Ferrocerium Rods can be used as fire starters in scouting and camping, sparking entertainment, clockwork toys, strikers for welding torches, and much more. They are the best compact fire starters which can be easily used. It's dependability made it a favorite of survival experts hunters, fishermen and campers. Ferrocerium rods works equally well when wet or dry. Swedish Fire Steel has even found its way into cabins and backyards as a fool-proof way to light stoves and gas-barbecues.
You can get a bare rod or ferrocerium blanks and roll some tape on as a handle, that will give you twice as much ferro to work with and may save a little room as well. You simply pull your knife blade or striker slowly and firmly down the length of the ferrocerium rod, and sparks easily ignite a stove, barbecue, paper, dry grass bark, or tinder. This iron rod is water resistant, and its 3000į C spark works well even when conditions are wet, cold, and less than optimal. This ferro cerium flint fire starter is a favorite of survival experts, hunters, fishermen, backpackers, campers and boy scouts. Also the ferrocerium rod can be inserted into one side of Magnesium block to build a Magnesium Ferrocerium Firestarter.
Ferrocerium rod is made from Iron, Magnesium and mostly of an alloy of rare earth metals called mischmetal with an excellent pyrophoric percentage : 98%min.
The required chemical composition:
Mischmetal(rare earth metal) : 75%
Rare earth metal distribution :
Pyrophoric percentage : 98%
Hardness : 70-90 HV
Dimension : 2.3mm up to 25.4mm Diameter x 5mm up to 1000mm Length.
We have just begun importing these ferrocerium (usually pronounced ferro-see-um) fire starting rods and are very excited about them. Our first order just arrived and it is a huge bunch of ferrocerium fire starting rods. I checked them out and they are all very high quality, consistent in size, dimensions, quality and smoothness. I also just pulled out one of the ĹĒ x 3Ē ferrocerium fire starting rods to test for myself. I am very impressed. I have seen some fire starting rods that just donít produce the amount and type of sparks that I like. These ferrocerium fire starting rods do. The sparks from these ferrocerium fire starting rods are great! I scraped this ĹĒ x 3Ē rod several times and each time it produced a large spray of sparks. Even better, these ferrocerium fire starting rods have a good amount of magnesium (not as much as our Aurora Magnesium Fire starter though) in them also and therefore many of the sparks continue to smolder and burn for a while thereby giving you a better chance of getting your tinder lit and the fire going.
Keep in mind that we carry so many different sizes of these ferrocerium fire starting rods because each size has its own purpose. For example, I carry one of the smallest ferrocerium fire starting rods in my wallet and barely even know itís there, but I always have it with me. However, the fatter the ferrocerium fire starting rods is, the more surface area it has to scrape and therefore the more (larger spray) sparks you get. Of course the more sparks you get, the better chance you have of getting the fire going. On the other hand, With a big bulky ferrocerium fire starting rod youíre less likely to have it on you all the time and maybe not when you need it. Plus, sometimes the key to survival and preparedness is redundancy. Having more than one option is always a plus. These ferrocerium fire starting rods really donít stand our well on the ground for example. Letís say youíre in the woods and you foolishly set down your 4Ē long x ĹĒ ferrocerium fire starting rod. Thereís a good chance you wonít find it. Itís nice to have a backup(s). Also, when you get one of the larger ferrocerium fire starting rods you might want to put something bright like tape or nail polish on one end so it does stand out.
I also just went out to the warehouse and tried a couple things with the new ferrocerium fire starting rods. When you just hold the fire rod and strike it, it almost feels like it will slip out of your hand. Theyíre not at all slippery or oily, itís just the feel of the metal rod. So I decided to add a little duct tape to give me something to grip. It definitely helped. Then I tried a couple different bright materials for lanyards and duct taped them on. We had some of the orange/yellow lanyards you see here in the warehouse so I grabbed one. It worked the best. Others slipped out when I clamped it in the vice and pulled.
Click Photo to Enlarge
I let some of the lanyard extend beyond the rod and folded it back a couple times inside the duct tape as I wrapped it. This should hold pretty well. Although, now I wish I would have grabbed a 4-5Ē long ferrocerium fire starting rod instead of the 3Ē. But thatís ok. I can still get quite a large spray of sparks from the ferrocerium fire starting rod when I scrape it.
JHL Supply / CampingSurvival.com
I compared these NEW ferrocerium rods against the Flint Steel Bars weíve been carrying for years plus the Blastmatch and this. They are different. These new ones seem to have a higher concentration (like the Aurora link above) of magnesium than the Blast Match and our old ones. What this means is that it is slightly easier to get sparks from our old ones than the new ones, however the new ones sparks burn longer and smolder for a while. I like that. Itís not like you canít get sparks or itís hard on the new ones. If you have any clue how to do it (itís pretty easy. I just use the back of the saw blade on my leatherman multitool to scrape the rods and they throw sparks. You need to have some dry tinder to catch the spark to start your fire), you canít go wrong even with cold hands, plus they keep burning. Could make the difference in a survival situation. It is all a matter of opinion. I figure that I will give you the info and you can decide which ones you want. Or, buy both and do the test yourself.
JHL Supply / CampingSurvival.com
Carbide Sharpener Ferro Rod Striker
By: Kevin Estela
Survival Instructor at the Wilderness Learning Center
"Does it have only one purpose?" This is the question I always ask when assessing a piece of survival equipment. Is there a tool capable of the same task with another purpose too? If a person carries dedicated equipment, chances are, they will end up carrying many items that can perform a task perfectly but at the expense of weight and space. Multi-purpose items may perform many tasks well but none perfectly. Once in a while though, an item has single purpose in its original design but other purposes are revealed by accident. In this case, I present the carbide blade sharpener.
A ferro rod works when a piece of steel or something hard and sharp is scraped quickly against it to produce a shower of sparks. Traditionally, a small piece of steel, a hacksaw blade segment or the sharp spine of a knife have been used to perform this task. While I prefer carrying a knife with a sharp near 90 degree angle for this purpose, I must admit sometimes the sharp spine will round off and the effectiveness is reduced. There must be an object with a sharp spine more resistant to this. There is, the carbide blade sharpener.
Approximately 4" long, the carbide blade sharpener is actually a piece of non-descript metal with a piece of carbide attached to the lower end of it. The metal handle is no cheap alloy though. In fact, cutting one down to make it smaller will require heating the handle and cutting it while still softened. The metal is coated with a plastic sleeve and a small lanyard hole is drilled through. At 4", it provides a secure grip even with gloved hands (a major consideration in extreme cold such as north of the Adirondacks) and also a safe tool to use without fear of accidentally cutting anything if your ferro rod striking goes askew. Furthermore, a small plastic cover protects the carbide and your equipment from accidental cutting or scratching inside your pocket or pack. Unlike a blade easily damaged if the rod is accidentally pushed into the dirt, the carbide sharpener is tough and handles abuse. It is the perfect striker for me to hand off to students when they are first learning how to use a ferro rod.
There are many ways to light a fire with a ferro rod. You can pin the rod down with your foot or stand on the rod's lanyard and strike it one handed. You can perform rapid multiple strokes to send near continuous sparks onto your tinder or you can do as we do with these and send large pieces of mish metal onto the tinder. To do this, you exert a little more force and angle the carbide to dig deeper. Larger and longer burning sparks will drop down to start your fire. Longer burn time means more time for your tinder to heat up before igniting into flame. This sharpener performs this task better than any other striker we at the WLC have ever tried.
On a recent winter camping trip, I used this particular carbide starter to light all of my fires for my titanium collapsible wood stove. I also used it to put my axe's edge back in line after hitting a nice piece of frozen shad plum with a cold axe head. Note to others, always warm your axe head near a fire before using it. Goes to show you what happens when you have too much faith in your gear and bypass proven skill sets out of perceived convenience. In any case, the carbide sharpener did what it originally was intended to do turning the German steel into line once again and making the edge usable.
"Does it have only one purpose?" The original question I presented to you at the start of this review and always my first question in assessing gear. For this carbide sharpener, the answer is "yes." Sure, this item may have been intended to straighten edges and remove rolls but its primary purpose has now been changed to lighting fires and sharpening secondary. As a person who carries chopping tools like machetes and axes year round depending on climate, I also carry a bastard file and sharpening materials. It would make sense for me to have this in my kit as well. However, instead of riding in my maintenance pouch, this is attached directly to my ferro rod for a nice rod and striker set in a 4" package. My lanyard is long enough to use and keep both attached and I'll never worry about being without one or the other as long as they stay in my belt pouch. You too shouldn't worry about having a good ferro rod striker. Go with this one and you'll have a great multi-purpose item worthy of a spot in your kit.
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