Ferro Rod - Fire Starter

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Huntinbull, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    Looking for opinions on ferro rods. Would like hands on opinions only. Have bought other rods that people "heard were good" and had them fall apart, lose their strike-ability, etc.

    What ferro rod do you use and recommend? I have 1800's style flint and steel, and enjoy it, but looking for more wet reliability.

  2. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I currently use a Light My Fire.

    I have bought several of various sizes from firesteel.com
    My first impressions are good. I have one I set aside to test. The others are stashed. It appears to do everything my LMF ferro rods do (so far). Their strikers kick butt too and save your knife blade.

    ETA: I did a bit of research before I decided. The other place you could go is goinggear.com. The reason I chose firesteel.com is they seemed to have slightly better, more consistent reviews.
    Example: http://jungletraining.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5615
  3. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    Thanks for the info. Great website. Might order me a couple on payday. Any experience with the handles coming loose or falling off the rods? That is my biggest peev with ferro rod kits. With a 4inch firesteel I could bypass a handle at all.
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Nah. I'm not saying it can't happen, but it's never happened to me. You will most likely wear through your ferro long before the handle separates.

    The firesteel mini's are great "light my fire" type, works well.
  5. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I have not seen a handle fall off. My LMF ones have handles. The ones I ordered from firesteels.com do not have handles- just drilled for a lanyard. A handle isn't really needed assuming you get one of a decent size. The other advantage to no handle is the ability to turn it around if you start getting less "sparkage" on the normal striking end.

    The lanyard holes are nice. I put a piece of 550 cord long enough to make a couple friction fire sets through the hole for a lanyard. I also attach the striker and a piece of fatwood to the lanyard. The length is important. If you make it about 4-5' long-
    1) You have back up cordage (like previously mentioned, you can make several friction fire bows as a back up or for rod preservation)
    2) It allows you to sling your whole fire making kit around your body
    3) It keeps your whole fire making kit together so you are less likely to lose a single item
    4) You have enough cordage to use every item without removing them from the cord

    If you want to handle your own, I would say that a strong epoxy will keep em' in there longer than the rod will last....btw....on how long they last....

    I just now finished up my first Army Model LMF after some 4 years. That includes hundreds of different fires and I'd say thousands of practice (show off) strikes. I couldn't even begin to make an estimate on number of strikes. When I took it on my last deployment, my teammates got a kick out of using it to start our morale fires. We uses it at least weekly for the entire deployment, not to mention the hundreds of times they played with it the rest of the week. Most were sold. The ones who weren't couldn't start a fire with a pile of newspaper, dry kindling, and a Bic. JK. Really though, the difference in those that became good with it and those that weren't is in the preparations they made. In that year, I can't think of a single time I failed to make fire when using my own prep. Hence the fatwood comment from above ^
    Marck and Brokor like this.
  6. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    Lightmyfire are good.
  7. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    Thanks all for the input. Looking into both the LMF and the firesteel.com units. Maybe the wife will get the hint for father's day?!?!
  8. Radar00

    Radar00 Monkey+

    I think this mini inferno stuff is interesting- although I havent tried it myself

    i use the magnesium firesteels- I think theyre better than the swedish stuff‬‏
  9. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    That Mini Inferno stuff does seem to do the job. think i might try getting vaseline dipped cotton balls wet and see what happens. Never tried that, but probably should.
  10. SurviveN

    SurviveN Monkey+

    ultimate technologies strikeforce. Nice carring case, comes with striker, showers sparks and holds tinder. I have two in my bob, one goes around my neck with my mora and one in my cook kit. LMF are good as well. but the SF is the best In my opinion. either will get the job done tho.
  11. vthunter

    vthunter Monkey+

    another recommendation for firesteel.com

    OP, if you don't mind hearing from a " [newb]", I've been using what we used to call a "metal match" for some years. I have both the strikeforce & the blastmatch (when Gerber used to market them); both are pretty good and the blastmatch can be used one-handed, which might be important if you've got an injury preventing two-hand use.

    The product and the folks at firesteel get my business now & the variety/selection is great. Love the small ones for wallet or PSK carry.

    Second above on Hispeedal2, epoxy, or gorilla glue (used quite sparingly); handle shouldn't come off unless the rod breaks.

    Good luck on your choice - remember to scrape off the coating or paint on some rods, to get a good shower of sparks, before you do your real testing. Also, I use the square-edged back of my knife, looking for a steep angle. Some folks recommend a piece of a fine-toothed hacksaw blade (using the tooth side) to really get a shower of sparks; I've never needed that much "aggression" as long as your tinder set & fire prep is good (fatwood scrapings, crumbled birch bark, cattail or milkweed fluff, vaseline/cottonballs, etc.) but ymmv. Give it a try some time, really, truly impresses those who've never seen a ferro-rod in use before. The firesteel super scraper works great.

    I do have a Coghlan's mag-block/ferro but the magnesium they use seems wicked hard to scrape and the slightest wind will blow away the pile you worked so hard to produce. Some friends scrape a bit of the magnesium, before they hit the path, and keep it in a small baggie, to reduce the work/time spent in case you need to get a fire going NOW out in the field. The vas/cotton balls, or a small char cloth, if no natural, dry, tinder at hand, works for me under most all conditions.

    Good luck in your choice sir.

  12. Marco Montana

    Marco Montana Monkey+

    I use the Swedish Light my Fire as well, I find its thick enough to actually shave before you strike and its long enough to get a nice strike.

    Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel Army
  13. hedger

    hedger Monkey+

    For my BOB's, I also use the Light My Fire product.

    I went to

    FireSteel.com - Best FireSteel

    to get the Ranger Fire Tube

    just because it is so way cool to have on my key ring, along with the Fire Steel scraper.

    My son really liked it, too, so I bought one for him as well.
  14. My gotta make a fire thing I have is just one of those magnisium blocks with a steel in it from Wall mart, and a 35mm film canister full of cotten balls with vaseline rubbed into em.

    I can scrape off some magnisium into a fluffed up piece of that cotton and hit it with a spark and it burns hot enough to light even damp tinder and burns for a good minute or so.

    I have also bought a bunch of the plain boy scout ones that can be bought in length through them, and then cut to length and a handle glued on. (nice scout project. I usually let the kids come up to the metal shop and we make em a decent knife out of carbon steel and then they make a sheath and fire steel for it and boom good to go.)

    That has been a few years ago as my kids are kind of between scout ages at the moment. Well the 12 year old is old enough, but at the moment not interested so I"m semi out of the scouting biz at the moment and focused on 4H stuff plus running a homestead that actually sells some stuff at the road stand and some custom metal stuff.
    Cephus likes this.
  15. I got a couple of Coglan's ferro rods from Sports Authority for $5 each. They work great and at a great price.
  16. ebugout

    ebugout www.ebugout.com

    By far the best firesteel on the Market is the Lightning Strike, no contest. That being said - it is extremely expensive (around $70). If you would like, I can shoot a video for you tomorrow so you can see what it is capable of.

    I also recommend these very highly:
    Bear Grylls - This product does not only create sparks, but it will actually create burning pieces of metal that stay lit for several seconds. ($10)
    BlastMatch - The main perk of this is one handed operation, and the fact that you can get a ton of pressure on the striker without much strength because of the way it is designed. ($16)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
    Ganado likes this.
  17. ebugout

    ebugout www.ebugout.com

    Here is the video using all 3 of these Fire Steels. I shot it at night so you can see much better the sparking capability.

  18. Bigfoot1986

    Bigfoot1986 Monkey

    I have a 1/2" x 6" fire steel from firesteel.com and it throws sparks wonderfully. It would last a very long time as ive barely scratched the sucker
  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    That would be what @Bear used to make this....
    He might have more fixings to make more...:cool:[​IMG]
    Bigfoot1986 likes this.
  20. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    Lightning Strike. Have three of them. One in the truck. One in the cache box and one in my backpack. Bought one as a gift for a hunting/fishing guide and trapper here in AK. He loves it. Hands down makes other fire starters look silly.
    Bigfoot1986 likes this.
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