Ferro Rods / Ferrocerium Rods / Fire-Steels - Common Questions 2.

by Elvis Jai Closs on July 13, 2021

Will a ferro rod burn in a fire? 

No, if exposed to a naked flame ferro rods are not flammable. After around ten minutes the ferro rod will start to smoulder if exposed to a naked flame. Despite popular belief, the ferro rod will not combust if exposed to a naked flame which makes them very safe to use. So if you accidentally do the unthinkable and drop your rod into the fire just remove it as fast as possible and everything should be fine. There is a great video from Shawn's Workshop showing what happens when a ferro rod is exposed to a naked flame. You can view the video here.

Is a ferro rod worth having? 

Yes! They are one of the most popular means of fire lighting for outdoor enthusiasts. Ferro rods are one of the most influential 21st-century innovations in outdoor gear. They are extremely reliable. Unlike matches or lighters, they very rarely break and require no fuel. We offer a lifetime warranty on all of our Fire Starters, check em out here! They are 100% waterproof, windproof, and can light fires in all temperatures, altitudes and will last a lifetime! The only draw-back is that you need separate supply of tinder before you can create a naked flame. Our Stealth Fire Starter is a complete fire starter that integrates waterproof natural tinder into the design.

Are ferro rods suitable for children?

Yes! Without practice, it can be surprisingly challenging to ignite a fire with a ferro rod. There is an extremely small chance a child would ignite something they were not meant to! Unlike matches or lighters, ferro rods do not produce a naked flame, only sparks which makes the chance of accidental burns very unlikely. Though I do not recommend ever trying this, you can actually strike the ferro rod pretty close to naked skin without feeling the heat of the sparks at all! None of the materials used in ferro rods are toxic in their natural oxidized state. They are completely safe to touch and release no harmful chemicals. Despite this, we would definitely not recommend eating them! Our Beast and Stealth Fire Starter is perfect for beginners, the large rods make them especially easy to hold and develop a proper striking technique. 

Does ferro rod size matter? 

Yes, size matters! No pun intended! In short, the larger the ferro rod, the more sparks! As a larger striking distance means more material is removed when striking. However, with practise and proper preparation even the shortest rods will provide an adequate amount of sparks to ignite your tinder bundle. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference - you might value a smaller rod because of the weight or space saved, for example. 

We have developed a wide selection of varying sized rods. We also stock a ferro rod necklace - Our Sidekick Fire Starter. Though small, it makes the perfect back-up fire starter! Shape can also sometimes vary. While the majority of rods are circular we also stock a hexagonal rod, you can view our Hive Fire Starter here. Again, which rod you prefer comes down to personal preference - there is no harm in trying something different! 

What can I use as a ferro rod striker? 

In short, any material which is harder than the rod itself can be used as a striker. The harder the better. If you are going down the DIY route, square pieces of High Speed Steel (HSS) like this work very well as they are extremely hard and often have very sharp edges. Using the back end of the knife also works very well. Please make sure not to use your knife blade as this will blunt your blade very fast! Most ferro rods will come with a basic striker similar to this (click here). We have engineered our own striker. Our 6-function Stealth Striker doubles as a tinder scraper, includes four different hex bits and includes a bottle opener. A handy feature to have when sat around a campfire!

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