Historic Range: $19.85-$25.95
Reviewers Paid: $22.00
5/16 x 2.4 in
Up to 10,000
A high quality fire starter tool. FIRE -- Oh Oh!!
- Tinder capsule
- Replaceable ferrocerium rod
- Choice of handle colors
- Small for gloved hand to handle
- Small handle means small tinder capsule
No matter how light I try to get in my pack weight, there are two things that I always keep three of: water treatment and fire starting. Call me paranoid.
Anyway, along with a mini-Bic in my pack hip belt and waterproof matches in my first aid kit, I keep this little nifty tool from Exotac. It's called the fireRod — a ferrocerium fire starter (which is similar to flint/steel, but a bit easier to use and is the "flint" found in butane lighters).
This thing is small enough to fit inside my cook kit, and in fact, I pack it in the little pouch that came with my folding titanium spork. The tool comes in a choice of four different colors for the handle.
The features that set this apart from other ferrocerium fire starters you might find in your favorite gear aisle are the refillable ferro rod (just unscrew it from the handle and insert the new one) and the end of the handle which unscrews to reveal a small tinder capsule suitable for placing any number of different tinder types. New in the box, it comes with a replacement o-ring and instructions.
The other thing to note is that many knife sheaths are made with a pocket designed specifically for holding just such a ferro rod fire tool and the lanyard helps keep that with the sheath, so this may be something you'd be interested in if you carry a hunting knife or the like while out in the back country. The rod itself is substantially larger than typical ferrocerium fire starters, making it easier to use.
My only negative thoughts are that the handle is a little small, particularly if you need to use this with gloves. Along with the small handle, means a small tinder capsule. That might be fine if you are only going to use this for emergencies, but may want a little more for a primary device, for instance, if a wood stove is your primary method of cooking.
I've been using this successfully when lighting up my homemade penny stove (alcohol), but have yet to get it to light up my canister stove. My canister stove may be too small to successfully get the spark where it needs to be to light, because I'm certain that at 3,000 degrees F, that gas should be lighting off (I've not been willing to test in the closet for the sake of stabilized air currents). I've not tested it with any of my solid fuel tabs, but a petroleum coated cotton ball or lint is no match for this fire starter.
For up to 10,000 strikes (according to the manufacturer) at just barely over 1 oz, it sparks rain or shine. With a little practice, this can be a great primary fire starting tool or means to light your stove. If you're paranoid like me, it is a clear, alternative choice for your pack or kit.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $22