A Magnesium fire starter is cheap, reliable, waterproof, and readily available at dozens of online retailers.
They are also lightweight, relatively safe, easy to use, highly transportable, and compact, which is why they are one of the most popular fire-starting tools among outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, preppers, and even a simple camping trip.
A magnesium fire-starting tool usually includes a block of magnesium with a built-in ferro rod or flint and a scraping and striking tool.
Simply scrape off some magnesium shavings onto a dry leaf, pine needles, char cloth, cotton ball or other tinder and strike the built-in ferrocerium rod with the back of your knife or the included scraper to produce a shower of sparks, and the shavings will ignite (for more info see our How To Use A Magnesium Fire Starter article and our Magnesium Fire Starter FAQ post.).
Once ignited, the burning magnesium will very quickly produce flames that reach over 5,000 degrees so it’s very important that you have your fire bed and kindling prepared and ready to go.
If you’re planning on getting a magnesium fire starter tool but have never used one before, it’s a good idea to practice with it a few times before you find yourself in a situation where it’s your only option for fire or survival.
Table of Contents
Best Magnesium Fire Starters
Here are the 6 Best Magnesium Fire Starters (I may earn a commission from Amazon for qualified purchases)…
- Fire-Fast Trekker (best camping or survival fire starter)
- The Friendly Swede 3-pack
- SE FS374 Magnesium Firestarter Kit
- Tag-Z Magnesium Fire Starter
- Survival Spark
- Fire-Fast Fire Fly (best lightweight backpacking fire starter)
1. Fire-Fast Trekker
The Fire-Fast Trekker is a combination Ferro Rod and Military Grade Magnesium Rod of massive proportions made in Austria for old-world reliability and craftsmanship.
The Trekker has a hardwood handle that provides for the surest of grips, even under the most extreme weather conditions, including freezing cold temperatures, snow flurries, and even pouring rain. An added bonus is that the hardwood handle can be shaved-off and used for tinder in an emergency situation.
The included striker/scraper is made from hardened steel and is sharp enough to create a shower of sparks to light your fire with ease but not sharp enough to cut your hand.
The paracord strap has a tensile strength rating of 550 lbs and is made in the United States by a certified U.S. government contractor, so it shouldn’t rot or break even under the most adverse conditions.
The Fire-First Trekker hardwood handle and the striker/scraper both come with pre-drilled holes that allow them to be attached to the paracord strap, so you’ll never have to worry about losing one of the most important pieces of your fire-starting kit (try that with those chintzy little steel-ball straps that other lower-quality fire starting tools come with).
The Fire-Fast Trekker only weighs a couple of ounces yet has everything you need to start a fire in the wilderness, which is why we consider it to be the best backpacking fire starter (as well as a perfect lightweight fire-starting tool to carry for camping and survival).
The Fire-Fast Trekker is durable, reliable, waterproof, and designed to light thousands of fires, even when wet. It’s one of the toughest fire-starting tools around, and it’s built to stand-up to years of use and abuse.
- Real Ferrocerium (Ferro Rod): Our ferrocerium is sourced from Austria, combining a century of craftsmanship and advanced technology to produce the world’s finest ferro rod. It is composed of 76% Rare Earth Metal, 20% Iron, 2% Magnesium, and 2% Anti-corrosives, with no other additives.
- Military Grade Magnesium Rod: The magnesium rod is specifically designed for generating a burst of intense heat and flame, even in the harshest conditions. It can be easily scraped off with the striker and ignited by sparks from the flint.
- Hardwood Handle: The Trekker features a hardwood handle meticulously crafted to provide a sure grip, even in extremely cold conditions. Additionally, the handle can be scraped to produce dry tinder, which is crucial in emergency situations.
- Striker/Scraper: The striker/scraper is constructed from hardened steel and sharpened to create large showers of sparks. It is designed to be safe to handle, as it won’t cut your skin. The striker/scraper also effortlessly scrapes the magnesium rod and hardwood handle.
- Paracord: The included paracord is rated at 550 lbs. tensile strength, ensuring exceptional durability. It is proudly made in the USA by a certified US government contractor and is resistant to breaking or rotting.
2. The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter – 3 Pack
If you prefer using smaller fire starters, then The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter has you covered. It’s only 3 inches long, less than ¾ inches thick and less than 1 ¼ inches wide and only weighs a few ounces, which means it easily slips into your pocket, your EDC backpack, your get-home bag, or anywhere else where your gear needs to be compact and lightweight.
This handy 3-pack of The Friendly Swede means you’ll be able to keep one in your glove box (which is what I do), one in your bug-out bag or with your camping equipment, and one on your keychain or around your neck so you’ll always have quick access to a dependable waterproof fire-starting tool when you need one.
Each one can be used approximately 5,000 times and contain a solid block of magnesium, a steel scraper to shave off the magnesium, an embedded flint rod and steel striker to throw sparks hot enough to ignite the magnesium shavings, and a steel ball chain that helps prevent losing the individual tools. It even has a built-in bottle opener, so you can use it to enjoy your favorite cold beverage in front of a roaring fire!
The Friendly Swede is waterproof, lightweight, compact, and dependable, provides its own tinder and its own spark to light your fire, and it’s easy to use even under the most severe weather conditions, including extreme cold, snow, rain, high winds, and high altitudes. Try all that with a butane lighter!
3. SE FS374 2-in-1 All-Weather Magnesium Firestarter Kit
If you’re looking for an inexpensive pocket-sized tool that you can toss in your fire-starting kit, then the SE FS374 Fire Starting Kit is worth checking out.
It comes with a solid magnesium bar that should last for a few hundred uses, a built-in flint striking rod, a metal striker with a serrated edge, a ball chain link, and a bonus mini-compass (I wouldn’t bet my life on the accuracy of any compass included as a bonus at this low of a price, but it’s nice to have around for a quick bearings check).
The SE FS374 may not be the sexiest option, but it is a reliable option that gets the job done.
- Compact Pocket Size: This fire starter is designed to be compact and easily fits in your pocket, ensuring convenient portability.
- Waterproof and Weatherproof: Built to withstand the elements, this fire starter is both waterproof and weatherproof, providing reliable ignition even in challenging conditions.
- 3″ x 1″ Solid Magnesium Fuel Bar: The fire starter features a solid magnesium fuel bar with flint, offering a dependable and long-lasting source of ignition for starting fires.
- Single-Sided Serrated Striker: Equipped with a single-sided serrated striker, this fire starter enables easy and efficient spark generation for igniting the magnesium fuel bar.
- Includes Detachable Ball Chain: Each fire starter comes with a detachable ball chain, allowing you to conveniently attach it to your gear or keep it easily accessible for outdoor adventures.
4. Tag-Z Magnesium Fire Starter Kit
They manufacture the Tag-Z to be durable, reliable, and dead simple to use. They even clearly mark the Magnesium block side with big, bold letters that read “Shaving Edge” and the flint rod side with the words “Sparking Insert”, so there’s no confusion about which side to use during even the most stressful emergency situations.
All you have to to do is shave the magnesium into a pile the size of a quarter, sprinkle the shavings on a small mound of kinder, flip the tool over, and strike the built-in flint rod with the edge of your knife to create sparks and a shower of red-hot sparks will ignite the magnesium to start your fire.
The Tag-Z Magnesium Magnesium Fire Starter Kit is designed to be one of the most reliable and dead-simple fire starter tools you’ll ever use.
- Magnesium Block Fire Starter: This Tag-Z fire starter features a magnesium block with a sparking insert on the side, providing a reliable ignition source.
- Compact and Versatile Design: The magnesium block measures 3″ x 1″ x 3/8″ and comes with a steel scraper that also doubles as a bottle opener.
- All-Weather Performance: With the ability to start fires in any weather conditions, whether wet or dry, this fire starter ensures consistent functionality when you need it most.
- High Heat Output: The magnesium block burns at temperatures up to 5,400°F (2,982°C), providing intense heat to quickly get your fire going.
5. Survival Spark Magnesium Fire Starter
The Survival Spark Magnesium Fire Starter is wind-resistant, waterproof, lightweight, easy to use, and consistently provides a huge shower of fire-starting sparks up to 15,000 times.
It includes an extra-long striker/scraper that is easy to grip (even when you’re wearing gloves). Use the serrated edge as a scraper to create a small pile of Magnesium Shavings from the included rod, and then use the flat side as a striker to create a cascading shower of sparks to ignite the Magnesium and start a fire. You could also use a permanent match to ignite the shavings.
The Survival Spark also includes an integrated emergency whistle that has been tested at 150 DB and a small compass to help you find your general bearings in the wilderness.
The Survival Spark is a 3-in-1 survival tool that makes a great addition to any fire-starting or survival kit.
- Never Be Caught in the Cold: This high-quality all-weather fire starter is designed to be windproof and weather-resistant, ensuring reliable fire ignition in any conditions.
- Lights Up Time & Time Again: With the ability to strike up to 15,000 times, this fire starter provides repeated fire-making capability when you need it most.
- All-in-One Emergency Tools: This product includes essential emergency tools, including a magnesium fire starter stick, a large scraper, a compass, a whistle, and a lanyard, offering multiple functionalities in one convenient package.
- Compact & Convenient: The fire starter rod measures 5.5″ in length, making it compact enough to easily fit in cars, survival kits, and camping gear, ensuring it’s always within reach when needed.
- Customers Say: Campers and hikers consider this a must-have emergency tool, as it combines three essentials in one purchase, providing peace of mind during outdoor adventures.
6. Fire-Fast Fire Fly
The Firefly is a combination Ferro Rod and Magnesium Rod, so you’ll have quick access to two must-have fire starters in one extremely small and lightweight package that’s the perfect size for carrying in your backpack, bugout bag, or fire-starting kit.
The Fire-Fast Firefly is Made in America from both domestic and imported materials.
Austrian-made Ferro Rod/Flint is made from the finest European Ferrocerium rich in rare earth metals and tested to provide 2,500 strikes that produce a shower of white-hot fire-starting sparks.
Military-Grade Magnesium Rod is 95% pure.
The African Hardwood handle is designed to withstand all weather conditions and is virtually waterproof.
Hardened Steel Striker and Scraper is Made in the U.S.A. and is attached to the handle with American Made 7 strand high-tensile strength 550 paracord that resists rotting, even in the wettest of conditions (try that with a leather strap).
Weight: approximately 1.5 ounces. Dimensions: Approximately 5 inches Long by 5/8″ deep by 7/8″ wide.
- Made in America: This product is proudly manufactured in the United States.
- Austrian (Euro) Ferro Rod: Our fire starter utilizes a high-quality ferro rod sourced from Austria, known for being the world’s best flint, ensuring reliable and efficient fire starting.
- Extreme Lightweight: Weighing only 1.5 ounces, this fire starter is designed to be lightweight and highly portable. It measures 5 inches in length, 5/8ths inch deep, and 7/8ths inch wide.
- All-Weather Performance: Built to withstand all weather conditions, this fire starter is both waterproof and weatherproof. It features a hardwood handle for durability and enhanced grip. The fire starter consists of a ferro rod, magnesium rod, hardwood handle, paracord, and a hardened steel striker/scraper.