The Ferro Rod

Aside from the traditional ways, there are quite a number of methods and tools in which you can start a fire pretty darn quickly. Commonly you’ve got a lighter and matches, but have you ever heard of ferro rods?


In this quick post, we will cover everything you must know about ferro rods.

What is Ferro Rod?

Ferrocerium rod or popularly known as ‘ferro rod’ is an excellent fire-starting tool in any situation. Due to scraping against a hard surface, people are misled and often call this ‘flint,’ which is technically incorrect. Ferro rods do not contain any chemical correlation with the rock/mineral family that flint belongs to.

What is Ferro Rod Made Of?

Depending on its manufacturer, ferro rods are usually composed of “mischmetal,” a mixture of metal alloys which typically contains cerium, iron, lanthanum, magnesium, neodymium and praseodymium. Every manufacturer has a different percentage for each metal and several other components that affect the spark quality of the rod.

How Long Does a Ferro Rod Last?

An average ferro rod usually lasts about 8,000 to 12,000 strikes.

How do I Use a Ferro Rod?

Basically, a ferro rod does not require any special skills in order to utilize. You just have to place it down into your tinder at a 45 degrees angle. Then, with a good amount of pressure, place and scrap the striker across the entire length of the rod. Due to its friction, it will cause sparks. Do this continuously until the sparks start to ignite a flame.

Is A Ferro Rod Better Than Other Fire-starting Tools?

Although some people might need to put a little practice to be able to use it properly, a ferro rod has lots of advantages due to its simplicity, durability and the cost-effectiveness. A ferro rod will last far longer than a set of matches and lighters as well. These two big advantages put the ferro rod on top of the ladder over the other fire-starting tools. Unlike with magnifiers, ferro rods do not depend on sunlight either. Compared with flints, flints are harder to scrape and do not induce as hot and as much of a spark as with ferro rods. Ferro rods can ignite a fire faster because its spark temperature is twice as hot as most other fire-starting tools.

Speaking of which, if you worry about weight and space for your Bug Out Bag or INCH bag, a ferro rod is light in weight and it is also comes in various sizes. Some even come as a keychain or bracelet.

Parting Thoughts

The ferro rod is an excellent fire-starting tool worthy of a space in your bug out bag or INCH bag. This tool is time-tested due to its durability for the fact that it can withstand any weather conditions—let it be cold, heat, rain or snow. No matter what it goes through, it will always induce an intense spark. In addition, it has no reliance on fuel which is a great feature for making a fire in many survival situations.