Fire where you want it, when you want it, waterproof, compact, tough, and lasting virtually forever. That is why a ferrocerium rod is the best emergency fire source for EDC. Ferro rods, often misconstrued as “flint and steel,” are an alloy of iron and rare earth metals which, when struck, produce sparks which can burn at temperatures exceeding 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. No fuel to leak out, batteries to run dead, or really much of anything that can go wrong or bad. Easy to add to your keychain, carry in your pocket, toss in your glovebox, or keep in your go bag. One of STO’s members has had one on his keychain for ten years, has lit the occasional survival fire, but most often uses it to light his BBQ grill.
Our ferro rods are 5/16” diameter, and offer 2-1/2” exposed rod for hot and easy strike. Each should be good for thousands of ignitions. Handles are ergonomically shaped for good control and retention of the rod during the strike, have a hole for attachment to a lanyard, and come in several attractive handle finishes. Copper and bronze composite offer a weathered almost alien metal look and feel, very very cool. More every-day are our graphite finished handles, which offer a satin finish and unmistakable and unique graphite sheen. For a little extra spice, we also have some graphite handles pre-weathered allowing a little of the underlying metallic gold or metallic copper to peek through.
To use simply scrape the surface with something sharp. The square top of many survival knives are sharpened for just this purpose. The top of one of our Scalpeldashi’s blades also works extremely well. The optimal technique is to hold a sharp 90 degree corner (your scraper) pressed firmly against the base of the rod (where the handle meets the rod). Position yourself over your tinder/material to be ignited. Then, instead of dragging the blade downward, pull the ferro rod upward and away quickly while holding the scraper stationary. This allows much more controllable placement of your sparks than if you were to hold the rod stationary and slide with the scraper.