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Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 fire starter

Dependable firestarter, easier than magnesium bars, better than matches.


  • Lightweight
  • Dependable
  • Easy to use


  • Requires two hands to use
  • A little difficult for younger kids

I've replaced matches, bic lighters, and magnesium bars with the Swedish Firesteel as my primary firestarter. The firesteel is beautiful in its simpliclity. It doesn't matter if it's wet or dirty, or crammed in the bottom of your pack for 2 years, it always throws hot sparks.

It is incredibly lightweight and small, has no moving parts, and fits into just about any pocket. The handle on both the striker and steel are cupped for a firm thumb grip, and the striker handle also has an (somewhat marginal) integrated whistle. The two are held together by a cord that is long enough to allow their use without separating them.

A few things to consider:

  1. Needs two hands to use; not important until you smash your hand under a big rock . (Hence the small bic lighter or a few matches always stowed in the bottom of my pack.)
  2. You can break it, just like anything else, if you are blatantly careless, it's a tool and should be cared for. 
  3. Younger kids may struggle with it, make sure they can use it reliably if you want them to carry it.
  4. It's only as good as the tinder you're trying to light; a Vaseline/cottonball mixture is a nearly fool-proof way to start a fire, and a little goes along ways. Vaseline also doubles a first aid item.
  5. Practice a few times, make sure it works for you, and then enjoy. Preparation is key to the success of products like these.

I've carried one of these for a few years now and am completely sold on the product. I only get in about 2-4 weeks of backpacking a year, and have started many fires with it, and at this rate it should last several years. I've also found that these are always well received as gifts, even for those who only enjoy a fire in their backyard pit occasionally (it's the challenge of starting a fire without matches or butane that people enjoy I believe).

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ~$12

I will always have this tool in my pocket while hiking and camping. It is very functional and and could help save your life!


  • Easy to use
  • Works wet or dry


  • Could take a while for spark to catch

This fire steel is so useful! I used it to start my campfire and to light my stove. It is easy to use and works in wet or dry conditions. It has a built in emergency whistle which makes it an excellent emergency tool, being able to start fire and whistle for help (or send signals to helicopter with the spark).

I would recommend keeping one of these on you at all times when hiking or camping. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $7

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Price Historic Range: $9.95-$19.99
Reviewers Paid: $7.00-$12.00
Product Details from Light My Fire »

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