Survival Gear Review: PureFire Tactical Survival Fire Starter

The ability to start a fire is arguably the most important skill to have when camping, hiking or in a survival situation. Fire gives you the Top Survival Blogability to boil water, cook food, provide warmth, signal for rescue, make tools, keep insects and predators at bay, and it also gives you a psychological boost. The cheapest and most obvious tools to have for fire starting are lighters and matches. I always have these two tools on hand but they do have their downfalls. They can break and if they become wet they are instantly unusable until they dry out. The number of times you can use them are also quite finite.

By Tinderwolf, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

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For the reasons listed above most outdoorsmen carry flint rods and magnesium bars. Flint bars give a shower of sparks when scrapped with the edge of a metal tool. Magnesium bars give you a little extra boost when starting a fire. You scrape the magnesium bar which provides a small pile of magnesium dust or shavings. When sparks from the flint hit the magnesium pile it is ignited and produces a short burst of temperatures at around 3,000 degrees.

I have used a lot of different flint rods and magnesium bars in my search for the perfect combination.  There are two main issues that I have run into.  The flint rod either doesn’t produce enough sparks or the sparks are very short lived. Most magnesium bars/rods that I have tried produce dust rather than shavings when scrapped.  This pertains to the purity of the magnesium.  The dust easily blows away and the energy it provides when ignited is very short lived.

Also Read: Review of Primal Gear Unlimited Bow

I believe I have finally found the best combination of flint and magnesium rod.  The Survival Model made by Purefire Tactical is an outstanding piece of work. The flint and magnesium rod are stuck together and molded into a PVC handle. The connection of the rods into the handle is extremely tough and will not break. The handle is hollow so that you can add any extra gear you want even though it comes with two strikers, magnesium shavings on a duct tape roll and a piece of fat wood.


What I really like about this striker system is the handle. It is quite large and there is space between the striker rod and where you are Top Survival Blogholding it. This will prove to be very beneficial in a cold weather situation.  In that kind of environment your fingers may be numb or hands may be trembling.  A run of the mill flint rod and striker are quite small and you have to be hunched over pinching the rod and striker with your fingers to be able to strike a small area for sparks.  People with experience with flint rods will know what I am talking about. With this system one could be wearing bulky gloves and still have a comfortable hold on the striker handle and then use the back edge of a knife to obtain the sparks.

The magnesium rod is incredibly pure. Purefire Tactical boasts a 99.6% purity of the magnesium rod.  When I started using the scraper on the magnesium rod I fully believed their claim. Compared to all other magnesium blocks or rods I have used this magnesium rod is almost like butter it is so easy to scrape.  I actually got curls of magnesium when I scrapped it instead of little pieces or dust.

Another great thing I enjoy about this system is the hollow handle.  As I previously stated the company adds some great extras into the handle when you order the fire starter.  Obviously you don’t have to only use what they put in there and you can customize the contents to your liking.  I will say that even with the items the company puts into the handle there is still space for you to add additional items.

Also Read: Review of 5 Different Fire Starters

This system works so well that my five year old daughter was able to use it and start a fire with no problem. Again, with most fire starters they are small and don’t give off enough sparks.  My daughter was able to hold this and easily scrap off magnesium and send a shower of sparks into our tinder bundle. The look on her face when she started the fire was more than enough reason for me to own this piece of equipment.


Honestly, the only downside I found about this product was its size. Personally the size does not bother me but I can see how it might seem a bit bulky for some and take up more space in a pack than desired.  To combat this possible downside for some, Purefire Tactical offers two other models that are smaller. A folder model and a keychain model. Both have the same great flint and magnesium rods, just in a smaller package.

If you are a first time buyer or you have many flint rods (like me) I highly recommend checking out Bobby Linn at and supporting his American made product.

Specs from Manufacturer

The Survival Fire Starter features a 5/8″ x 3″ rod of the purest magnesium available and a 30,000 strike flint.

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Purefire Tactical

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13 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: PureFire Tactical Survival Fire Starter”

  1. That looks very easy to incorporate into the top of a walking stick! Epoxy a long enough piece of pvc onto the top of the stick, glue on a collar joint, then just slide that puppy in the top of the open collar joint! Extra storage space in the stick section of pvc too! Still, I'm going to get the folding version, since I don't use walking sticks very often.

    • I have used blast match and they are good. In my opinion all fire starters I have tried do not stand up to the purity and craftsman ship of this product. I also believe in spending a few extra dollars to support an American made product.

  2. Yes anyone that goes into the wilderness better have at least two methods to start a fire. As they say in the prepper world "one is none and two is one" A couple of days ago I was taking a little day hike and as I walked I thought I would do a little inventory of what I had in my pocket and I couldn't believe it, but Old Murphy had struck. In my chest pocket I had a BIC lighter and also a small chocolate bar and I guess during the summer my coat was in the truck and the chocolate had melted and set up hard around the head and striker of the BIC, I couldn't even get it to light after I got back to my truck. I did also have a magnesium and flint in my pocket if I had wanted or needed to build a fire. And just as you said in your article, some magneisum is hard to shave, I have started a fire with mine many times but it is a pain in the butt because it is so hard to shave. Trekker Out.

    • This is exactly why I recommend this product. The magnesium is amazing as you can shave off CURLS. Put some on a small roll of duct tape before hand and you are ready to go

  3. Folks, correct me if I'm wrong but it looks as though the Survival model can be incorporated into the top of a walking stick. Just epoxy a piece of pvc pipe the same diameter as the Survival model's handle to the top of a walking stick. Then, glue on the appropriately sized pvc collar joint and slide the Survival model right into the top of it. You can even make the extra piece of pvc pipe a bit longer for some extra storage space for tinder, a button compass, or even a smaller Bic lighter as a back up to your back up's back up fire source.

    I don't use walking sticks often but it seems like a viable idea for those that do. What do y'all think?

    Or, what about using the same collar joint process to make smaller, SHTF supply caches? Just put a pvc cap on the other end of the extra piece of pvc instead of jamming the end of the walking stick in there. Just make the extra pvc a bit longer to fit more goodies inside and you would end up with an easily concealable/buried cache container. Granted, $30 is a bit of a wallet whack but does it outweigh the ability to incorporate a good product into a decent idea for a cache?

    If these were about $15 cheaper, I think I would buy several, build and load the caches, and give them to others in my group to plant along their own routes to the BOL. Not exactly a boatload of supplies but enough to give them a bit more of an edge or lifeline if they needed it.

        • Purefire Tactical does have cheaper options, like their folder and key chain models. They have the same great rods just in a smaller package. I think you will be happy if you do look into Purefire, i'm not saying your choices are wrong i am just VERY happy with my Purefire Tactical products.

  4. Went to a gunshow north of Brooksville, Fl. recently. The busiest vendor on site was Purefire Tactical. For about 6 hours, the rep stood there, shaving, striking steel, and showing 2-300 people how to use the product. I watched, kinda poo-pooing the idea. I watched the demonstration. I didn't want to admit to myself that I was wrong. He ignited many small flames. And when he added a few drops to wet the magnesium shavings…OMG, I thought he had ignited a welding stick. I watched as many senior citizens, guys and ladies, in there 80's were buying not just one, but two or three. They claimed they had been without power during various hurricanes, and these would have been handy. I'm no teenager, nor quite 80 yoa, but this thing that I poo-pooed, actually awed me. Yeah I bought one, went home, showed it off, and neighbors relatives, and friends now want one. Do what you want, but I'm now sold. I've had other strikers, cheap ones, none worked. I've carried matches, lighters, hand sanitizer, and a host of other things. Sure I'll still carry of them, but this fire starter is now the primary item. Pricey, sure…but if a fire is needed, I'll pay the price to get a fire going….then its cheap….and it's not a one time thing, it'll start many fires, time and time again. Each time it does, the price goes down. Use it, need it, and the price is chump change. I'm not connected in any way to the company, don't even know the owner's name, could be the guy doing the demo. Just know his demo convinced many a wisened senior citizen.


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