
- 7. EricX Light Ferro Rod
- 8. Bayite Ferro Rods (Best For The Money)
- 9. Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel
- 10. 4DB Ferrocerium Rod
- 11. Exotac fireROD
- 12. Uberleben Kraftig (Biggest Ferro Rod)
- 13. Feuerstock Ferro Rod
- 14. PREPARED4X Survival Torch
- 15. Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter
- 16. Everstryke Match (Best Free Ferro Rod)
Best Ferro Rods
Here are 16 of the ferrocerium rods that have been reviewed, highly-rated and battle-tested by thousands of outdoor enthusiasts, survival backpacking diehards, and survivalists alike (I may earn a referral commission on qualified purchases).
1. Uberleben Zunden (Best Overall Ferro Rod)
Uberleben is my choice for best ferro rod brand for a reason… When things go wrong in the outdoors, your best chances of making it out are the survival tools. This is precisely why you can count on überleben firecraft to get you out of the trouble quickly, and the überleben Zünden is no exception.
I bought the 3/8″ Zunden Pro model and it’s the perfect size and weight for carrying around in my backpack, although I prefer the feel of the bigger Ferro Rods like the the Arcadia Gear Fat Boy or the monster-sized Uberleben Kraftig in my hand when weight or size isn’t an issue.
I also prefer to use ferro rods that come with a handcrafted wood handle because they are designed for a natural grip (and can be used as wood shavings for emergency tinder in a pinch) . The grip makes it easier for me to use with either hand. In fact, the seasoned finish offers a very strong grip for oily, greased or bare hands even in the coldest weather.
The Zunden comes in three sizes starting with the Trad, which is 5/16″ thick and is expected to last for nearly 12,000 strikes. For long-lasting results, you can also choose the Pro model (3/8″ thick) or the 1/2″ Fatty version that can provide 15,000 and 20,000 strikes, respectively.
Click here for the best available price for the Uberleben Zunden on Amazon or check it out on ebay.
2. Fire-Fast Trekker (Best Combination Fire Starter)
(I’m holding both ferro rods in my hand in this photo, and as you can see, the Trekker is significantly larger than the Uberleben Zunden)
The Trekker is a combination Ferro Rod and Military Grade Magnesium Rod of massive proportions that’s designed to provide you with years of hassle-free fire use. It’s perfect for hiking, hunting, backpacking, bushcraft, camping and wilderness survival.
As you can see from the picture above, the Trekker is a BEAST of a tool that is easy to hold with larger hands (I wear a men’s large glove). However, because it is so big, rather than tucking it away in my backpack like I do with the Zunden, I prefer to strap the Trekker to the outside of my backpack… which also happens to look very cool.
The included fire striker and scraper is made from hardened steel and is sharp enough to scrape the ferro rod and magnesium block to ignite your kindling with ease, but not sharp enough to cut your hand. Tip: use the scraper to scrape off the rod’s protective coating before your first use.
The Fire-Fast Trekker is a combination ferro rod and magnesium rod that is reliable, waterproof, and designed to light thousands of fires, even when wet. It’s one of the toughest ferro rods or magnesium rods around, and it’s built to stand up to years of use and abuse.
Click here for the best price for the Fire-Fast Trekker on Amazon or check it out on ebay.
3. Arcadia Gear Fat Boy (Biggest Ferro Rod)
The Arcadia Gear Fat Boy is the biggest ferro rod I’ve ever owned from a thickness standpoint (3/4 inch diameter) and it’s designed for long-lasting use in extremely rugged conditions. Dubbed as “Fat Boy”, it’s twice as thick as other large-size fire sticks. The added thickness offers improved performance for up to tens of thousands of strikes.
As a long-term survival tool, the Arcadia Gear Fat Boy is one of the best ferro rods I have ever owned and is designed to last a lifetime. The quality is guaranteed by Arcadia, which means you can return it if you don’t like it – no questions asked.
Search for the best price for the Arcadia Gear Fat Boy or check it out on ebay.
4. Uberleben Hexa
The Uberleben Hexa ferrocerium rod stands out from most ferro rods and fire starters I use due to its hexagonal shape and unique combination or rare earth metals.
Six flat sides offer you more striking surface area than a traditional ferro rod.
The included striker has additional uses as a multi-tool:
- Concave tinder scraper to help make kindling with softwood like Fatwood.
- Straight-edge spine with a fifty-millimeter ruler
- Hex wrench
- Bottle opener to enjoy your favorite cold beverage by a crackling fire (that you started with your Uberleben Hexa, of course).
The Uberleben Hexa is available in two lengths including a more compact three-inch (3”) version and a six-inch (6”) version for longer strikes. Both are half-an-inch thick and made with Überleben’s exclusive Sanft-korr ferrocerium that is the perfect combination of softness and durability.
Here’s the best part:
The Uberleben Hexa comes with a hassle-free guarantee – If you’re not happy for any reason at all… simply let Uberleben know and they’ll fix it. It really is that simple. That’s one of the many reasons I consider Uberleben to be the best ferro rod brand on the market.
Check out all the 5 star reviews for the Uberleben Hexa on Amazon or check it out on ebay.
5. Schrade SCHFS1
The Schrade SCHFS1 is a no-frills ferrocerium rod and an extremely affordable price.
The Schrade SCHFS1 is relatively short and thin, so you need to be extra careful about making a solid contact and using a smooth stroke with the included metal striker.
However, it has an easy-grip handle, a steel striker, and a handy lanyard that holds them altogether. Plus, it’s extremely lightweight at 1.1 ounces with a space saving of 4 inch length, so it’s perfect for anyone looking for an extremely compact and portable fire-starting tool.
Not to mention, it’s also one of the least expensive all-in-one fire-starters you’ll find.
Check out the best prices for the Schrade SCHFS1 on Amazon or check it out on ebay.
6. The Friendly Swede
The Friendly Swede is an extremely durable fire starter that works under the most extreme weather conditions, including torrential downpours and blinding snow storms.
The rust-free ferroceriums rod are durable, lightweight and are designed to last for thousands of fire-starting strikes.
This Friendly Swede Fire Starter kit includes 2 5-inch ferro rods with easy-grip handles, 2 2 ½ inch steel striker and 2 steel ball chains.
Click here for the best prices on Amazon for The Friendly Swede 2 pack or check it out on ebay.
7. EricX Light Ferro Rod
Fire sticks don’t come any better than EricX Light Ferro Rod because it includes all the classic elements of style, durability, and function associated with exceptional products. The original pack comes with 2 ferrocerium rods that are each 6-inches in length and almost ½ inch thick.
The Ericx Light ferro rod is weather resistant and water-proof making it suitable for the most extreme outdoor environments. For improved results, it is highly recommended that you scrape the protective coating off the outer surface of the rod before using.
The original pack does not come with a striker, but these ferro rods are made to be used with a variety of striking materials. It can be scraped with a knife, saw blade or a scissor. Some users have reported that the high-quality ferrocerium works with natural strikers such as glass and sea shells.
Click here for the lowest prices on Amazon for the EricX Light Ferro Rod, or check it out on eBay.
8. Bayite Ferro Rods (Best For The Money)
If you ever dreamed of finding the perfect survival gear for your fire starter kit, then the Bayite is as close to perfection as it can get, which is why I bought several of them to use for starting fires in my fire pit (both at home and my cottage). This large ferro rod is an all-in-one solution that consists of a 1/2 inch by 6 inch long drilled ferro rod, a striker, and a high-quality paracord, which works in all weather conditions.
If used appropriately, a single Bayite Ferro Rod is capable of lasting nearly 12,000 strikes. You can easily use any sharp object as a scrapper; however, low-quality knives are unable to produce the high-amount of heat energy that this rod is able to generate. For maximum performance, scrap the black coating to reveal a shiny layer underneath before use.
This kit also comes with 6 striking edges striker-pro, which is an industry-leading striker that can easily get the job done even when used by an amateur. The multi-edged TOOL GRADE HSS STEEL can be used with either the left or the right hand. In addition, you also get a complimentary 9-feet of paracord included in the kit ensuring that you don’t lose it during emergency situations. Overall, Bayite offers the best ferro rod for money given just how much fire-starting power you get an extremely affordable price.
Click here for the best prices available for the Bayite in a wide assortment of sizes or check it out on ebay.
9. Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel
If you’re tired of using the typical fire stick, try the military-grade fire starter that is also used by the Swedish Department of Defense. Developed by survival expert, Lars Falt, Swedish Firesteel uses the hardened aluminum alloy for maximum durability and results. Instead of using ferrocerium, the alloy provides consistency at higher altitudes, freezing temperatures, and wet conditions.
Since its development, Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel has stood the test of time by offering a reliable solution to survival professionals around the world. Weighing only 50 grams, it can also be easily used to light up barbeque grills and stoves. It is an ideal companion for camping, hiking, and outdoors.
The included striker is built from high-end precision-ground stainless-steel material. Designed for maximum effectiveness, the striker can easily generate sparks of up to 3000 Celsius, with a single swipe. The Firesteel rod and the starter are tied to a built-in emergency whistle offering a comprehensive survival kit.
Click here for the lowest prices for the Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel on Amazon or check it out on ebay.
10. 4DB Ferrocerium Rod
The 4DB can theoretically last 400,000 strikes due to its hard cerium and soft metal core. Scrubbing a sharp object on ferrocerium will yield multiple hot burning globes that are visible from a large distance. In fact, its unique quality to produce fire globes makes it a great source of emergency signals.
Another distinguishing feature of Rod Firestarter is a 34 cm long snake braid that also doubles as tinder, whenever you need it. There are eight inner strains of jute twine tinder on paracord. Offering all-in-one solution, you can easily start a fire anywhere using the fire stick and tinder without searching for a source.
For hiking enthusiasts, the kit comes with a 4DB camouflage carabiner. It is not rated for climbing, but you can also use it to easily clip to handbag, emergency kit, or hiking gear. For young scouts, the 4DB Ferrocerium Rod fire starter is purposefully built to be soft. The extended length and softness of the stick ensures that it can be used by small children under the supervision of adults.
Lock in the lowest price on Amazon for the 4DB 1/2″x5″ Firestarter, or check it out on eBay.
11. Exotac fireROD
The Exotac fireROD is an “Amazon’s Choice” for a reason. It is one of the few sticks that have a custom handle (there are 4 custom colors to choose from), which can be used to replace with a high quality ferro rod whenever your old stick gets out-dated. The replacement rod can be ordered on Amazon or directly from the manufacturer.
The Exotac fireROD has over 4 inches of exposed material that can be easily scraped using a striker. When needed, just use the spine of a knife at 90-degree angle to easily ignite a fire. A single stick will last over 5000 strikes under normal conditions. It can produce intense sparks in adverse weather conditions including torrential rain.
Overall, the Exotac fireROD is a versatile fire stick that has one of the most unique designs you’ll find.
Click here for the lowest prices available on Amazon for the Exotac fireROD or check it out on ebay.
12. Uberleben Kraftig (Biggest Ferro Rod)
The Uberleben Kraftig is tied with the Arcadia Gear Fatboy as the biggest ferro rod (it’s not as thick as the Fat Boy but it is several inched longer). Available in both 5 inch and 8 inch models, this ferro rod comes with a sharp concave scraper that can carve through dry tinder and magnesium with ease. The 1/2″ (12.7mm) Sånft-kōrr™ ferrocerium rod grants a whopping 20,000 strikes per rod. Even the most active camper, backpacker, or survivalist will be able to use this tool for years to come.
The Kraftig is another winner from Ubeleben (our choice for the best ferro rod brand) and it’s the perfect solution for all your adventuring needs.
Click here for the best prices on Amazon for the überleben Kräftig Fire Starter or check it out on ebay.
13. Feuerstock Ferro Rod
The Feuerstock ferro rod features a carbide striker that throws huge sprays of sparks from the rod. With a special coating, this ferro rod can last for years without degrading. So no matter how often you use it, it will be ready to start a fire when necessary.
And that bright red coating means it’s hard not to find if you drop it. Easy to see, use, and handle — anyone can use the Feuerstock ferro rod. The tool also comes with an online training course (voucher included). So every person that needs to learn how to use it can be trained.
A comprehensive survival device, Feuerstock ferro rods work everywhere, in every environment. Other features include:
- Sturdy paracord lanyard for convenient transport
- Small (but mighty) construction, easily handled by hands of all sizes
- Weighs very little, letting you carry a vital device without extra weight
- Non-slip rubber coated handle on carbide striker makes it easy to use
- It’s the ultimate tool to have on hand, indoors or outdoors. Use during camping, training, power outages, or any situation that calls for starting a fire quickly
- It’s a great gift to give anyone because it’s made for everyone
Although the red coating looks cool and is very practical, I’m not convinced that it’s worth paying premium price for compared to something like the XL Bayite Ferro Rod, which is our pick for the best ferro rod for the money and costs half as much as the Feuerstock.
However, when you consider the cool look (and practicality) of the red coating along with the non-slip rubber coated carbide striker… it’s hard not to be tempted to pick one up, especially when it’s on sale.
Check out the best prices for the Feuerstock Ferro Rod on Amazon, or check it out on eBay.
14. PREPARED4X Survival Torch
The PREPARED4X ferro rod is made to start a fire, efficiently, quickly, and safely. This survival tool uses a unique patented design for optimal function.
Using the highest quality Ferrocerium, one strike is usually all it takes to get your fire going. The steel striker is curved in perfect conjunction with a hemp-based wick to instantly start a fire.
You can also control the fire intensity with this tool. Simply give the wick more slack to increase fire and pull it back to douse it.
The 36-inch starter rope is infused with wax, giving the device three straight hours of burn capacity. For people that only need it for one strike at a time, it will light up for thousands of uses. Starter rope refills are available when it’s time for a replacement.
Click here for the lowest prices on Amazon for the PREPARED4X Survival Torch Fire Starter, or check it out on eBay.
15. Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter
The Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter is a high-octane firesteel that is multi-functional and extremely dependable.
Compact and sturdy, this handy ferro rod fits perfectly into small spaces, making it perfect for any type of haul or travel. With a hardwood handle, it’s easy to hold, grip and use.
From this small but mighty tool, you can pull 15,000 strikes of fire-starting sparks. A sturdy, built-in lanyard connects to a striker for easy use.
If you get lost, this device has an emergency whistle that you can use to let others know where you are. Stay warm and be found. This ferro rod has everything you need to survive the elements.
Click here for the best prices on Amazon for Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter or check it out on ebay.
16. Everstryke Match (Best Free Ferro Rod)
The Everstryke Match is a combination waterproof permanent match and Ferro Rod.
You can use the Everstryke Perma-match just like a traditional permanent match because it uses ligher fluid and a wick.
Or, you can use the built-in Ferro Rod and striker to produce a shower of white-hot fire-starting sparks without lighter fluid. It’s your choice.
Here’s the best part… You can get the Everstryke Match for Free… Good while supplies last!
Still have questions about Ferro rods? Check out our Ferro Rod FAQ.
Leave a Reply